OneStream - Extensible Dimensionality

Posted by Ben Tesoriero on Oct 27, 2020 11:43:59 AM
Ben Tesoriero

Extensible Dimensionality. It will change your life!

Do you struggle to integrate and compare your Actuals and Budgets across the entire organisation?

One of the great challenges finance must solve in larger organisations, is the ability to integrate their reporting requirements at Head Office versus the requirements for reporting in the operating centres. And, unsurprisingly, this applies to both Actuals and Budgets, and Forecasts. This is often the result of the need for different operating centres to report, and sometimes budget, at a different level of granularity than what corporate needs. As such the operating company often gets left without a solution, or if they do get one, its either a non-group standard, spreadsheets or multiple EPM applications that need to somehow interface with each other and be maintained separately. It’s a pain we have had to endure and pay for since the beginning of time. Well, no longer!

Let’s examine the situation where there are multiple EPM applications/solutions running within the organisation.

A reporting solution will exist for the Manufacturing division so they can break out Net Sales their way such as the below:



The Services division doesn’t operate this way and so they will require a separate reporting application because they want to report Net Sales as per below. Note that Operating Sales remains the same across the two divisions, as that is a group standard, however the breakdown below that is quite different. 



Finally, Group Finance want to bring all the information together at a corporate level and really only need to report on Net Sales at the total Operating Sales level.


And finally, when Services want to budget, they want to break down their Event revenue even further (but not for actuals):



As mentioned previously, this would require multiple EPM applications / cubes where data needs to be moved and manipulated so that all the operating centres are happy and of course head office was able to report on the numbers as required. Or if not a separate application, one that is severely bloated and a maintenance nightmare.

The above examples are very simplistic ones and, in our experience, the reality is that these ‘break outs’ can run into the hundreds if not thousands of hierarchy/reporting members with differing sets of rules.

What does all this lead to? A lot of uncontrolled data and meta data integration, a lack of auditability, increased costs, and a lack of insight into your results – not to mention a frustrated group of end users who will revert to spreadsheets to fulfil their needs.

So how can this be solved? We all know that the Corporate Account structure needs to be adhered to or it becomes useless or even worse, dangerous! Some of these operating centres are often multi-billion-dollar organisations themselves and so they must have the flexibility to run their business as required and can’t simply be dictated to by Head Office in terms of how they should budget their day to day needs.

This is where Taysols has found that the power of OneStream’s Extensible Dimensionality makes a significant difference to key Finance Users. The power of this capability allows each operating centre to break down dimensions, such as accounts, into elements that are only relevant to them and still provide the ability to roll the information up to the same level as required for corporate. 

This is a revolutionary innovation that allows organisations to more easily align numbers across operating centres and head office, whilst streamlining their reporting processes. Extensible Dimensionality significantly reduces data integration requirements, which in turn reduces the risk of data integrity issues and mismatches of information. And finally, whilst not replacing excel, it takes away the time consuming, mundane requirements of manipulating the data in spreadsheets just to make sure the information aligns.

I’m yet to host a demonstration of OneStream where the finance community in attendance is not amazed at what they’re seeing because they quickly appreciate what a difference this feature will make to their day to day activities. It is the first ‘game changer’ for EPM solutions in a very long time.


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Topics: Advanced Analytics, Budgeting & Forecasting, Financial Consolidation & Reporting, EPM, Technology Solution, OneStream