Smart View is one example of the Essbase cube at work: it is a GL account analysis tool that combines Essbase and Excel. Smart View is an Excel plugin, so if you're already using spreadsheets for account analysis this is a very nice feature. And it works by exploiting some of the capabilities inherent in the cube.
- Slicing and Dicing: Allows you to restrict any of the dimensions of your data to a specific value or range of values, so you can focus directly on the information within that "slice" of data. In Smart View you can slice your data using the Point of View window, specifying values to limit the data that you want to see for any dimension of your chart of accounts.
- Pivoting: Rearranges your data so you can view it from a different perspective. In Smart View this is done by clicking and dragging to move dimensions between columns and rows.
- Expansion: Shows account balances in a greater level of detail. When a parent value is displayed in Smart View, you can click on that value to expand it, and account balances will then be shown for the child values. One other aspect of Fusion GL is that balances are pre-aggregated in the cube at every level of your hierarchy, so you don't need any calculations / re-calculations of roll-up amounts when expanding summary and detail account balances.
- Drilldown: Reveals the underlying data that constitutes an account balance. Click on an account balance in Smart View to open up the underlying journals (and drill back further to originating transactions) so you can investigate in more detail.
- Real Time: Ensures that the data is current. Rather than importing new data into your spreadsheet each time you want to use it, save the layout and when you want to use it again, click the "Refresh" button on the Point of View window to re-populate the spreadsheet with the latest live GL data, so you know your analysis is real-time and relevant.
How much do you use spreadsheets for account analysis right now? You might find Smart View makes a big difference to the way you access and analyze your data, and how confident you are in the information you get. It's worth mentioning that we have added other new account analysis tools in Fusion to make this task easier for you. Account Inspector, Account Monitor and Financial Reporting also utilize the Fusion GL cube, and have similar capabilities for manipulating data and drilling to more detail. More on these tools to come....