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ClearPoint Data Loader: The Easiest Way To Add Or Update Data

Read how the ClearPoint Data Loader saves hours of time by moving information from your local files into ClearPoint, automatically and lightning quick.

As ClearPoint's Marketing Manager, Jenna leverages her 6+ years of experience working with organizations on performance management to communicate the importance of strategy execution with the ClearPoint Community.

How much time do you spend on data entry? For many people, the answer is always “too much.” We built the ClearPoint Data Loader to eliminate as many hours of data entry as possible—this tool automatically adds or updates data in ClearPoint, so you don’t have to copy and paste information from one file to another. The Data Loader is simple to use and fast...you won’t know how you lived without it.

How The ClearPoint Data Loader Works

The Data Loader is a local application, which means it’s installed and lives on your desktop computer. It could also be installed on a virtual machine or central server.

Once installed, the Data Loader can pull files in any format (Excel, CSV, SQL, etc.) from any directory you choose. That data can be grabbed and uploaded to ClearPoint in three ways:

  • Real Time: The Data Loader can “watch” for edits to files you’ve designated and automatically upload new data to ClearPoint when it’s changed. This happens in real time and on autopilot...it couldn’t be easier to get fresh information into your account.
  • Scheduled: The Data Loader can pull new data at regular time intervals, such as weekly or monthly.
  • Manual: You can manually run the Data Loader to pull new information whenever you want, or to setup your scorecards and add new elements.

The Data Loader can “watch” for edits to files you’ve designated and automatically upload new data to ClearPoint when it’s changed. This happens in real time and on autopilot. Click To Tweet

When you pull a file, the Data Loader will map each column or row header to a field in ClearPoint. The mapping happens automatically based on the text in columns, rows, and fields, but users will confirm the mappings are correct. The Data Loader also flags any invalid or undetermined mappings so users can define how the data should be assigned and fill in any blanks. The Data Loader will remember the mappings and your next information upload will happen automatically without the need for manual adjustments.

The ClearPoint Data Loader

Formatting Files For The ClearPoint Data Loader

As far as formatting requirements, there aren’t any—the Data Loader is built to be incredibly flexible. The tool can pull any sort of organized table of data into ClearPoint, including both quantitative and qualitative data. Your file can have data periods as columns or rows; data series can go in either axis; and the overall format can vary. Your data table does need to have some type of methodical arrangement, but you don’t need to spend time reconfiguring tables and rows to make the information consumable by the Data Loader.

How The ClearPoint Data Loader Helps You

The Data Loader automates many activities that are central to ClearPoint’s functionality. When you want to add new information to ClearPoint, you can now use a spreadsheet. ClearPoint will instantly “read” that data, creating and editing elements as needed. This includes objectives, measures, initiatives, action items, owners, descriptions, etc. Remember, the Data Loader works for both quantitative and qualitative information, so it will automatically add or update numerical figures as well as fields like analyses and descriptions.

This saves users a significant amount of time and also ensures your data is consistent and accurate as you move it from local files to ClearPoint.

Examples Of How To Use The ClearPoint Data Loader

Because the Data Loader is so flexible, there are many ways our clients can use the tool to save time and ensure all of their information lives in ClearPoint. Here are three examples to inspire you when considering how to leverage the Data Loader at your own organization:

1. Set up your entire strategic plan or scorecard with one upload.

If you’ve been managing your strategy in a spreadsheet and are ready to advance your process by using ClearPoint’s software, you can do it in a single upload...in a matter of minutes. The Data Loader will take your master spreadsheet and add all your objectives, measures, and initiatives to ClearPoint. Data will be automatically and logically linked together, including information like owners, descriptions, etc. In short, it’s fast and easy to graduate from a spreadsheet to more sophisticated technology that’s built to track and manage strategies.

If your strategic plans aren’t quite in order, you can download our Balanced Scorecard Excel Template, add your strategy information, and then upload it instantly to ClearPoint. It really is that easy!

BSC template

2. Automatically upload your monthly measure data. 

The data you need in ClearPoint is likely living somewhere else. With the Data Loader, you can automatically upload that quantitative data to the corresponding measures in ClearPoint. Set the Data Loader to run on a schedule and pull data from Excel files, CSV files or SQL databases at the same time each month or quarter.

Once the data is in ClearPoint, your users can log in and provide qualitative analysis to help explain their results. And yes, in case you were wondering, you can also automatically remind your users to log in to ClearPoint and quickly and easily make their updates with only a few clicks.

3. Create reports with one click.

When it comes time to build your monthly or quarterly reports, the Data Loader makes the entire process a lot easier and faster. The Data Loader pulls new qualitative analyses and quantitative data from your reporting spreadsheets into ClearPoint. This information populates your measures and initiatives. Charts and status icons are automatically updated and ready for executive team review, without requiring you to spend time manually updating information or reformatting visuals. Then, you can use ClearPoint schedules to automatically generate your report and send it to your team.

Real Life Use Cases

So it sounds great in theory, but how valuable can a tool like the Data Loader actually be to an organization? Learn how these ClearPoint administrators are leveraging their existing data sources to expedite their monthly reporting process.

The City of Olathe, KS

Ed Foley and the City of Olathe, KS have been using the Data Loader for several months and are very pleased with how much time it is saving them. Ed teamed up with some other analysts as well as the IT team to create 20+ packages that tap into several different databases. These packages all run on an automatic schedules and upload with little to no involvement by Ed or the others. Ed estimates that his biggest package, a citizen satisfaction survey with 700+ series, saves him an entire day’s worth of work each quarter.

And it isn’t just Ed’s time that is saved. As the ClearPoint administrator for Olathe, Ed relies on several other users for updating their performance information in the system. By setting their data to automatically upload to ClearPoint, Ed eliminates an extra step in the reporting process. As Ed put it, “Why make your users duplicate their efforts when they can focus energy elsewhere?”

The City of Fort Worth, TX

Travel 500 miles south to the City of Fort Worth, Texas and you can see how another ClearPoint power user, Amethyst Sloane, is integrating their data sources with their key department measures in ClearPoint. Each department has a designated performance liaison who is responsible for updating their data in an XLS file stored on a central server. Living on that same server is a Data Loader. Packages were created using these files and schedules were set up so that all users have to do is update their file and save it.

For Fort Worth, this method of inputting data was huge, as it exponentially increased their ability to get data into ClearPoint without having to teach several hundred people how to navigate a new system. Plus, the Data Loader allowed them to expand the scope of their project. Amethyst and her team are implementing more while doing less. According to Amethyst, “Users just want to get their data into the system in the simplest way possible. The Data Loader makes this possible.”

Load Up

The Data Loader is the easiest and fastest way to move information from your local files into ClearPoint. It’s automated and intuitive, saving users hours of time. You can even use it to upload your Balanced Scorecard—no reformatting necessary.

Need to create a Balanced Scorecard, but don’t know where to start? Download our free Excel template.

The ClearPoint Data Loader is a powerful tool to help you manage your strategy. Contact us today to send us your spreadsheet (whether it’s a Balanced Scorecard or any other data file) and we’ll show you the tool in action.

ClearPoint Data Loader: The Easiest Way To Add Or Update Data