View budget information in a chart

You can visually explore and interact with your budget information in a chart format. Charts are particularly useful when the budget grid has a lot of period columns and you are only interested in one or a few budget items (rows) - rather than scrolling across multiple columns, you can visualize those row(s) instead. You can switch between different types of charts and configure how the data displays in each one. You can select different rows of data and watch the chart instantly update. You can display the chart in full screen mode, which is useful during presentations.

The following video gives you an overview of how to use the new chart builder tool.

Open the chart pane

Charts are available in four budget workbook tabs: Main (budget), Balance Sheet, Database (driver) and Manual (miscellaneous).

While you can select rows in the worksheet before you open the chart pane, only some of the rows (those at workflow level) are available for selection at that stage. When you open the chart pane, you get more row selection options.

Click the Chart button in the top right corner above the grid. The chart pane slides out from the right of the screen. If you had any rows selected, that data displays in the chart, otherwise, you get a message telling you to select one or more rows. You can then proceed to interact with the chart, such as select different rows to view different data and customize the chart to match your required analysis.

Interact with the grid and chart

The chart panel sits to the right of the grid, as illustrated in the image above, so you can view the data in two formats at the same time, and interact with them simultaneously. Actions you can take:

  • Scroll across the grid to view the data on the far right whilst keeping the chart in view. If you want a better view of the grid and a minimal view of the chart panel or vice versa, click and drag the divider to the left or right as required.

  • Select one or more rows in the grid and the chart will update accordingly. The chart’s Data tab gives you options for dealing with multiple rows.

  • Click an item in the chart legend to remove the corresponding data from the chart, then click the legend item again to display it in the chart. For example, if your chart displays the budget values for three countries, you might want to remove one, so you can compare the other two more easily.

  • Edit the values in the grid and the chart will automatically accordingly. You row selections are retained.

  • Customize the chart (see below).

Customize the chart

The chart panel is split into two parts - the chart at the top and the configuration options underneath. You can select from a range of chart types, each with their own configuration options. As you try out the different chart types and options, the chart renders responsively. This interaction helps you find the chart type and configuration combination that best meets your analysis requirements.

Change the chart type

Depending on the row(s) of data you selected, there are four types of charts you can apply: Bar/Line, Bullet, Band and Waterfall. Click the buttons below the chart to instantly switch between the available chart types.

When you change the chart type, the chart configuration options change accordingly.

Phocas remembers the last chart type you used, so the next time you open the a chart, the same chart type is automatically applied. You can easily switch to a different chart type.

Configure the chart

A range of chart configuration options are available, organized into three tabs:


The text settings are available for all chart types. You can edit the default title, which automatically comes from the selected row(s). You can add a description of the chart, which displays as a subtitle.


The data options that are available here depend on the chart type you selected.

  • If you select multiple rows in the grid, the number of those rows is specified in the first setting and you get options for how you want to treat those rows. You can display the values in those rows as a Total (default) or Average amount in the standard chart format or select one of these options:

    • Stacked bars - Displays the data for the individual items stacked on top of each other, in one bar. When you hover over a section of the stacked bar, that item is highlighted and its data displays in a tooltip. This option is useful when you want to compare the budget items, such as accounts or counties, over time.

    • Stacked charts - Displays the data for the selected items in separate ‘charts' within the one chart. The charts are synchronized, so when you hover your mouse over an element in one chart, the same element in the other charts is also highlighted. This option is useful when you want to compare items that that have a dependency. For example, if you want to compare the budget values for the Revenue and Cost of Sales across the financial year. Stacked charts look great in full screen mode when you are making presentations.

    • Separate items - Displays separate bars for each of the selected items, grouped by period. When you hover over a bar, that item is highlighted and its data displays in a tooltip.

  • You can remove certain columns from the chart, add label data points, add trend lines and change the chart type for each stream.

  • You can show the period individually or cumulatively and change the chart’s color scheme.


The layout settings are available for all chart types. You can:

  • Switch between a vertical (default) or horizontal layout of the bars in the chart.

  • Allow non-zero scale in the chart. When selected, this setting takes off the zero scale, to highlight the differences or emphasize trends. Not available in the Waterfall chart.

  • Change the location of the chart legend. By default, it displays in the top right corner but you can move this to the right of the chart or remove it altogether.

View the chart in full screen mode

You might want to view a chart in a larger scale if you are using it in a presentation, so the audience can see the data more clearly.

Click the Full screen button on the top right of the chart pane. To exit out of full screen mode, press the Esc key.

Close the chart panel

Click the Chart button in the top right corner to hide the chart panel from view.