Analyze your data with Excel templates

Dynamics CRM 2016
 

Updated: November 1, 2016

Applies To: Dynamics 365 (online), Dynamics 365 (on-premises), Dynamics CRM Online, Dynamics CRM 2016

This feature was introduced in CRM Online 2016 Update and CRM 2016 (on-premises).

Interested in getting this feature? Find your Dynamics 365 administrator or support person.

Microsoft Excel provides powerful ways to analyze and present your Dynamics 365 data. With Excel templates, you can easily create and share your customized analysis with others in your organization.

Use Excel templates for:

  • Sales Forecasting

  • Pipeline Management

  • Leads Scoring

  • Territory Planning

  • And much more…

You can try out the Excel templates included with Microsoft Dynamics 365 to get a quick view of what kind of analysis is possible.

Example of a pipeline analysis Excel template


Following are the steps for creating an Excel template.

The process to create an Excel template


There are two places in Dynamics 365 where you can create an Excel template:

  • From the Settings page. Go to Settings > Templates > Document Templates > New (New or Add button). You must have sufficient permissions to access to the Settings page, such as System Administrator or System Customizer.

  • From a list of records. For example, go to Sales > Opportunities > My Open Opportunities. On the menu bar, click Excel Templates > Create Excel Template.


    Create Excel Template menu option

The Create template from Dynamics 365 data page appears.


Create Excel Template from Dynamics 365 Data page


  1. Click Excel Template.

  2. Select an entity (record type) to include that entity’s Dynamics 365 data. The views you can select in the next field depend on the entity you select.

  3. Select a view.

  4. Click Edit Columns to add, remove, and adjust properties for the columns to include in the template.

  5. Click Download File to create the template file.

System_CAPS_warningWarning

You can also download a template containing no data except for the columns associated with the record type (entity) using Settings > Data Management > Templates for Data Import. For more information, see: Download a template for data import.

Open the newly-created template in Excel to customize the data.


New Excel Template


Let’s walk through a simple example of customizing an Excel template using Dynamics 365 sample data.

  1. Click Enable Editing to allow customization of the Excel spreadsheet.

  2. Add a new column and name it “Expected Revenue”.


    Customize the Excel template


  3. Create a formula for expected revenue. Don’t refer to cells using their addresses; define and use names instead.


    Create a formula in the Excel template


  4. Create a pivot table and chart. These and other demo steps will be explained in a future update to this topic.

    Place user-added content above or to the right of the existing data table. This prevents the content from being overwritten if you add new data in Dynamics 365 later and you create a new Excel template. For more information, see: Best practices and considerations for using Excel templates.


    Excel template with Pivot Chart


  5. Save the spreadsheet.



You’re now ready to upload the Excel template into Dynamics 365.

When you have your Excel template customized the way you want, you can upload it into Dynamics 365. Where you upload the template determines its availability.

Dynamics 365 administrators can use the Settings page to upload the Excel template into Dynamics 365. A template uploaded in Settings is available to all users in your Dynamics 365 organization.

  1. In Dynamics 365, go to Settings > Templates > Document Templates.

  2. Click Upload Template.

  3. Drag the Excel file into the dialog box or browse to find and upload the file.


    Upload Template dialog box


  4. Click Upload.

Non-admin users can upload a template for their own use from a list of records.

  1. In Dynamics 365, open a page with a list of records, for example, the list of Sales Opportunities. Go to Sales > Opportunities > My Open Opportunities.

  2. On the menu bar, click Excel Templates > Create Excel Template.

  3. Click Excel Template > Upload.


    Click Upload to add the Excel template to Dynamics 365


  4. Drag the file into the dialog box or browse to find and upload the file.

  5. Click Upload.

Access to the newly-created Excel template depends on how you uploaded it, and on the access granted to the security role. Be sure to check out Use security roles to control access to templates.

If you uploaded the template from the Settings page

The Information page for the uploaded Excel template will look like this.


Excel template uploaded from Settings page


Templates uploaded from the Settings page are available to all users in your Dynamics 365 organization. You don’t need to take any further action.

If you uploaded the template from a list of records

The Information page for the uploaded Excel template will look like this.


An Excel template uploaded from a list of records


Templates uploaded from a list of records are available to the user who uploaded the template. To share the template with others, following these steps:

  1. From the template Information page, click Share.

  2. Use the Share personal document template page to share the Excel template with others and to set permissions.


Share the Excel template with other users

The process for using an Excel template looks like this.


Process flow to use Excel template


In Dynamics 365, select an entity (record type) to analyze with the Excel template you created. For example, go to Sales > Opportunities > My Open Opportunities. Two new opportunities were added since the template was created.


List of Open Opportunities

Choose the Excel template you created.


Choose the template you created


This template was created from the Settings page so it will appear on the menu under Excel Templates. If it had been created from a records list, it would appear under Personal Excel Templates.

If you have Microsoft Excel Online, you can see the data in place in an Excel window in Dynamics 365. If not, or if you’d rather create the Excel file, click Download <template name>.

What you see in the Excel spreadsheet is based on two things:

  • Dynamics 365 records. The view you choose to export from determines what Dynamics 365 records you see in the exported Excel file. For example, if you selected Closed Opportunities, you’ll see those records even if you used the template created with My Open Opportunities.

  • Columns. The template you used determines what columns appear in the table in the exported Excel file. For example, the Closed Opportunities view has these columns: Potential Customer, Status, Actual Revenue, and Actual Close Date. But if the template you used was based on My Open Opportunities, you’d see columns associated with that view and any column filtering done when you created the template.

If you’re using Excel, save a copy either online or to your computer. Send the file to others for their review and input.

There are four Excel templates included with Microsoft Dynamics 365.


Try out the Excel templates included with Dynamics 365


The sample Excel templates were created with a specific record type (entity). You’ll only be able to apply the template to records of the same record type.

Name

Entity

Pipeline Management

Opportunity (Sales area)

Campaign Overview

Campaign (Marketing area)

Cases SLA Status

Case (Service area)

Case Summary

Case (Service area)

  1. Open a list of records with information with the entity type that matches the sample template. For example, open a list of sales opportunities to apply the Pipeline Management template.

  2. Click > Excel Templates, and then under Excel Templates, select the sample template.

  3. Download the template or open it in place in Excel.

System_CAPS_tipTip

You can export the templates that are included in Microsoft Dynamics 365, modify them, and then reimport them as new templates. This can give you a running start on creating your own custom Excel templates.

Here are some things you need to be aware of to create and make best use of Excel templates in Dynamics 365.

Excel has lots of features. It’s a good idea to test your customizations to see that all Excel features work as expected in your templates.

By default pivot chart data is not updated when a spreadsheet is opened. This can create a security issue if certain pivot chart data should not be seen by users with insufficient permissions.

Consider the following scenario:

  • A Dynamics 365 administrator creates a template with sensitive data in pivot charts and uploads the template into Dynamics 365.

  • A salesperson who should not have access to the sensitive data in the pivot charts uses the template to create an Excel file to do some data analysis.

The outcome. The salesperson might be able to see the pivot chart data as uploaded by the Dynamics 365 administrator including access to views the salesperson does not have permissions for.

In addition. iOS does not support updating pivot data and pivot charts when using the Microsoft Excel app on iOS devices.

Recommendation. Sensitive data should not be included in pivot tables and pivot charts.

Be default, pivot chart data does not automatically refresh when you open the spreadsheet. Regular charts automatically update.

In Excel, right-click the pivot chart, and then click PivotChart Options > Refresh data when opening the file.


Use this setting to ensure data is refreshed

If you want to add content to the Excel template, place your data above or to the right of the existing data. A second option is to place your new content on a second sheet.

If you try to analyze Dynamics 365 data with an Excel template that has an image saved in it, you may see the following error: “An error occurred while attempting to save your workbook. As a result, the workbook was not saved.” Try removing the image from the template and reloading it into Dynamics 365.

Excel templates will not open in Windows 8.1 devices with Office Mobile app. You’ll get the following error message: “We’ve recovered as much of your document as we could, but you can’t edit it. Try to open and repair the document on your PC to fix the problem.”

This is a known issue.

When you create Excel formulas, don’t use column titles or cell numbers. Instead, use the table column names, and define names for cells or cell ranges.

Dynamics 365 administrators can control access to Excel templates with some granularity. For example, you can give salespeople Read but not Write access to an Excel template.

  1. In Dynamics 365, click Settings > Security > Security Roles.

  2. Select a role, and then click the Business Management tab.

  3. Select Document Template to set access for templates available to the entire organization. Select Personal Document Template for templates shared to individual users.

  4. Click the circles to adjust the level of access.


Adjust access using the security role

Follow these steps to delete personal document templates:

  1. Click Advanced Find (Screen shot of Advanced Find button).

  2. For Look for, select Personal Document Templates.

  3. Click Results(!).

  4. Select the personal document template to delete, and then click Delete (Delete button).

If your Microsoft Excel template does upload in Dynamics 365 when using Microsoft Edge as your browser, update Microsoft Edge and try again.

If you use Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online), exporting data to a static worksheet creates a local copy of the exported data and stores it on your computer. The data is transferred from Dynamics 365 (online) to your computer by using a secure connection, and no connection is maintained between this local copy and Dynamics 365 (online).

When you export to a dynamic worksheet or PivotTable, a link is maintained between the Excel worksheet and Dynamics 365 (online). Every time a dynamic worksheet or PivotTable is refreshed, you’ll be authenticated with Dynamics 365 (online) using your credentials. You’ll be able to see the data that you have permissions to view.

An administrator determines whether or not an organization’s users are permitted to export data to Excel by using security roles.

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