PCMCS Out-of-the-Box (OOTB) Features: 2. Intelligence and Dashboarding – Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis
Two teams of consultants with similar amounts of experience and prestige guarantee that they can perform an application implementation to the highest quality: one at a higher cost, but shorter timeframe; and the other at a lower cost, but in a longer timeframe? All other considerations being equal, should I save money, or should I save time?
A few days ago, I released my first blog post on PCMCS, covering Rule Balancing reports usage and customization. This post builds on that first post to cover intelligence capabilities, some of which are only available in the Cloud version of the PCM software.
There are 6 menu options when accessing the Intelligence menu within PCMCS.
1. Analysis Views
2. Scatter Analysis
3. Profit Curves
6. Key Performance Indicators
This post covers the first two menu options to explain how to set up Analysis Views and how to use Scatter Analysis.
Analysis Views are the first set of reports available to end users within the PCMCS user interface.
These views represent a way to predefine and save intersections of members for future review. The selections within Analysis Views are open to all dimensions within the PCMCS application at various levels within the hierarchies. This is the first step you need to take towards building or defining a dashboard for your PCMCS application.
If you cannot create or edit an analysis view, then you need to reach out to your PCMCS administrator in order to review and adjust your security settings.
The example Analysis Views for this post are based on the “Demo Bikes” application that can be deployed with a few clicks in your PCMCS instance BksML30.
A data slice is a combination of rows and columns along with the page selection, which, in this case, is the Period dimension.
Any dimension that is not specified in any of the 3 areas (row, column, page) will be read at top level and will be displayed in the settings menu.
The Add Filter section allows you to filter the columns based on specific numerical values. In this case, the columns are represented by the Product dimension selections.
To create an analysis view, click on the plus (+) sign on the main menu. The three tabs displayed will allow you to define a name and description as well as the setup for row and column dimensions. You cannot select more than a dimension for either rows or columns.
Within the Row dimension selection, you can leverage different formulas applicable to the hierarchies within PCM such as Children of member, Member and children, Level 0 descendants, etc.
Columns do not have options for member formulas beyond the usage of User preferences.
The row dimension will allow you to display further information such as generation or level details. For example, for the Product dimension, we can display the generation 3 and 4 information alongside the level 0 members, allowing us to expand our analysis to different product categories, or types.
Selecting new members within the Analysis Views will not impact the original data definition. If you choose to display data for any month other than the one that was setup and saved in the Analysis view, you can do so because the Page parameter is open to end user modifications. If; however, you want to update and store a selection change within the analysis view, you must perform such update via the Edit menu instead of simply selecting a new parameter on the screen in view mode.
You may need to utilize the concept of period ranges when using Analysis Views in order to dynamically reference specific members of your Period dimension.
Defining a current period for the application is mandatory in order to be able to create formulas dependent on time. This action is available via the Application menu by selecting the Edit application option and navigating to the tab called Dimension settings. Here is where you can define the current Period and the Current Year for your PCMCS application.
These settings will be applied when using the “Single…” or “Current” selection options within Analysis Views. Single (-1) Level 0 selection represents, in this case, the month of May, since the current Period selection for the PCMCS application is June. The Single (-1) Level 1 selections return Q1, since June is in Q2.
Scatter Analysis graphs will compare one member’s values against another member’s values. The two members selected must be within the same dimension. Your PCMCS Demo application may not have any sample Scatter Analysis graphs. However, you can create one by leveraging the Analysis Views at your disposal.
You can launch Analysis Views from within Scatter graphs.
Note that saved Scatter Analysis cannot be reused or referenced in dashboards. You should use this section to create graphs for ad-hoc use outside of the dashboarding capability.
If you need to include Scatter Analysis within your dashboards, you will have a corresponding menu item that allows you to create dashboards within the list of available items.
You can select an existing Analysis view, but you must reselect your X-axis and Y-axis dimension references.
Conclusion: PCMCS Intelligence – Analysis Views and Scatter Analysis
While there are many alternative reporting solutions to use in conjunction with PCMCS applications, assuming that both time and money are of essence in any project implementation, it is safe to conclude that using the PCMCS OOTB reporting features would be cost effective as well as efficient. The Intelligence screens shared in this post are included in the PCMCS subscription cost, and any end user of a PCMCS application with the right level of access can take charge and build the desired reports, saving end users in a location accessible to their peers while spending no time in iterations of reporting requirements and data validations.
The PCMCS OOTB reporting features support not only troubleshooting, but also detailed analysis and reporting within one screen. Such capabilities should not be ignored as they will surely add meaningful insight into finance teams’ day-to-day use of PCMCS.
If you need advice and guidance on how to leverage the PCMCS reporting capabilities for existing or future applications, reach out to our team of PCMCS experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The remaining intelligence menus will be covered in subsequent posts over the next few weeks. If you are interested in receiving notifications of such posts, subscribe to notifications.