Reporting snapshots are simple to set up in Salesforce and allow you to analyze your data for changes over time, such as week-over-week or month-over-month. You can take your reporting to the next level and answer important questions for your organization. This article will walk you through the what, why, when and how of reporting snapshots.

What are reporting snapshots?

A reporting snapshot allows you to report on historical data by capturing and storing data at a specific point-in-time at intervals of your choosing. You simply create a report with all the fields you need from the object you are reporting on, such as Opportunities or Cases. This data loads into a custom object from which you can create reports the same way you create reports and dashboards with other records in Salesforce.

Why do I need reporting snapshots?

With native Salesforce reporting, you see the data available only at the time of running the report, while reporting snapshots allow you to capture and analyze point-in-time data as well as changes over time. For example, you can view a count or summary amount at the end of each week, month or quarter allowing you to take your trend analysis reporting to the next level.

Reporting snapshots allow you to see whether you are reaching your goals. For example:

  • You hired another customer service representative to keep up with support requests. Has your daily open case number gone down?
  • Your philanthropy team has been working hard to build relationships with major donors. Has the total amount and number of open pipeline major gifts increased month over month?
  • Your admissions team is working to get students through the application process faster. Has the total number of in progress applications decreased week over week?

When do I need reporting snapshots?

  • You want to know how many and the amount of all open donation or sales opportunities you have at the beginning of each month in order to have month-over-month comparisons.
  • You want to know how many open cases you have at the beginning of each week for week-over-week comparisons.
  • You want to know how many active members you have at the beginning of each month for month-over-month comparisons.
  • You want to know how many student applications are in progress at the beginning of each week for week-over-week comparisons.
  • You want to know what your donor retention rate was last year at the beginning of the same month compared to this year for monthly year-over-year comparisons.

What frequency can I have for reporting snapshots? 

  • Monthly
  • Weekly
  • Daily

How do I create reporting snapshots? 

It is actually very simple to create a reporting snapshot and doesn’t require any code!

Here are the four basic steps for getting your reporting snapshots up and running:

  1. Create a report from the object you want to report on, such as cases or opportunities with all the fields you want to report on.
  2. Create a new custom object with a field for each field in the report you just created.  Creating a custom object is actually very simple and suggest naming it something intuitive, such as opportunity historical snapshot.
  3. Under Setup > Feature Settings > Reports and Dashboards > Reporting Snapshots, map the fields from your custom report to the fields in your custom object.
  4. Lastly, schedule your snapshot to run.  This will create new point-in-time records in your custom object each time your snapshot runs.

Once your snapshot has been running for a bit, you will be able to start creating reports and dashboards from your new custom object to view trending in the point-in-time data you have captured. Click here for a detailed guide from Salesforce for setting up your reporting snapshot.

We’re here to answer any questions you still have about point-in-time reporting. Contact us at or through our website.

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