Planning – Measure Types

Planning/Budget reports are essential in any BI project. Planning and budgeting function in an organization plays a pivotal role in translating the short and long term goals of a company. Many decisions are made based on the “allocated” budget, which is also tracked closely at all times. Planning process starts well before the onset of a financial year and a plan goes through multiple iterations before finalized by stake holders.

Based on the finalized version of the “Plan”, it initiates a series of events that will ensure that the organization moves forward in the direction set by management

Duration and Type of a Plan Based on the business outlook and planning time frame, two types of planning methods are adopted. A strategic plan typically spans multiple years e.g. capital expenditure whereas operational plans focus on short term goals. Each organization is different in managing their planning functions and it is not uncommon to see a hybrid planning type. At times multiple versions of plan(s) are also created to account for variables that can impact operations of an organization.

Plan Data & Aggregation During planning process, there are two methods of aggregating the planning data. The aggregation type is heavily dependent on the KPI type i.e. Cumulative or Non-Cumulative. Time context is the key differentiator between the planning measure types. A cumulative measure can be broken down into the lowest granularity including time context and planned independently. A non-cumulative measure can be planned at the lest level of granularity excluding the Time context, wherein the value for one time period is dependent on the previous time period.

Two examples below show the difference in planning data and dependency on measure types in BI context

Sales Planning Classic example of a KPI that is planned in a Cumulative manner. The plan as well as actual values are cumulative in nature and hence in reporting is easier.

The granularity of planning depends on the depth at which the organization performs the planning activities and not time dependent in nature.

Headcount Planning Planned as a non-cumulative measure where the expected closing value for a time period is maintained.

Time context depends on the prior period values and although the delta is known, the plan value is maintained in cumulative fashion.

Although it might look like the values are aggregated, from reporting perspective, data is actually non-cumulative. (e.g. as of “May-18” is inclusive of all values from “Jan to Apr”)

Related Topics

  1. Types of Measures / KPI 

In SAP BPC, planning can be set as YTD mode for Non-Cumulative measures and Standard mode for Cumulative measures