We’ve spent the last couple of years improving our software and building some really complex features: business project simulations, advanced analytical tools, universal and flexible reporting system etc. But, every once in a while, our users would remind us that their day to day planning problems aren’t caused by a lack of complexity. As a matter of fact, it’s exactly the opposite: complexity often leads to frustration.

So, we would often take a step back and try to figure out how we can simplify our software, and make planning activities easier for our users. By doing so, we realized that they often just want to see a number quickly and easily without the hassle of writing complicated formulas, creating additional tables or juggling several tabs with different data at once.

Here are just some of the quick tools we created that enable our users to avoid some of those boring and repetitive tasks.

Quickly fill out multiple cells

Let’s say you want to enter a recurring expense for the next six months, and you know that it’s going to be the same every month. And of course, you don’t want to do this manually. There are more ways to do this automatically. Here, I’ll show you two. The first one is pretty self explanatory:

This feels familiar, doesn’t it? 

Another way to do the same things is by using the Copy for next periods tool. Select a number by clicking on a flow cell, then simply enter the number of months for which you want to copy the selected value. This one works no matter what period is selected (month, quarter, half, year).

This can be very helpful if you need to copy the value to multiple periods without scrolling

Distribute data

Regression

We’ll use a similar example here. Once again, there’s a recurring expense you need to plan for, but only this time, it’s not going to be the same every month. As a matter of fact, you know the exact values for some months, but not for all of them. So, you want to predict the missing values, based on the ones you have. Enter, our Quick regression feature. It automatically fills out the empty cells using the linear regression function.

More than giving a precise value, regression is very useful when exploring trends

Evenly distributing data

In Farseer, you can view and edit your data on different levels (M,Q,H,Y). But, more importantly, you can turn on multiple period filters and use them to automatically distribute data from longer to shorter time periods. For example, you want to enter sales targets for one of your insurance plans on a month to month level, but your boss sent you quarterly numbers. You need to sell 300 plans in the first quarter. To see monthly values, you simply turn on both time period filters, and enter your quarterly value. It will then be evenly distributed for each month. Like this:

Distributing data like this works with all time period filter combinations

Data distribution while preserving the ratio

OK, all of your target numbers have been entered, but you’ve done some additional research and realized that the first quarter is off. It seems that you’ve forgot to add a zero. It happens.

To fix this, you don’t need to adjust every cell manually. Just enter the new value in the quarter cell, and it will be distributed monthly based on the existing ratios of the numbers.

You can use automatic distribution features even if the cells are not empty. 

 

As I mentioned earlier, these are just some of the improvements we created to help our users concentrate on what actually matters: creating better plans for their company and projects. We’re continuing to develop new ways to do it constantly, but if you have any ideas or suggestions, we’ll be happy to hear you out. Contact us, and help us in our mission to improve our software.