NetSuite’s Key Performance Indicators portlet is a terrific tool for staying on top of your critical business metrics. Using real-time data, the Key Performance Indicator allows users to display metrics on individual aspects of your business, compare those metrics over time, and flag those values that are outside of the norm. Using the Key Performance Indicators portlet, you can filter out the “noise” of the details, and gain a relevant, summarized view of only those key business metrics you need to help drive important business decisions.
NetSuite provides a wide range of built-in Key Performance Indicator values, such as Revenue, Orders, New Customers, Open Cases, and Forecasts. However, every business is unique, and the important business metrics that drive your business are going to be specific, not general. To support these special needs, NetSuite allows users to create custom Key Performance Indicators, and view them alongside the standard ones provided by the system.
Custom Key Performance Indicators are based on saved searches. A saved search will define the type of record, the criteria to narrow down the appropriate list of those records, the results to be displayed of records matching the criteria, and the date range to be applied as a filter. Let’s look at a specific example:
Our sample business has launched a new product line or service. We want to track our sales of this new offering on a week-by-week basis to confirm we are getting traction in the market. We would like to see the portion of our sales related to this specific offering, compared week-over-week. If the current week is above our sales estimates, we want to have the result highlighted so that it is brought to our attention.
We start with a Saved search (Reports > Saved Searches > New) for Transactions. On the Criteria subtab, select “Item” as our first criteria, and, from the pop-up, select our new Product:
Repeat this process on the Criteria Tab, selecting “Type” from the criteria dropdown, and specifying Invoice as the transaction type. This will ensure our search only returns Invoices, and not sales orders, returns, credit memos, etc.
On the Results subtab, we may want to see the Date, Transaction Number, Customer, and Dollar Amount. Because we want to display the summarized Amount, make sure to specify “Sum” in the Summary Type next to the Amount result. The picture below provides a sample of the Results you may wish to see:
Finally, on the Available Filters subtab, select “Date” as a filter, and check the “Show in Footer” checkbox. This will ensure that we can compare values for sales of this product between time ranges (ie: this week vs. last week):
Back on your Home Dashboard, click the Link to Setup your Key Performance Indicators portlet. From here you will be able to manage the values that are displayed:
Find your saved search in the list, and click Done. This will add your new custom Key Performance Indicator, and enable you to set it up for viewing.
In our example, we want to view our data week-over-week, so in the first Range field, specify “This Week to Date” and in the Compare Range specify “Last Week to Date.” This will ensure that our comparison is a fair one, comparing sales through this Wednesday against sales through last Wednesday. We can additionally add highlighting to ensure that we highlight the result if it is greater than our sales estimate (ie: $2500).
The result is a very specific indicator, on our Home Dashboard, that gives us real-time accurate information on the success of a new product launch on a week-by-week basis.