Historical Opportunity Data in Oracle Sales Cloud

Oracle Sales Cloud has a mechanism to capture opportunity data at a moment in time, store that opportunity data as a snapshot and provides the ability through reporting to compare these snapshots over time.

These reports can provide real insight in how opportunities are evolving over time (evolution of sales stage, opportunity revenue, …).

This is a great complement to the forecasting process also.  Forecasting provides insight in how the pipeline is filled up at the moment that the forecast was submitted.  The historical Pipeline adds to the forecast how the pipeline is evolving:

A forecast might look fabulous, promising that lots of valuable opportunities will close at the end of the next quarter, but if the pipeline never evolves, opportunities do not get closed, then the forecast turns out nothing more than a promise, although it will continue to look great.

How to configure this

This snapshot mechanism is driven by a background process that needs to be scheduled so it can take the snapshot every day, every weekday, every week or how often you need one.  Before the process can be scheduled, it needs to be configured first.  This needs to be done through a profile option:

  • log on to Sales Cloud as Administrator
  • choose ‘Setup and Maintenance’ from the navigator
  • search for the task with name ‘Manage Opportunity Profile Options’
  • search for the profile options name ‘Sales Historical Snapshot Configuration

This configuration profile option controls 2 things in the snapshot mechanism:

  • how many days, week, months or quarters the snapshot data needs to stay  available:
    • D – How many days daily snapshots need to stay available (e.g. D=120)
    • W – How many weeks weekly snapshots need to stay available (e.g. W=58)
    • M – How many months monthly snapshots need to stay available (e.g. M=14)
    • Q – How many quarters quarterly snapshots need to stay available (e.g. Q=5)
  • the number of days after which an opportunity has closed, that they need to stay available in the snapshots.  Profile option value C=120 means that opportunities need to stay available 120 days after they were closed.

How to schedule the process

The process can be scheduled as often as you need it to happen, through the scheduling parameters of the background process:

  • log on to Sales Cloud as Administrator
  • choose ‘Scheduled Processes’ from the navigator
  • Schedule a new Process
  • search for the process called ‘Generates Sales Historical Snapshots
  • use the correct scheduling parameters to have this process run as often as you need
  • submit the process

How to report on report on this

Any report based on the ‘Sales – CRM Historical Pipeline’ subject area, that contains historical dimensions or facts like ‘sales stage, opportunity revenue, close date, …’ and that contains one of the ‘Pipeline Snapshot Date‘ fields can report on top of the historical opportunity data to provide opportunity trend analysis.

Here is a post dedicated to creating reports using the historical opportunity reporting capabilities in Sales Cloud

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