Hyperion Planning – The No. 1 multidimensional solution preferred by clients in budgeting and forecasting process
Microsoft Excel – a great tool for analysing the planning data
Microsoft Excel is a great tool for analysis and modelling, however using only this tool for budgeting and forecasting proposes, you can experience serious limitations. The most common limitations are as follows:
- Templates can be modified – it is difficult to obtain both flexibility and standardisation of templates using only Microsoft Excel. In financial practice; analysts are spending considerable amounts of time only inputting data in the proper format in order to consolidate it.
- Drivers are not enforced – even if the end-users are using the budget drivers that are given to them, there is no way to enforce that everyone is using the same assumptions.
- Lacking of security – the only way to limit the access to the data in Microsoft Excel is to protect the entire workbook.
- No standard methodology for calculations – financial analysts usually manipulate templates to calculate metrics the way they want to report them.
- Difficult to implement approval process – the approval process consists of emailing the spreadsheets back and forth, with no specific process to track sign off, approval and review.
Advantages of Using Hyperion Planning
Hyperion Planning users, from a common location called Workspace, can access actual data, input budget and forecast data, run reports based on their level of access, and can also perform tasks more complex such as running calculations or creating their own business rules. Hyperion Planning is an extremely flexible tool in that it can be customized according with the individual business requirements.
Some of the benefits that Hyperion Planning provides are:
- One single location for data – all users are using the same data, business drivers and metrics for calculating departmental budgets
- Standardization of business drivers – budget drivers can be loaded and calculated by the administrator so that all budgets are using the same methodology.
- Security – The administrator can apply security to certain dimensions and members, giving users access to only the data that they are responsible for. This allows more participation from the field in the budget process
- Workflow – The administrator can completely control the workflow and approval process. Planning Units must be reviewed and approved before going up to the next approval level.
- Easy to consolidate – Hyperion Planning data is stored in a Hyperion Essbase OLAP database using hierarchies that make the consolidation process effortless.
- Version control – not only does Hyperion Planning make it easy to maintain many different versions of a plan at the same time, but once a version is complete it can be closed so no further changes can be made. Unlike excel spreadsheets that are retained locally and usually in many different places, Hyperion Planning gives an organization one place to control data.
By using Microsoft Excel with the advantages of Hyperion Planning, you can obtain the maximum efficiency of your financial processes.
Why Hyperion Planning and Excel together and not separately?
Hyperion Planning responds perfectly in completing all administrative tasks of your financial process, it is a tool that can be considered new, being designed with modern concepts to respond to all financial needs. On the other side, because financial users have strong knowledge of Microsoft Excel, intensive training is required.
Because of this, the experts have been finding the solution to use Hyperion Planning and Microsoft Excel together, so the time spent in training is significantly reduced. For example, users can use Smart View, an add-in in Microsoft Excel, to upload budget data, drill down into ad-hoc grids to research year-over-year variances, or pull report data into excel for further calculations. Smart View combines the flexibility and familiarity of Microsoft Excel while taking advantage of all of the benefits that Hyperion Planning has to offer.