How to Empower Leaders to Make Better Decisions Using HubSpot

Level up your board reporting, tell your department’s story, and empower your senior leadership team to make more informed, strategic business decisions using HubSpot.

Hear the phrase “digital boardroom” and you’d be forgiven for imagining a sci-fi (horror?) scenario in which the senior leadership team manifests from out of nowhere in flickering blue light to discuss this quarter’s revenue report or the finer details of the strategic roadmap.

While it’s unlikely the chief finance officer will be popping up beside you in holographic form any time in the near future, digital boardroom technology does exist today and it’s arguably much more impactful than the 2D ghosts you might recognise from a Galaxy Far, Far Away.

What does it look like, how does HubSpot position it, and why would investing in digital boardroom technology be one of the best ways to futureproof your department’s growth?  

To learn more about what HubSpot can do for you, including how to manage settings, create internal processes, and safely manage your data, download your free copy of the HubSpot Administrator's Handbook, available now. 


Board reporting in the digital age

Traditionally, executive dashboards play a vital role in presenting key information to the senior leadership team (SLT). For these individuals, the ability to read and interpret departmental data is business-critical, providing them with the insights they need to make fundamental decisions such as where to invest today, what tomorrow’s business roadmap should look like, and which shape the future growth of the company should take.

“Research shows that an average adult makes about 35,000 decisions each day, whether they’re conscious [ones] or not. Managers, who are called decision-makers for a reason, may make even more. Their decisions directly affect the company’s finances in most cases, so it’s critical that they can rely on accurate and well-organized data, provided in a timely and easy-to-follow manner.” Databox, ‘Executive Reporting: Management Reporting Best Practices & Report Examples

But the sharp uptake of digital in recent years and the adoption of business platforms such as CRMs capable of capturing and storing data more effectively mean today’s companies have more data than they know what to do with. 

According to a McKinsey Global Survey of executives, “their companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years. And the share of digital or digitally enabled products in their portfolios has accelerated by a shocking seven years.” For leaders using data to guide their decision-making, and for the managers and department heads presenting it to them, this creates new reporting challenges that up until just a few years ago hadn’t been an issue. 

The digital boardroom was born from these trends and challenges as a way to leverage modern technology and the connectivity underpinning it to cut through the noise and bring all the important data points from all across the business into one, easy-to-translate dashboard.


What is the digital boardroom?

While it takes different forms depending on the technology involved and the companies developing it, all digital boardroom software has in common the ability to collaborate between executives, board members, key stakeholders, and the teams reporting to them.

  • In some instances, this takes the form of technology platforms that facilitate virtual meetings. 
  • In others, they’re dashboards of the sort described above — a single source of truth for all the key data (and the stories it tells) needed by the board to make decisions.
  • Some especially sophisticated software will effectively combine both these functions. 

Whatever form it takes, the digital boardroom is designed to streamline communication, enhance decision-making, and improve overall efficiency. With the ability to access real-time data, generate reports, and share information in a secure and controlled environment, the digital boardroom is quickly becoming an essential tool for modern businesses. 

By embracing this new technology, companies can adapt more rapidly to disruption, stay ahead of the game, and make informed decisions that drive success.


Executive dashboards and HubSpot

If you’re not familiar with HubSpot’s reporting capabilities, it’s a powerful tool that can help you create an executive dashboard tailored to the needs of, and accessible by, all the board.

  • With its user-friendly interface and extensive customisation options, you can easily create a dashboard that provides the key metrics and insights your board requires.
  • Whether you need to track website traffic, sales performance, customer engagement, or revenue forecasting, HubSpot has the tools and integrations you need to create a comprehensive dashboard.
  • With its real-time reporting and data visualisation features, you can present your board with a clear and concise view of your company's performance.

The tool in question is HubSpot’s custom report builder, providing you with all the technical functionality you need to create tailored reports. But it’s the scale of the HubSpot platform and its ability to touch every aspect of your business operations that gives the tool its real power. All your company’s data is HubSpot’s — and yours — to work with.

“The difference between the custom report builder and other types of HubSpot reports is that you can surface data from marketing and sales activities in addition to objects,” HubSpot explains. “For example, you can create a report to measure how your target accounts are engaging with your website.”

The custom report builder is available with any of the following subscriptions: Marketing Hub Professional or Enterprise / Sales Hub Professional or Enterprise / Service Hub Professional or Enterprise / Operations Hub Professional or Enterprise / CMS Hub Professional or Enterprise


Examples of board reports

Board reports come in many shapes and sizes. Some examples of popular reports from across the sales and marketing landscape include:

  • Customer lifetime value
  • Acquisition (which channels are producing the most customers?)
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Marketing ROI
  • Marketing sourced revenue
  • Sales sourced revenue

We won’t go into detail as to how you create these specific reports here, as that really depends on your CRM setup. For more advice on this, get in touch with us today, or read on to find out how to create a custom report more generally in HubSpot.


How to create a custom report in HubSpot

To use the custom report builder, you’ll need ‘Create/own’ and ‘Edit report’ permissions.

If you’re on Operations Hub Enterprise, you can also create datasets to power your custom reports, opening up new levels of granularity and sophistication across your reporting.

To create a report in the custom report builder:

  1. In your HubSpot account, navigate to Reports, then select Reports.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner, click Create report.
  3. In the “Build from scratch” section, click Custom Report Builder
  4. Choose the report's data sources. Which types of HubSpot data will your report include? This will likely be key data sources from your department, unless you’re reporting on the entire business, in which case data sources could come from any business unit/function required to paint a picture of overall business performance.
  5. Add fields. Which specific property, event, and activity data are you reporting on?
  6. Customise the appropriate filters. This will add, for example, date limits or other boundaries to your fields. Is the report quarterly? An annual report?
  7. Select how to visualise the report. Choose how you want data to be displayed to get across the key insights and best communicate the story behind the data.
  8. Save or export the report. This makes your report available to view by anyone with the relevant permissions, or you can export it to take and use your data offline.

What stories does your data tell?

You don’t need holograms to get a senior team together. (We have Zoom for that.) 

Where today’s technology shines is in its ability to shed light on what is happening in our businesses, and where, and when, and why. Looked at this way, digital boardroom tools couldn’t be further from a flickering after-image. Their insights are tangible, their impact present as they report accurately, in real-time, on every data point firing around us.

And in the custom reporting space, HubSpot’s tools are right up there, powered by its business-wide suite of integrated hubs and all the data they gather and store. 

The hardest part of any story is telling it well. The second hardest part? Getting people to believe it. With HubSpot at your fingertips, all you need to do is build the report. Automation will take care of the rest, telling the true story of your department, its performance, and the results you’re driving, objectively and in no uncertain terms, to the whole board. 

Forget holograms; how’s that for an image?

For one-on-one help creating custom reports or for a guided tour of the tool, click the image below to book a demo.

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