Are you ready to uncover NetSuite’s greatest feature? In my experience, one of the best and most overlooked tools within the NetSuite platform, is one that everyone knows how to use but few know how to use well. The NetSuite saved search feature is the most important system tool for any business allowing them to analyze, extract and model their data quickly and efficiently within the NetSuite UI. In this article I will introduce you to this gem and guide you through it’s functionality, benefits and more advanced features.
NetSuite Saved Search is a robust and flexible feature that allows you to create custom searches within NetSuite – we use the term Search in the same way other systems might use Query.
The beauty of Saved Search lies in its flexibility. You can define as broad or refined a criteria as you need, filter the data, and display results in a way that suits your businesses needs. It has an intuitive user interface with a very smooth learning curve to get you up to speed quickly and effectively.
One overlooked benefit of the NetSuite saved search is that as you get better with your searches you will start to understand your whole system on a deeper level. It teaches you about linked records, field names, dependencies and more. I strongly advise any power user or administrator to spend a lot of time on perfecting their searches. It will pay off.
In the upcoming sections of this article, we’ll delve into the nitty-gritty of creating and customizing Saved Searches, exploring advanced features and techniques, and addressing common questions that arise along the way. By the end, you’ll have a deep understanding of how to harness the power of Saved Search and maximize its impact on your business operations. Let’s dive in!
What is NetSuite’s Saved Search?
The NetSuite saved search feature is a database querying tool accessed directly through the NetSuite UI. It allows for basic or complex criteria and results specifications plus the ability to schedule or trigger outputs.
NetSuite Saved Search Types
The first step to creating a search in NetSuite is to select the record type you want to display data from.
To start creating a search navigate to Reports > New Search.
This will direct you to a list of all available search types. Most of the selections are based directly on the record name – for example if you want to create a search on vendors you will select vendors.
One import search type to be aware of is a transaction search. This groups together access to all transaction records. This is normally the basis for any financial reporting.
The transaction search does include access to the opportunity record, but for more specific sales force automation data there is an opportunity search type also.
NetSuite Saved Search Criteria
Once you have selected your search type you will be forwarded to the search form. If you have never used this before, you will first see the basic search form. The basic search is not basic. It is unhelpful and unintuitive. I won’t be covering the basic search in this article so just ignore it. Check the box that says advanced search and then from this day on, only ever use the advanced search.
The advanced search form is made up of two tabs – criteria and results.
The criteria tab is where you set the parameters of your search.
In the Type column you will find a drop down field containing all available fields from the chosen record type. First select the field that is the subject of your parameter.
After making your selection a popup will open for you to configure your criteria. In the example below I have selected the Approval Status field and now I will select which value I want to narrow my results to.
Once you have set all your criteria click through to the results tab and set the desired data output.
Important Criteria Selections You Need to Know
- Type: When making a transaction search you will have an option to select the type. This is the type of transaction. When you select the type field, the popup will display a list of all transaction types. Select the one(s) that you want to report off.
- Main Line: Main line is a Yes/No selection. Transaction records are made up of header level data and line level data. When main line is true you will only receive the header level and summarized information. There is no main line on a journal entry as journals must always net to zero.
- Formula: Formula fields allow you to use SQL and html to manipulate the data selection at a more advanced level. This article will not go in to the use of formula fields but there is endless content on NetFreak to introduce you to this feature – Starting with this.
NetSuite Saved Search Results
On the results tab, list the columns you want to see in your search. In the field column, you can select a field from the drop down. Once selected you can use the summary type and function columns to further alter and format the output.
The summary type column allows you to summarize your column in one of the following ways
- Count: A count of the number of results for this field.
- Sum: A sum of the values for this field.
- Minimum: The minimum value for this field.
- Maximum: The maximum value for this field.
- Average: The average value for this field.
When using summary types bear in mind that your results page will only show the fields that are summarized. Be sure to select a summary type for all fields you want displayed.
The functions column allows you to adjust the format of a particular column. For example, you may have a preferred format for date values. That can be set in the functions column. A full list of the functions and how to use them can be found here on the Oracle Help Center.
Once you have set your criteria and results you can Submit to run your search.
If you want to use this same search again, you can select the Create Saved Search button, give your search a name and save it for future use.
NetSuite Saved Search Email Alerts
On the saved transaction search page you will see a number of new tabs available as per the below screenshot.
If you would like the search results to be triggered by an event or emailed out via a schedule, this can be done on the email tab.
This email feature allows the following emails to be set up:
- Triggered: This sends an email containing the search results when a certain criteria is met. The criteria can be when a new record is created or when an update is made to a record found within the search results.
- Scheduled: This is a scheduled output emailed to specified recipients at a predetermined frequency.
NetSuite Saved Search Permissions
Using the Audience tab you can define who you want to have access to your search.
You can select specific roles in the roles field, or individual users under employees. If you want to give everyone in the business access to your search you select the Public checkbox in the header of your saved search.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Difference Between a Saved Search and a Report in NetSuite?
A saved search allows you to query the system for static data. It is a highly versatile tool with many options for data manipulation but will always present data as a list of rows.
A report is a way to present data from the system. There are limited options for manipulating the data output but greater formatting flexibility. Reports allow for sections, sub sections, headers, summary rows and more. Reports are also more suitable for analyzing financial data from a past date or period.
How do I Grant Someone Access to my Saved Search?
Edit the saved search record and navigate to the audience tab. Select the user from the employees field. To allow more than one user access, hold down the Ctrl key whilst selecting.
To grant access to the entire business, use the Public checkbox found in the header of the saved search record.
Where do I Find Saved Searches in NetSuite?
You can view all saved searches (that you have access to) by navigating to Reports > Saved Searches > All Saved Searches.
If you know the name of the search you are looking for you can search for it in the global search bar. Narrow down the results in the global search bar by using the se: prefix.
If you are accessing a particular saved search on a regular basis you can add a shortcut to your dashboard portlet.
Is there a Limit to Saved Search Results in NetSuite?
There is no row limitation to NetSuite saved search results. Be aware though that you may have trouble accessing search results containing many tens of thousands of rows or your browser may time out. Your browser may also struggle to export particularly massive datasets.
Another option for data analysis in NetSuite is the Analytics Workbook feature. This allows you to analyze multiple datasets at once and provide various visualization options to display your findings.
If you are regularly analyzing massive datasets from NetSuite you might want to consider a more bespoke data analysis solution such as NetSuite Analytics Warehouse.