Searches versus reports

Searches versus reports

If you are wondering what the difference is between searches and reports, the answer is: not very much. They both perform similar tasks and are to some extent duplicates, yet NetSuite contains both options. Let’s outline the advantages of each to help you decide when to use searches or reports.


Let’s review the advantages of searches and reports.

Advantages of Saved Searches

Saved Searches have the following advantages over Reports:

  • Saved Searches are better at providing lists of data, for instance, a list of customers in California.
  • The results of a saved search can be leveraged elsewhere in the system, for instance, mail merges, marketing campaigns, mass updates, and, of course, the dashboard. All the custom BI tools on the dashboard, with the exception of report snapshots, are built on custom saved searches.
  • As a general rule, when you’re looking to report on entities (customers, vendors, employees, and partners) saved searches are usually the way to go.
  • Searches have a function to initiate event-based alerts to send an email if a particular event (outlined in the search criteria) occurs, for instance to email the CFO in the event that a check is created for $1 million or more.
  • Searches are also used in conjunction with workflows to limit automation tasks to specific records.

Advantages of Reports

Reports have the following advantages over Saved Searches:

  • Reports contain better formatting options and can provide a better mechanism for analyzing data with built-in charting, as well as better integration with classifications.
  • Reports also provide better pivoting options if you’re looking to pivot data by subsidiary, department, class, or location.
  • NetSuite ships with a number of existing reports which can also operate as templates. You can build a report by customizing the existing report, so you don’t have to start from scratch, unlike saved searches.
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