Dashboard trends: comparing actuals to your forecast Follow

The Trends page of the Dashboard tab 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 online 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).

dashboard-trends.png

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 tab, click Trends:

trendsnav.png#asset:1312

You can also get to the Trends view from the Overview page. Just mouse over any section and click on the Click for details button:

click for details.png#asset:1244

 

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:
    dashboard-trends-with-classes.png
    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:
    dashboard-trends-menu-new.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

value stripe updated.png#asset:1321

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:

value-stripe-no-previous.png

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:

value-stripe-target-values.gif

 

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

dashboard-trends-labeled-2.png

 

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:

dashboard-trends-popup.gif

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:

comparisonselector.png#asset:1251

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

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