Creating Dashboards in ClearPoint

Webinar 51 in the "I Didn't Know ClearPoint Could Do That!?!" Webinar Series

Are you an organization looking to make informed, data-driven decisions? ClearPoint dashboards provide a high-level visual of how your measures, objectives, and inititaives are performing. We’ll walk through how to organize and customize your dashboard reports to meet all your performance management needs. Join us on this episode of the “I Didn’t Know ClearPoint Could Do That!?!” to learn more.

Happy reporting!

Webinar 51 Transcript


  • Introduction (0:00)
  • Agenda (0:47)
  • What is a Dashboard? (1:18)
  • Standard vs. Reference Scorecard Summary Reports (2:59)
  • Creating a Dashboard in ClearPoint
    • Creating custom fields (5:59)
    • Adding a scorecard summary report (9:17)
    • Setting a dashboard as your landing page (13:32)
  • Cool Dashboard Examples (15:28)
    • Project Dashboard (15:50)
    • Department Performance Dashboard (16:57)
    • Managers Dashboard (17:57)
  • Sharing Your Dashboard (18:51)
  • Questions (21:00)

Introduction (0:00)

  • Rachel: Hello everyone and welcome to the “I didn’t know ClearPoint could do that!?!” webinar series. Today, we’ll be talking about creating dashboards in ClearPoint!
  • But before we get started, here are your smiling hosts, I’m Rachel
    • Laura: and I’m Laura!
  • Rachel: As a few housekeeping announcements:
    • We will be recording this session and will make it available within a week
    • The webinar will last about 25 minutes with time for questions at the end
    • So you can submit your questions to [email protected]
  • Any that we don’t get to, we’ll follow up with over email!
  • Now, on our last installment, we walked through tracking business plans, so if you’re interested in learning best practices for setting one up in ClearPoint and linking it to your strategy, be sure to check out that recording and transcript on our website or Vimeo channel!

Agenda (0:47)

  • Today, we’ll be focusing on creating dashboards in ClearPoint, so buckle up!
  • We’ll start by clearing up what a dashboard is and your options for setting one up in your account
  • Then, we’ll walk through how to create a dashboard page using custom fields and pod styles
  • Finally, we’ll wrap up by showing off some cool dashboard examples to help you get your engines revving!

So again, if you have any questions, please reach out to [email protected]!

What is a Dashboard? (1:18)

  • Rachel: Before we dive into ClearPoint, I think it might be helpful for us to define what exactly a dashboard is. I’ve also heard the term ‘scorecard summary report’. Laura, would you mind explaining?
  • Laura: In general, a web dashboard is a tool used for information management, meant to provide a high-level overview of what’s going on in your organization. It’s usually the first thing users see when they log in.
  • Rachel: So what purpose does a dashboard serve in the reporting process?
  • Laura: Think about it like your car’s dashboard. There are hundreds of moving parts in your organization that impact your overall performance – a dashboard summarizes these events with simple, real-time data visuals. With a quick glance, you can evaluate results and make decisions about whether you need to stop and refuel, or hit the pedal to the metal towards your next destination.
  • Rachel: Gotcha! So what should I be thinking about when I design a dashboard?
  • Laura: You want your dashboard to save time for people, so you want it to communicate key metrics in a straightforward way and have the ability for users to drill down into specifics. However, keep in mind you do not want the dashboard to look cluttered. You want your users to be fast, but not furious.
  •  Rachel: Ok, that makes sense. So I could have different types of dashboards, like a key metrics dashboard or a project status dashboard. But how would I translate these ideas into ClearPoint?
  •  Laura: Well in ClearPoint, we typically create dashboards using ‘scorecard summary reports’. They provide a summary of information for the scorecard as a whole, but from a structural standpoint they more closely resemble a detail page. We also call them landing pages, or even home pages. Do any of those terms ring a bell (or rather, honk a horn) for you?

Standard vs. Reference Scorecard Summary Reports (2:59)

  • Rachel: Yes! That makes a lot more sense now. Thanks Laura!
  • Laura: No problem! But wait a second, let’s slam the brakes! I’ve heard there are two different types of scorecard summary reports that can be used for dashboards. Do you know what the difference is?
  • Rachel: Yes, I’m glad you asked! The most popular type of scorecard summary report, especially for creating a dashboard view, is the ‘standard’ report. Like you mentioned earlier, the standard report looks like a customized detail page for the scorecard.
    • To create one, first we’ll click on the Scorecards top menu dropdown, then Manage Scorecard Reports.
    • Now when we see the term ‘Scorecard Reports’, we know this is referring to dashboards or landing pages for the scorecard. I’m so glad we cleared that up!
    • To add a new report, we can click on the plus icon and we’ll automatically be taken to the layout page where we can give the dashboard a name and drag and drop custom fields to include on the page.
  • The other type of scorecard summary report is a ‘reference’ report. A reference report is exactly what it sounds like – rather than creating a custom dashboard layout, it allows you to pick an existing grid-style summary report to use as the landing page for the scorecard instead!
  • This is a quick, low-effort way to still create a meaningful landing page for your scorecard. And, it functions in the same way as the original summary report that it is referencing, so you can even make in-line edits and updates to the elements included in the report – right from your home page!
  • Laura: That sounds great, but how do I set it up? I remember ‘reference report’ used to be an option when I clicked the plus icon here, but now that takes me straight to creating a ‘standard’ report.
  • Rachel: That’s right! With 14.0, we made the dashboard creation process a bit easier, by eliminating unnecessary extra steps. So now you just click on the dropdown arrow next to the plus icon and select ‘Add Report Reference’. Here you can give it a name, indicate what element type the grid-style summary report is, and then select the existing report by name.
    • Once you add a new reference scorecard summary report, like this one here, you can see it has a blue ‘reference’ tag on it.
    • One example of a useful summary report to set as the scorecard landing page would be a Measure Update report like we already have set up here.
    • The report is filtered by the current user, so I am only seeing the measures owned by the user I am logged in as – ClearPoint Support.
    • This is a great landing page to set up if you have a lot of end users that may not be as comfortable with navigating the system, and just need to make their updates for the reporting period.
    • I can just double click into the analysis field, which is conveniently highlighted in yellow, and make my update right from here!

Creating a Dashboard in ClearPoint

Creating custom fields (5:59)

  • Laura: That’s awesome! Now that we know the difference between our different landing page options, let’s get the show on the road, and start building our cool dashboard using a ‘standard’ scorecard summary report!
  • Since we already have a pretty great welcome page for the corporate Upward Airlines scorecard, let’s set one up for one of the Eastern Division instead – since every scorecard can and should have it’s own landing page!
  • The first thing we will want to do is think about what kinds of fields we want on our scorecard summary page. Any thoughts, Rachel?
  • Rachel: Well, we’ll definitely want to display the Upward Air logo at the top. Then, since we want to include an overview of the most important data, let’s display one of our key performance summary reports and a chart from our most important measure. Finally, it would be nice to be able to drill down to our project detail pages so we should provide direct links to a couple different initiatives we are working on.
  • Laura: Perfect! We will need to create custom fields for these in Admin Options’. Let’s go there and talk about what kinds of custom fields these call for. So once I’m here, I’ll click into ‘Custom Fields’ and since I’m intending to bring these fields out onto a scorecard summary report, I’ll make sure I’m in this tab called ‘Scorecard’. Now I’ll click to Add a new custom field. I’ll name the custom field “Eastern logo” and then in ‘Field Type’, look for the type of field I need.
  • Rachel: I think for the logo we will need an Image field, right?
  • Laura: Yes, exactly!
  • Rachel: That was so easy! Next we want to be able to bring out our matrix report onto the dashboard to give a measure performance overview. What kind of field should we build now?
  • Laura: Anytime we want to bring out a summary report onto a dashboard, we’ll want to choose a data grid. So I’ll add a new custom field again, name it ‘Measure Performance’, and then in ‘field type’ look for ‘data grid’, and save.
  • Rachel: Ok, I think I’m getting the hang of this. So to display a chart from one of the key measures, we’ll need to use a chart reference field.
    • I’ll add a new custom field, name it ‘Eastern Chart’, and then look for ‘Chart Reference’ and save.
  • Laura: Exactly! For the last part of our dashboard, we want to see some initiatives we’re working on. I think we should use HTML data tokens to provide a direct link to their detail pages. Rachel, can you guess which field we will need to create for those?
  • Rachel: This one will need to be an HTML with data, so that we can use the HTML token!
    • We’ll click to Add a new custom field. I’ll name the custom field ‘Key Initiatives’’ and then in ‘Field Type’, look for HTML with data.
  • Laura: Yep, you’re getting close to earning your dashboard learner’s permit! Ok, now that we’ve created all our custom fields, let’s go actually build our dashboard! Rachel, do you want to take the steering wheel from here?

Adding scorecard summary report (9:17)

  • Rachel: Sure thing! So as shown previously, to create our dashboard we’ll need to add a new scorecard summary report. First, we’ll need to make sure we are in the Eastern Division scorecard.
  • Then, we’ll click on Scorecards, then Manage Scorecard Reports. I’ll click the plus icon to add a new standard report! Let’s name this ‘Super Cool Dashboard’.
    • Now within the list of field options, we can see that our custom fields have been added! I can easily drag and drop them onto the layout, arranging them in the four section options. Then I’ll click Save and click into Super Cool Dashboard to take a look.
  • Laura: Alright, we’re in the fast lane now! Next, we’ll need to fill in the content of our custom fields.
  • Rachel: Exactly. Just like everywhere else in ClearPoint, we can double click on the custom fields to edit.
    • To include the logo, we can just click on the field and select the image we want to include from my computer.
    • For the Data Grid and Chart Reference custom fields, we can use the dropdown menus to reference the Matrix Report and chart we would like to display (% of on time departures in Eastern Division)
  • Lastly, we’ll provide some direct links to a couple of our most important initiatives using HTML tokens. Since this is an HTML with Data field, there is a bar at the bottom of the field to ‘Insert data HTML Token’. If we click on the arrow, we can use the dropdown menus to reference any element, summary report, series data, or field from within the account.
    • For this example we’ll just add the token for a couple of our initiatives, using the dropdowns to reference the initiative’s name.
    • Once I’m done with all of these changes, I’ll click the green checkmark to save.
  • Laura: This dashboard is definitely looking ‘cool’, like a BMW, but you know what would make it ‘super cool’, like a Ferrari?? Custom pod styles! Is that something we could set up here?
  • Rachel: Great thinking! If we click the edit pencil to view the layout, and then click the edit icons next to the individual pods, we can select the blue custom pod style, provide the cool factor our dashboard deserves. We can do the same for the other fields as well.
  • Then for the logo pod, rather than giving this a custom pod style, we can choose to ‘Remove pod borders and header’ so that it stands alone.
    • Once we’re done we’ll click Save and ta-da! Here’s our Super Cool Dashboard!

Setting a dashboard as your landing page (13:32)

  • Laura: Awesome! But we can’t hit cruise control quite yet. To make this the landing page of a scorecard (in other words, the page that opens when you click into a scorecard), we’ll want to go back to Scorecards and click on Manage Scorecard Reports
  • Here, you can see the order of our scorecard summary reports. If we think about a scorecard as a folder, then you can think of the landing page as the cover page when you first open the folder. For this reason, we want to make our dashboard the first scorecard summary report.
  • Rachel: Perfect, so to make this dashboard the Eastern Division’s landing page, we can easily sort the order to move it to the top!
  • Laura: Yep, exactly! So let’s click this arrow next to the plus icon and click ‘Sort Reports’. Then we can drag this to the top and click save.
  • So now when I click into the Eastern Division scorecard….. There it is! My dashboard is now my scorecard landing page.
  • Rachel: This is perfect, but what if I want this to be the first page I see when I log into ClearPoint, even before clicking into this scorecard? When I click on the Home button, I am still taken to the Upward Airlines corporate scorecard landing page.
  • Laura: Yep, ClearPoint can do that too! Each user has the ability to set their own custom home page. To do so, let’s go back to Scorecards > Manage Scorecard Reports and click the star next to our dashboard to favorite it. Now we can go to My Favorites and click the home icon. Now, the next time I log into my account, this dashboard will be the first thing I see! And whenever I click on the Home icon, I will be taken here as well.

Cool Dashboard Examples (15:28)

  • Rachel: Wow! ClearPoint is so customizable! So our Super Cool Dashboard is undoubtedly super cool, but there really are unlimited possibilities when it comes to dashboards in ClearPoint. With the rest of our time today, let’s shift gears and take a look at a few other dashboard examples so that you all have some great ideas to bring to your ClearPoint account manager on your next call!

Project Dashboard (15:50)

  • Laura: Sounds good! Let’s start with this scenario: Do you ever need to get a quick sense of the status of all your projects but don’t have the time to review each individual one? A project dashboard is exactly what you need!
  • Rachel: You’ve got that right! So can I see which projects are on track or behind?
  • Laura: Yes, you can see that but also so much more. Or less, depending on how you want to think of it.
  • Take a look at this project dashboard and the chart we have pulled out here. Though it does not convey specific information on any projects, all it takes is a quick glance for us to understand that most of our projects are on track. We can also read the analysis to the left of the chart to gain a deeper understanding of our performance, as well as see the legend. Down below, we have also chosen to pull out a report underneath, so that users can drill down and see the specific projects’ statuses, updates, and other criteria.
  • Rachel: Overall this looks like a great pitstop when you need to get a quick update on project progress on your way to your next meeting.
  • Laura: Exactly, and it’s also perfect to show leadership when they ask how things are going!

Department Performance Dashboard (16:57)

  • Rachel: Another one of my favorite dashboards is the Performance Dashboard, which provides an overview of how the organization is doing based on the performance of the individual departments or divisions.
  • Laura: Hey look at that! Punch-buggy no punch backs!
  • Rachel: Ouch! You mean slug bug?
  • Anyways, the gauge charts for each division let us know whether it is operating on a full tank, fueled by positive measure performance, or moving into the red towards empty, losing sight of their goals.
  • If I drill down into one of the divisions, I can see the individual measures that are contributing to the overall division score.
  • The Percentage of Target series is automatically calculating an average of the percent of target for each child measure.
  • Then, thankfully, since I never learned how to drive stick, the status is populating automatically, comparing the percent of target to the target.

Managers Dashboard (17:57)

  • Rachel: So we’ve seen examples of project dashboards and department dashboards – what about people dashboards? Let’s say I want to customize a dashboard with charts and links specific to one of my employees.
  • Laura: Here is an example of a dashboard customized for managers. You could imagine that when Mater logs in, the first thing he sees would be this page. From here, he can get a quick overview of the metrics he’s responsible for, and then drill down into the measure dashboard, his work plan, and his Gantt chart.
  • Rachel: This dashboard seems great because Mater can get to almost any page he needs from here.
  • Laura: Yes, exactly! You could also imagine a more senior leader visiting this page to check how all three managers and departments are doing. If your leadership team doesn’t necessarily have the time to learn and navigate within ClearPoint, no need to whip out the GPS, this dashboard is the perfect page for them to get the overview of performance they are looking for.

Sharing Your Dashboard (18:51)

  • Rachel: As they say, objects in the ‘dashboard’ are even ‘cooler’ than they initially appear.
    • With that being the case, you’ll definitely want to share your dashboard with those just as invested in your strategy as you are – including your leadership team, key stakeholders, customers, or citizens!
  • Laura: If you get the green light to share your dashboards, one avenue you’ll want to explore is ClearPoint HTML exports. If you click into ‘Documents’ on the lefthand menu and click ‘HTML exports’, you can click to add a new one. Let’s name it ‘Eastern dashboard’ and label our link that as well. Then we can click into ‘scorecards’ and choose our ‘Super Cool Dashboard’ from the Eastern Division scorecard. We can also choose to include our two initiative detail pages so viewers can still drill down using those links.
    • We can click save and then click to generate the report. That will just take a few seconds to generate. You can just pretend we’re taking the scenic route.
    • Once it pops up, we and anyone we share this link with can see our super cool dashboard! We can also drill down into this initiative and see the detail page.
    • Looking at all our hard work in the rearview mirror, I think it was definitely worth it.

Questions (21:00)

Rachel: So with that, we’d love to use our remaining time today to open up the floor for your questions!

Question 1: What is the difference between these dashboards and the ‘community dashboards’ we often hear about?

  • Laura: That’s a great question. A community dashboard is a custom-built, public-facing website that leverages the WordPress platform to showcase your data from ClearPoint for a wider community, like the citizens of a local government. So you can think of it as a separate website, not in ClearPoint, that can be customized to match your organization’s website branding. On the other hand, the dashboards we’ve talked about today are pages you can build inside ClearPoint with the ability to export.

Question 2: Are there other ways to share the dashboard besides using an HTML export?

  • Rachel: Yes, definitely. You can export the dashboard as a PDF to print out, include it as part of a larger Briefing Book export, or even email the dashboard to anyone from directly inside ClearPoint.

Rachel: Alright, looks like it’s time to pull over as that’s all we have time for today! Thanks for taking the time to learn about creating dashboards in ClearPoint with us! We hope you can now confidently say ‘I DID know ClearPoint could do that!’. See you next time, and Happy Reporting!