CEO Tools Blog
October 12 Seasons: Max Benefit from Trailing 12-Month Charts
Twelve Seasons this month turns to getting the most from Trailing-12-Month Charts (T12Ms)! If you are not familiar with T12Ms, please visit our website and click on New Tools Catalog (upper left of home-page), then scroll down to Trailing 12-Month Chart Tool and open the free PDF.
Here's how to hugely benefit from T12Ms: first, use T12M and Trailing-52-Week and Trailing-4-Quarter Charts for ALL your metrics or key indicators. Also use Twelve-Month-Moving Average Charts for all your percents, ratios, and indices.
Second, follow the simple "rules of the road" from the following Chart Tips List:
1. Line graphs, never bar charts, seldom pie.
2. One graph per chart…stack charts vertically if you want comparatives!
3. Two years of history plus the year we’re now in and tracking.
4. Re-scale to fill up vertical space (search on RE-SCALING at ceotools.com/blog).
5. T12M for one variable vs. 12MMA for two (%, ratio, index).
6. Right chart time frequency: T12M, T4Q, T52W, and/or T365D.
7. Power-Tools: 4-Charts, 5-Charts, 8-Charts @ www.ceotools.com.
8. Only T12M-type charts; those ordinary and YTD charts lie!
9. You can track ANYTHING with T12M and related charts.
10.Use to forecast, budget, or projections – then track actuals against.
11.No trailing 3-month, 6-month, or 18-month charts: they’ll bite you!
12.Charts should have white background and big data point markers along the lines of your graphs.
13.Eventually, we’ll talk about 3-over-3 and 12-over-12 charts (also known as rate-of-change charts), but please understand T12Ms thoroughly first, else confusion will probably result! Yes, I do love those RoC charts, too!
14.Try Dashboards: visit www.ceotools.com, click on New Tools Catalog, then scroll down to various dashboards on many business topics!
Third, whenever you review at a T12M or equivalent, use your "analytical brain" to see what is really happening, and then take action. You can turn on your analytical brain simply by asking these three questions:
1) What are the charts trying to tell me?
2) Why is this happening?
3) What could or should I do about this? Namely, do take action!
You will find T12Ms and the like will be MUCH more helpful in pointing all your business decisions in prodigiously positive and productive directions.
My wish is that your tracking with T12Ms from now on gives you HUGE advantages over competition!
All the best, Kraig Kramers