This blog post should be useful for existing NetSuite users who would like to get started with Saved Searches. There is a huge amount of data that lies within NetSuite and with a little know how, you can tap into this data and create some wonderful analytics for yourself and/or your team.
Don't worry, you don't need any specific technical skills to used Saved Searches, although more advanced users/administrators will probably go beyond the basics outlined in this article. We have also included a link to a document which includes more advanced use cases for Saved Searches.
Being a single platform solution, NetSuite stores lots of data across the business from customers to financial transactions to sales, procurements, marketing, projects, customer service data and more. Now that you have the data, let's look at how you can access the data and start to put it to good use.
What are Saved Searches?
In a nutshell, a Saved Search is an easy-to-use reporting tool that allows you to extract and collate data so that you see exactly what you want to see. It uses non-technical terms, so anybody could potentially create a Saved Search without having particular technical skills.
You can set up your search using parameters or criteria and once created, you can use the same search over and over. Saved Searches are the backbone of reporting within NetSuite and are commonly used in lists, reminders, dashboard views and custom KPI’s. When you display a list of sales orders or invoices for example, you are really looking at a NetSuite Saved Search. The great thing is that if you want to alter your view and visualise additional data fields, you can simply edit the search. It requires no programming for the basic searches, although some of the more advanced searches may require a higher technical skillset.
What’s the difference between a Saved Search and a Report?
Sometimes we are asked what is the difference between a Saved Search and a Report – are they not the same? And the answer to this is no. They are two different tools and can be used in different ways, depending on what you’re looking to achieve.
NetSuite comes with lots of “out of box” reports that you can start to use. You can group the data in different ways and view it in a way that is easy to understand by any user. You can output the reports to Excel or PDF, pop them onto your dashboard and you can schedule them to be sent to other users.
Saved Searches work a little differently in that you are pulling data from the database using a nice easy graphical tool. You can decide what you want to see, choose your filters/highlighting criteria and you can go one step further by building in some advanced formulae to ensure you get exactly the data you need. Saved Searches win on the flexibility front, but reports can also be useful, particularly if you are editing a pre-exiting report.
So, two different options to consider depending on what you’re looking to achieve. Our advice would be to get to know and understand both as it is more than likely that you will be using both within your business. In general, if you are analysing transactions, Saved Searches are the best option as they are more powerful and flexible. For Financial Reporting, the Reporting tool is much easier to work with. So, let's stick with the topic of Saved Searches.
What are the benefits of using NetSuite Saved Searches?
- Timesaving: Once your criteria is set, you just need to run the search.
- Accuracy: No messy spreadsheets to contend with, you can pull all sorts of data into your Saved Search and you know that it will be accurate
- Flexibility: Really flexible and easy to work with
- User-Friendly: Easy to set up and publish to users/roles
- Role Specific: Access to saved search data will be based on roles and permissions
Who Should Use them?
Saved Searches can be used by all employees and departments who have access to NetSuite.
Whether you want to see lists, have reminders pop up on your dashboard or you want to send out a marketing communication to a specific target group, it’s the Saved Search tool that will help you achieve all of the above, and more.
We have created a video, linked below, showing you how to start using Saved Searches within NetSuite. In the video we cover:
- How to create a search for a list of overdue customers and e-mail the results out
- How to create a search to display how much a customer is over their credit limit
- How to edit an existing search and save as new
- How to add Saved Searches to your dashboard
To watch the video, just click the image below.
Get stuck in. Start using Saved Searches. You can’t break the system, so just play around with it and you will be blown away by what you can achieve with a little know how.
Here's a useful Guide from NetSuite for you to download and follow (Saved Searches starts at page 118)
About the author: Brian Doherty
Brian works in our NetSuite Project Management and Consultancy Teams and brings over twenty four years' experience successfully leading ERP projects across the Distribution and Services sectors.