Dynamics 365 for Sales — Demystifying Dashboards


Dashboards are standard equipment in a CRM system. You probably have a dashboard from when you launched your CRM comprised of several charts. As time goes by, you’re going to want to modify or replace your charts and dashboards. There will be activities, KPIs, campaigns, etc., you want regarding sales activity or reporting. Building a new dashboard is not rocket science but takes a little bit of forethought and practice. Let’s look at the basic steps you can take to create a new dashboard in your Dynamics 365 system.  

Step 1: System Views and Charts–the building blocks of your dashboard

System views and charts are a good place to start. You may not be familiar with the term “system view,” but you use them all the time in a CRM. These are the grid-like forms that resemble spreadsheets, i.e., column headings with rows of data beneath.

dynamics 365 dashboards

Step 2: Leveraging an existing chart for your dashboard

In addition to boring old rows and columns, your system views can be expressed as or transformed into charts. For example, I go to an “Open Leads” system view in Dynamics 365 and look in the upper left. I click on the “Show Chart” button and voila–we’ve got an Open Leads > Leads by Rating pie chart comprised of filtered data from this system view. 

dynamics 365 dashboards

Clicking the little arrow presents more charts comprised of filtered data from Open Leads. In this case, I’m looking at Open Leads > Leads by Source. 

dynamics 365 dashboards

So let’s say that I want these two charts in my dashboard, so they are front and center every morning when I log into Dynamics 365 CRM. The charts already exist, so this is going to be relatively easy. 

Note: At this point, I could have also launched a chart creator and made a brand new chart. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll use these in our dashboard. 

Step 3: Building your new dashboard

Let’s go to our existing default dashboard.

dynamics 365 dashboards

Click + New > Dynamics 365 Dashboard. I’m going to name it Mark’s Leads Dashboard.

dynamics 365 dashboards

This particular dashboard has room for four components but we’re only going to use two. We click on the icon that resembles a bar chart. Here I’ve got three pull-down menus I’ll use to identify the correct chart: Record Type, View, and Chart.

dynamics 365 dashboards

I select Lead, Open Leads and Leads by Rating. I have a visual cue that confirms I’ve got the correct chart. I’ll repeat the process to add Leads by Source chart.

dynamics 365 dashboards

Now I save the dashboard and I’m done. Here’s what it looks like for the user.

Dynamics 365 dashboards

That’s a good beginning lesson on dashboards. In a future blog, we’ll tackle creating a new dashboard. Check back to see it. 

Interested in Power BI dashboards? Click here.

Mark Abes, Vice President, Dyn365Pros, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Implementation Partner, San Diego, Southern California