It can be a bit time-consuming to enter individual numbers into the Varying amounts over time fields in the LivePlan forecast. This is especially true when your plan is very detailed. To make it easier to both enter and visualize your numbers, we've added a point-and-click chart that lets you add and adjust your data by clicking and dragging. Of course, you still also have the option to manually enter numbers into the grid.
Note: You can use this chart functionality with most types of forecast entries.
In addition to making it easier to enter your data, this chart is also interactive. If you are the owner of a mature business, for example, you are likely to be well acquainted with the seasonality curve for your industry. The chart shows you that curve visually and allows you to make adjustments by quickly nudging the numbers.
Using the point-and-click chart
Point-and-click charts are available in the LivePlan forecast wherever the Varying amounts over time option exists:
As illustrated below, you can click a point on the chart to enter a single number, or drag a point to draw a line that sets several numbers:
When you set a point on the chart, or drag a point to create a line, the corresponding fields in the grid update with numbers automatically. If you drag a point out of range, or hold a dragged point out of range for a reasonable amount of time, the range of the vertical axis will automatically change to accommodate the value of that point.
Of course, you can always enter numbers directly into a fields in the grid. When you do this, the chart will update to match. Any zeroes or invalid entries will create gaps in the chart's line.
Using the interactive chart with multiple years of monthly data
The example above shows a plan with one year of monthly detail and two annual years. However, you can have up to three years of monthly detail in a plan. In that case, there will be an interactive chart for each of these years.
Only one chart is displayed at any given time for each Varying amounts grid. Initially, the chart will show above the numbers for Year 1. If you place your cursor on a different year, the chart for the first year will move out of view, and the chart for the year you chose will come into view:
Applying an overall percentage of growth to the forecast
In the Varying amounts input mode, you can also apply a flat percentage of growth to each month of any fiscal year you're entering in monthly detail. To use this feature, enter a number in the Change field as shown below, and click Apply:
As shown above, the chart will automatically change, along with the numbers entered below it, as the percentage you've entered is applied to each month.
If your forecast uses multiple years of monthly detail, you'll need to apply the percentage separately to each year.
Using the touch interactions on iPad
The interactive chart component is fully functional on an iPad. It behaves the same way as on a desktop, with the following exceptions:
- You can touch a spot on the chart to place or move a point.
- You can slide your finger across the chart to draw your seasonality curve.
- You can touch and hold a point, then drag it to a new location, including out of the chart area to change the chart scale. As you drag a point, the corresponding field updates constantly to show the new value.