Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Showing Performance with Variances
Showing Performance with Variances
The standard way of displaying performance against a target is to plot the target and then plot the
performance. This is usually done with a line chart or a combination chart, such as the one shown in Figure 10-1.
Figure 10-1: A typical chart showing performance against a target.
Although this chart allows you to visually pick the points where performance exceeded or fell below
targets, it gives you a rather one-dimensional view and provides minimal information. Even if this
chart offered labels that showed the actual percent of sales revenue versus target, you’d still get only
a mildly informative view.
A more impactful and informative way of displaying performance against a target is to plot the
variances between the target and the performance. Figure 10-2 shows the same performance data you
see in Figure 10-1, but includes the variances (sales revenue minus target). This way, you not only see
where performance exceeded or fell below targets but also you get an extra layer of information
showing the dollar impact of each rise and fall.
Figure 10-2: Consider using variances to plot performance against a target.
Showing Performance Against
Organizational Trends
The target you use to measure performance doesn’t necessarily have to be set by management or
organizational policy. In fact, some of the things you measure may never have a target or goal set for
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