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Customer Forum

Why is my Report slow to load or not loading?

Sam (Workbooks Online) Posted: 2017-09-15 16:00

You may have found previously that you have created a Report, but then when you try to view the Report it takes a very long time to open or doesn’t load at all.There are a number of factors that may contribute to this that are easy for you to change and will get your Report working in the way you had hoped it would when you built it. 

If you build a slow Report and then add it to a Form Layout, this will impact on how quickly this Record loads as well. Essentially, slow Reports can make your system slower to use and impact your Users.

Too much data!

The first is quite obvious - if you are asking your report to look at every contract line item for the past five years, or you are asking it to drill through to every audited field change for each record, or any other report where you ask Workbooks to access thousands of records, then it will take time to do this.

Think about the data you are really interested in seeing in this report; do you need to see all historic data from years ago? Do you need to see records that are assigned to inactive Users? Think of ways you can reduce the number of records that are included by applying criteria. 

These can be very simplistic criteria such as “Created at is in calendar range....”, calculated criteria that can be applied to your calculated columns, or you could simply restrict the number of records you want to see using the 'Reduce Rows' option.

Inefficient criteria

Some criteria are more efficient than others:

  • Equals and Starts with are more efficient than Contains
  • Equals is more efficient than Does not equal
  • Does not equal is more efficient than Does not contain
  • Standard criteria are more efficient than calculated criteria

Sometimes simply changing a criteria from a contains to an equals can really improve the speed of your report.

You should also try to apply the criteria to the record type that your report is based on. For example, if your report is based on People, but your criteria are all on the related Activities, the report still has to look at every Person record and then drill through to the related Activities before it can apply the criteria, making it slow. If you instead based your report on Activities and drilled through to the People, and applied all the criteria on the Activities, then your report will be much faster.

Calculated Columns

It takes time to do calculations. Admittedly, Workbooks is very quick at doing these, however if there are a lot of them to do, it will still impact loading time. The calculations all have to be done before the report can be loaded, so the more calculations there are, the longer it will take the report to load.

The other factor is the complexity of the calculations. The more complex the calculation, the longer it will take to complete. If the calculation has to compare many different record types or contains long if statements, they will take longer to complete. Try to keep the calculations simple, and remove any calculated columns that are not used.

Number of Record Types

Within a report the possibilities are endless - from a Case report you can drill into, People, Activities, Users, Audit, Mailing Lists, Contracts, Contract Line Items, Organisations, Notes, Orders and Emails, then from each of these you can drill into even more record types. 

However, every time you drill into a new record type, it will slow the report down, especially if you drill through to one record type, and then from there drill through again.

Although it would be nice to pull through all of this information into one report, is there any way that you can split the report out into separate reports? You could then add these reports into a dashboard so that you still have an overview of all of them.

In summary...

Try not to build a report that does everything in one go, and instead separate it out into several separate reports or report views. Use criteria to ensure that you are only seeing the data that is relevant and informative. If you are unsure of how to simplify your reports any further, or need someone to review your calculated columns to make them less complex, then please get in touch with our Support Team.