Imagine a world where your monthly reports update themselves.
In this world, your team captures action items live and a report is automatically generated after the meeting as a reminder of the decisions made. Then, reminders go out automatically to those responsible for taking next steps. In this world, regular reporting can start with seamless data analysis and end in regularly scheduled meetings, rather than consuming a week’s preparation and team coordination.
What could you do with all that extra time?
That simpler, better world exists. With ClearPoint’s scheduling and notification features, you can do all of this and more.
With all that time, you and your team can read up on recent progress well in advance and come to the meeting prepared for discussion and decision-making. Once the meeting begins, you can track action items in ClearPoint as you decide on them. When the meeting’s over, you can have the system automatically remind your team what they’re responsible for. Depending on the complexity of your reporting process, you could even have your next report ready to go in a few days.
As your partners in strategy management, we believe it’s critically important to have a documented reporting process. We’ve outlined ours in our Management Reporting Guide, which details our tips and tricks to making your reporting process streamlined and successful. It’s the same document we use internally to track our own goals and metrics, and we’ve automated our processes to make sure our reporting runs smoothly.
Check out the calendar and descriptions below for all the events (shown in blue) that you can automate to simplify your process. Reporting Workflows allow an administrator to set up all automation and schedule reminders, reports and meetings in one place. You can read more about how to set up Reporting Workflows in ClearPoint here. As of now, ClearPoint can’t quite do all your work for you, so we’ve left 30% of the process for you and your team to work on. 😊
In this new world, your Data Loader packages are already set up to run on the first day of each month. To start things off, the Data Loader will pull data from your other sources and repositories and upload it to your strategic measures. Once the data is there, all your calculations will execute so that your data is updated automatically. Next, charts will update with the new data, and your evaluations will update to red, yellow or green depending on how your actual values compare to your target values. 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.
Speaking of your users logging in, once the data is uploaded, they’ll receive an automated email reminder asking them to update any additional data and qualitative analysis to their measures and projects in ClearPoint. Each user will receive a custom email that includes a list of the elements they need to update and even links to access each page in ClearPoint. As an admin, you can customize the message with any special instructions and remind users of the deadline for making updates.
This is the first step in your reporting process that requires anything from your team members. Once users receive the reminder email, they can log in to make updates to their projects and add qualitative analysis to their measures. 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. They can make updates over a few days depending on the deadlines you determine. Automatic reminders will then adjust to only send further reminders to those users who still need to make updates.
Sometimes emails get buried in your inbox; it happens to everyone. After initial reminders have gone out to all updaters, an automated reminder will be sent to any of your users who have not yet made updates, giving them a little nudge and reminding them of the deadline. You can customize this message, and users who already made their updates will not be bothered.
No one likes last minute surprises. Schedule ClearPoint to lock automatically so that updates can’t be made after the data entry deadline. 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. You might have some laggards the first time around, but after that, you can rest assured people will get their information in on time.
Once all the data is in ClearPoint and the period is locked, the strategy office (or whomever you choose) will receive an automatically generated report with a preview of the month’s results. Each user can customize the report they receive so they have all the information they need sent right to their inbox.
If admins find there is information that needs adjustment during their review, they can log in to ClearPoint and make changes. This could include additional analysis, questions to focus on during meetings, or even changes to charts.
Prior to the strategy review meeting, ClearPoint will automatically generate the briefing book to be used in the meeting and send it to the meeting attendees. They can be assured there are no surprises at 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, whether it be just a summary or all the details—whatever works best for your leaders.
All attendees will show up to the meeting with the same version of the report (since it was automatically emailed to them earlier), and you can project ClearPoint to run the meeting. Throughout the meeting, you can add action items, link them to goals, measures, and projects, assign accountability, and set a due date. Be sure to agree upon decisions made and actions taken before adjourning.
ClearPoint will automatically generate a Briefing Book with your action items from the meeting and send it along to your team. If anyone missed the meeting, they’ll have an update of the action items assigned, and there will no longer be an excuse for missing action item deadlines.
There are a lot of steps to reporting processes. As an administrator, the Reporting Workflow Dashboard provides you with visibility into how much progress your team has made on their updates each month. View the overall number of elements updated and see each person’s Individual Status. You can even send additional reminders to teammates you know need a little extra nudge or who often lose emails in their inbox.
Administrators can also view all the steps of their process in the Calendar View. You can see when your data will be updated, your reminder emails sent, and your reports generated. The calendar will show individual Reporting Workflows, or all your workflows on the same calendar (color coded!).
By automating parts of your reporting process, you’ll be able to spend more time executing on your strategic initiatives and helping your organization reach its goals. No one wants to spend their time inputting data, creating reports, sending emails or writing up action items. With ClearPoint, you can automate many parts of the process and take back the time to help your organization execute.
Got more time now than you know what to do with? Scheduleto see how easy it is to automate your reporting with ClearPoint! We look forward to talking soon. In the meantime, happy reporting!
Sean is the Vice President of Sales at ClearPoint. He leads the Sales department and focuses on developing impactful, consultative sales teams.