Year-End Rollover is probably an Excel legacy thing where a flurry of frenzied activity, late nights & weekends would result in some sort of year end process which, whilst not perfect, could be tidied up the day before the second monthly report was due out. This is key to your Cognos EP Migration Planning.

Do I have ‘Year End Rollover’ issues?

Whatever the history, the reality is that the vast majority of EP sites have inherited some, if not all, of Excel’s worst habits.  The ‘Year-End Rollover’ – or lack of it – is most definitely one of them.

If you don’t have a process chart stuck on your wall clearly showing how you roll from Budgets to Actuals to Forecasts and back to Budgets then you probably have ‘Year End Rollover’ issues.

If you have enormous Excel workbooks with last year’s Budget on hidden tabs then you definitely have ‘Year-End Rollover’ issues.

I have ‘Year End Rollover’ issues – What do I do now?

If you don’t have your year-end process documented then you need to do this straight away. If your process involves some sort of pre-population then this also needs to be clearly defined. Fortunately I have 2 ‘widgets’ for this – ‘Processes’ and ‘Scenarios’.

Widget – ‘Processes’

Tip 4.1

Widget – ‘Processes’ encourages you to think of everything in terms of cycles. In the example above, a Budget-Forecast-Actuals cycle may be depicted at the highest level but the cyclic nature is un-mistakeable.

For example, if the year-end coincides with 2016 Budget then DEFINE Scenario could define the scenario name together with a definition for how it is to be pre-populated.

  • DEFINE Timescale could indicate the number of time periods as well as the relationship between ‘generic time’ (Jan, Feb, Mar) and ‘calendar time’ (Jan-15, Feb-15, Mar-15).
  • DEFINE Hierarchies is the space where you can indicate changes to corporate structures being put in place at year-end.

In this example ‘Year-End Rollover’ is now complete and the operational Budget process takes over.

With this flowchart, it is easy to see how the ‘Year-End Rollover’ could also coincide with Forecast & Actuals, where the key relationship is the definition of what Scenario rolls into the next.

Fortunately my next ‘widget’ deals with this:

Widget – ‘Scenarios’

We saw in Cognos EP Migration Tip 1 how Scenarios can be used to keep the size of Cubes down. We can also use a structured Definition of Scenarios to define ‘Year-End Rollover’:

Tip 4.2

Widget – ‘Scenarios’ contains a Dlist Builder to automate the creation of:

  • Data
  • Assumption
  • Calculation
  • Output

It also contains a Map Builder section which enables automation of the Year-End Rollover.

In our example ‘2016 Budget’ is pre-programmed to pre-populate with ‘2015 RFC Q4’ data.

Cognos EP Migration Journey

I am not saying you should automate your Year-End Rollover as this could be a loss of focus on the main task, which is to get your model streamlined and ready for migration.

I am saying that you should populate your scenario documentation with a pre-population definition, whether or not you automate rollover, as you will definitely want this to be implemented in your new tool.

Nobody wants their planning model to grind to a halt at year-end because the specialist administrator is not available. It really should be something that the end user can drive.

Remember that the Triangle team of Cognos consultants are with you for the whole journey. So if you can get easy wins out of simply documenting your processes then we will be backing you all the way.

Look out for the next Cognos EP Migration Tip 5 when I will run the rule over Security Definition & Automation.

Posted in Cognos

February 11, 2016