Unlocking the potential of extensive data stores is a crucial aspect for businesses aiming to analyze performance, identify growth opportunities, and enhance customer experiences. In the realm of NetSuite, having the right tools to extract, present, and analyze real-time business data is pivotal for operational adjustments that can impact the bottom line positively.

For NetSuite users, two fundamental data extraction and reporting tools are readily available: Saved Searches and Reports. While both serve the purpose of data analysis, understanding the differences between them is essential for optimal usage.

But which is best for you? Which NetSuite function do you require?

Continue reading to dive into the differences, considerations before choosing either, common pitfalls, and frequently asked questions associated with Saved Searches and Reports in NetSuite.

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Comparing NetSuite Reports and Saved Searches

Saved Searches function as dynamic, customizable queries within NetSuite's database, enabling users to pinpoint specific datasets tailored to their requirements. These searches offer extensive flexibility, allowing users to filter, sort, and group data in diverse ways. 

Saved searches excel in offering advanced functionality, enabling users to employ complex formulas, joins, and summary types for in-depth analysis and strategic decision-making. Furthermore, the exportability of results to formats such as CSV or Excel enhances the utility of Saved Searches, facilitating seamless integration with external tools and systems.

In contrast, Reports in NetSuite offer a structured approach to data presentation, characterized by predefined templates and standardized layouts. While Reports may lack the extensive customization options of Saved Searches, they excel in delivering summarized information in a clear and digestible format. 

Additionally, Reports offer the convenience of scheduled delivery, allowing users to automate the generation and dissemination of vital insights to relevant stakeholders, thereby streamlining communication within organizations.

You might be wondering when you can choose a saved search over a report or vice versa. Here are some considerations for picking one over the other:

Need for customization

Saved Searches offer more flexibility and customization options for users requiring complex data manipulation and filtering.

Standardized templates

Reports are ideal for users seeking standardized templates and layouts for common business needs.

Ease of use

Reports provide a user-friendly interface and clear data presentation, making them suitable for users with varying levels of technical expertise.

Highlighting data

Saved Searches allow for the highlighting of data meeting specific criteria, making them suitable for users needing to identify outliers or trends.

Common Errors While Creating Saved Searches

Selecting an inappropriate search type

The search type is the specific NetSuite record, such as item, vendor, or transaction, upon which the search will be based. Choosing the appropriate record determines which fields can be searched on or included in the search results.

Incorrect criteria definition

Saved search criteria serve to filter the results to include or exclude the specified criteria. Employing an excessive number of filters may exclude relevant records, while utilizing insufficient filters may yield an excessive number of results, causing the saved search to time out upon execution.

Utilizing an incorrect syntax

NetSuite displays the message "ERROR: Invalid Expression" in the column of the saved search where an incorrect formula has been entered.

Specifying an incorrect audience

When setting the visibility of a saved search, it is crucial to consider that setting the audience at the individual employee level means that if that employee departs from the organization, their replacement will not have access to the saved search record.

Failure to save the search

Users often "Preview" a saved search during its creation to verify the saved search results. If there is an error in the saved search, previewing the saved search will return an error and all data associated with the saved search will be lost.

Common Mistakes when Creating a Report

1. Native reports have templates that can be used as a starting point for new reports. Not utilizing this could lead to unnecessary time and effort being put in.

2. Users with no familiarity with NetSuite’s report builder may require more time to learn functionality before report can be created

Frequently Asked Saved Search and Reports Questions (FAQs)

When can I use a saved search versus a report?

Consider factors such as customization requirements, flexibility, and specific analysis objectives when deciding between a saved search and a report.

Can I email search results to employees with no NetSuite access?

Yes, it is possible to email search results to employees without NetSuite access, but an employee record must be created within NetSuite for this purpose.

Can I display my saved search results on my Home Dashboard?

Yes, saved search results can be displayed on the Home Dashboard by setting the appropriate preferences. 

Saved Searches and Reports are valuable tools available to NetSuite users for extracting, visualizing, and analyzing business data. Each tool offers unique advantages and applications, and users must have a clear understanding of their objectives and the capabilities of each tool to make informed decisions. 

By leveraging Saved Searches and Reports effectively, businesses can harness the power of their data to drive strategic decisions and achieve organizational objectives.

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About Paul Jatto

NetSuite Consultant at GURUS Solutions