I’m sure many of you have said those very words in vain many times. I am relatively new to creating Crystal Reports but am amazed at their usefulness. For those of you that use Raiser’s Edge, Crystal Reports can work relatively seamlessly into your development plan.
I love Raiser’s Edge but the stock reports that come with it never suit my needs. Ever since I started using Crystal Reports it has changed my whole development planning process. I use to use spreadsheets religiously for everything. The major problem that I had when I did this is it can be hard to locate all your information, for longer is everything held in the same system. The brilliant thing about a well set-up Crystal Report is that you don’t have to do anything once the report is set-up. If you diligently input information and use actions to move your donor along the process (moves management) then you can have great reports without working at it.
One problem that I’ve found regarding Crystal Reports is that they can be incredible confusing to create. It is not always simple to set-up a report and the more you use them the more complicated they get. One place I go for help with Crystal Reports is Blackbaud Forums. This is a great place to get Raiser’s Edge help and Crystal Reports help.
I’d love to hear from you whether you use Crystal Reports, have had trouble setting reports up, and what kinds of reports and things you are tracking. I thought it might be useful if I posted a few sample Crystal Reports for us all to help answer questions and such. If you have a report you’d like to post please email it to me (at email@example.com) and I’ve love to post it here.