What are drivers in Fathom?
Fathom allows you to import non-financial metrics or data as drivers to perform driver based forecasting or for operational forecasts. Many business owners think about their revenue in terms of how much of a product or service they are delivering and using drivers can help you model these outcomes closely.
With drivers you can build out complex formulas and model business outcomes, based on the inputs. You can also set up drivers to reflect seasonality to capture these nuances in your forecast.
Adding drivers to your Fathom Forecast
To add driver data to your forecast, you’ll want to navigate to the ‘Drivers’ area from the main grid. Here you’re able to create driver categories, define specific drivers, and add values for your drivers. As many as 500 drivers can be displayed in the Drivers Grid. You can add drivers or driver values to your Fathom forecast in four ways:
Importing or updating drivers from Excel
You can import up to 200 drivers at a time into your Fathom Forecast. To import or update drivers from Excel, go to the Drivers Grid in your forecast:
In the upper right corner of the grid, select the Excel icon
Download the appropriate import template:
If you haven’t added any drivers to your forecast, choose the 'Import from Excel' option and download the blank ‘Drivers template’.
If you need to update data for existing drivers, select the option to download the ‘Drivers - Company Name’ template which includes data for existing drivers.
After downloading, open the template and fill out the following fields, as needed:
The name of the driver as it would appear in the Drivers Grid and in reports. This is required.
The category the driver will be assigned to in the Drivers Grid and in reports.
Unit of Measure
How the driver will be measured. You can choose from one of the standard units of measure (Number, Currency, Percentage, Days, Times) or type in a custom unit of measure (a maximum of 8 characters).
How the driver will be displayed for quarterly and yearly results. If an aggregation type is not specified, it will default to ‘Summative’.
Enter in the monthly values for your drivers. The value can be a maximum of 15 numbers long.
4. Once you have filled out the template as needed, save the template and upload it by selecting the green ‘Click to upload’ option in Fathom.
💡Pro Tip: If you only need to update the values for your drivers or only update the attributes (e.g. category, unit of measure, aggregation type), then, before uploading the template, you can select the option you need by clicking on the bolded ‘Values and attributes’ to reveal a dropdown menu.
What will happen to my existing drivers when importing?
Driver imports are designed to be additive, meaning empty fields will not remove data; imports will only create new or update existing drivers, their values, and/or their attributes.
If you are creating new drivers and leave the attribute fields (category, unit of measure, and aggregation type) blank, then Fathom will default them to ‘no category’, ‘number’, and ‘summative’ respectively.
If you are updating existing drivers and leave the attribute fields blank, they will not reset to the defaults as per new driver imports, but will instead retain their current in-Fathom attributes.
Therefore, to modify attributes, you must specify the new attribute choice in the Excel import or the Fathom Settings for the driver. You can access the driver’s Settings by clicking on the name of the driver in Fathom and then selecting ‘Settings’ from the top of the menu that opens on the right.
Entering driver data manually
To add a driver to the driver's grid from within Fathom,
Calculating drivers using formulas and other value rules
After you have created a driver in the Drivers Grid, you can calculate the values for the driver by using a ‘Constant/Growing’ value rule or by building a formula.
The ‘Constant/Growing’ value rule enables you to quickly enter in a constant value for a driver or to enter in a constant percentage or amount for the driver to increase or decrease by.
Using a formula value rule to calculate a driver, enables you to reference other drivers and constants in the formula. Therefore, if you wanted a driver that totaled or summed other drivers, you could build out a formula to calculate that driver’s values. The formula would be similar to:
Driver A + Driver B + Driver C…, etc.
To calculate a driver with a value rule,
💡Pro Tip: To see the value rules being used to calculate a driver, click on the name of the driver. This will open a menu on the right-hand side where you can view a timeline of all of the value rules used to calculate the driver. Both manual entries and imports from Excel will appear as direct entries in the rule timeline.
Organizing, re-ordering, and duplicating drivers in your Drivers Grid
Fathom enables you to easily duplicate drivers, change the order of drivers on the Drivers Grid, change the order of the driver categories, rename the categories and drivers, and move a driver from one category to another. You can also delete drivers and driver categories.
To duplicate a driver, change its name or category, delete it, or to re-order the driver on the grid,
To change the order or name of a driver category or to delete the category,
Using Drivers in your forecast
When editing or creating a value rule,
These drivers can be integrated as variables in the formula alongside an account value or constant numbers directly typed into the formula.
For more information on using formulas to incorporate drivers into your forecast, please see our article on ‘Using Formulas or Drivers to Set a Value.’
Reporting on Drivers
You are able to add a table of your drivers to custom Fathom reports to complete your management reporting.
To add this table to reports,
For more detail on adding forecasting components to Fathom reports, please see our article on your ‘Fathom Forecast in Reports’.
Continue the 'Forecast Creation & Setup Workflow' by choosing from one of the next steps below:
What you want to do:
Where to go next:
Forecast AR, AP, Unearned/Deferred Revenue, and Prepaid Expenses
Set up taxes and account linkages and your forecast
Set up loans, depreciation, and inventory in your forecast