Entering individual values into the "varying amounts" fields in the LivePlan forecast can be time consuming. This is especially true when your plan is very detailed. To make it easier to visualize your numbers, and enter them, we've added an interactive chart that lets you adjust values by clicking and dragging, rather than typing, and see a visual representation of the resulting values. Of course, you still have the option to manually enter numbers into the grid.
In addition to making it easier to enter your values, the chart also allows you to interact with your seasonality curve. 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 interactive chart shows you that curve visually and allows you to make adjustments by quickly nudging the numbers.
Using an interactive chart
Interactive charts are available in the LivePlan forecast wherever the "varying amounts" option exists:
As illustrated below, you can click a point on the interactive chart to set a single value or drag a point to draw a line that sets several values (and, of course, you can still enter/adjust values in the grid fields below):
When you set a point on the chart, or drag a point to create a line, the corresponding fields in the grid update immediately. 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. The only exception is the churn rate chart, which has a fixed range (0-100%).
Of course, you can always enter values directly into a fields in the grid. When you do this, the chart will update to match. Any null values and invalid entries in the grid fields will create gaps in the line.
Using the interactive chart with multiple years of monthly data
The example above shows a plan with one year of monthly data and two annual years. However, it's possible to have up to three years of monthly data in a plan, and that may be the case for you. In that case, there will be an interactive chart for each of the monthly years.
Only one chart is displayed at any given time for each "varying amounts" grid. Initially, the chart will show above the first monthly year (year 1) in your forecast. If you focus your cursor on another monthly year, the chart for the first year will move out of view, and the chart for the year you chose will come into view:
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 to that location.
- 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.