A meaningful dashboard is one that is success orientated

NetSuite, through Custom KPI’s, allows individual users to personalize their dashboards, providing them with focused, role based and performance driven metrics.

By default, NetSuite already offers some really cool standard KPIs such as Bank Balance, COGS, Credit Card Balance, Deferred Revenue, Equity, Expenses, Forecast, Income, Inventory, Net Cash Flow, Profit just to name a few.

Furthermore, with SuiteSuccess, users already have some beautiful KPI Scorecards already configured for them as of day one. If ever you want to know how to create a KPI from scratch, keep reading this post.

The following image gives an overview of the different KPIs we’ll be creating in this blog post series:

dashboard thumb 1
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Fig1: Overview of an organization’s KPIs. Source: Own Representation

In this first custom KPIs series, we’ll see how to create a custom KPI for the EBITDA.

According to Investopedia, EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, is a measure of a company’s overall financial performance and is used as an alternative to net income in some circumstances. EBITDA, however, can be misleading because it strips out the cost of capital investments like property, plant, and equipment. (Investopedia, 2021)

All custom KPIs are based on saved searches. Think of saved searches as queries you define to fetch data from your NetSuite database.

To create a saved search go to Reports > Saved Searches > All Saved Searches > New.

Since we would like to get the EBITDA, the saved search type would be “Transaction”.

In the header part, enter a name for your saved search and enter an ID.

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Fig2: Saved Searches – Header Information. Source: Own Representation

Saved searches are divided into 3 main parts:

  • Criteria – where we define the rules about what data needs to be retrieved.
  • Results – where we define what needs to be displayed to us
  • Available Filters – where we can filter the resultset

From the criteria subtab, set the following:

  • Account Type
    1. Any of Income, COGS, Expense, Other Income, Other Expense
  • Account
    1. None of Depreciation Expense, Interest Expense, Income Taxes Payables/Provision
  • Posting
    1. Is Yes
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Fig3: Saved Searches – Criteria Subtab. Source: Own Representation

From the result subtab, set the following:

Field: Formula(Numeric)
Summary Type: Sum
Formula: NVL({creditamount},0)-NVL({debitamount},0)

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Fig4: Saved Searches – Results Subtab. Source: Own Representation

From the Available Filters subtab, set the following:

Filter: Date
Show in Filter Region: Checked

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Fig5: Saved Searches – Available Filters Subtab. Source: Own Representation

Click on “Save and Run”.

Once we have created the saved search, the next step would be to add it to the dashboard. Click on the Home icon from the navigation bar to go to the home page.

Our dashboard consists of boxes called Portlet. We need to check if we have the “Key Performance Indicators” already added to it. If not, click on the “Personalize” link at the top right corner of the page, and select the Key Performance Indicators portlet.

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Fig6: Dashboard – Add KPI portlet. Source: Own Representation

Once the KPI portlet has been added to your dashboard, click on the 3 dot menu and select Set Up.

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Fig7: Dashboard – Set Up KPI portlet. Source: Own Representation

When you click on Set Up, the following pop-up appears and you can choose whether you want to add a standard or custom KPI.

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Fig8: Dashboard – Set Up KPI portlet 2. Source: Own Representation

Since we want to add the custom EBITDA KPI we created, click on the “Add Custom KPIs” button and enter the name of the saved search you created in Step 1:

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Fig9: Dashboard – Set Up KPI portlet 3. Source: Own Representation

Back to the Set Up screen of the KPI portlet, you can choose the data ranges you’d like to compare with and you can also add some conditions by selecting some options in the “Highlight If” column along with the threshold value.

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Fig10: Dashboard – Set Up KPI portlet 4. Source: Own Representation

Once you’re done, click on Save and voilà:

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Fig11: Dashboard – Set Up KPI portlet 5. Source: Own Representation

You can also add the KPI meter portlet to your dashboard:

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Fig12: Dashboard – Set Up KPI meter. 5. Source: Own Representation

In this way, you can add a combination of standard and custom KPIs on your KPI portlet on your dashboard.

If you’d like to know more about how you can leverage NetSuite dashboards and reporting for your business, feel free to reach out to the Steltix Team!

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