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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hyperion Planning Data Forms

Hyperion Planning Data Forms are the main input mechanism to gather end user budgets and forecasts, and oftentimes, are the only component an end user interacts with in Planning. Because of this, there is a lot of functionality built into the forms that help them both mimic the use of a spreadsheet and enhance basic data entry and usability. Following are some of the features you will find when using data input forms.

Entering Data

Like a spreadsheet, you can copy and paste data into a cell, row, or column. If you enter data to a summary time period (quarter or year), values will automatically spread back into the months accordingly. If no months have data, values will be spread equally. If data does exist in the months, the summary time period spread will happen according to the previous spread pattern. You also can use the lock cells feature here to lock the spread from occurring in certain months. The result is that the spread would occur evenly to only the unlocked months.

Ad-Hoc Calculations
Data forms allow you to perform cell “what-if” scenarios to determine the impact of a number change. In a cell, you can add +, +-, *, /, or % along with a number and Planning will return an updated value. For example, if a cell contains 1,000 and you input “+500”, the cell would update to show 1,500. Or, you could enter “%40” and the result would be 400.

Supporting Detail
Supporting detail allows users to enter additional lines of detail below the lowest level of account contained in the application. For example, if you had a general Travel Expenses account, you could add additional rows of detail to itemize out airfare, meals, ground transportation, and hotel. Supporting detail can be added to a cell, cells, or an entire row. The supporting detail feature allows you to build hierarchies into the rows and contains row logic to add, subtract, multiply, divide, or ignore lines when rolling them up.

Adjust, Grid Spread, and Mass Allocation
The Adjust feature lets you adjust a cell or cells by a value or percent.

Grid Spread allows you to adjust a parent number by either a value or percent and then spread that value back to its descendants on the web form, either proportionally based on existing values, evenly, or filling all children with the parent value. The user need to have appropriate access to the target cells in order to write back to them. The administrator can also create other spreading options, if desired.

Mass Allocation is similar to Grid Spread, with the following differences:

  • Data is allocated to all descendants of a member, even to those intersections not displayed on the web form.
  • Access to the target cells is not required.
  • Mass allocated values cannot be undone.
Exporting to a Spreadsheet
There are two options for moving a data form to Excel. There’s the spreadsheet export that copies the POV, page, row, and column members into an Excel spreadsheet, along with the data grid. The result is a file that is disconnected from Planning, although it could be used as a lock and send sheet by connecting through either the Essbase Add-In or Smart View. The second choice is the Open in Smart View option. This option opens the data form in Excel where you can essentially perform all the same functions as in Planning web, all while remaining connected to the system.

Notes and Annotations
Cell Text lets you add a textual note to a cell, similar to the Comments feature in Excel. This allows you to provide explanations for cell amounts and/or variances.

Account Annotations let you add descriptive information or a URL web link to an entire account row.

Instructions can be added to an entire data form to provide direction and information to an end user.

Other Functionality
With version 11, you now have the ability to add a document to a cell in a data form via a hyperlink or a Workspace object. You could either have a URL link to an Excel spreadsheet or Word document or provide a link to a Financial Reporting Studio report.

Another new feature in version 11 is the ability to drill from a data form cell down to FDM loaded source data. This allows a user to view data at a more granular level than is available in the Planning application.

Finally, calculations can be attached to and launched from a data form. For example, you could have a calculation that aggregates values up the hierarchy. A nice feature here is that the calculations can be set to run automatically, either upon opening a form or saving it.