Tracking Data Trends

Webinar Workshop in the "I Didn't Know ClearPoint Could Do That!?!" Webinar Series


  • Introduction (0:00)
  • Tracking Data Trends Overview (2:17)
  • Charting (5:03)
  • Heat Map Report (8:35)
  • Transitioning to Training Sessions (10:11)

Introduction (0:00)

  • Rachel: Hello everyone, and welcome to our Webinar Workshop, a special extension of our “I Didn’t Know ClearPoint Could Do That?!” webinar series! This training workshop will be focused on Tracking Data Trends in ClearPoint!
  • But before we dive in, let’s introduce ourselves…
    • I’m Rachel!
    • Hannah: And I’m Hannah!
  • Rachel: For this workshop, we’ll be trying out an updated format.
    • We’ll start out with about ten minutes of best practice sharing to introduce how tracking data trends works in ClearPoint.
    • Then, we’ll use our remaining time to provide a free, hands-on training session. There will be two different training sessions available, and you can pick the topic that is most interesting or relevant to you and your organization.
      • We’ll be revealing the training sessions soon so get excited!!
    • During the training session, you’ll have the opportunity to log into your own ClearPoint account and directly implement what you saw in the presentation! Hannah and I will each lead a session, and we will have other members of the Customer Success team in each room available for additional support as needed.
  • Hannah: This sounds amazing!! And we want to clarify that this session can be as interactive or as individual as you would like it to be! The smaller group sessions allow for more specialized support, but there is no pressure to turn on your camera or speak in your group. It is totally up to you!
  • Rachel: That’s right!! So with that, let’s dive in. Here is a quick look at today’s agenda and the upcoming training sessions.
    • First we’ll talk through the importance of tracking trends in your data and how to leverage that information to improve performance.
    • Next, we’ll do a quick review of reporting periods and reporting frequencies.
    • Then, we’ll show some examples of tracking trends and year-over-year comparisons using ClearPoint charts.
    • Finally, we’ll show off an awesome heat map report as another way to visualize data over time and share your findings.
  • Hannah: And as you might have guessed based on this agenda, one training session will walk you through building trend-tracking charts and the other training session will walk through building your own heat map or matrix report to track data over time.

Tracking Data Trends Overview (2:17)

  • Rachel: I can hardly wait!! But first let’s talk about why tracking data trends is so important.
    • At a basic level, tracking trends in your data allows you to visualize progress and understand how your organization is performing over time. In turn, understanding performance can help inform your strategy, control for potential risks, and allow you to make important, data-driven decisions.
    • Tracking trends in data also serves to predict future performance and forecast what might occur. Forecasted values can then be used as a ‘target’ or ‘benchmark’ as your organization strives for continuous improvement.
    • Additionally, understanding trends can be helpful for generating insightful qualitative analysis.
  • Hannah: Wow! It sounds like in order to be a strategic, high-performing organization you have no choice, you have to pay attention to trends in your data!
  • Rachel: That’s right! It’s extremely important to be forward-thinking and make strategic decisions that are backed by data.
    • And the good news is, ClearPoint can help you manage your performance data in a way that is easy to visualize and interpret trends. And more importantly, your performance data can easily be tied to your higher level goals and strategy as well.
  • Hannah: Speaking of ClearPoint, is it time to dive in??
  • Rachel: Definitely! Let’s jump into ClearPoint now. So, before we get into cool data visuals, I think it might be helpful to do a quick recap of how reporting periods and reporting frequencies work in ClearPoint as it pertains to tracking trends over time.
    • In ClearPoint, reporting periods are the smallest increment of time you will report on in the system. For the majority of organizations, this is monthly. These monthly reporting periods are then used as the building blocks for all other reporting frequencies – such as quarterly or annually. Reporting frequencies align with your reporting cadence or how often you are inputting data and providing an update on your measures.
    • You can always see the current reporting period you are viewing from the Period Selector at the top of the left Control Panel. This is typically the most recently completed period by default. However, Hannah and I are looking at December 2020 today since we want to look back on some of the interesting trends that came from 2020 (and no, we don’t mean whipped coffee, bread-baking, or tie dye! We mean 2020 data trends!)
  • Hannah: Right… I’m glad you clarified! I was about to start quoting Tiger King!
  • Rachel: Ah, what a throwback! Anyways, do you want to start us out Hannah? I know you’ve been working on some awesome charts!

Charting (5:03)

  • Hannah: Yes! Charts are a great way to uncover trends over time. Today, we’ll talk about how to utilize year over year charts, trendlines, and plot bands to understand trends at your organization.
    • If we navigate to the Trend Dashboard, you’ll see I’ve already built three charts showing off these features.
    • The first chart we see here is a line chart that displays the current year values over the previous year values. We call this style of chart a year over year chart!
  • Rachel: Super cool, but why would I want to view the current year data over the previous year data?
  • Hannah: I’m glad you asked! Year over year means that you are reviewing performance on an annualized basis, so you’re comparing one month of the current year to the same month in the previous year. These comparisons are helpful in situations where there may be seasonality.
    • For example, at Upward Airlines, we sell less airplane tickets in the low season which runs November through March, and more airplane tickets in the high season, which runs April to August. When we compare our revenue from one month to the next, we can see a lot of variance due to this seasonality.
    • We shouldn’t be comparing our January numbers to our June numbers, but thanks to this year over year chart, we can see if this June outperformed our last June.
  • Rachel: Thanks ‘Year-over-Year Chart’! This is a much more accurate way to evaluate revenue and set seasonally appropriate targets.
  • Hannah: Exactly! Another helpful charting feature when it comes to tracking data over time is a trendline. In ClearPoint, it’s easy to create trendlines from your actual data using a regression model. ClearPoint offers many different types of trendlines, from exponential to polynomial, but linear regression seems to be the most trendy if you will.
    • In this second chart, we can see that ticket prices have been steadily increasing throughout the years and our red trendline shows this continuing. We now have statistical analysis to back up this trend and predict ticket prices into the future.
  • Rachel: Wow, do you think this feature can help me predict the value of my dogecoin in a few years?
  • Hannah: That currency might be too volatile for a linear regression, but in general, being able to see into the future is no joke! It’s a valuable business skill called forecasting! Forecasting is predicting future business developments based on the analysis of past trends and data. These forecasts can influence budget allocation, drive decision making, and guide strategic planning into the future.
  • Hannah: Finally, the last chart I’ll show today makes great use of our plot bands feature, which allows organizations to better visualize and display different targets or performance thresholds.
    • This bar chart tracks our average employee wage over time. The plot bands are the red, yellow, and green background shading on the chart. They help us understand the framework we are using to evaluate the data we see over time.
  • Rachel: Using a threshold evaluation here makes a lot of sense because spending too much or too little on payroll may have a negative business impact. If we spend too much, we will have more expenses and it might become harder to stay profitable. But if we spend too little, we might see employees leave for higher paying roles and lose valuable talent.
  • Hannah: Exactly, this measure can’t be too much or too little, it has to be just right! We want our average wage to continue trending in the green!

Heat Map Report (8:35)

  • Rachel: Another helpful way to analyze and present trends in your data is through a ‘heat map’. I already have one set up here under Measures > Heat Map.
    • Under the ‘Series Status’ column I can see the data over time.
  • Hannah: Wait a minute! Is that report just showing the Quarterly reporting periods? How did you do that?
  • Rachel: Yes! Isn’t it awesome?! We can now set a reporting frequency for summary reports. When you are selecting how many periods to display for the Series Status column, you can also select a reporting frequency!
    • In this case we have set the column to a Quarterly reporting frequency. Not only is it just showing the last periods of the quarter, but it is also taking on the custom period names we have set up in the reporting frequency.
  • Hannah: Amazing! And then how did you get the colors to show up? I love that!
  • Rachel: Yes, good question! The colors of the heat map reflect the status indicator color for that period and can be super helpful for quickly identifying trends.
    • So in this example I can see from first glance that Revenue is green this quarter, but the past two quarters prior to that have been below target so it is still a measure we should keep an eye on.
    • Whereas our Expenses have been consistently green and on a positive downward trend
    • It’s important to note that for the colors to appear in the report, you need to have automatic status evaluations set up for your measures. We’ll cover this during the training session!
    • Speaking of which…

Transitioning to Training Sessions (10:11)

  • Rachel: As previously mentioned, we have two awesome training session options available for you all! This is a FREE, hands-on training session with the ClearPoint experts. You will get the chance to log in to your ClearPoint account and implement what we just talked about during the presentation.
    • Feel free to participate as much or as little as you would like. We will be in small groups so that you can ask questions, and receive hands-on support. But no pressure to speak or turn on your video if you do not want to!
  • Hannah: Okay, now it’s time to “Choose Your Own Adventure!”. You should see the two session options pop up on your screen – ‘Tracking Trends With Charts (Hannah)’ or ‘Tracking Trends With A Heat Map Summary Report (Rachel)’. Select the adventure you would like to pursue, or in other words, the session you would like to attend!
  • Rachel: Alright, Hannah and I are going to jump into our training rooms…we’ll see you in there!

Michael: As you are choosing your session, keep in mind that the charting exercises are best suited for professional plan users and above. So if you are on the basic plan, we suggest joining the heat map summary report session instead!

Michael: It looks like many of you have jumped into training sessions. I’ll give everyone a few more seconds to select a session…If you’re having trouble finding a session feel free to unmute yourself and ask for assistance.