Saved Searches: Powerful and Underutilized

If you’re a NetSuite user or know much about NetSuite, you are probably aware that the software’s largest and most compelling feature is the single database model that is accessible by all users from anywhere in the world (as long as you have an internet connection). This means you can utilize the power of saved searches to retrieve updated information about any record at any time! This article will explain what saved searches are, what they can be used for and how you can use them more effectively and instantly become more efficient.

What are Saved Searches?

Saved searches are reusable search definitions that can have many advanced filters and display options for the results. Keep in mind that each time a saved search is run, the search will query the database and return current information. If data is being changed that might affect your search results, you will notice that if you refresh the search results, updated information will be displayed.


What are Saved Searches used for?

  • List and Sublist Views (SuiteAnswers ID 8492)
  • Custom KPIs (SuiteAnswers ID 8106)
  • Exporting Data from NetSuite (SuiteAnswers ID 8428)
  • They are Referenced by Scripts and Workflows
  • Automated and Scheduled Email Alerts (SuiteAnswers ID 8487)
  • Dashboard Reminders (SuiteAnswers ID 8491)
  • And whatever other uses you may find for them!

How can I use Saved Searches more effectively?

There are several ways you can use saved searches more effectively by optimizing the way you create them. Understanding the capabilities of saved searches and leveraging their powerful functionality.

Optimize Your Saved Searches

  • Use Largest Filters First - In order to optimize the performance of your saved search and prevent timeouts, you should list filters that narrow down your search results the most at the top of your filters or criteria. For example, if you’re performing a transaction search for invoices created in 2017 by John Doe, you’ll probably want to list the Created By = John Doe filter first unless John Doe is responsible for creating all invoices, at which point you’ll want to list Transaction Type = Invoice as your first criteria. This will narrow down your search results the most right off the bat so the remaining filters don’t have as many records to parse through.
  • Avoid Using “Contains” Condition - This is one of the most resource-expensive search mechanisms. Instead, use Starts With or Has Keywords to further refine the data the search is parsing through.
  • Remove Extra Columns of Data - The less information you are displaying in your results, the less time it will take NetSuite to load the results. If you don’t need the text-heavy memo field to be displayed in your results, remove that field from the results.
  • Schedule Searches that Take a Long Time to Run - If you don’t want to have to stop your work to wait for long-running searches, NetSuite gives you the option of scheduling saved searches to run in the background and have the results emailed to a list of recipients of your choosing.
  • Persisting Search Results for Long-Running Searches – When running searches across high volumes of data that could possibly return a timeout, NetSuite allows you to run persisting search results. This allows you to saved searches asynchronously, for up to 3 hours, saving search results in a CSV file. (SuiteAnswers ID 39135).

Leverage the Power of Saved Search Functionality

Send Scheduled or Triggered Emails - Saved search emails can do several things. Notify sales reps when one of their assigned customers is updated (in real time), send a daily transaction report to a specific list of recipients, or notify system admins when a new user role is created. For a deeper understanding of the full functionality of Saved Search Emails, see Suite Answers Article 8487.


Customizable Emails - The From, Subject, and Body fields can all be customized with search results fields by entering field IDs enclosed in curly braces (e.g. {createddate} would return the date the record was created). The body of the email can be visually customized by using HTML and inline CSS and if your saved search returns summarized results (i.e. daily transactions report), you have several options for including the results: Send Within Message, View Record Link, or attached as CSV, Excel, PDF or Tableau Workbook. I recommend selecting CSV, if possible, due to the compact file size (truncation occurs if an email's size is greater than 5MB or if the number of results exceeds 10,000 rows) (SuiteAnswers ID 8472).


Summarize Results - Within the Results tab on a saved search, you can specify a summary type for each column of data which allows you to define how to roll up, or group, data. When you run a summarized saved search, you have the ability to drill down into each group of results. The following summary types are available: Group, Count, Sum, Minimum, Maximum and Average (SuiteAnswers ID 8423).


Formulas in Searches - SQL functions and mathematical operators can be used to translate data formats (turn dates into weekdays for easy viewing or numbers for calculations), compare values in different fields across related records, or perform on-the-fly calculations at the time the search is performed (SuiteAnswers ID 8451 & 8439).


Exporting Search Results – There are times when you may need to export data from NetSuite for use in other applications or maybe you want to view the data in excel. For this, NetSuite provides the option to export your saved search results. For most search pages, there will be a set of icons at the top of the page to export the data to CSV, Excel, PDF or Tableau Workbook. I recommend selecting CSV, if possible, due to the compact file size. This will take much less time to export than the other options (SuiteAnswers ID 8428).



For more information about NetSuite’s Saved Searches or any other NetSuite functionality, the best resource is always NetSuite’s own SuiteAnswers site. The SuiteAnswers site is accessed by logging into NetSuite, hovering over the Support tab at the top of the page and selecting Go to SuiteAnswers from the drop-down options. SuiteAnswers gives you searchable access to support solutions, best practices, training videos and help articles all published by NetSuite themselves.

In order to access the articles I mentioned in the content above, simply type the ID into the SuiteAnswers search bar and hit enter on your keyboard.


Saved Searches in a Nutshell

This blog outlines just a few of the things you can do with NetSuite’s powerful saved searches. Not only are saved searches used for basic reminders, automated notifications and data mining tasks but as you dig deeper. You’ll find more detailed uses like the fact that they are used in scripts, workflows and can have complicated SQL functions inserted into the results and filters. To become an ever more effective NetSuite user, you can go through the rest of our blogs. For more information about NetSuite saved searches, you can connect with us by filling the form below.

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