Joris Tuijn

SACP – Using the forecast layout in tables for planning

Don’t worry about your tables for planning, we will have them all set!

When you or your planners are about to start their planning activities, nothing is more frustrating than having to set up all files, tables and data before you can even start. In SAC Planning, we can set the planning tables up in such a way, that you can start planning immediately, every time! For this we will you use the regular table widget and enable the ‘Forecast Layout’. Read on to learn more on how to set it up, and find out some interesting ways to make it dynamic.

1.    Enable the Forecast Layout

Let’s first start with setting up the basics. Go to your story and set up a table. In the designer, under the cross-tab dropdown, select forecast layout.

This pops up a new screen with the following settings:

2.    Use an input control to derive the ‘Look ahead on’ version

For you to be able to use the next advanced feature, setup properties in your version dimension. We added the property ‘Current’ and entered an ‘X’ for version ‘FC21-4’. Only one version at a time can have an ‘X’.

We will use this property in the forecast layout table to filter the version shown.

Open the ‘Look ahead on’ drop down. Now instead of selecting a specific version, we will select ‘New Calculation Input control’.

A new screen will pop up. Note that you can create a regular input control, which allows you to have a filter on your page where users can select which version to look at. However, we are aiming for a dynamic setup.  Click on the box below ‘Formula’.

This opens the formula editor.

We use the ‘FIND’ function to create a formula which searches the ‘X’ in the property’ Current’ of the version dimension:

The input control finds version ‘FC21-4’.

In general we advise to have ‘Look back on’ on actuals and ‘Look ahead on’ the input control. However, do note that this setup creates an input control which we do not want to be used by users, so either hide it, or put it on the admin page. If it is visible, users should not be able to change anything, it may just be confusing.

Also note, once you have created this input control in your story, it can be reused for new tables you setup later on, on any page. No need to recreate and rewrite the coding.

3.    Use an input control to derive the ‘Cut-over date’

We setup something similar for ‘Cut-over date’.

  • We add a property ‘Begin Date’ to the version dimension

  • For every version we enter the begin date

  • We create an input control which searches for the begin date of the ‘Look ahead on’ version

4.    Change all your planning tables with the ‘flip of a switch’

With this setup you can quickly change the setup of all forecast tables in your planning stories, without the planning users having to do anything. All you have to do, when a new forecast period starts, is change the property ’Current’ in the version dimension. This means users cannot make mistakes and more importantly, immediately start on that which matters, planning! 

5. Using SAC Planning to its full potential

There are many ways to make your planning setup in SAC Planning more dynamic. F.e. the created input control could also be used in data actions:

Other suggestions for dynamical set-up in SAP Analytical Cloud Planning are described in this blog: ‘How to set-up data actions with smart properties’.

Moreover, by using several techniques combined it will allow you and your organization to focus fully on that which matters: planning, prepare for the future and add value.

We hope this how-to paper has showed you how easily smart properties can be implemented and used. If you have any question about SAC Planning, don’t hesitate to contact Mathijs van Kooten (0031 6 31300442) of Katrin van Boxtel (0031 6 30011702).