NetSuite Custom KPIs : Monitor Metrics that Mean Something to Your Business

NetSuite has a number of dashboard portlets that display financial and operational metrics called KPIs. There is a catalog of KPIs provided as standard, but you also have the ability to create your own NetSuite custom KPI.

Not every organization is structured in the same way or is interested in the same data points. Creating your own KPIs allows you to focus on the metrics that are most important to your specific management team and supervisors.

One of the portlets you can use your NetSuite custom KPIs on is the KPI Scorecard. Using the scorecard you can compare multiple data sets across a variety of date ranges from months to periods or years. You can learn how to set up the KPI Scorecard portlet in this article.

A KPI comes from the results of a simple Saved Search. Not all searches can be used though and there are a few key points to consider when creating one to be used as a KPI.

Creating a Saved Search to be used as a KPI

First, you need to consider what type of data is useful as a KPI. Saved Searches can display all manner of data in different ways with highlighting, icons, grouped categories etc. A KPI on the other hand is a single value.

Not everything in business is useful as a single value. Consider this when building your own custom KPIs.

Once you are happy that the data type you are considering would make a practical and informative KPI, follow these steps –

  1. Navigate to Reports > Saved Searches > All Saved Searches > New.
  2. Build your Saved Search as you would any other by configuring the Criteria and Results tab.
  3. Since a KPI is a single value, you need to identify which column, when totaled, will give you the headline you are interested in. Add a Summary Type to this column.
  4. Under the Available Filters subtab, you must select a date-based filter. This is the value that will be used for date ranges in your KPI portlet.
  5. Click Save and your Saved Search is ready to be used as a KPI.

Using the above steps, you will be able to quickly and easily create your own custom KPIs. If, however, you are facing any issues with the search you have created, here as some common mistakes to look out for.

Setting the Criteria of a Saved Search to be used as a KPI

It is important to not forget that your KPI will derive from some type of summary of the data in your search results. You need to bear this in mind when setting your criteria.

If you have duplicate records in a transaction search and you are performing a Sum function of the Amount field, you are going to produce an overstated total. Similarly, if you are looking to Count transaction records but you have line items showing you will have duplicate lines that may skew your KPI.

For Transaction searches, never forget to use the Main Line criteria. Getting in the habit of always using the Main Line criteria will help towards preventing at least some of these issues.

Choosing Summary Types for Saved Searches

When creating a Saved Search to be used as a KPI all the data boils down to one value. You therefore want to pick the Summary Type and column to summarize very carefully.

Remember, you will only be summarizing one column. Your search, when viewed, should only show one value.

Some fields dictate which Summary Types can be used on them. For example, you cannot Sum a list of Document Names. Other fields will allow a number of different Summary Types so make sure you choose the most appropriate for your KPI.

Saved search details for creating a NetSuite custom KPI.

Adding a Date filter to your Saved Search

For a Saved Search to work as a KPI you need to select a Date filter under the Available Filters subtab. If the type of search you are using does not have any relevant date field, then you will not be able to use it as a KPI.

One of the key features of a KPI is being able to view and compare data from multiple date ranges. If the record doesn’t have a date related to it, then it is possibly not the right kind of data to be used.

If you are using your KPI in a custom KPI Scorecard, then you may have selected the Use Periods checkbox when creating the Scorecard record.

The setting for using periods in your NetSuite custom KPI instead of dates.

If this is the case, then you need to be selecting a Period filter in the Available Filters subtab of your search. If you select a regular date field your KPI will not work.

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