Chart types in the Dashboard Follow

Click the links in the sidebar to jump to a specific chart type.

 

Bar charts

The bar chart is available for current and past periods for segmented metrics like revenue breakdown, expense breakdown, direct cost breakdown, etc. It allows you to visually compare the relative sizes of several segments.

Hovering over the Actual bar on the chart reveals additional bars, so you can make a quick comparison of your actual value to those for the forecast, previous period and the same period in the previous year:

bar chart.png#asset:1239

Why bars are sometimes not displayed

There are few important things to know about how values are represented in the bar chart. If a segment is zero or negative in value, no bar will be shown for that segment. Only the value will be displayed:

barchart2.png#asset:1241

Also, since the bars are proportionally scaled based on the largest segment on the chart, if your value for any segment is very large, values on the chart that are under 1% of that largest number are not rendered as bars. Again, just the values will be shown:

barchart3.png#asset:1242

 

Thermometer charts

Thermometer charts are helpful for monitoring your progress toward a goal, such as revenue for the month. A thermometer chart is broken down into segments, so if your sales are behind pace, for example, a thermometer chart can help you see specifically which revenue streams are underperforming. Thermometer charts are available on the Trend view of the Dashboard for segmented metrics, like revenue breakdown, when you've selected any period that includes the current month.

therm1.png#asset:1306

 

How to read the thermometer chart

The thermometer chart shows a bar for each segment, and the segments are listed in the same order as in your forecast. All of the bars are the same length, regardless of how big the values are for each segment. Basically, the bar represents 100% of the target value. The filled area of each bar shows the percentage of that target value achieved so far. 

therm2.png#asset:1308

The target value is drawn from the period you choose with the comparison selector. For example, if you choose vs. forecast, the target value is the one set in the forecast. To the right of each segment, the actual and target values are shown in “X of Y” format. Negative values are shown in parentheses. The filled area is red or green to show whether the actual result so far is good or bad news — based on the expected target amount to date. 

 

Choosing actuals and comparison periods for the thermometer chart

Use the date selector at the top of the trend view to choose an actuals period. The thermometer chart is only available if you choose a period that includes the current month:

therm3.png#asset:1307

Then, choose a comparison period using the selector in the upper left-hand corner of the thermometer chart. The choices here are vs. forecast, previous period, or previous year:


therm4.png#asset:1309

The target values shown in the thermometer chart will be drawn from the comparison period you choose (i.e., your forecast, the previous period, or the same period in the previous year).

 

Progress charts

For metrics like revenue and expenses that build up in a linear way -- rather than fluctuating like, say, cash flow does -- the LivePlan Dashboard shows a progress-to-goal style chart. Progress charts are only shown when you choose a period that includes the current month (i.e, current month, current quarter, and current year).

 

Progress charts on the Overview

On the Overview, the progress chart looks like a thermometer bar. It shows your % progress toward the target number, which is taken from the comparison period you selected (that is, your forecast, the previous period, or the previous year).

progress1.png#asset:1286

 

Progress charts on the Trend view

On the Trend view, the progress chart gives you a more detailed view of how things are going for the current period you selected compared to the forecast, the previous period, and the previous year. Because the Trend view progress charts always show all of these comparison periods, there is no comparison period selector. 

progress2.png#asset:1285

On each gauge, the target value is represented by the entire gauge. The gauge is filled in to represent the current actual amount. The fill color is red or green depending on whether the result is ahead of or behind the pace relative to the target value. 

progress3.png#asset:1287

The information line at the bottom of the progress chart provides a couple of helpful projections:

progress4.png#asset:1288

The daily average shows your average actual result per day for the metric. The on-pace value shows your projected total at the end of the period, assuming your current pace holds steady for the rest of the period.

 

Here's a more detailed example of the Trend progress chart in action:

progress5.png#asset:1289

 

Line Charts

On the Trend view, the line chart shows you three important pieces of information:

  • Your actual results for the period you select
  • Your progress against all three comparison points (forecast, previous period, and previous year)
  • What the targets look like for those comparison points in the remaining months.

The line chart is available for non-segmented (overall) metrics that accumulate over time, like revenue, expenses, and direct costs.

line chart hover.png#asset:1267

Hovering over a point for a specific month opens a popup that shows you the actual results value for that month, as well as how it compares to the values for the forecast, previous period, and same period in the previous year. 

 

Choosing an actuals period to view on the line chart

As with the other chart types, to change the actuals period you want to see, use the date selector at the top of the trend view:

date-selector.png#asset:1754

You don't need to choose a comparison period for the line chart, because all of the comparison periods are automatically shown. However, if LivePlan doesn't have the data to create a line for a comparison period, that period won't be shown on the chart.

If you choose a period that includes the current month, the line chart will include all of the months in the selected period, even if some of those months are still in the future. The line will be plotted at $0 for each month in the future that doesn't have data yet:

line with future at zero.png#asset:1269
If you select a single-month period, the line chart will show a single point for actuals and one for each comparison period:

line with single point.png#asset:1270

 

Viewing cumulative totals on the line chart

By default, the line 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:

line cumulative.png#asset:1268

 

 

Donut charts

A donut chart helps you see the relationship between a whole and its parts. All of the parts of a donut chart must add up to 100%.

On the LivePlan Dashboard, a donut chart is used for metrics that can easily be broken down into segments. These include the revenue breakdown, expense breakdown, and direct cost breakdown.

 

Donut charts on the Overview

On the Overview, the donut chart appears in one size. It shows the segments included in the metric you've chosen, and the percent they contribute to the total. For example, in the revenue breakdown donut chart (below), you can see each individual revenue stream and the % of total revenue each one contributes for the period selected. The total revenue amount is shown in the center of the donut:

donutoverview.png#asset:1258

Donut charts on the Trend view

There aren't many differences between the donut chart on the Overview and the one on the Trend view.  The Trend view shows four donut charts: one for actual results, one for your forecast, one for the previous period, and one for the previous year.

donuttrendview.png#asset:1260

Note: The donut chart shows up to five segments in order from largest to smallest. If there are more than five segments, the fifth slice of the chart represents all of the remaining segments in one. Also, the slices are always colored in the same order: dark blue for the largest, orange for the second-largest, and so on. In the Trend view, it's possible for the same color to represent different segments on different charts, so be sure to look carefully at the legend.

 

When there are negative values in your chart

If the any of the segments that make up your donut chart are negative values, you'll see some differences in the chart. The negative segments of the donut are shown in shades of red. Negative values are in parenthesis.

Finally, since the segments of a donut chart always need to add up to 100%, LivePlan uses the absolute values of the negative numbers when calculating that segment's contribution to the donut chart. In the example shown below, the segment for Women's bikes makes up 44% of the donut chart, even though the value for that segment is a negative number. 

negativedonut.png#asset:1276

 

Column charts

On a column chart, the height of each column is proportional to the value it represents (that is, a smaller number is shorter and a larger number is taller). Its purpose is to show the actual and comparison values for each month in the period you have selected. Similar to the area chart, the column chart is good for visualizing non-segmented metrics, like operating income and cash flow. 

 

Column charts on the Overview

On the Overview, the column chart has two sizes:

column1.png#asset:1248operating-margin-small.png#asset:1753   

The chart shows your monthly actual values as blue columns and the comparison values as gray background columns. These charts have no axis labels and the smallest one doesn't have a legend. They are just meant to show the general 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. 

 

Column charts on the Trend view

On the Trend view, the column chart provides some additional detail:

  • 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:
    columncomparison.png#asset:1249
  • Hover pop-up:  When you hover over a month on the chart, the actual and comparison values (and percent difference) are shown in a popup. The percent difference is also shown with a green arrow (if the change is good news) or a red arrow (if the change is bad news):
    column hover.png#asset:1247

Here's a quick visual overview of a Trend view column chart:

trendviewcolumn.png#asset:1317

 

Viewing cumulative totals on the column chart

By default, the column 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: column cumulative.png#asset:1246

 

Area charts

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:

areaoverview.png#asset:1238 area-small.png#asset:1751  

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:
    area hover.png#asset:1232
  • 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:
    period-selector.png#asset:1752

 

Here's a quick visual overview of a Trend view area chart:

trendviewchart.png#asset:1316Area 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: area one month chart.png#asset:1236

 

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:

cumulative area.png#asset:1250

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