Taking Summary Reports to the Next Level

Webinar 53 in the "I Didn't Know ClearPoint Could Do That!?!" Webinar Series

Ready to take your summary reports to the next level? Tune in to this episode of “I Didn’t Know ClearPoint Could Do That!?!” to learn best practices for leveraging the new summary report features, including full column widths, column table styles, series filters, and custom element sort order!

Happy reporting!

Webinar 53 Transcript


  • Introduction (0:00)
  • Agenda (1:06)
  • Report for leadership (2:25)
  • Filtering and sorting summary reports (7:42)
  • Report for making updates (14:18)
  • Leveraging an interactive data grid (19:40)
  • Bulk home setting (22:46)
  • Questions (24:23)

Introduction (0:00)

  • Rachel: Hello everyone, and welcome to the “I didn’t know ClearPoint could do that!?!” webinar series
  • Today, we’ll be sharing our secrets for how to take your ClearPoint summary reports to the next level!
  • But before we get started, here are your smiling hosts, I’m Rachel
    • Hannah: And I’m Hannah!
  • 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 the ClearPoint Data Loader 2.0, so if you’re interested in automatically uploading quantitative and qualitative data, adding an entire scorecard from scratch, or learning how to map your data using the Data Loader’s new user-friendly interface, be sure to check out that recording and transcript on our website or Vimeo channel!

Agenda (1:06)

  • Today, we’ll be focusing on creating some ‘next level’ summary reports in ClearPoint.
  • We’ll start by showing off the new full width column feature and how to use it to make your report to leadership look super slick!
  • Then, we’ll walk through filtering and sorting the elements included in your reports
  • Next we’ll create a report specific to users responsible for making updates, ensuring they have a smooth and simple experience in ClearPoint
  • Finally, we’ll wrap up by showing off a couple brand new features that will without question increase user buy-in at your organization!

So again, if you have any questions you’d like us to address during the webinar, please reach out to [email protected]!

  • Rachel: Alright – I know we have a full agenda today, so let’s go ahead and dive right into ClearPoint, joining our favorite friends at Upward Airlines.
    • Oh wait, this just in – Inclement Weather Alert! It appears there have been a series of stormy, overcast days at Upward Air, as they struggle to create effective summary reports that highlight their most important data and results. And even worse, big chunks of data are missing – gone with the wind!
    • This sounds like a bit of an emergency, we better check in with correspondent Hannah Everett to see if she can help…Over to you, Hannah!

Report for leadership (2:25)

  • Hannah: Having messy reports with missing data is definitely an indicator of future disasters to come! The forecast shows unproductive meetings and an inability to make smart, data-driven decisions in Upward Airlines’ future if we don’t sort this out!
    • But before we totally freak out, let’s back up and sort through this together.
    • To start, what are summary reports? Well, summary reports allow users to show alignment between strategic elements, gather the most important data and information, track trends over time, and share results with their team. Summary reports are at the core of strategic management and ClearPoint! And since we’ve recently introduced a few new features for summary reports, this webinar couldn’t come at a better time.
  • Rachel: For sure! Especially since we are only a couple weeks away from Upward Airline’s monthly board meeting. When it comes to averting reporting disasters, preparation and the proper equipment (whether that’s rainboots or ClearPoint!) are crucial.
  • Hannah: Absolutely! Let’s get going! We’ll start by creating our Monthly Board Report! First we need to add a new measure report
    • I’ll open the Measures dropdown menu and go to Manage Measure Reports. I’ll click the plus icon to add a new report and name it ‘Board Report.’
    • Rachel, what do you think we should include in this report?
  • Rachel: Well this report should be clear and concise. It should provide a big picture view, just like your local Doppler Radar! With that said, I think we should definitely include the key performance measures and their status for the current month to start.
  • Hannah: That’s a good call. We can add the measure’s series status by navigating to the columns tab and clicking ‘add columns.’ From here, we will select Series Name and Series Status. But to get that bigger picture and show how our performance relates to the overall strategic plan, let’s also add objectives and their descriptions.
  • Rachel: Wait a minute! Even though this is a measure report, we can include fields from other elements?!
  • Hannah: Yes, thanks to 14.0 improvements to summary reports, we can now include fields from any element in any report type! Let’s save our report and take a look.
  • Rachel: This looks okay, but this report is far from sunny and 75. There’s lots of blank space and not much color. Do you think we could turn it up a few degrees?
  • Hannah: I’m glad you asked. I know just the thing. Let’s make the objective and description fields ‘full-width’ columns, so that they span the entire length of the report.
  • Rachel: But why would you want to make a column ‘full-width’? What does that even mean?
  • Hannah: Setting a column to full width can help maximize the real estate on your screen by reducing some of the extra white space. Plus, they can add a lot of style to your summary report!
    • To make these columns full width, we need to edit the report > columns tab >  check ‘show advanced options’.
    • Before we enable full width, let’s scroll down to the ‘Group By’ section and select to group by objectives.
    • This step is important because whichever element the report is grouped by, can then be set as a ‘full-width’ column.
  • Rachel: In addition to that, selecting to ‘Group By objectives’ will adjust the report view so that the measures and any of its linked elements or fields will be organized, or ‘grouped by’, the objectives that the measures are linked to.
  • Hannah: Exactly! So now that we’ve grouped by objective, you’ll see we have the option to make these columns ‘full-width.’
    • Before we save, I’m going to select ‘show header.’ I’ll also hide the status for the objectives to keep the report looking clean.
  • Rachel: Wow that looks so cool! Practically ice cold! Is there snow in the forecast?
  • Hannah: But wait, it gets cooler, below freezing even! We can add custom table styles, now to individual columns!
    • I’ve pre-loaded some table styles, so all we need to do now is apply them. I’ll edit the report and go to the columns tab. I’ll select ‘show advanced options’ so that I can use the style drop down menus. I’m going to select ‘Level 1 Blue’ for objectives and ‘Level 2 Grey’ for descriptions. I’ll also select Table Header Blue to give the whole report a customized style.
  • Rachel: Wow, this looks so clear – excellent visibility! We’ve really maximized the space in the report so that everything fits nicely on just a few pages. Plus, you can really see which measures fall under which objectives.
  • This report is so cool, I’m blown away! The windchill must be jealous!

Filtering and sorting summary reports (7:42)

  • Hannah: You’re right, this is really starting to come together, the Board is going to love it!
    • However, I’m noticing there are a lot of measures included in the report. Is there any way to control that? Not all of the measures in the Upward Airlines scorecard are important to the Board, which is the audience of this report.
  • Rachel: Great question! And I’m glad you brought up the audience of the report again. It is so important to have that in mind when creating a summary report in ClearPoint!
  • So now that we have the structure of the report all set up with the appropriate columns and styles, the logical next step, just like you mentioned, is to determine which elements to include in the report.
    • This can be filtered and narrowed down as much as we want.
    • If we edit the report we were just working on, the first place we can go to adjust the elements included is the ‘Measures’ tab.
      • Because we created this as a measure summary report, all of the content of the report is going to be based on the measures included – whether that is fields associated with the measure, elements that are linked to the measure, or fields associated with those linked elements.
  • Hannah: Oh, I’m so glad you clarified that! So if I want to be able to control and filter for a certain element type (whether it’s objectives, measures, or initiatives), that will inform the type of summary report I should create!
  • Rachel: Exactly! Couldn’t have said it better myself!
    • So as far as narrowing down the measures included in this report go, we’ll start with the highest level of organization – the scorecard.
    • We can check the box next to the scorecards that contain measures we’d like to include in the report.
    • By default, a summary report will include just the scorecard it was created in, but it is possible to include measures across multiple scorecards in a summary report.
  • Hannah: That’s awesome! So I know the Board will only be interested in measures from the corporate-level Upward Airlines scorecard since they are just taking a high level look at the strategic goals and key performance measures.
  • Rachel: Perfect! That keeps things simple. I’ll keep the box checked for the Upward Airlines scorecard.
    • From here, we can get more granular – If I click on the ‘Select Specific Elements’ button, a new list appears where I can hand-select the exact measures I want to include by checking the boxes next to each of their names.
    • If the measures I want to include in this report will always be the same, then this would be the best way to specify which measures those will be. If I don’t select any of the boxes, then all of the measures from the scorecard will be included by default.
    • However, if the measures I want to include may change throughout time and they have a common characteristic, such as status or name, that can help group them together, then it will actually be best to skip selecting specific elements and instead move to the Filters tab.
  • Hannah: For this report, I know the Board only wants to review measures that are evaluating as below plan or caution – the red and yellow status indicators. The Board is extremely busy these days and would prefer not to waste time talking through measures that are already above target and performing well during their monthly reviews.
  • Rachel: Then I think Filtering will work perfectly!
    • To add a new filter we can click on ‘Add Filter’. From the dropdown menus we can select to filter on the Measure > Status > Equals > Below Plan or Caution
    • Now we will only see measures from the Upward Airlines scorecard that are evaluating as a red or yellow status this month.
    • And what’s super cool about setting up a filter is that it allows the report to be dynamic. In this case that means that the measures shown in this report will automatically update when their statuses do. Whenever a measure meets the filter criteria, it will appear in the report!
  • Hannah: This is great – it will show exactly what the Board wants to see, and will be really low maintenance to manage!
    • Not to throw shade on such an awesome report, but I do wish the average number of daily departures per route measure didn’t have so many series. It makes the report unnecessarily long, and the Board isn’t interested in that data anyways. In fact, they just want to see the Actual and Target for each of these measures.
  • Rachel: No problem! In addition to filtering on measure fields like status, we can also filter on measure series!
    • If we edit the report and go back to the Filter tab, then we can Add Filter – this time set up so that Measure Series > Name > Equals > ‘Actual’.
    • Then we can set up the same for the Target series: Measure Series > Name > Equals > ‘Target’.
  • Now only series that are named Actual or Target from each measure will be included in the summary report under the Series Name and Series Status columns.
    • Lastly, we’ll set the Filter Option to Any of the below are true so that both Actual and Target series will be included in the report!
    • Let’s Save those changes and take a look!
  • Hannah: That’s perfect!
    • Although…not to keep raining on your parade, but I just remembered you had mentioned being able to sort elements in a report, in addition to filtering. I know sometimes the Board wants to see the measures sorted in a certain order, but just for one report. For future reference, is there a way to do this without changing the order of measures in the account itself?
  • Rachel: For sure! If we edit the report again and go to the Element Order tab, first we’ll be prompted to save. Then we can check the box to Use Custom Element Sort Order.
    • Here we can drag and drop or use the up and down arrows to set a custom order for the measures in this report specifically!
  • Hannah: Amazing!! The level of customization for summary reports is truly incredible!

Report for making updates (14:18)

  • Rachel: Absolutely! So if we look back at the 10-day forecast, I can already see things are starting to clear up for the day of the Board meeting, but if the measures in the report we just put together are missing any data, I predict a torrential downpour in our future!
  • Hannah: Yikes. We want clear, cloudless skies – so that we can easily see how we’re performing against our strategy, no umbrella or windshield wipers necessary! How can we ensure that all the measures are updated in time?
  • Rachel: That’s where the ‘Update Report’ comes in and brightens the day! With so many different elements to update, located across different scorecards, it’s understandable that the typical end user, who only logs into ClearPoint only once a month or even just once a quarter, would have some trouble navigating through the fog.
    • Lucky for us, summary reports by nature (and even when confronted by the forces of nature) provide a way to bring multiple strategic elements together into a summarized view. Then factor in the ability to double click and make in-line edits to those elements all on one page, and summary reports provide the perfect platform for making multiple updates at once!
  • Hannah: That sounds awesome, but doesn’t everyone own different elements that they need to update? Do we need to have a different report for each user that is customized to the elements that they are responsible for? That sounds like a lot of reports to me!
  • Rachel: The answer to that is both yes and no – partly sunny and partly cloudy, if you will!
    • Yes, everyone does have different elements to update and thus would benefit from personalized views so to clearly see the updates they are responsible for. But no – thankfully we do not need to create 50 different reports to accommodate each user!
  • Hannah: No way – how would that be possible?
  • Rachel: Let’s set one up together, you’ll see in a moment!
    • Under Measures, we’ll navigate back to the ‘Manage Measure Reports’ page.
    • We can click the Plus icon to add a new summary report
    • We can call this one ‘Update Report’
  • On the Columns tab, we’ll just want to include the fields that are relevant to making updates!
    • We can click ‘Add Column’ and then check the boxes next to the relevant fields. At Upward Air, the fields that need to be updated at the end of each reporting period are Analysis, Recommendations, Series Name, and Series Status
    • Once those fields are added as columns, we can check the box next to Advanced Options to add a few finishing touches!
      • First, since we didn’t include the Owner column, it might be helpful to have the Owner listed underneath the name of the Measure they own instead. To set this up, we can check the box next to Show Owner for the Measures column.
      • Another thing that might be helpful for this report is showing data from the previous period in addition to the current period.
        • To do so we can scroll over to the Series Status column, and select Last N periods for Period Display and then for N we can input 2 to display the current period and previous period’s data.
        • This will give the updater an idea of how things are progressing over time, which may inform their analysis and recommendations too!
      • Speaking of which, another feature we can leverage here is custom table styles for individual columns.
        • To make it super clear for users where they should be making their qualitative updates, let’s assign the ‘Yellow Highlight’ table style to the analysis and recommendation fields!
      • Let’s Save the report so far, and click into it to take a look!
  • Hannah: Those fields sure shine bright – the UV Index is at an 8, better put on some sunscreen!
    • But I’m still wondering how we can customize this so that the number of measures included is not overwhelming. Ideally, each user would just see the measures they are responsible for updating.
  • Rachel: Remember when we filtered the Board Report so that only measures with yellow and red statuses were included? We can do something similar here!
    • Let’s edit the report and then go to the Filter tab. Here we can Add Filter and set it so that Measure > Owner > Equals > Current User. Once that is set, we can click Save.
    • Now the report is just pulling in the measures that are owned by the user viewing the report, based on the account they are logged in with. Since this is the ClearPoint Support account, we are seeing all the measures owned by that user.
  • Hannah: Woah, I never knew that was an option!!
  • Rachel: It’s often overlooked! Like the flash of a lightning bolt – look away for a second and you might miss it, but when used the right way, it can be one of the most powerful features in ClearPoint!

Leveraging an interactive data grid (19:40)

  • Hannah: Wow Rachel, thanks for showing us how to make such a nice Update Report! This type of report would fit perfectly into the new Personalized Home Page I’ve been working on.
  • Rachel: A personalized home page? Sounds like the hottest new thing, well over 100 degrees! Fill us in on the latest Hannah!
  • Hannah: It’s a scorecard summary report, but it just got a whole lot better thanks to our new interactive data grids. Let me show you! If I go open the Scorecards dropdown menu, you’ll see I created a scorecard report called ‘Personalized Home Page’
    • This report contains a HTML text custom field where I’ve entered in a few instructions for how use this landing page.
  • Rachel: What a great idea, this is so helpful! Now end users can see the exact steps they need to take to update all their elements!
  • Hannah: Exactly! Now all that’s left is to pull the Update Report into this custom data grid. To do this, I’ll double click on the data grid and select the edit icon. From here, I’ll use the drop down menus to find the Update Report we just put together. I’ll select the Upward Airlines scorecard, Measures for the element, and then I’ll see the name of your report here! Once I’ve selected the report, I’ll click save on this window.
    • We’ll also need to remember to click save on the page, so that the report will populate in the data grid.
    • Now that the data grid is here, let’s show off the best part. I can make updates directly in this data grid!
    • Since there are no updates for ‘total amount of time at gate’, let’s follow the instructions for updating this measure!
    • First, we will want to update the data for Feb-20. I’ll double click into this empty cell for the Actual series and input the total amount of time at gate for this month. This month, we spent 145 minutes at the gate, just meeting our target!
    • We can use the current period and previous period data to inform our analysis and recommendations.
    • Since we just missed our target in the previous period and just made our target this period, I’d say temperatures are warming up into the long weekend ahead! I’ll double click into the analysis field and write ‘we met our target.’ Moving to the recommendations field, I’ll add ‘keep up the good work!’
    • Once we are done updating, we’ll need to save. Since these measures automatically evaluate by comparing the Actual and Target series, the status will change accordingly. Because we met our target this month, the status is green!
  • Rachel: Incredible! I’m finally seeing clear blue skies on the horizon – not a single cloud!

Bulk home setting (22:46)

  • Hannah: We can even take this a step further by setting this scorecard summary report as the home page for the users who can use it to make their updates.
    • Setting a report as the ‘Home Page’ in ClearPoint means it will be the first thing the user sees when they login to the system.
  • If I click the drop down arrow next to the My Favorites star icon, you’ll see I have the option to add this page as one of My Favorites, set it as my personal home page, or (because I am an Admin user in this account) ‘Bulk Set Home page’ for other users in the system.
    • As the Admin of Upward Air, I want this page to be the first thing that users see when they log in, so I’ll choose the ‘Bulk Set Home Page’ option.
    • In this window, I’ll select the users I want to set the home page for. I’m going to select all the updater users so that when they log in, they will see this customized page and can easily make their text and data updates for the reporting period.
    • After we are done, we’ll click save.
  • Rachel: That’s so great! Now that their personalized home page is set, right when users log in, they will see instructions for updating their elements. On top of that, they will just see the elements they are responsible for, thanks to the Update Report.
    • Users can seamlessly make their updates on this page, without having to navigate anywhere else.
  • Hannah: You could even say this makes updating your elements a breeze! Thanks to all of our new summary reports, we’re walking on sunshine here at Upward Air!

Questions (24:23)

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

Question 1: Are there other filter options for summary reports that you would recommend, besides filtering on status or for the current user?

  • Rachel: Yes, thanks for asking! Today we just showed a few of the many options available for filtering summary reports. Depending on the type of summary report you have created, you can filter on any field associated with that element!
  • One filter we’ve found particularly helpful for any type of summary report is filtering on Reporting Frequency! Setting this filter will allow you to group together elements in a report based on when updates need to be made or there is new data to present!
  • We also have a really exciting new feature for filtering called ‘Tags’! If you are on the Enterprise or Government plans, you can mark any element, series, or chart with a custom tag and then filter your reports to include everything that has been assigned that tag. This is a great way to group like-elements together that otherwise do not have attributes in common!

Question 2: If the homepage is bulk set by the admin, can users still set their home page on their own?

  • Hannah: The short answer is yes; however, if you don’t want users to be able to change their home page, then there is a setting to control this!
  • If you go to system settings > admin options > organization and security, you can select ‘Prevent users from changing homepage.’
  • This setting is totally up to you, it just depends on your preference as an Admin!

Question 3: All of those reports were awesome, but were mainly focused on objectives and measures. My organization’s strategy is very initiative focused – do the same concepts apply?

  • Rachel: Great question! Yes, the same general concepts do apply! The steps for creating a summary report are the same no matter what type of element the report is for.
  • However, now that ClearPoint’s project evaluation feature is more user-friendly, initiative summary reports geared around updating budget or percent complete data, tracking projections, or evaluating progress are even more valuable and informative than ever before!
  • There is clearly much more to explore on this topic so we are actually dedicating our next webinar to focus entirely on Project Management features in ClearPoint, including some great ways to leverage summary reports in that capacity, so be sure to register for that soon!

Rachel: Alright, well it looks like that’s all we have time for today! Thanks for taking the time to take your summary reports to the next level with us! We hope you can now confidently say ‘I DID know ClearPoint could do that!’. See you next time, and Happy Reporting!