Glossary of Terms

Since ClearFactr is not a make-it-into-whatever-you-want blank canvas, it’s best to understand a little bit of terminology to be able to easily refer to things:

Term Definition
Attribute Attributes form the rows of your plan, and make for the row headers of the spreadsheet. Every Attribute has a Natural Language description, like “Sales Growth Rate”, and an abbreviation that can be used in formulas, like “sgr”, or “salesGrowthRate”.
Attribute Abbreviation Attribute Abbreviations drive your ClearFactr formulas, along with the descriptions of the Timepoints. There are a few simple rules for Abbreviations: They must be unique within their Tab They cannot contain spaces They can contain numbers, but cannot start with them They are case sensitive Abbreviations will be created automatically at the same time that you add attributes to the Plan. Not to worry, you can change the descriptions or abbreviations at anytime without breaking any of the formulas that use them.
Dependent Cells Dependent cells contain values that are derived from the values of other cells. Their values are based on a formula: Total Revenue – Total Expenses, for example. You’ll pick at least one of these cells to watch in the Simulator. You can highlight these with the Dependent Cell highlighter on the Plan window’s main toolbar:
Plan This is the “Self-Describing Spreadsheet”, a grid with one or more labeled columns and rows.
Plan Tab Every Plan can have multiple Tabs that you can use to organize things. Formulas can reference cells from different Tabs.
Root Cells Root cells are cells in your Plan that contain numbers that are not derived from anything else. They are the starting points of the action. They’re also what the Simulator will make use of when running simulations. You can highlight these with the Root Cell highlighter on the Plan window’s main toolbar:
Scenario A snapshot of a Plan taken at a moment in time. It can be compared to other Scenarios, or the latest version.
Section Header Section Headers are special rows of your plan that convey information about the attributes below them. Their only role is to provide some sort of emphasis and have no effect on any formulas within the Plan.
Simulation Created via the Simulator, from the Plan Viewer window. You configure one or more input values and monitor the values of one or more output ranges. Simulations are done in multiple iterations, typically in the thousands, where each iteration contains a different set of input values automatically generated by the simulator.
Terminal Cells Terminal cells are cells that don’t control anything — they’re where the action of your plan stops. Typically they’re at the bottom and right edges of your plan. If you see one off by itself somewhere in the middle of the plan, it may very well be a “bug” in your plan. You can highlight these with the Terminal Cell highlighter on the Plan window’s main toolbar:
Timepoint These are the columns of your Plan that have an associated Date representing a point in time. Two or more columns can be of the same Date. For example, you could have monthly columns Jan-Dec for 2013, but also have a column labeled “Year End”, which might represent the same moment in time as December, in which you might put aggregations of the entire year.
Traditional Column These are columns that have no moment in time associated with them. By default they are named with letters similar to legacy spreadsheet applications like Excel. You can rename them to anything you wish as long as the abbreviation for this column is unique within the Sheet.