Plan related Data Source and Dimensions
As the plan closely relies upon existing data to provide the Plan vs. Actual values status,
it is required to define data source details about which database will retrieve the actual values
to compare with the plan values. Currently, only the Analysis Services OLAP technology is supported as a
data source for the actual values. The dimensions and measures related to the plan must match the
same structure in the OLAP cube so that the application can compare the planned group of values or
individual cells with the actual values at any time. Planning, budgeting & forecasting could include
2 or 3 dimensions related to the plan and a single measure. Plan Primary Dimension and Plan Measure
defined the primary concern of our planning, what we are about to plan. Plan Periods Time Dimension
represents the time items we will prepare a plan over. It could be any time structure. Mostly this is
referred to as months, quarters, or days. Plan Scope Time Dimension defines the dimension level that
will be used to define the time scope. Optionally, the plan can include the third Context Dimension.
The above inputs define the relation of the plan values to the actual values. Once these details are
provided, the plan is set for the next planning steps.
If the plan includes the Context Dimension, it is possible to select plan participants users,
which are assigned per each of the Context Dimension items and will provide plan values for
each Context Dimension item. For example, the Context Dimension could be set to the 'Countries' dimension,
so we could assign participants per country. If the plan includes participants, the participants
selection step cannot be completed until all Context Dimension items have been assigned to a participant.
The single participant could be assigned to multiple items. When plan participants are selected,
the plan values cannot be completed until all participant provide their inputs. If required, the plan
owner could change the plan participants during the planning values. Plan participants could be all
users of the Kyubit application who have enabled Planning & Forecasting usage.
Excel-like Plan Values Input
Navigate with arrow keys or a mouse click to the cell you want to provide plan value in the grid.
Edited cells will change the background color. Edited cell values are not automatically saved.
When you want to save and apply provided values, click on the Update button above the grid.
After cell values are updated on the server, they will change the background color to white.
Anytime click on the Discard button to discard current input and revert back to the last saved values state.
The Plan values grid will behave similarly to the Excel grid.
Click and hold the cell handle and drag horizontally or vertically to fill other cells with the same value.
Select a horizontal or vertical range of cells, and press CTRL+C and CTRL+V to copy/paste the cell
range to other cells on another part of the grid. Or press Del on the keyboard to delete cell range values.
Insights to the Previous Period and Actual Values
A very convenient and handy feature is to display values from the past (or present) while planning values for the future.
In the upper right corner of the planning grid, there are options to toggle the display or Previous, Plan, and Actual values.
While planning for this year, it is often useful to see what actual values were in the previous for the same planned items just
by clicking on the Previous button to toggle the display of actual past values.
Later with the plan's actual values, it is possible to toggle the Actual button to display the actual values that happened
for the plan and compare vs. planned.
Planning, Budgeting & Forecasting Workflow
If the plan includes the participants, each participant has to click on the 'Marked as
Completed' button to mark his providing values for the given item completed.
After the item is marked as completed, it cannot be edited further.
The plan owner can see on the plan home page what plan assignments are completed by participants.
Moving the mouse over the completed assignment displays
the Revert button to optionally return the assignment to the Pending state.
If the plan includes participants, when all participants mark their assignments completed,
the plan owner receives an email from the application with the information that all participants have finished their assignments and the plan is ready to be finalized.
Observing the planning process and plan history
While plan values are being provided by the participants,
On the plan home page, the plan owner can observe currently provided plan values and whose plan assignments are still pending.
All plan actions in the plan lifecycle are registered in the plan history with the related user and action time.
Visible on the plan home page in the middle tab.
Plan vs. Actual dashboard visualizations
After the plan finalization, we can consider the plan as prepared for the usage to continually monitor
planned vs. actual values in the time scope defined by the plan. Besides the plan home page,
plan values vs. actuals could be monitored and analyzed on the dashboards in various ways to
best match the interest of the observers. It could be a high-level plan success monitoring or
daily insights to catch the day or hour success comparing plan vs. actual values on particular products,
cities, or any other dimension member associated with the plan.
If we set the dashboard filter to a specific dimension member related to the plan
(Such as time member, specific country, or specific group of products or similar),
all these charts will be sliced with such selection converting the dashboard plan view to a
particular interest of the user.
Plan vs. Actual on the dashboard Table chart
When Plan vs. Actual data is added to a Table chart, there are some additional benefits.
First, the table chart will also display delta (difference) values between plan and actual value
in the form of the pure difference and difference percent compared to the planned value.
Note that the table chart includes a success icon that is related to the Plan Success Tolerance
field defined on the plan’s general data.
Also, the table chart supports the display with Plan dimension levels expanded (observing the drilled-down data).
Slicing the dashboard Plan values
At any time, add another dashboard filter to slice further plan data by plan-related dimension member,
but an even better way is to enable dashboard auto-slicing, which
will slice the rest of the dashboard charts with a single click on any of the plan chart values.
Plan KPIs, Goal-meters and Gauges
The prepared plan is actually a huge resource from which various KPIs could be extracted.
For a start, the complete ‘plan values vs actual values’ status is the KPI for itself.
However, numerous smaller certain aspect-related KPIs could be quickly utilized on a plan basis.
The Plan KPI would tell us the success status of the plan up-to-date (from the plan start to this day).
It is understandable that users related to the plan are certainly interested in opening a dashboard to quickly see
the plan success status on this day (the complete plan or certain aspects of the plan).
Once the plan is finalized, plan values cannot be changed.
If there is a conclusion that circumstances have changed and plan values needs revision,
it is possible to create a new version of the plan (no application limits the number of new versions).
Updating plan values for the new version will start with old/previous inputs that are provided in the
previous planning stage (no need to enter all values from scratch). Once the plan has a new version,
old version plan values are still in the system and can be observed on the plan home page > Versions.
Integrate plan values back to the Data Warehouse
Include all plan values (distributed on all plan dimension levels) back into your existing data warehouse
database, so you can a) create an OLAP cube with planned values distributed over related dimension levels
and b) use planned values outside the Kyubit application. All planned values are saved in the
Kyubit SQL database 'KyubitAnalyticModels' as the plan features use Kyubit Analytic Model technology
for quick multidimensional analysis. Read in Planning, Budgeting & Forecasting user manual details on how to integrate planned values.