Create a pacing dashboard

For most companies, the consistent tracking of progress towards an objective can be key to making wise forecasting decisions. A tool to accomplish this is a Pacing chart which displays two key points of data:

  • Your current/actual progress toward a time-based objective.
  • The hypothetical progress you’d need to achieve that time-based objective.

Pacer charts can come in many forms: bar chart, bullet chart, single values, or really any form you would like.

The pacer data point (hypothetical progress) calculation can be as complex or as simple as you would like. It can be based on historical data (ie. actual figures or progress from last quarter), a complex curve, or a linear progression.

In this example, we’re going to focus on a simple linear progression and display the points in a bar chart.

  1. Make an input where you can set or adjust the goal. From the sidebar on a dashboard, click Add Control and then choose Text Input. Name it something useful and make sure the Data type is Number.
  2. Make a chart with your actual metric for the current period. This example represents the total amount of won deals for that month.

    Create a chart

  3. Add a layer and put in the formula for the pace. You could make this formula as complicated as you’d like, but we’re just going to map out equal progress each day of the month. We use this formula:

    Day of the Month * TARGET / Days in the Month

    Note: You could do this in SQL, but Chartio has some helpful relative date variables. We’ll use {TODAY} and {CURRENT_MONTH.END}.


    Using relative date variables in SQL Mode

    {TODAY.PART(‘day’)}: The current day of the month.

    {NEW_ARR_TARGET}: The TARGET we set with the dashboard drill control in step 1.

    {CURRENT_MONTH.END.PART(‘day’)}: The day of the month of the last day of the month, ie. how many days there are in the current month.

  4. Paste that SQL in for the second layer and change the Merge Type for the two layers to Union and then choose Add Layer Names as shown:

    Merge in the Pipeline and select Add Layer Names

  5. Format.

    a. Override the y-axis and set the top to be your goal. This will help you get an idea of how close you are to the end target.

    b. Change the layer names to what you would like the bars to be labeled. We chose “New ARR” and “Pacer.”

    c. Save and arrange on your dashboard.

    Final result