Finding Data

How can we find data in CRM?

Using CRM is not simply about entering data in, but what value is there if you can't then go find it again later? In this chapter, we will focus in on the different ways to seek out data that resides in CRM.

The basic methods for finding records include:

  • Recently Viewed Records
  • Searching
  • Filtering Views
  • Advanced Find

Each of these approaches offers suits a different need and we will cover each of the options below.

Recent Records

Whenever you navigate around Dynamics 365, the system keeps track of the individual records and views that you have viewed. Instead of having to search through to find records again, you can pull up a list of recently viewed records and click through to return to that item. This is very similar to the recent records you might already be familiar with in Word, Excel, or most other Microsoft Office applications.

The recent records list is a combination of multiple record types, which you can tell apart based on the icon symbol next to the record name.

In the traditional Dynamics 365 interface, use the Recent Records icon in the sitemap. There are two columns displayed. The left-hand column shows a list of Recent Views and the right-hand column shows a list of Recent Records.

The recent records icon is in the main navigation in the traditional Dynamics 365 interface.

In the unified interface of Dynamics 365 (available on Dynamics 365 v9.0) recent records icon is found in the sitemap via the hamburger menu icon, which exposes the full navigation. Behind which you will find the recent records menu.

The recent records icon is in the main navigation in the Unified Universal Dynamics 365 interface.

Additionally, you can find an entity-specific list of recent records by opening the  hamburger menu icon then clicking the carat next to any entity type for which you have recently viewed records.

The recent records list for each entity by clicking the arrow next to the entity name in the main navigation.

Global Search

Searching for a record is table-stakes for any CRM system--and sometimes you don't necessarily know what "type" of record you're looking for. A Lead? An Opportunity? An Account? All of the above and more? It would become cumbersome to search separately through each record type.

This is where Global Search comes through in a big way.


Accessing the global search is easy. Simply click on the magnifying glass in the navigation menu, found either on the top or left side of the window depending on your configuration.


Type in your search term then press enter (or tap the search button). The system will search across the different entities, returning the matching results.

[Tippy: You can use a wildcard like * when searching.]

[Note: Not all record types and fields are search-enabled. If you're not seeing all of the results you would expect, check with your administrator.]

Search Techniques

[strategies and best practices for searching]

Category Search vs. Relevance Search

If enabled, you may have two different options for the format of search that you use.

Category Search displays results in several columns, with each column representing a different record type. 

Relevance Search returns all records in a single list, similar to results of a Bing or Google search, and includes filters that you can apply to further refine the results. We will cover these filters in another chapter.

If Relevance Search is enabled for your organization, you can can choose whether you use Category Search or Relevance Search. Changing this only impacts your own user experience.

Tipsy Reminds You...

CRM Remembers your search format selection for future searches, for convenience, but you can always switch between the two.

Record Views (lists)

For each entity type, you are able to pull up lists of those records that you have permission to view. These lists are called by other names, such as lists or reports, but regardless of what you call them, they are used to display records in lists that can then be sorted, filtered, and searchedA core set of System Views are configured by an administrator, but views can also be personalized for a specific business unit, team, or individual. 

In this chapter, we will use an example of the Account entity and the related views.

When navigating to the Account entity, 

[animated gif: Account]

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