Data Integrations in ClearPoint
Webinar 65 in the "I Didn't Know ClearPoint Could Do That!?!" Webinar Series
There are so many ways to both populate ClearPoint with your data and share ClearPoint data with your other applications! Join us on this episode of the “I Didn’t Know ClearPoint Could Do That!?!” to learn more!
- Introduction (0:00)
- Agenda (1:01)
- Integration Options in ClearPoint (1:33)
- Direct Connections (3:50)
- Zapier (13:48)
- Questions (19:25)
- RJ: Hello everyone, and welcome to the “I didn’t know ClearPoint could do that!?!” webinar series
- Today, we’ll be talking about ClearPoint’s exciting new integration options.
- But before we get started, here are your smiling hosts, I’m RJ!
- Michael: And I’m Michael!
- RJ: As a few housekeeping announcements:
- We will be recording this session and will make it available within a week
- The webinar will last about 20 minutes with time for questions at the end
- So you can submit your questions to… our Q&A chat box!! This is located in the toolbar at the bottom of the Zoom window.
- As always, any that we don’t get to, we’ll follow up with over email!
- Now, on our last installment, we hosted a webinar workshop on automatic evaluations, so if you want to learn how to configure automatic evaluation of Objectives, Measures, and Initiatives in ClearPoint, be sure to check out that recording and transcript on our website or Vimeo channel!
- Michael: Now, get ready to strap on your bibs and take a seat at the table, because we’re serving up a webinar looking at all the new integration options within ClearPoint! We’ll go over what these integration options look like, and even get a chance to look at two integration examples – one related to our new direct connection feature, and the other related to process improvement, that will save you valuable time and resources in your reporting process. So again, if you have any questions you would like to address during the webinar, be sure to submit them to the Q&A located at the bottom of your Zoom toolbar!
Integration Options in ClearPoint (1:33)
- Michael: We are already familiar with a few of the integration options that ClearPoint offers. We have the Data Loader that allows you to directly pull information from excel, or a SQL query into your ClearPoint account.
- RJ: We have ClearPoint sync that allows you to edit and update an excel file that was generated directly from a summary report within ClearPoint.
- Michael: We have Webhooks which allow you to automate your processes between ClearPoint and external applications like slack and teams.
- RJ: We have ClearPoint’s API, which allows for integration between external systems and ClearPoint. While this is a powerful tool, it does require technical knowledge of how to write the code that will allow the integration.
- Michael: We want to take a closer look at our newest integration option in ClearPoint – Direct Connections. Direct Connections allow you to integrate directly with external applications, however instead of requiring technical experience to create an API that will pull your data into ClearPoint, we now have a simple UI that will allow these integrations to be created. We know there are a few parts of the strategy reporting process, and ultimately, data collection can be something that is time consuming, tedious, and can be full of errors when there are too many edits and processes involved in getting the correct data. This new integration option will save time and error during this Data Collection phase that we see here!
- RJ: Let’s jump into a breakdown of how these direct connections are structured, to give us a better sense for how this feature can be leveraged. As we can see in the diagram below, there are six different external systems that we can integrate with using Direct Connections – QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics, HubSpot, Google Analytics, Monday, and Asana. QuickBooks and Microsoft Dynamics allow you to integrate your financial data with ClearPoint, HubSpot and Google Analytics allow you to integrate Marketing Data with ClearPoint, and Monday and Asana allow you to integrate your project information with ClearPoint. When using one of the Financial or marketing Integration options, we will be adding Measures with data into ClearPoint, and when using one of the Project Integration options we will be adding Initiatives with their information into ClearPoint.
Direct Connections (3:50)
- Michael: Okay I think we have done enough talking, it’s time to actually get into the kitchen and see these direct connections in work! Let’s integrate with one of my favorite applications, Monday!
- RJ: Woah Michael, I don’t know about you, but the only thing I like about Mondays are the Sunday leftovers.
- Michael: I’m not talking about the day of the week, RJ! Monday is a project management tool that helps you to track various project metrics. To use Monday, you first will want to create a Workspace. Workspaces act as a folder to hold all of our boards. From here, we will navigate to our “Cooking Board”.
- RJ: Mmmm I love a good cheese board!!
- Michael: RJ, I don’t think we are on the same page here. Boards in Monday are a collection of your projects, usually related to an overarching goal. In this example, we have our overarching projects and a list of subprojects that we need to complete.
- RJ: Okay Michael, I think I understand Monday a little better but what does this have to do with ClearPoint again?
- Michael: Well RJ, we are now going to turn these projects and subprojects into initiatives and milestones within ClearPoint! First, we need to go into our ClearPoint account and go to System Settings and then click on Admin Options. From here, we will want to go to Integrations, and then click on Direct Connections in the left navigation.
- To create a new connection, we will click on the green plus icon in the right corner. This will open a new window where we will want to give our connection a name. Since we will be connecting to Monday, we will call this connection “Monday Initiatives”. Next, we will want to choose a connection type. You will notice when you click on connection type, there is a list of applications that we can connect to and they are organized by Finance, Project Management, and Marketing. From this list, we are going to choose Monday and then click “Set Up Connection”. This will pop open a new window for us to ensure that we are logged into Monday and ask us to authorize that ClearPoint can have access to Monday’s data. After we click Authorize, we will get a message telling us that the connection was successful.
- RJ: Oh wow, Michael, it looks like our connection just got a couple new ingredients! What are these new boxes called “Workspace” and “Board”.
- Michael: Great observation, RJ! Since we are now connected to our Monday account, ClearPoint is pulling in information from there. Remember how we went over Workspaces and Boards within Monday? Well this is where they come into effect.
- When you click on each of these dropdowns, you will see a list of the workspaces and boards within your Monday account. For this example, we will be using the “Main Workspace” and the “Cooking Board”.
- Now that we have selected the Monday board that we will use to pull information from, we will click on Scorecard Setup. This is where we define which scorecard the information will be pulled into. If you click on the Scorecard dropdown, you will be able to select from a list of scorecards within your account. However, when using direct connections with an application for the first time, we recommend always creating a new scorecard. You can do this by selecting “Create New”. You will then click into the Scorecard box and type in the name of your new scorecard.
- Next, since we are loading initiatives into ClearPoint, we will need to choose a Start and End Date for them. We have three options to set those dates. The first is to select “Skip Project/Task”, which will skip over any Monday project that doesn’t have a Start and End date already assigned to it within Monday. The second option is “Auto-Assign Dates”, which will automatically assign the first day of the current month as the Start Date, and the last day of the current month as the End Date. The last option is “Set Default Dates”, which allows you to choose a Start and End Date. For our initiatives, we are going to have the Start Date be today and the End Date be the last day in November.
- RJ: Slow down there Michael, this is no fast food restaurant! To summarize what we have gone over so far, you are saying that we connected to the Cooking Board that we reviewed earlier within Monday. From here, we told ClearPoint to create a new scorecard, also called “Cooking Board”, that will house our initiatives and milestones from Monday. Lastly, in order to import our Monday initiatives and milestones into ClearPoint, we need to ensure that they have a Start and End Date assigned to them.
- Michael: Exactly RJ, you really getting good at slicing and dicing all of this information I’m throwing at you! Now, after setting the Start and End Date, we need to map our users in Monday to our users in ClearPoint. The left column of this table lists out our users as they appear in Monday, and the right column lists out our users as they appear in ClearPoint. If you click on the ClearPoint User dropdown, you have the ability to choose from the list of users within your account.
- Once we are done mapping our users, we need to map the statuses in Monday to the statuses in ClearPoint. For example, in Monday, we use Ahead of Schedule, In Progress, and Falling Behind as our statuses. However, in ClearPoint, we use Above Target, Caution, and Below Plan as our statuses. We need to match these status together to ensure that when we pull in the initiatives from Monday, the correct status pulls in with them. We do this by clicking each dropdown and choosing the corresponding status. So Caution matches with In Progress, Above Target matches with Ahead of Schedule, and Below Plan matches with Falling Behind. We need to make sure we match these for both Initiative and Milestone statuses.
- RJ: So just to make sure I’m following, if I had an initiative listed as Ahead of Schedule in Monday then it will be loaded in with the Above Target Status in ClearPoint.
- Michael: Spot on! Lastly, we need to map the fields that are within Monday to our fields that are within ClearPoint. Fields within Monday can correspond to Owner, Status, Analysis, Recommendations, and Percent Complete. For this example, we will map the Manager field within Monday to the Owner field within ClearPoint and we will map the Status field in Monday to the Status field in ClearPoint. Again, we will repeat this process for both initiatives and milestones.
- RJ: Whew talk about a full course meal, I’m stuffed with all this information! So to do a full recap, what we were doing here is telling ClearPoint exactly what it needs to map to within our Monday account. So if I’m the Manager of an In Progress initiative in Monday, then that means when that initiative is loaded in ClearPoint, I will be marked as the Owner and the status of the initiative will be Caution.
- Michael: Exactly, RJ! At this rate you’ll be a Master Chef in no time!
- RJ: Well only if my specialty is Direct Connections! So what if I want to preview the scorecard I am creating?
- Michael: Another good question RJ! By clicking on the Preview tab, you are able to see how your initiatives and milestones will be loaded into your account. As you can see here, two initiatives will be created with three milestones underneath each. Plus all of these initiatives and milestones will pull in the Start and End Date that we assigned to them.
- Once we are done previewing our direct connection, the last thing we want to setup are Schedules. Going forward, if new initiatives are added to your Monday board, you can set this data import on a schedule to run at a certain time. You do this by clicking on the plus icon and then choosing the date you would like this import to run on. Lastly, you can also set a recurrence to have this import run at a set time each day, week, or month. Overall, these schedules are meant to help you further automate your integration process between your different applications and ClearPoint.
- RJ: All this information is great Michael, but can we see the finish scorecard?
- Michael: Sure thing! Now that we have our connection set up, we will click Save. To run our connection, we simply need to just click on the blue arrow icon and then click start. Once this import is finished and your data is loaded into ClearPoint, a token will appear at the top of the page. Now we can click Close and go to our new scorecard. Within our new scorecard, we have a report that is automatically created that shows off the initiatives and milestones that were imported into ClearPoint.
- RJ: Now that’s a spicy meatball! But Michael, what about setting up a direct connection to add in measures?
- Michael: I’m happy you asked, RJ! You are able to set up a connection to load in measures as well! One such example is QuickBooks! Say you wanted to load in this Balance Sheet from QuickBooks into ClearPoint. You could set up a connection like we did for Monday and then run it to create a new scorecard and report. The finished product would look like something similar to this with all of the lines within the balance sheet being added to ClearPoint as measures.
- RJ: Wow Michael… Direct connections really do seem like an egg-celent way to integrate with other systems to effortlessly pull Measure data and projects directly into ClearPoint! But Michael, I do have to tell you… my current processes are still a real pizza work… they involve a lot of double entry between two systems, and I find that one of the most time consuming parts of my day is keeping up with these tasks that span multiple systems.
- Michael: What does your current process look like and which systems are you entering information in? I am sure we can cook up a solution that will work for you!
- RJ: Yea, so currently, I use Trello to track my projects. When we click into Trello here we can see I have this Board called Spectacular Smorgasbord which I use to track all of my most important projects. I add these various projects as ‘Cards’ in my Event Planning list. Something that I need to do is constantly keep the cards that exist in Trello up to date in my ClearPoint account by adding them as Initiatives. I really wish that there was a way ClearPoint could integrate to help in my processes here as well.
- Michael: HMM RJ… these are the important projects you have going on? They just look like the names of some dishes you like.
- RJ: Whatever you say – if you keep this up and you won’t be getting an invite to my smorgasbord anyway!
- Michael: All right, all right, let’s cut to the cheese… I know I just showed you that ClearPoint can integrate with data and information through those direct connections, but it can also easily integrate with processes now that it is listed as an application on zapier. We talked about this earlier, but just to give some more background here, zapier allows you to connect and integrate processes across more than 3,000 applications – setting up a workflow in which a trigger in one application sets off an action in another application.
- RJ: I wish that I had 3,000 apricots.
- Michael: Hmmm…. We’re getting a little off track. Maybe this would help if we pulled up Zapier and saw a live example.
- RJ: Sounds good, I will go ahead and pull up my zapier account now. Wow! You already added a zap in my account – thank you Michael! I think I see how this works as well, but correct me if I am letting my hunger get the best of me. So at the top here under Choose App & Event we are able to select Trello as the app we want to connect with and then choose from a list of viable trigger events. In this case we chose, ‘New Card’ as the trigger because we want ClearPoint to respond when there is a new card added in Trello. Then it looks like we clicked Choose Account to specify that it is my Trello account we want to connect, finalized the setup of the trigger by specifying which board, list and filter we wanted to use, and were able to run a test to make sure the trigger was working.
- RJ: It looks like we did a similar thing on the ClearPoint side where we connected with ClearPoint, and chose from the list of possible actions. Here with ClearPoint, our options are to ‘Add Objectives, Add Measures, or Add Initiatives’. Since we wanted to put these in as Initiatives we chose the Add Initiative option. We then did a similar process of connecting to my specific ClearPoint account, finalized the trigger, tested it, and then turned on the zap. Now Zapier will scan my account in Trello, and look for new cards that are added. When it sees that a new card has been added it will in turn add the same card as an initiative in my ClearPoint account. Just to reiterate, with ClearPoint and Zapier we are able to automate around adding Objectives adding Measures and adding Initiatives.
- Michael: Exactly, so if we go ahead and navigate back to your ClearPoint account, and then click into the Spectacular Smorgasbord Scorecard, we will be able to see those initiatives that were added directly from your Event planning List in Trello. Further, when you add new ones to your Event Planning list going forward, you will not need to re-enter into ClearPoint, ClearPoint will pick up on the change and add it in automatically.
- RJ: Wow… this has all really been such a sweet surprise, and I think I am bready to make use of these new integration options to save me time in my strategy reporting process! We’re curious what you all think. We’re going to send out a poll now where you can select which option you are most excited about.
RJ: It looks like we’re nearly out of time! We’d love to use our remaining time today to open up the floor for your questions!
Question 1: Do we have any plans to add more applications to our new Direct Connections feature?
Michael: That’s a great question! One thing about Direct Connections is that’s a new feature and is considered a beta feature. We love to hear from our customers on their feedback and any ideas of applications they’d love us to set up Direct Connections with. If you have any applications that you’d really like to see on Direct Connections, reach out to us on support or to your Account Manager and let us know you’d like us to add an integration! No promises but we love to hear feedback as we continue to build out this feature.
Question 2: I’m excited about integrations. Can I go ahead and get started?
RJ: Reach out to your Account Manager when you’re ready to get this up and running. They’re happy to get you started with this! This is an Enterprise level feature. Your Account Manager will run through this with you in detail so you can go ahead and get started.
RJ: Alright, well it looks like that’s all we have time for today! Thanks for taking the time to learn about ClearPoint integrations with us! We hope you can now confidently say ‘I DID know ClearPoint could do that!’. See you next time, and Happy Reporting!