xP&A Data Hub
Importance of a Strong Data Foundation to Support the Planning Process
A Data Hub is a relational database that sits between source systems and the planning application. The Data Hub acts as a staging area for data from multiple systems before it moves to the planning system. Data Hub performs critical data management activities, including:
- Aggregation of multiple systems
- Standardization (dates, codes, etc.)
It can handle on-premises and cloud-based data sources seamlessly and can be located either on-premises or in cloud environment.
Modern, integrated planning is made possible by intentional, proper data management.
Benefits of a Data Hub include:
- Foundations for other use cases – Future use cases like forecasting and demand planning will leverage the same datahub.
- Transparency into source of data – Eliminates data silos and hidden/spreadsheet ETL and provides a single system to trace data sources and data transformations.
- Alignment of correct tool to use case at hand – Source systems contain relational data, but planning systems are OLAP. The datahub bridges that gap resulting in less complexity, which ultimately means less cost and less time.
- Integration and cleansing done with standardized tools – Work done with relational database and SQL language not vendor-specific tools which means easier maintenance and expansions in the future.
- Flexibility to support future changes – Insulate the planning system from source system changes and reduced cost and timeline for additional enhancements or changes.
- Data Hub is available for other internal uses – Ad hoc reporting for other purposes is supported while enabling drill through to underlying transactional data (when in scope for the planning system).
- Maintain consistent hierarchies – Hierarchies are a common structure and come in a variety of options depending on use case, e.g., product hierarchy, cost center hierarchy, just to name a few. These hierarchies should be consistent across the business whether they are for financial planning or operational planning. With a data hub, an organization has a higher likelihood of keeping hierarchies consistent over time since everyone is pulling the same structure from one source of truth: the data hub.
Platform Capabilities that Enable xP&A
- Data integration
- Data source agnostic
- Large data volumes/BIG DATA
- Scenarios, allocations, predictions
- Excel and Web Interfaces
- S&OP and FP&A
Incorporate data science
- Build new or leverage existing AI/ML models
- Incorporate external predictors
Full Reporting Capabilities
- Visualization library
- Management Reporting and Dashboard
- Detail Reporting and Exception Reporting