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Feeding Reports the Right Diet: Overcoming Discrepancy

Feeding Reports the Right Diet: Overcoming Discrepancy

One of the most common problems we solve for customers in Host Analytics are fixing those numbers in reports that don’t look quite right. There are generally no serious flaws here. Templates and Reports can be simple or complex constructs. Since you have the flexibility to create templates and reports virtually any way you wish to meet your budget capture and corporate reporting requirements, you have several points of disconnect to manage. Fortunately, when you discover one of these discrepancies you can easily remedy the situation.

The three most common reasons for data discrepancy in reports are:

  1. A formula or a few formulas are out of whack inside a budget template that feeds that report.
  2. A user fat-fingered some numbers into that “other” cell inside the budget template.
  3. The mapping for a reference or destination account inside a budget template or report row set is not up to date.

Steps to Fixing Discrepancies in Host Analytics

Because Host Analytics is an integrated database where all Budget and Planning parts, i.e. templates, scenarios, and reports, are interconnected, fixing one thing always has an impact on the other two. Because formulas are the most common reason, I’ll document fixing those. The fix is actually a very simple one but involves a few steps.   If you don’t take them, there’s a good chance you won’t see the results you expect.

The steps below were used to remedy bad formulas in reports that don’t look quite right:

  1. Run the report down to the account Level detail.       This is so you know exactly which account lines need to be reviewed in any of the potentially affecting templates.
  2. Open any/all templates that collect data into those accounts.
  3. Begin with the row(s) that post data into the destination account and review the formulas in all cells along those row.
    1. If the formula(s) in the destination rows look good then trace back through all rows that feed those destination account rows to verify those formulas until you discover the offending formula in the offending cell(s). ex: formula referenced the wrong row for calculation off of an attribute. This kind of error can happen when you insert a bunch of rows after establising the initial template and saving it. Lesson:  triple check formulas after any updates to your initial template build.
  4. Go into every affected template in the Budget Tab for the associated scenario being affected (ex: 2017 Budget) and open and save those templates so that the fixed formulas recalc and repost to the appropriate destination account. Note: You can also create a simulation engine to perform this step if number of templates to save is more than 10-15.
  5. Processed the cube for the requisite scenario.
  6. Re-run the report.

Finally, if you have a budget entry error by a user, that can be fixed directly in the template. If you have a mapping error that must be fixed on the respective line in the Maintenance tab. In either case, you would have to perform steps 4-6 above to ensure reports produce the latest and great version of data.

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