The ' Z ' Graph for Sales - Short, Medium and Long-term Sales analysis - All at once at a glance!

Short, Medium and Long-term Sales analysis - All at once at a glance!
Sales progress is best shown in graphs.
Here is a consultant's style of showing Long-term, Medium-term and Short-term sales progress - all in one graph. All you need is, sales data for this year till this month, and the past 12 months of sales data.
The magic of the graph is it not only throws light on the long-term, medium-term and short-term, it also can show how good is your near future going to be!
Show it only if you have healthy & right data...if you are facing projector lens :-)
If you are the one on the other side of the lens , never forget to ask for this graph ;-)
This is called "Z" Graph.
Now let us see what are these long term, medium-term and short term sales progress
Long term sales progress is best represented by Rolling MAT
      MAT - Moving Annual Total (sum of last 12 months data - till this month)
e.g: MAT Jan-11 = Feb-10 + Mar-10 +……+ Dec-10 + Jan-11
      MAT Feb-11 = Mar-10 + Apr-10 +……+ Dec-10 + Feb-11
Medium term sales progress is best represented by YTD
YTD - Year To Date (Cumulative sales starting from the beginning of the year ..say JAN)
e.g. YTD Apr-11 = Jan-11 + Feb-11 + Mar-11 + Apr-11
       YTD Jul-11 = Jan-11 + Feb-11 + Mar-11 + Apr-11 + May-11 + Jun-11 + Jul-11
Short term sales progress is best represented by monthly sales
e.g. Jan-11 , Feb-11 , Mar-11 , Apr-11.....
Bring all the data on to a single graph, it becomes a Z-Graph.
Do not undermine the Graph, the shape of “Z”, the angle inclination, slope of arms of “Z” can through new insights.
“Z” Graph is best for sales dashboards.
Once you plot MAT,YTD and Month, You should get a graph that more or less looks like this…

Red line represents Rolling MAT
Blue represents YTD and 
Green represents Monthly sales
Just to stir your thoughts, here I present you 3 scenarios!
The shape of the “Z” should give you the complete picture.

Here is one more idea to explore...
Plot your Months-To-Go and corresponding expected YTD and expected MAT figures as per the Targets/Quotas of Months-To-Go. You may get a perfect "Z" Ora a distorted "Z" like this.....

If the shape of "Z" is... as shown in the picture, it is obvious that risk is ahead unless you have a strategy to defy the trends!
All the best!
Download the excel workbook to understand better! Click Here
alternatively @downloads on this website
It's a DO.. CO..MO.. stuff (Download, Copy ,Modify)

Acknowledgements and Reference article by David Straker
One visit to David Straker’s sites will make you a regular visitor.
....In his words….
Syque (pronounced 'sike') is my knowledge-sharing site.
My purpose is to share knowledge and understanding on an unprecedented scale, adding real value for individuals and companies. Consider it as 'original books on the internet', with already over 7,000 web pages of industrial-strength knowledge freely available.