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Integrating Foresight with Visible

Integrate Foresight with Visible to report historical and forecasted metrics to internal and external stakeholders. Here’s the background on how to use it and a step-by-step integration guide.

Integrate Foresight with Visible to report key historical and forecasted financial metrics to stakeholders. Signup at Visible with the code FORESIGHT30 for a Visible free trial and 30% off your first 12 months (new subscribers).

The best models are the ones that are used regularly to make business decisions. This Visible integration was created to help you use your financial model to report key historical and forecasted metrics to internal and external stakeholders.

Visible: Beautiful Stakeholder Reporting

Visible is a data storytelling tool used by over 2,000 businesses to report KPIs in a beautiful way to their stakeholders (more here). Visible integrates with over 750 applications to make it seamless to report your data.

Foresight: Forecast Anything

Foresight’s forecasts can be integrated into Visible to allow you to easily update key stakeholders on your updated forecasts. To take advantage of the reporting capabilities of Visible, first, think about what you want to report in Visible. Start with what you want to report and what timeframe you want to use.

What metrics should you report?

That’s the right first question to ask. Any metric calculated in your financial model can be reported through Visible, so the important thing is to focus on what metrics you want to report to your stakeholders - internal, external, investors, employees, etc. I’ve written in the past about how to present your financials, talking about the metrics that are important to use to communicate your business. Visible has a series of resources to help you identify the metrics you should use to communicate the state of your business.

The integration can be used to report any metric calculated in your model. The Visible Integration tab (included in the Starter Financial Model to start and to be rolled out to the rest soon) has a set of starter metrics - namely, revenue, cost of goods sold, SG&A, net income, orders, average order value, subscribers, average revenue per user, churn, CAC, LTV, and LTV / CAC ratio - but any metric can be added. Add or delete metrics to fit your exact needs.

What timeframe should I use?

The key here is whether you want to report historical numbers, forecasted, or a combination of the historical and the forecasted (for example, a 2017 year-end forecast that includes the actuals to-date and the forecasted for the remainder of the year). The Actuals + Forecast sheet in the model provides a way for you to report historical and forecasted numbers together, and by default, if you have actual historical financials included in your Foresight model, the reporting dates will start with the first date of your actual historical numbers.

You can also report your metrics monthly, quarterly, or annually. Visible requires you to setup the dates prior to connecting to Visible, so make sure to select which date range option you want to use in your Foresight model before connecting, and you you can do that simply by selecting the dropdown on the Visible Integration sheet.

Visible has a number of integrations that allow you to pull in historical numbers directly from their sources - accounting platforms Xero and Quickbooks, Zapier, Stripe, Google Analytics, Saleforce, and more - so the key usecase for connecting your Foresight model is to either a) use your model as a central place to update those operational and financial metrics or b) report your forecasts and updated rolling forecast (actuals + forecasted for a time period) through Visible. Since you’re choosing to use Visible, b) is the stronger and recommended usecase that allows you to take advantage of Visible’s built-in data integrations and Foresight’s detailed operational and financial forecasts.

Requirements

Using this integration requires you to either:

  • Use your Foresight model in Google Sheets, to take advantage of Visible’s Google Sheets Integration
  • Manually input updated information from the model into Visible using the User Provided Data option in Visible.

Manually inputting the data is possible, and can be easy if you are only reporting a few metrics from your model, but the Google Sheets Integration is easier to use as part of a regular KPI reporting process.

This step-by-step integration covers the Google Sheets Integration.

Step-by-Step Integration

Log in to your Visible account or signup with the code FORESIGHT30 for a Visible free trial and 30% off your first 12 months. Login to Google Sheets and open or upload your Foresight model.

  1. If you are not using a new version of a Foresight model with the Visible Integration sheet already included, you can create this sheet inside your model, simply create a new sheet to use as the integration sheet, and link to the dates (monthly, quarterly, or annually) and the metrics you want to report, and continue with the integration as outlined above. You can also download only the Visible Integration sheet to build into your model. The Visible Integration sheet will be rolled out to all models soon.
  2. Use the Actuals and Actuals + Financials capabilities to report your actual and forecasted financials and key operational and financial metrics on the Visible Integration sheet. Use the metrics already built on the sheet or add your own from the model that are important for your business.
  3. Setup one date range to report. Visible will look at each metric and report the number for the date in the column; Foresight’s models report the monthly, quarterly, and annual numbers for each metric by default on almost all sheets. Simply use the drop-down option on in the explanation section to select whether you want to use monthly, quarterly, or annual forecasts, and the model will automatically update the metric labels, dates and numbers on the sheet. You will need to delete the unnecessary columns of dates, so that Visible reads the dates and data correctly, but this still allows you to update the dates and data easily.

Screenshot of data range select

  1. Want to report more date ranges? Duplicate the Visible Integration sheet, select a different data option - monthly, quarterly, and annual, and after you have connected your first sheet, repeat the process to connect your duplicated sheet.
  2. In Visible, navigate to Data > Data Sources to select the Google Sheets data source.
  3. Click connect and follow the prompts to give Visible access to your Google Drive, then select the correct Google Sheet file, then the Visible Integration sheet inside your model. By default, you will choose in the options to set the Dates as row 25 and the metrics as starting on Column C, although you can delete this introduction section and choose a different row and column to start. Here is Visible’s full instructions on how to use Google Sheets as a data source.

Screenshot of Visible data sources

  1. Once the data is linked into Visible, you can create charts and other reports inside Visible leveraging your Foresight forecast along with any other data source you have connected. Visible has a number of help and how-to’s on how to create a good report and how to use their chart creation process to create beautiful, powerful, data-rich updates for stakeholders.

Using the Integration

Update your forecast in your Foresight model? Roll in a new month of actual financial and operational results, or simply edit your assumptions and update your forecast? Visible will pick up the new data automatically.

Want to include new metrics and KPIs in Visible? Edit the Visible Integration sheet to pull in the new metrics and KPIs and Visible will find the new metrics to make them available for charts and reports.

Questions

Questions on how to setup the Visible Integration sheet, contact hello@foresight.is

Questions on how to use Visible, start with Visible Support or contact suport@visible.vc

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