Automating your reporting process
These ten steps detail how you can use ClearPoint’s scheduling and reminder features to automate your reporting. You can read more about this approach in our “How to Automate 70% of Your Management Reporting Process” blog post.
ClearPoint’s scheduling and reminders features make it easy to reduce your workload by automating the data entry and report generation processes. By scheduling automatic uploads of your data and using automated reminders to nudge users to update their information, you can ensure you have all the information you need to create your regular reports.
From there, you can lock the system to prevent further changes and ensure consistency. Administrators can then log in and adjust information as needed before the report is automatically generated and sent out to the leadership team. In the meeting, you can capture and assign Action Items live. Once the meeting ends, you can send out a briefing book of Action Items so your team knows exactly what next steps to take.
Here’s how that might look in a typical month:
Follow these steps to set up your own streamlined reporting process in ClearPoint.
1. Set a schedule for your Data Loader packages
- The first step is to set a schedule for your Data Loader packages. This schedule will determine when the Data Loader will automatically pull data from your repositories and upload it to ClearPoint. The Data Loader can pull data from Excel, CSV, or SQL queries.
- For instructions on setting up and scheduling Data Loader uploads, check out our Data Loader help article.
- Once your data has been uploaded, your calculations will execute and your data, charts, and evaluations will update automatically.
- The next time your users log in, they’ll have up-to-date data, charts, evaluations and summary reports ready for their review and analysis. They will even receive custom alerts if data has veered off track for that period.
2. Set up a Reporting Workflow and send reminders to data owners
- Now that your data has been uploaded, it’s time for your users to log in and add any additional data and qualitative analysis.
- As an Admin user, you can set up a Reporting Workflow for your reporting process, which indicates a timeline, reporting period, users that should be assigned tasks, and instructions for making updates.
- Once the workflow is defined, and the appropriate scorecards are selected, set up a Workflow Email reminder to be sent to all data owners, collaborators, or other users assigned to the Reporting Workflow. You can customize the message with any special instructions and remind users of the deadline for making updates.
- Each user will receive a custom email that includes a list of the elements they need to update and links to both their My Updates page and each individual element detail page in ClearPoint.
- Finally, set up a schedule for the Workflow Email to be sent automatically. The first email should go out after the data has been automatically uploaded, on the start date of the Reporting Workflow.
3. Users update their information
- Once users receive the Workflow Email reminder, they can log in to ClearPoint and visit their My Updates page to make updates and complete their tasks by the deadline you determine. Each user has a custom view that guides them through the update process, making it quick and easy for them to add context to the elements they are responsible for.
- As users make their updates and mark their tasks as complete, they can track their progress on their My Updates page. Once all of their tasks are complete, it’s time to celebrate!
4. Track progress and send additional Workflow Emails to owners who still need to make updates
- The Workflow Dashboard allows you to track the progress of each user that is responsible for element updates in the Reporting Workflow.
- If the deadline is nearing and some users still have not completed their tasks, send a follow up Workflow Email to give them a little nudge and remind them of their responsibilities.
5. Schedule ClearPoint to lock automatically
- No one likes last minute surprises. By scheduling ClearPoint to lock automatically after updates have been made, you can ensure consistency in the information your leadership team is viewing.
- This will not only ensure that everyone reviews the same information, but will also give your strategy office time to prepare the agenda for the leadership team to execute on. Follow the instructions here to schedule a period to lock.
6. Schedule your briefing book to generate and be emailed to administrators
- Set a schedule to automatically generate your briefing book and email it to your administrators once all data has been updated and the period is locked.
- Each user can customize the report they receive so they have all the information they need sent right to their inbox. Follow the instructions in this article to schedule your briefing book and select recipients.
7. Administrators log in and add their changes
- Once administrators review the briefing book, they can log in to ClearPoint to add their analysis, changes, or notes for the meeting ahead. This could include additional questions to focus on during meetings or even changes to charts.
8. Schedule your briefing book to generate and be emailed to the leadership team
- Set another schedule to automatically generate your briefing book and email it to the leadership team once the report has been finalized by administrators. Your team can be assured that there are no surprises during the meeting, and with a read-ahead document, they are more likely to be prepared to discuss strategy and take action.
- This report can be customized however you want, where it just be a summary or all the details – whatever works best for your leadership.
9. Capture Action Items live during the meeting
- All attendees will show up to the meeting with the same version of the report and you can login and use ClearPoint live to run the meeting. Throughout the meeting, add Action Items with assigned owners and due dates as you decide on next steps. Be sure to agree upon decisions made and actions taken before adjourning.
10. Schedule a briefing book of Action Items to generate and be emailed to your team
- Set a schedule to automatically generate a briefing book of your Action Items from the meeting and send it along to your team. If anyone missed the meeting, they will have an update of the action items assigned, and there will no longer be an excuse for missing action item deadlines.
- Thanks to the ability to schedule your important tasks with ClearPoint, you can schedule ahead for the next reporting period with everything set up and ready to go. Want an overview of your reporting process and all the associated schedules in one place? Check out the Schedules Calendar!
- Now sit back, relax, and watch your reports manage themselves so you can get back to focusing on that strategy!