by CDK Global | 22 September 2016

Reporting Tools That Are Off The Charts

Several years ago I attended a dealer conference where I met with four different dealers. Each of them wanted to know how to get specific information out of the LightspeedEVO custom reports module. I showed each dealer how to export the report to excel and then use excel to get the information and chart it. This was not easy for them and ended up being painful for all of us. These dealers kept asking, “why can’t I just view this inside of LightspeedEVO?” Back then, they couldn’t. Today, they can thank our wonderful Lightspeed development team.

Charting Is Here And Ready For Use

We are ecstatic to announce a new addition to the custom reports module – charting!  With charting, new capabilities have surfaced that have never been available before in custom reports.  You can now get a report on %’s on any item within the system at a group or total level.  For example, if you want to know the margin % on a group of product sold by a salesperson, make, model, class, or other items, now you can easily view that chart.

What Makes Charting Useful 

Charts are beneficial because they take a lot of information and have the ability to display them in a manner that most people can easily digest.  Instead of scrolling through pages and pages of reports to get totals, you now have a single page that will represent all the information you need in a picture (yes, you can print them as well).  This will allow you and your management team to take numerous amounts of information and understand priority & importance in a flash. 

How To Run a Chart Report

When you go into the custom report list, there is a new column called ‘Chart’.  Any reports with a dot in this column can be charted.  We’ve enabled many of the system reports for charting. To run, you can highlight the report, click Run and it will ask you if you want to run it as a chart.  Select the chart option and finish the wizard to view the chart.  If you have existing reports you would like to chart, simply edit the report (click the Access button), click on Properties, click on Chart Setup and enable the report as a chart and select the default chart type and field. 

Chart Types Available in LightspeedEVO

  • Bar Charts – Include horizontal or vertical selections.  If you have up to 2 groups on the custom report, you can drill into the second group in the chart.  These are useful for comparing values, like salesmen, make, model, etc.
  • Stacked Bar – The stacked bar is similar to the bar charts, but shows the secondary detail as segments within the bar. 
  • Pie – Pie charts are useful when comparing amounts to the whole.  Reports like inventory valuation by category work well with this type of a chart.
  • Line – Line charts are useful over time periods to spot trends or measure something over months or years.  For example, you can run a report to measure salesman over years and verify improvements or declines.
  • Area – The area is similar to the line and is used for time periods, but has a slightly different look with each line filled in.
  • Tree Map – This shows all the components tiled into a chart rectangle.  This format is useful when comparing components to the whole.


Charts on mobile devices will be available in the LightspeedEVO 2016.10 release. Any of your custom reports that are marked as charts you will be able to get on your Android and iOS phone or tablet as a part of the LightspeedEVO app.  We are extremely excited to bring these new features and capabilities via Charts.  Take the time to go run a chart and see if some of the existing reports you’ve built can be charted. We know that your dealership will benefit by doing so.

Stay tuned for other future enhancements taking place in LightspeedEVO for custom reports.  We have even more features coming soon that will help you gain additional value out of your dealer management system.