One of the most useful ways to analyze NetSuite sales data is by comparing data trends. NetSuite makes it easy to look at sales numbers from last year vs. sales numbers from this year, for example. However, NetSuite doesn’t make it easy to visualize those same numbers. You will need to build trending charts.
Here’s a short video of Stephen Peake describing how these kinds of reports can be done in NetSuite with iCharts:
Visualization is one of the quickest, clearest ways to communicate data, so it makes sense to communicate data trends visually. That’s where iCharts, a visual analytics solution that’s native to NetSuite, can help. iCharts allows you to tap into NetSuite’s real-time data and quickly build visualizations that can be shared throughout your organization. Different teams and departments can build portlets to show the visualizations that are relevant to them. So, the sales department might want to keep an eye on those sales trends to compare last year’s numbers with current numbers.
Sales Data Visualization
iCharts visualizations are built entirely from NetSuite saved searches, so the sales team can specify exactly which data should be shown. For example, visualizations might include the date range, the names of sales reps, the locations where sales to place, and even the names of customers. By adding a few formulas, the sales team can view sales trends by week, quarter, or year.
Customized Trending Charts
With iCharts, anything that can be viewed as a saved search result in NetSuite can be manipulated and brought into a chart, while maintaining the search criteria. The iCharts variables, which mirror those in the saved search results, allow you to customize your visualizations. Creating a data visualization for year-over-year sales trends, for example, is as simple as hovering over the variables and choosing “year” as your compare-by element.
In this year-over-year chart, we’re grouping two different sets of data. First, we’re looking at volume by sales rep, and then we’re comparing that volume over two years.
As you can see, the numbers from 2014 are in blue, while the numbers from 2015 are in green.
You can also set filters to create multiple different charts from the same data. In addition to viewing year-over-year sales by sales rep, you can view these same numbers as sales by day YoY, sales by week YoY, sales by month YoY, sales by quarter YoY, and sales by location YoY.
Once the charts are published, you can drill down and view the data that underpins a specific visual element. That way, you can take a look at the exact numbers used to build the chart, like this.
Of course, you can also create multiple types of charts, including column, line, bar, and pie charts. Users can also customize charts on the fly by assigning text elements or custom formulas as filters that can be applied. This ability allows for great flexibility and versatility.
For a step-by-step demonstration of how to build a chart with trending data, watch our YouTube video. And to learn more about visualization best practices in NetSuite reporting, sign up for our monthly webinar.