Dashboard trends: comparing actuals to your forecast

The Trends page of the Dashboard section gives you a detailed picture of your company's health. The Trends view uses twenty-nine different Dashboard metrics, including revenue, expenses, cash flow, net profit, gross margin, AR, AP, and so on.

Note: If you use classes in your QuickBooks account, then you'll have access to an additional six metrics based on your classes.

Using this view, you can dig into the details of how your actuals compare to your forecast (or your past performance).


Note: To learn more about each of the available Dashboard metrics, read Metrics available on the LivePlan Dashboard.

Navigating the Trends view

From anywhere in the Dashboard section, click Trends:


You can also get to the Trends view from the Overview page. Simply click on any of the metric boxes displayed in the Dashboard Overview to jump to the Trend view:

clicking on trend box in dashboard overview page.gif

Customizing your Trends view

To get started with your Trends, first choose the metric you want to view.

  1. Click on the metric dropdown and make a selection from the listed metrics:
    Note: There are more metrics available on the Trends view than there are on the Overview. To learn more about all of the metrics, read Metrics available on the LivePlan Dashboard.
  2. Once you've selected a metric, then it's time to choose a date range. Use the date selector to choose a period to view:
    selecting dates from the dropdown in dashboard trends.png

  3. After you've chosen a metric and a period to view, you'll see a new display, called the value stripe, at the top of the Trends screen. You'll learn more about this view below.

Reading the value stripe

The value stripe offers several snapshots:

  • Your actual results for the period you've selected
  • Those actuals compared to your forecast
  • Those actuals compared to the previous period
  • Those actuals compared to the same period the previous year


If you haven't entered actuals or forecast data for a the period you've selected to view, then LivePlan can't calculate a comparison percentage. Instead, you'll see "--" in the value stripe where the comparison should be:


When you're looking at the value stripe, it’s sometimes useful to see your actual target values. Hovering over the value stripe will show you these target values:


Viewing the Trend charts

The charts at the bottom of the Trends view give you a detailed lens on the metric and period you've chosen. You can switch between several chart types if you prefer. (For more details on charts, read Chart types in the Dashboard.)


Quick visual overview of a Trends view chart


Viewing data details 

You can mouse over any point in your Trends charts, and a pop-up will appear, showing the actual and comparison numbers for specific months:


Choosing a comparison period

If you're using an area, thermometer, or column chart in your display, then you'll need to choose a period for data comparison, as shown below. To choose a comparison period, simply click the selector and choose from the pull-down menu:

selecting comparison period for a dashboard trend.png

Donut, line, bar and progress charts, as well as tables, on the other hand, don't require any comparison selection.

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