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Author's profile photo Alecsandra Dimofte

Planning Panel Overview

Whether you are planning your sales forecast, distributing budget funds or reallocating expenses, there is no planning process that does not require you to spread, distribute or assign values. And when you are done crunching the numbers, internal or external events occur, and you need to start over because there is no plan exempt from change.

So how can you react to change and easily replan with the help of SAP Analytics Cloud? In this blog, we will look at some capabilities offered by the Planning Panel, an intuitive and easy to use tool that you will find essential in your ad-hoc planning scenarios!

The Planning Panel enables you to perform two main types of operations:

  • distribute a source value to one or more target cells
  • redistribute the values of a group of cells.

To showcase these operations, you will see several use-cases accompanied by a GIF that illustrates the steps described in the text.

Use Case 1: Assign values to a lower hierarchy level by inputting weights

Imagine you are a Country Sales Manager, and you are responsible for spreading the annual Trade Budget to the Sales Organizations that belong to your country. Your Trade Budget is 10% of the overall Revenue forecast, and you would like to spread it following the Revenue weights.

Step 1: Input the Trade Budget value you want to spread.

Step 2: Select where the value should be distributed. The Where To? section will provide several recommendations based on the data displayed in your table, and you can choose the one that fits your requirements with a click of a button. In this example, select the Sales Group members from one level below, namely SOs.

Step 3: As you would like to spread the Trade Budget following the Revenue weights, choose Input Weights.

Step 4+ 5: Instead of manually computing the weights, copy the values of the Revenue measure and paste them in the Planning Panel (CTRL+C / CTRL+V). You can preview the changes live in the table. If you are happy with the results, apply the changes! (Apply button or CTRL+ALT+ENTER)

Step 6: You can now publish the data.

Tip: “?” before the value will launch the planning panel.

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Use Case 2: Distribute equally from unassigned to assigned members respecting locking

An additional budget amount, currently unassigned, is available to be allocated to your Sales Group. You want to distribute it equally across your group. SO Frankfurt was locked to protect it from further changes. As a result, the value will be spread only across SO Berlin, Hamburg and Munich.

Step 1 + 2: As the source cell is an unassigned member, the Where to? section provides no recommendation for the target cells where the value should be distributed. Instead, you can choose the target cells by selecting them directly in the table. The Add Target button is activated by default. Even if you chose all four SOs, the SO Frankfurt would be skipped from distribution because it was previously locked.

Step 3 + 4: Choose the driver for distribution, e.g. Equally. The amount will be split equally between the members. SO Berlin, Hamburg and Munich were increased by 200 each.

Tip: You may observe that Book as additional amount box is not checked. This way, the quantity from the source cell is transferred to the target cells, leaving the source cell empty. The operation will not deplete the source cell with Book as additional amount enabled, but book the same amount against your target cells.

Use Case 3: Distribute across different dimension members by inputting values

You want to spread the unassigned budget to different product categories within your sales organizations. As Juice will be a focus category with multiple new product launches across the regions, you will increase its trade budget by 30%. The remaining budget you will allocate to SO Hamburg for the Yoghurt product category – during the last budget review, you cut back resources from Yoghurt to give to another category.

Step 1: Select your source cell and launch, this time, the Planning Panel from the toolbar.

Step 2 +3: Select Juice Product Category for Org Germany as the first target cell and input + 30% to increase the existing budget by 30%.

Step 4: Select Yoghurt Product Category for Org Hamburg and input *2 to double the existing budget.

Step 5: Observe that the entire unassigned budget is fully allocated: 30 to Juice and 10 to Yoghurt.

Step 6: As you maintained the additional budget for Juice at an aggregated level, it was disaggregated proportionally to all the members below. You can now publish the data.

Tip: For Input Values, you can change values in the panel or in the table. Simple formulas such as +30% or *2 are available in both table and panel.

Use case 4: Redistribute values within a group of cells using weights

You are preparing for the last quarter of the year, and according to the latest projection, SO Berlin will drive most of the Revenue. As a result, you need to redistribute the Trade Budget to ensure SO Berlin will have a sufficient Trade Budget to enable them to execute their plan.

The redistribute functionality of the Planning Panel enables you to quickly change the proportions of the SOs in your Sales Group.

Step 1: Select the group of source cells that includes the entire amount you want to redistribute.

Step 2: Copy the Revenue and paste the values into the Planning Panel. The weights will be adjusted following the Revenue distribution across the SOs.

Step 3: The Trade Budget is now realigned, giving more Budget to SO Berlin.

Tip: For redistribution scenarios, the source area of the Planning Panel shows the aggregate value of the cells that you selected. The field is not editable as you perform a redistribution of the value.

As you could see in these use-cases, the Planning Panel offers several advantages to perform ad-hoc distributing, spreading and assigning operations:

  • Unified, flexible and intuitive experience across operations
  • Target recommendations and arbitrary target selection across one or multi-dimensions
  • Table interaction and preview mode

Moreover, calling the Panel could not be simpler. Did you spot all commands that launch the Planning Panel? If not, here they are:

  • right-clicking + Distribute Values
  • press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + D
  • type ? in the source cell, on its own or followed by a value, and press Enter
  • form the Story’s toolbar, select the Allocate button followed by Distribute Values

Do you require additional capabilities for the Planning Panel? If yes, let us know by posting your idea on the Customer Influence Portal for SAP Analytics cloud!

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