STEM help / Results program skills

5.5 Consolidating monthly or quarterly results

The Results program has a consolidation feature which allows you to switch between the analysis of raw model results in months, quarters and years (according to the run period specified for a model), and consolidated annual or quarterly values.

The raw analysis is essential for understanding and verifying the dynamics of a model and delivers one primary objective of the shorter time period model, namely to reveal the timing of revenues and investments with greater precision. When you want to make year-on-year comparisons or generate conventional annual reports, the consolidation feature automatically amalgamates monthly or quarterly results into annual figures, taking beginning-of-period, end-of-period or summed-over-period values as appropriate.

The Consolidation menu in the Results program provides the following choices for the current graph:

Figure 1: The Consolidation menu in the Results program

Year: any monthly or quarterly results are amalgamated into annual figures.

Quarter: any monthly results are amalgamated into quarterly figures and shown together with any following annual results.

Month: monthly, quarterly and annual results are shown together.

Show Y0: whether Y0 is shown on the graph.

Figure 2: Consolidation in Months, Quarters and Years.

Note: The Annual and Quarterly consolidation modes require additional processing to amalgamate any monthly values. This processing still occurs even if your model contains only annual results. So it is most efficient to leave Consolidation = Month (i.e., raw results) except when you actually have shorter time-period data to amalgamate.

Note: No misleading attempt is made to disaggregate quarterly or monthly data from raw annual results, either by interpolation or division. If you require additional quarterly or monthly results, simply increase the Run-Period inputs Years in Quarters or Quarters in Months (in the Editor) and run the model again.

From STEM 7.4 onwards, selecting the All Graphs… menu item takes you to a Consolidation dialog where you may choose additionally for the selected consolidation mode to Apply to the current or all views.

The Consolidation dialog

You can also choose whether to Show Year Zero:

  • on line and column charts
  • on line charts only (the default)
  • on neither.

The rationale for the default settings is that:

  • line charts are typically used for instantaneous quantities, such as period-end subscribers, where the (end of) Y0 value constitutes the starting point for Y1, whereas
  • column (and bar) charts are generally used for aggregate quantities, such as revenue or cost, where the historical cashflow for Y0 is generally of little interest.

Figure 4: A column chart starting with Revenue results for Q1–Q4 2006, suppressing Y0 = 2005

Note: without the Y0 value. the Y0 label is not displayed either, so the appearance is very similar to a time-based line chart where the segment Y0–Y1 is labelled Y1.

These per-graph Consolidation and Show Year Zero settings may be applied more widely to other graphs, and/or to the workspace or program defaults, using the Apply to options to the right of the Consolidation dialog, and these settings are automatically propagated into generated web interfaces too.

Preferences for future charts (i.e., the workspace defaults) can be accessed directly and controlled from the Consolidation item on the Options menu. In this context, you may also choose to impose the current defaults on some or all of the current graphs.

 

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