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Reporting and analytics with BPC: Navigating your options

by Kristin Bent

May 19, 2011

While SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation has become one of the hottest SAP tools on the market for performing financial closes and forecasting, the solution's reporting capabilities are sometimes left out of the spotlight. One of the reasons for this, perhaps, is the fact that BPC has so many options for reporting and analytics, that folks have a hard time committing to just one.

The SAP PRESS book, SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation, written by Sridhar Srinivasan and Kumar Srinivasan, provides a great overview of the the reporting options within BPC, helping your team navigate the options and pick the best one for your unique financial needs:

"SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation provides an easy-to-use and powerful interface for creating reports and maintaining data. The reporting options for SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation can be classified under two broad categories:

SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation for Excel

SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation for Web

An Excel interface is used to report data in SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation, which can also be integrated with Word and PowerPoint documents. SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Csonlidation for Excel, however, is the primary tool used for planning, consolidation, and reporting.

The SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation Web interface can be used as a complementary tool to create and enable reports on the web.

The following are some of the key features of the reporting tool within SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation:

1. Offers Excel tools with SAP data storage

When you use the SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation for Excel tool, you can use the functions and features available in Excel and, at the same time, store the data in an SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation database. This enables users to use both Excel and a robust database for storing data, which will be necessary for high volume enterprise wide applications.

2. Provide dynamic templates

SAP BusinessObjecs Planning and Consolidation offers standard templates, also called dynamic templates, which support different types of analysis commonly requested by businesses. Standard templates can be used to develop different types of reports, including monthy comparison reports, yearly comparison reports, trend reports, and variance reports. The ability to use these templates with very little development effort reduces TCO.

3. Allows you to customize standard templates

Standard templates can easily be customized to meet a particular business requirement. This easy-to-customize feature makes standard templates more appealing.

4. Offers flexible ways to display data

The reporting interface is designed to provide maximum flexibility to display data. There is no code involved in creating a report. Using selection criteria, the report displays the data that is required for analysis. The system-supplied Measures dimension lets you view the data in different ways, either by period, quarter to data (QTD), or year to date (YTD).

5. Provides Ev functions

SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation for Excel provides Ev functions, a table of functions used for reporting. This aids in creating and delivering sophisticated reports for efficient data analysis.

6. Allows for offline analysis

The data displayed in SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidati on reports can also be used for offline analysis. Specific features allow users to take the data from a report offline, modify it, and retract it back into SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation.

7. Provides features unqiue to planning and consolidation

SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation provides features that are used specifically in planning and consolidation applications. The ability to use spread, trend, and wight data makes it easy to allocate data and create projections for the future.

8. Offers standardized reports

The reporting functionality includes out-of-the-box system reports that can be displayed and executed on the web. They servce as a tool to analyze metadata and to monitor changes to the objects in SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation."

These, of course, are still just a few of the reporting options available with BPC. Today, many users even leverage their planning and consolidation activities alongside SAP BusinessObjects BI solutions, such as Xcelsius and SAP Crystal Reports, for further data analysis.

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