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QMac: Projected Balances Graph Is Misleading - Change plot to Step format (13 Legacy Votes)

GreyCrown
GreyCrown Member ✭✭
Under Bills & Income the Projected Balances display has a balance graph. This graph is misleading due to the fact that it graphs point to point shortest distance. What i mean and by example say you receive $1000 on the 1st of the month and then you receive another $1000 on the 15th with no expenses in between. The graph leads you to believe that your income will increase progressively from the 1st to the 15th instead of a “step”. The problem here in lies if you look at the graph you think you can spend more than $1000 somewhere in between when you cant because it still is only $1000 somewhere in between the 2 dates. Not until the 15th will you truly have more than a $1000. This is only a simple example as if you have many expenses and different timed income events such as daily weekly and biweekly using the chart can be misleading.
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  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2018
    This has always been the case with ALL line graphs...it is a matter of learning how to interpret the graph...which you clearly seem to get. The only way to get what you are asking for is to use a bar graph instead.

    (If you find this reply helpful, please be sure to click "Like", so others will know, thanks.)
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    (
    Canadian user since '92, STILL using QM2007)
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018

    Actually, if that were the case, then why is my Projected Balances graph showing things differently? (Q 2018 and older versions, too)

    image

    Orange dots indicate transactions on 11/9, 11/10 and 11/15.
    Grey dots are sort of like placeholders. There are no transactions between 11/10 and 11/15. The grey dot on 11/14 serves as an anchor for the graphing tool so it can draw a straight line accurate balance for the time from 11/10 to 11/14. Then, between 11/14 and 11/15 the line goes up to indicate the 11/15 planned deposit.
    Ditto for the line from 11/4 to 11/8 between grey dots. No transactions during that time until the one on 11/9.

    GreyCrown,
    please show us your graph.

    Can you please
    capture one or more images of the parts of your Quicken window showing the
    issue, sensitive information redacted (blacked out) as necessary to protect
    your privacy but annotated to describe the situation, and attach the image(s)
    here?

    The Windows Snipping Tool (available with Windows 7 and up) can be used to
    capture a partial screen image and save it to a file.  Microsoft Paint can be used to annotate the
    image.

    To take a screenshot in Mac please see https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201361

    Please create image files of type PNG, JPG or BMP only.

    To attach the image here, start composing your reply. At the bottom of the text
    entry window you'll see a row of icons beginning with B I U S

    Click the camera icon (not the video camera icon). It will allow you to select
    and upload the captured image file from your computer. The captured image will
    be inserted at wherever the cursor is located in the text.



  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018

    Sorry, if you just got an email about this from me ...
    I missed the fact that you are talking about Q Mac.

    In my Quicken for Windows the graph looks like that:image

    Actual transactions show as orange dots on 11/9, 11/10 and 11/15.
    Grey dots act like placeholders to anchor the line on days without transactions so the balance does show as a level line, as it should be.

  • GreyCrown
    GreyCrown Member ✭✭
    edited October 2018
    UKR,
    That is the way I would like to see Quicken Mac work but it does not see screen capture. Green is the Quicken graph, red is the way I would expect just like the windows version. Before I knew your graph was windows I thought wow how did he get that to work like that was there an update...
    image
  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Yes, the Mac version has always worked that way (even in QM2007 and earlier). That is how most graph plotting software works too; plots only the data provided, and for line graphs, simply joins the data points. 

    Having never used QWin, I have never seen anything like this BUT I do like the way the Windows version works....requires less interpretation...so I do like this approach. 

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  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Curious, what do plots of non-daily intervals look like?
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  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited August 2019
    Quicken Windows doesn't allow you to change the interval, and it is always going to be "daily", but of course when it gets a lot of intervals it will change the legend to remove some so that it is still readable.
    image
  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Thx. That is much better than the graph in QM2007 and older where not only is the legend adjusted but corresponding data points are also removed, so you have to "read between the lines" as it were.

    Your graph raises a few questions though. Why are there 2 lines, one red one green? In QM2007, there is only one line and it changes colour from green to red as it goes below the $0 line and back to green if it comes back up.
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    (
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  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited August 2019
    The plot lines are one for each account.

    And the colors of the plot lines don't change just because they go below the line.
    What you are seeing is the the red one is a credit card account, the green one is a checking account (colors are picked randomly, using can't pick them).

    Here is it for only 90 days so that you can see it clearer.
    image


    As you can see at about 12/12 the "red credit card" goes above the line, and the "green checking" goes below.

    What is being captured in that is that the scheduled reminder for the payment in the checking account is actually too much in comparison to what the scheduled reminder for the amount that will be charged.

    Note that Quicken Windows doesn't have a plot line that does a "sum".
  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Interesting...in QMac, the plot line is always a sum...not sure if there is the ability to plot separate lines for each account. If it does, I have never seen this. Maybe @GreyCrown can confirm?

    Regardless, this has no impact on the graphing technique raised. 

    Thx for sharing.
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  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2019
    BTW, what is the max period that can be shown in QWin?
    What is the max that can be shown in QMac?
    In QM2007 the max is 12 months.

    BTW,@GreyCrown, what version of QMac are you using?
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  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2019
    @QPW, does your graph come with a list of reminders attached underneath? Are you able to display the graph in a separate window without this list, if it is present?
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  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited August 2019
    The time ranges you can select are:
    7, 14, 30, 90 Days, 12 Months, and Custom.  So basically anything you like.  But I have heard people complain that after 12 months they run into problems.

    The Projected Balance graph can be displayed in two different places.
    One is on the Bills tab.  On that one you get the projected balances and the reminders.  You can't hide either of them.

    The Projected Balances can also be added to the Home tab, and in that case you only get the Projected Balances, but you can select the Bills & Reminders as a different "widget".

    I use the Projected Balances along with "See Where Your Money Goes" set to show the expenses for the current month.
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited August 2019
    BTW a couple of things.

    First off if Quicken Mac doesn't have it, a customizable Home tab is one really nice feature.

    Second the type of graph that really should be here is a "step graph" like this:
    image

    But it is a pretty "rare" graph type, and that is why you see Quicken Windows basically faking one by using "placeholder" data points and a standard line graph.
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited August 2019
    P.S. Just to be clear.  Software developers usually don't develop their own graphing software, they buy graphing tool kits.  And as such you only have the graph types that are in the given tool kit(s) you have.
  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2019
    So are the graphs on the Home tab and Bills tab independent (can have different settings)? And what do you see in the Bills & Reminders widget? Can you have only one or more?
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  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited August 2019
    Yes they are independent.  And yes you can have more than one on the Home tab set to differently.  And you can have multiple "Views" each with different "widgets".


    image

    image
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited August 2019
    And what do you see in the Bills & Reminders widget?
    image
  • GreyCrown
    GreyCrown Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    @Smayer97 in response to
      "Interesting...in QMac, the plot line is always a sum...not sure if there is the ability to plot separate lines for each account. If it does, I have never seen this. Maybe @GreyCrown can confirm?”

    The graph has always been a sum of accounts.
    I am using  Version 5.2.2 (Build 52.20422.100)
  • GreyCrown
    GreyCrown Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    @Smayer97 in response to
      "Interesting...in QMac, the plot line is always a sum...not sure if there is the ability to plot separate lines for each account. If it does, I have never seen this. Maybe @GreyCrown can confirm?”

    The graph has always been a sum of accounts, but you can pick and choose what is in that sum.
    I am using  Version 5.2.2 (Build 52.20422.100)
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited August 2019
    BTW on the Windows side some people have requested being able to have one of the plots be a sum, and that feature has yet to be added to Quicken Windows.
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018

    Guys,
    the moderator has just changed this discussion to an "Idea".
    As you might know, Ideas are supposed to be brought to the attention of the software developers.

    If you want to see this feature enhanced in a future version or release of Quicken Mac please VOTE on this Idea. Click the VOTE button at the top of this webpage. The more votes, the better.

  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2019

    UKR,
    That is the way I would like to see Quicken Mac work but it does not see screen capture. Green is the Quicken graph, red is the way I would expect just like the windows version. Before I knew your graph was windows I thought wow how did he get that to work like that was there an update...
    image

    With the move to equity between the 2 platforms, that suggests these 2 will have to come together...since they each show 2 different views and I suspect neither side will want to give up theirs, Quicken will possibly need to provide both views as options...
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    (
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  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited August 2019
    Personally I don't think the two versions will ever be "exactly" the same.  There will always be differences.  And that might actually be a good thing for the Mac.

    But for the Projected Balances getting them both doing step graphs and individual account plots, and a sum plot will be good for all.  I would really hate if they took away the individual account plots.  To me they are worth a lot more than a sum plot, even though a sum plot would be nice.
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited March 2018
    Hi There, in Quicken 2010, this same projected Balance graph was a BarChart, pretty much easier to interpret and true, at least form my point of view. 

    Would be a good idea to have the option of choose to display this info in BarChart or a LineChart .

    Thanks
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited August 2019
    Yep, I had Quicken Home and Business 2010 and it was called the Cash Flow Forecast. Man do I miss that.  But all they need to do is add a total or sum line to the Projected Balance chart and you'd have the same thing
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