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Author's profile photo Manivannan Pachiyappan

SAP Analytics Cloud Planning: HXM Strategic Planning Using Planning/Data Action Trigger.

This blog is co-created with my colleague Charlotte BURNIER, Planning Expert. This blog illustrates the step-by-step details of automating the row addition with calculations for tables in SAC for HXM Data collection and the process of adding new dimension member combinations to users.

1. Requirement:

As a HXM customer, you need to Plan for the coming year’s Hiring process with new hires/reductions for your Organization/Company.

As a Planner, we can design the table with the required fields and if need to create new positions/delete positions, we have inbuilt option for planning stories to create new member as shown below.

Navigation: Select Table -> Right Click on the column member on which you need to plan -> Select Add Member -> You will get the list of values for that column -> Select on the new member you need to plan.

In%20Built%20SAC%20Planning%20Feature%20to%20Add%20Member%20in%20Story%20Tables

In Built SAC Planning Feature to Add Member in Story Tables

But for Companies/Organizations having large dimensions with numerous dimension members, it’s time consuming to add new members using the standard method.

2. Solution:

With Planning/Data Action Trigger, we can use Parameters as a process for Planners to select multiple values per member column and define calculations under Variables section in Data Action for the member calculations.

In this method, we automate the calculations in data actions based on the input values provided from the stories through Planning/data action trigger.

In this blog we will cover

  • the process of creating data action with parameters and variables.
  • Using the data action in story with the help of data action trigger and use parameters for automating the planning.

3. Pre-requisites:

As a prerequisite for this blog on usage of Data action/Planning trigger, we have already created Planning Model and Planning Story for Head Count Planning. The below video titled SAP Analytics Cloud Planning Strategic Head Count Planning Part1 is detail description of the model and Story we have created for Head Count Planning.

3.1. Highlights of the Video Content-Model:

  • In this model “HeadCountPlanning”, based on SuccessFactors Data we have created Generic Dimensions for Position, Gender, Contract Type and Cost Center. We have created Organization Dimension and Date/Version Dimensions. Please refer to my other blog SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP SuccessFactors (HXM): Connection and Automatic User Sync, Detailed Illustration on how to Connect between SAC and SuccessFactors (HXM).
  • While creating the dimensions do use the SAC Features like Dimension Properties and Hierarchies for better performance. You can refer to my other blog SAP Analytics Cloud Planning with SAP SuccessFactors (HXM): Step by Step Illustrations of the Best Practices for Workforce Planning for the creation/usage of Dimension Properties and Hierarchies.
  • For this Use case of Strategic Headcount Planning, the Position Dimension have associated fields like Division, Department, Business Unit as Dimension Properties. For Organization and Cost Center, we have used Division Hierarchy.
  • For Version, we have created values Actual/Planning. For Date, we have created values 2022/2023.
  • 3 Measures have been created for Opening Head Count, New Hiring, Terminations and 1 Calculated Measure for Closing Hiring Count with Formula based on the above three measures.

Note: This planning model allows Cartesian of all the dimension members for the selected Fields and are available as Un-booked data in our Planning Story.

3.2. Highlights of the Video Content-Story:

  • We have created a Planning Story with all the required fields from the model. This Story will have the Cross Tab of all the fields from our Model.
  • Using Planning Trigger through Data action, we will create the rows in the Story Table which will be covered in the next section.
  • To have dynamic usage of the story, we have added the Input Controls on certain dimensions, and they can be used as source for the Planning Trigger Parameters. This will give the Planners an option to change the values either through Input Control or Planning Trigger Parameters.
  • Story Filter is another option available to link with the Planning Trigger Parameters.

Note: Initially the Table will have empty data, even though usually actual data are available. If you Check the Un-booked data in the Designer section of the rows/columns, you can see the cartesian values as dimension members (Master data). Filter is applied on Version for Strategic Planning for our exercise.

4. Data Action and Planning Trigger Usage in Planning Story:

In this section we will cover the Data action and its usage in the Planning Story. In this data action we have created advanced Formula Step with Context having the Parameters and Variables on the target Measures through Parameters.

Below video titled SAP Analytics Cloud Planning Strategic Head Count Planning Part2 will cover the Data Action process and Steps, It’s Usage in Planning Story through Planning Trigger.

4.1. Highlights of the Video Content – Planning Trigger:

  • As the first step, click on the parameters and add new parameters as required for your business case.
  • By default, Target Version is required for passing the values. In our case its Strategic Planning. For our Strategic head count planning, we have created 6 Dimension Parameters and 3 Measure Parameters.
  • Hierarchies can be enabled for Parameters if its defined already in the Model. When we select on the Organization or cost center, we have enabled the Hierarchy and have the option to select Any level/Cardinality for the User Selection.
  • The Measure Parameter can be created with the type ‘Number’ and you can have default value if required. Input type should be Dynamic which allows planners to provide dynamic values for each data action trigger.
  • Coming back to the Advanced Formula Step, we need to define the context of this data action. Context is based on the filters/parameters we have created. We have provided all the Dimension Parameters in the context. Some of which the source can be altered to the Input Control in the Planning Story.
  • In the Variables, we have added 3 target measures and are passing values through input fields based on the measure parameters we have created.

 4.2. Highlights of the Video Content – Planning Story:

  • The data action we have created can be used through Planning Trigger in the Planning Story.
  • Within the Planning Trigger, there is selection option for Data Action, and you can assign the data action you have created.
  • In the Planning Trigger, there is option to manipulate the Parameters. It can be Member Selection by default, or we can use Story Filter or Input Control. For 3 dimensions we have provided the input control as dynamic usage for the Planners.
  • In the Input Control, you can edit the filter to select the values you need as shown here. After selecting it when you run the planning trigger, the values will be passed to the respective parameters. Alternatively, you can choose the values in the parameters through member selection as well.
  • Now we can go ahead and provide values for the parameters and see the result. As you can see new row is created here with the input values and Closing head count based on the input values.
  • For bulk updates, you can ignore certain parameters or select all values in the parameters of the Planning Trigger.
  • After the rows are created, you can use change the values in the individual cell or using the distribute values function to split the values.
  • After you finished preparing your planning data, you can publish it back to your model through which you can export the data.

Note: Currently, SAC Planning doesn’t support Write back option to SuccessFactors. We can export as Excel File.

Export to OData Services option is available. SuccessFactors do provide OData Services option. I haven’t tried if we can use it to write back to SuccessFactors. If anyone has tried using it successfully do post it in the comments of this blog. It could be beneficial for customers.

5. Conclusion:

To Summarize we have covered the Usage of Planning Trigger with Data Action in the Planning Story with the Context Parameters and Variables for Calculations. This enables the Planners to automate/create rows on the fly for single or multiple entries.

Do share your feedback or questions about this blog content through comments. Happy to respond with more details if required. You can also follow my Profile for similar contents (Manivannan Pachiyappan).

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