Let’s have a look at 5 simple and common ways to use date filters.
1. Current Periods
One, looking at past and present data are some of, if not the most, common ways to look at key figures. To do so, you’ll want to use the option “is in the past”.
Then select your period of time and interval.
For example, is in the past 3 months looks like this – this includes your entire current month and the two months prior.
Simply change the period length and/or the interval for a different timeframe. For example, this month looks like this: is in the past 1 months.
Show me the number of conversions we have generated for the past 3 months.
Filter: "is in the past" + 3 + months
2. Previous Periods:
For a previous period, use the interval labeled complete in front of it like this. So, as an example, last year looks like this. Is in the past, 1 complete year.
How many leads did we generate last week?
Filter: "is in the past" + 1 + complete weeks.
Next up, we're gonna take a look at forecasted sales and how to visualize data for upcoming time periods. For example, one might ask what are our forecasted revenues over the next 12 months? Use the “is before” option, type 12 for the interval length, and select “months from now.”
This gives you the range from today and 12 months ahead.
What do our forecasted sales look like for the next 12 months?
Filter: "is before" + 12 + months from now.
4. Recurring Revenue
Another interesting way to view recent trends and possible prognoses is to use a rolling timeframe such as 6 months back and 6 months ahead, for example.
Use the matches advanced option where you have the opportunity to write a bit more freely. Type 6 months ago for 12 months. The time period thus starts 6 months prior to the current month and stretches for a 12-month period.
How much revenue are we generating over a rolling 12 month period looking 6 months back and 6 months ahead?
Filter: "matches advanced" + 6 months ago for 12 months
Filter: "is on or after" + 6 + months ago + "is before" + 6 + months from now.
5. Period Comparison
Period comparisons are often pivotal to catching potential change and mitigating risk. A common use for this is to visualize key figures over two periods to detect growth and decline.
While this will work for any type of figure, I’ll show you a real-world scenario where I might compare net sales per month this year and compare that with the same month last year.
In my table, I have my months and my net sales in each column. I’ve pivoted the table by year to line them up in separate columns, like this.
This allows me to make slight changes to the timeframe whether I need to see this year alone or compare it with one or a few years back.
My best advice is to just start playing around with your numbers to not only get comfortable with this tool but also to get a better understanding of your company’s various key figures.
Have our key accounts grown from last year? What are our monthly revenues compared to last year?
Filter: "is in the past" + 2 + years.
- Select measure Sales (Net)
- Select dimension "month name"
- Pivot by "Year"