Let’s look at 5 simple and common ways to use date filters.
1. Current periods
Imagine you want to analyse past and present data.
You’ll want to use the option “is in the past”.
Then select your period of time and interval.
For example, the past 3 months 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 = is within the past 1 months.
Example: Show me the number of conversions we have generated for the past 3 months
Use filter: "is in the past" + 3 months
2. Previous Periods
For a previous period, use the <number> complete <period>. For example, last year is 1 complete year.
Example: How many leads did we generate last week?
Use: Filter: "is in the past" + 1 + complete weeks.
Next up, we're going to take a look at forecasted sales. You'll find out how to visualise data for upcoming time periods.
For example, you 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.
Example: What do our forecasted sales look like for the next 12 months?
Use: 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. For example, 6 months back and 6 months ahead.
Use the matches advanced option where you have the opportunity to write a bit more freely.
To analyse a 12-month period, enter 6 months ago. The time period starts 6 months prior to the current month and stretches for a 12-month period.
Example: How much revenue are we generating over a rolling 12-month period, looking 6 months back and 6 months ahead?
Use: 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 visualise key figures over two periods, to detect growth and decline.
While this works for any type of figure, here's a real-world scenario. Where we compare net sales per month this year, and compare that with the same month last year.
Example: Have our key accounts grown from last year? What are our monthly revenues compared to last year?
Use filter: "is in the past" + 2 + years.
• Select measure Sales (Net)
• Select dimension "month name"
• Pivot by "Year"