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Reporting is crucial to any organization’s success—but it’s also a monster of a task. Here’s how ClearPoint makes report generation simple.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Strategy reporting is essential to the success of your business. You can have a well-thought-out, perfectly crafted strategy that lays out detailed plans for future growth, but without doing periodic reporting, you’ll have a much more difficult time achieving your goals. That’s because reporting empowers your organization to do several things that are integral to strategy execution:
- It allows you to assess the organization’s overall performance, as well as that of individual departments, to see how well you’re progressing toward your goals.
- It allows you to evaluate and understand areas of concern so you can course-correct.
- It allows you to engage and motivate employees with regard to strategy progress.
- It allows you to make better decisions because you have a reliable data source at the ready.
That said, we’re not denying that the strategy reporting process can be a beast—emphasis on “can be.” Too many organizations are still doing things the hard way, like working in outdated or overly complicated tools (Excel, Power BI) or trying to handle too many aspects of reporting manually. Struggling each month to produce reports makes it less likely you’ll stick with it (in addition to the fact that most manual tasks are simply time-wasters), so it’s worth your while to investigate options that will make this job easier.
Organizations that use ClearPoint for reporting have significantly reduced the time it takes for report generation; they also overwhelmingly agree that it’s very easy to use. (You can check out our customer stories here, including one that details how a medical center that switched to ClearPoint was able to reduce its reporting time by 89%!)
If you’re investigating your reporting options, we hope you’ll consider ClearPoint. Our software was designed specifically for strategy reporting by strategy management experts, so it naturally includes features that help you generate insightful reports in the simplest way possible. How exactly does it do that? For starters, our software has a number of automated report generation features that help you save time. You can learn about those features below as part of a complete rundown of our reporting process, which highlights the many ways in which we make reporting simple and seamless.
Is your internal reporting process setting you up for success—or setting you back? Download our All-Inclusive Management Reporting Guide to find out how to improve your reporting and best practices to implement.
Why is automation so beneficial for reporting?
ClearPoint leverages automation for approximately 70% of the reporting process, which benefits you in several ways:
Easy Report Generation In ClearPoint: Feature Highlights
There are essentially four elements that are key to the report generation process: data collection, data synthesis, analysis and insight, and report generation and distribution. ClearPoint brings together each of these elements to streamline strategy reporting, and offers a variety of features that put our solution head and shoulders above other report generation tools.
Performance is tied to strategy; therefore (if they’re going to be useful), your reports must be based on strategic goal data. ClearPoint serves as a centralized location to house all your organization’s strategic data, which you can then easily pull for report generation.
Having a centralized data source is helpful in a few ways.
First, when you have a single source of truth, you don't have to worry about having the wrong numbers that tend to crop up among multiple sources. (Mistakes are nearly impossible to avoid when you use Excel.) Second, having everyone look at the same data makes it easy for employees to see how their departmental data impacts the overall goals, which increases their motivation.
That doesn’t mean you have to give your Excel reports—or any of your other data repositories—the heave-ho. ClearPoint serves as the nexus of your strategy reporting system; it quickly and easily integrates with the other applications and data sources you use (no coding or IT involvement necessary!).
So how, exactly, is ClearPoint populated with your strategic data? We’ve made the data collection process so simple that you’ll start to wonder what else you can do with all the time you save!
Our Data Loader application can automatically pull data from your various repositories (including Excel, CSV, or SQL queries) and upload it to ClearPoint, so you don’t have to copy and paste information from one file to another. These automatic updates can happen either in real-time (as you make a change elsewhere) or on a predetermined schedule; you can also manually run the Data Loader whenever you choose. This tool saves users a significant amount of time and also ensures your data is consistent and accurate as it moves. And 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.
Once data is in the system, it still needs to be synthesized before you can use it to make decisions.
Our calculation and aggregation features allow you to transform data into a usable format before you analyze it and put it in your reports. You can perform any calculation on your data in ClearPoint that you could in Excel, plus more. If you’re tracking similar measures in each department, you can aggregate them to a top-level measure so you can see how your organization is performing overall. Automatically assign RAG status icons based on your formula and remove the guesswork from how your elements are really performing.
Your charts and data visualizations will automatically update with your new data as well. And if you need to make changes, it’s easy in ClearPoint—you don’t need the help of your IT team to build a new chart or add a new data series to an existing chart. It’s even easy to drop in your organization's colors so your charts match your branding.
Analysis & Insight
Next, your people need to add comments and analysis around the data.
Our Reporting Workflows make this data update process a snap for both end-users and account admins. Admin users can forget about spending endless hours chasing down information. ClearPoint automatically sends email reminders to users listing the elements they need to update. For end-users, everything they are responsible for updating is located on one page, meaning minimal navigation for users. Admins can also track the progress of updates and schedule periodic reminder emails.
Once you have the data in ClearPoint, the next step is creating the report—which is quick and easy thanks to our drag-and-drop editor and filtering. Our reports stand out because:
You can create at-a-glance, high-level summary reports that are heavy on visualizations or detailed data reports. We offer a wide variety of report types, including:
- Heat Maps (showing trends over time)
- Red Alert (filter by status)
- Gantt Charts
- Project Updates, and more
You can link strategic elements in a logical manner to make it clear why and how even the smallest data point or effort ties to long-term goals. As a result, your audiences will be able to understand how everything “fits together” across the entire organization, perhaps for the first time.
You can include both quantitative and qualitative elements in your reports. Providing context around hard numbers helps management teams get an in-depth understanding of the factors that may be influencing operational data. Both types of data are needed to successfully tell the story of how an organization is performing.
You can choose any data series and control how it displays. This gives you the ability to show actual and target data side-by-side or create versions of reports that show data over different periods of time (such as year-to-date metrics in one version and monthly data in another).
Report Generation and Distribution
In ClearPoint, sharing your reports takes minimal time and effort because we’ve automated so much of the process.
Once you’ve created a report, you can set up templates to reuse with each new reporting period.
You can stylize reports by adding logos and pictures and modifying the color scheme to be consistent with your brand.
Schedule reports to be generated automatically in ClearPoint to save yourself the trouble of logging in and producing the same report at the same time each month.
ClearPoint offers several ways to export and share your information:
- Create Briefing Books, which are clickable PDF reports that combine information from several pages in ClearPoint.
- Export single pages to PDF; you can also export summary views to Excel or PowerPoint.
- Email a PDF copy of a page along with a link to the page and an email message to the users you specify.
- Publish the report in a public-facing HTML document that you can link to or embed on your site.
Automatically distribute reports directly from ClearPoint on a predetermined schedule.
Switch to ClearPoint for more effective (& efficient) report generation.
You can save time on reporting and still produce better reports—it’s possible with ClearPoint! If you’re ready to explore our software in more detail, please let us know. We’ll schedule one of our strategy experts to guide you through a demo and answer any questions you have. In the meantime, feel free to explore our site, check out our extensive resources, and read some reviews from our users. Happy reporting!