An area chart is similar to a line chart, except that the area underneath the line is shaded in.
The blue area of the chart shows how your actual results for the metric are trending, and the gray area shows the data from the comparison period you selected (i.e., forecast, a previous period, or the same period in the previous year). Only the months included in the period you selected are shown along the chart's axis.
Area charts on the overview
There are a few differences between the area charts on the overview and the ones on the trend views. On the overview, the area charts are shown in two different sizes:
These charts are simple - they don't have axis labels or legends - because they are just meant to show the overall trend for your actual results vs. the comparison period. You can click on these smaller overview charts to see the detailed trend view of the chart.
Area charts on the trends view
On the trend view, the area chart provides some additional detail:
- Hover: When you hover over a month on the chart, the actual and comparison values (and percent difference) are shown in a popup:
- Comparison selector: The comparison selector allows you to choose whether you are comparing your actual results to the forecast, the previous period, or the previous year:
Here's a quick visual overview of a trend view area chart:
Area charts work best when you have at least two data points to show. For this reason, when you select a single-month period in the past (i.e., last month), LivePlan will show that single month as a straight line across the chart:
Viewing cumulative totals on the area chart
By default, the area chart shows you the monthly view of your data. To see a cumulative view instead, choose Cumulative from the By month/Cumulative selector. The monthly values in the chart will show the period-to-date totals, not each month’s individual total: