Mastering Reporting Workflows

Webinar 67: I Didn't Know ClearPoint Could Do That!?! Webinar Series

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A deep dive into ClearPoint Reporting Workflows and how to integrate them into your organization’s reporting process. Join us on this episode of the “I Didn’t Know ClearPoint Could Do That!?!” to learn more!


  • Intro (0:00)
  • Agenda (0:59)
  • Why Use Reporting Workflows? (1:34)
  • Reporting Workflows in ClearPoint (4:33)
  • Setting up a Workflow (4:33)
  • Automating Emails (9:23)
  • Making Updates as a user (11:14)
  • Managing the Reporting Workflow Dashboard (14:33)
  • Questions (20:39)

Intro (0:00)

  • RJ: Hello everyone, and welcome to the “I didn’t know ClearPoint could do that!?!” webinar series. Today, we’ll be talking about how you can make the process of getting updates on your Strategic Plan simple with Reporting Workflows. But before we get started, here are your smiling hosts, I’m RJ!
  • Henry: And I’m Henry!
  • 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 25 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 on annual account rollover, so if you want to learn how you can do a rockin’ rollover for the New Year, be sure to check out that recording and transcript on our website or Vimeo channel!

Agenda (0:59)

  • Henry: Thanks, RJ. Are you ready to kick off into Reporting Workflows?
  • RJ: You bet! Let’s huddle up and go through an agenda of what we are going to cover today. First, we will talk broadly about where Reporting Workflows fit into the reporting process and why they are important in helping this process. Next, we will dive into ClearPoint to show how to use Reporting Workflows and the great functionality that it offers. Finally, we will go over any questions that you all submit throughout the webinar.
  • Henry: That sounds like a plan. Let’s get started!

Why Use Reporting Workflows? (1:34)

  • Henry: As I am sure all of you are aware, the strategy reporting process can be lengthy and time-consuming without the proper tools and efficient organizational process. Without the proper gameplan, there is no way we are going to look like a great team out on the field! ClearPoint is here to make each step in the strategy reporting process easier for you and your organization. The topic of today’s webinar, Reporting Workflows, aims specifically to help better manage and automate your Data Collection process.
  • RJ: Wow, that sounds great! What kinds of problems with Data Collection can Reporting Flows help improve?
  • Henry: Great question! Data Collection can be difficult for an organization when there is a lack of accountability regarding managing data and when the Data Collection process is lengthy. Data Collection can also be difficult when it requires a lot of communication between data owners. Much like it is important for a quarterback to know where his players will be on the field, admins should be able to have a clear idea of where their updaters are in their reporting process. However, it is hard to keep tabs on everything each member of your organization is keeping track of, much less keeping track of who has updated their information and who hasn’t.
  • RJ: And this is where Reporting Workflows can help?
  • Henry: Exactly! Reporting Workflows are like an easy-to-understand game plan. Workflows allows you to notify all users who are owners for elements in a scorecard that they need to make their updates. Workflows allow you to view the progress for each individual user all on one easy-to-use dashboard. You can see what elements users have or have not updated and gauge the overall progress of all users that were assigned updates in the Workflow. Workflows also give a deadline for making those updates and allow you to continually notify every user who has not completed his or her updates so that you do not need to track down each individual person! Best of all, once you create a workflow, you can automate the process even further by setting it on a schedule!
  • RJ: So, you’re telling me that Reporting Workflows make the data update process easier for both end-users AND account admins?!?
  • Henry: Yep! Reporting Workflows allows both the quarterback and rest of the team to have seamless communication and understanding of what they are charged with doing in the game! For end-users, Workflows provide a simple view for date entry, and for admins, it simplifies the Data Collection process in a big way, eliminating the risk of missing data or updates falling through the cracks before an important meeting!

Reporting Workflows in ClearPoint (4:33)

Setting up a Workflow (4:33)

  • RJ: Wow Henry, that sounds amazing - can we jump into ClearPoint and take a look at how this could work for my team? One of my goals in 2022 is to really tackle the data collection process and make it as easy as possible on my updater as well as myself.
  • Henry: Absolutely - let’s get onto the field and practice!
  • RJ: Alright, for these updates, I’m hoping to focus on our main NFL Scorecard which you can see here. We have a few people that are going to need to update their Objectives, Measures, and Initiatives.
  • Henry: Perfect, using workflows will be a great way to get these updates in. To start, we can click into our automation tab and then navigate to Reporting Workflows. It looks like you don’t currently have anything set up, so we can go ahead and click to add a new workflow. You can start by giving the workflow a name.
  • RJ: I want to set up workflows for the quarterly updates that my users will be making, and the update for January will be to Quarter 4 of 2021, so why don’t we go ahead and name this workflow Q4-2021 Update. I see that beneath the Name there are also these various options to select Reporting Period and different Dates - what exactly will these be used for?
  • Henry: Good question! Just like the quarterback wants his players to run the right play at the right time, admins will want their updaters to make sure they are making their updates in the right reporting period. The reporting period will be the period within ClearPoint that the users will update information in when they click into the workflow on their end. We will show what this looks like for your updaters shortly.
  • RJ: I see - so, since I am going to be setting up this workflow for updates to Quarter 4 of 2021, I would select Dec-21 since that is the period that corresponds to that quarter in the system.
  • Henry: Exactly! Then for start and end date, the Start Date will be the date that the workflow is first open to updaters. This means when they log in and navigate to their ‘My Updates’ page, the page where this workflow exists on the updater's side, they will be able to see and update from that page. The End Date is the date that this workflow will close out and they will no longer be able to see it from their My Updates page.
  • RJ: That makes sense, and I am happy that you are able to specify an end date, because I could imagine over time, as we add in additional workflows for future periods, having all those workflows visible to the updaters could get really confusing. By the time Tom Brady is 60 he wouldn’t know which way was up anymore!
  • Henry: Exactly. And keep in mind that the End Date of a Workflow is not like the end of the game. Updaters will still be able to make updates to these elements outside of the workflow - using the workflow is just a very simple way that they can go about making their updates!
  • RJ: I am happy that we have that kind of flexibility! I think I want this workflow to be open to updaters today, and then have it close out on February 11th. By that point all Q4 updates should be in. Now, for Users to Include, I will go ahead and mark ‘Owner’ because I want the Owners to be the ones making these updates. I see that if I did run into a scenario where I had elements multiple people were working on, and I wanted them all to receive the workflow notification and make updates to that element, I could use the Collaborator field and then they would all receive it.
  • Henry: Correct! The system will automatically find who the owner or collaborators of specific elements are and populate their ‘My Updates’ page accordingly.
  • RJ: Perfect, now the last step is putting in some instructions. Where do these instructions come into play within the workflow?
  • Henry: The user will see these instructions when they log into ClearPoint and navigate to the ‘My Updates’ page.
  • RJ: Sounds good. Since I want this process to be as easy as possible, I have gone through and changed the pod styles for all the fields the updaters will need to update to a dark blue color. In the instructions I will just put: Update the status, and any fields in dark blue.
  • Henry: Alrighty, now that we have all of that squared away, we can click into the Scorecards tab and select the Scorecard that contains the elements you want updated.
  • RJ: In this case I only want my NFL scorecard updated, so I will go ahead and select that Scorecard.

Automating Emails (9:23)

  • RJ: I was also hoping to send out an email notification tomorrow so that the users will know their My Updates page is ready and they can log in and make their updates.
  • Henry: We can absolutely do that as well. If we click into the Workflow Emails tab and then Save when it prompts us to save, we can add an email from here.
  • RJ: For this email I want to send it out to All users in this workflow. I don’t think I will change the name of this, copy any additional emails on it, or change the subject. For the body, what are the items in brackets?
  • Henry: This Body is a standard template that ClearPoint defaults to, but obviously, like everything else here, it can be customized. The items in those brackets will pull the First Name of the user, the Reporting Period you specified in the first page when we created the workflow, a link right to their My Updates Page, and a list of the elements that they are marked as the Owner of that need updating.
  • RJ: Wow that really makes updating super easy. It looks like we can schedule this email to go out automatically as well - do you think we can schedule this to go out tomorrow morning so that all my users know the workflow is good to go?
  • Henry: Absolutely - just go to the Schedules tab, save when it prompts you to save, and choose both the date and time you want the workflow email to go out. Once you save the schedule, you’ll be good to go!
  • RJ: This is awesome! So, you’re telling me that tomorrow my users will receive an email, with a link directly to the My Updates page where they can complete all of the necessary updates right from a single page?! This really is an All-Star feature.

Making Updates as a User (11:14)

  • RJ: Can I take a look at what this would look like from the perspective of one of the Updaters?
  • Henry: You sure can. Since you’re marked as the owner of some elements in the Scorecard, you will actually have this My Updates page populate as well. Under My ClearPoint just click into ‘My Updates’ and you will see this page!
  • RJ: Oh, Henry this is awesome - and I can easily see all the information for the workflow. At the top I can see the name of the workflow, the Start and End date of the workflow, the quarter that the updates are being made for, and how many tasks I need to complete. Even the instructions are super clear and right on the top of the page before I get started.
  • Henry: Exactly, ease is the name of the game here! When you’re ready to start making your updates you can click the edit pencil icon of the first element on your page. This is going to pull up the detail page of that element as we can see here. You can now update the information you want to update by double clicking the relevant fields.
  • RJ: Sweet! For this I will go ahead and mark the status as above plan, the percent complete as 90% and the analysis as ‘Great job this period, the playbook is almost complete’.
  • Henry: Once you are done you will just want to make sure to click the green check mark to save your updates. Now that the info has pulled through you can go ahead and check the box next to ‘Task Completed.’ This is not marking the initiative as complete, but rather notifying that the update for that period has been made so an administrator can see that it has been updated and is good to go. Then you can just click ‘Next’.
  • RJ: Ok, for my Measure I will go ahead and update the status and blue fields again. Since we were above our target for number of touchdowns I will mark above plan. I can input my analysis of ‘Great job scoring’ and also input my data. This period we had 36 touchdowns. Finally, like you had mentioned before, I will be sure to Save my work, mark the box for task complete, and then click into my Objective to update that final element. For the Objective I will just mark my status since there are no blue fields. We were above plan for this. I can then save, and mark task complete on this final update. And whoa! I love the congratulatory Polar bears letting me know that I have completed my updates for the workflow!
  • Henry: Yep, now you can go ahead and close out the workflow.

Managing the Reporting Workflow Dashboard (14:33)

  • RJ: This is awesome, but from the administrative side of it, will it take a lot of work to keep tabs on this? Do I need to email my users to see if they’ve made their updates or not? What if they miss that email I sent accidentally, and they don’t get their updates in? Sometimes Rob Gronkowski puts emails I send to him in his spam folder?! I have some people that are very diligent and always get their updates in, but others sometimes need a bit more coaxing. What do I do in this situation….
  • Henry: Whoa whoa RJ, slow down a second. You haven’t seen it all yet! As I said, the name of the game is ease here, and I didn’t just mean ease for your users, but ease for you on the side of managing the workflow. Go ahead and click back into Reporting Workflows under automation in the left-hand panel. Here on the Manage Workflows page we can see exactly how many tasks have been completed, and if we click the preview screen icon on the right-hand side, we can see a further breakdown of task completion by user. We can click to see the tasks they need to update, what elements have been updated, what elements haven’t been updated, can mark tasks as complete or incomplete for users, and can even send an email here to a specific user if we do think there might be an issue with them making their updates. We can also ‘Hide Completed’ to see a view of only users with incomplete tasks. We can also take a look at emails we have configured for the workflow.
  • RJ: Wow this is awesome. I saw earlier that there was an option to send emails to users in the workflow with Incomplete tasks. I can see this being really useful to send out to users toward the end of the workflow if they have not made their updates as a gentle reminder that they need to go ahead and get their updates in. I think I will go ahead and set this up now. So, to do this I can take the same steps as before. I will click to edit the workflow and then into Workflow emails where I can add a new email. This time I will choose to send to only users with Incomplete tasks. I can customize the subject or body of the email if I do want as well. Finally, I can schedule this to go out. When I schedule this email I will choose February 7th, the last Monday before the workflow closes, which will give them another full week to get their updates in. Wow, this is great, Henry! We will easily be able to get our Quarter 4 updates in on time. But in the future, do we have to recreate this workflow every quarter when it is time to update? I wish we could just call and audible and be done with it.
  • Henry: You practically can! Once you have built the structure of a workflow that you want to use each quarter, all you have to do is duplicate the workflow and change the reporting period.
  • RJ: That’s awesome! How would I go about duplicating a workflow?
  • Henry: You will notice that at the far right of the workflow there is a light blue duplicate icon. If you click that icon, you can see a pop up appear that shows what changes you want to make when duplicating the workflow. In this case, you will want to change the name to Q1-2022, the reporting period to the last period in the quarter – March 2022, and then adjust the start and end date based on the timeframe you want your users to report in. For now, we will make the dates April 1st through April 15th. However, you will be able to edit this later if you decide you want to switch around those dates. Then, click Duplicate, and you can see the new workflow for Quarter 1 of 2022. Scoring a touchdown is just that easy!
  • RJ: This is going to save so much time when it comes to getting an organization's updates in each quarter. Is there anything else we need to do to make sure this new workflow is ready to go?
  • Henry: The only other thing you need to do is to change the workflow email names and dates to reflect the new quarter. You can do that by clicking the edit pencil and then clicking into the Workflow Emails tab. From there, you can click the edit pencil for the workflow email, edit the names as needed, and then click into the Schedules tab to adjust the time and date of the email. If you aren’t sure exactly when you will need this email to go out, you can always uncheck the Enabled box and come back closer to the time you want to send it out to set an exact date and time.
  • RJ: This is absolutely awesome Henry; you have made my day!
  • Henry: Happy to help! Winning the Super Bowl requires a perfect game plan, and Reporting Workflows definitely provides an easy-to-use and understand game plan so that you can be a champion of Data Collection!

Questions (20:39)

  • RJ: Alright, we can take the remaining time today to take any questions you all have! Question 1: What happens if you set the end date of a workflow, the user didn’t make updates in time, and they are then unable to access their workflow tasks from their My Updates page?
  • Henry: You can always push out the End Date for the workflow, even after you have enabled the workflow initially. This way, whenever something comes up and you feel as if your updaters may need more time to get their updates in, you can push back that End Date so that their My Updates page still populates with the tasks that they need to complete. Question 2: What if we create a workflow, but that workflow is on hold, and we want to temporarily remove it?
  • RJ: You can mark the workflow as disabled by unchecking enabled. It won’t show for updaters, and it will remove it from your view until you click ‘Show Disabled’ and want to bring it back into view. That’s all we have time for today. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about Reporting Workflows. We hope you can now confidently say, “I DID know ClearPoint could do that!” See you next time, and happy reporting.