Previously Recorded Essbase Technical Webcasts
Please find below some of our previously recorded Essbase technical webcasts and be sure to visit us at mtg.webex.com to see what topics are scheduled for the future. Clicking on the title of any topic below should bring you to the required registration page you must complete in order to view them.
Smart View: Beyond Basics
July 12, 2012; 1 hour 2 minutes
Smart view is pretty easy to learn right? Sure if you stick to the basics. But what if you are a power user, or want to be? Wouldn’t you like to learn the advanced features and techniques to maximize your productivity and achieve things the beginners can’t?
In this class we will present a quick review of the basics but the focus is on more advanced techniques. Such as Butterfly and multiple grid reports, Smart Slices, Smart View options, Report Designer Dashboards, functions and more.
What’s New with Smart View
May 3, 2012; 50 minutes
There have been a lot of new versions of Hyperion over the last few years and Smart View has been one of the products that has changed significantly, at least certain parts of it have. In particular the “parity release” (184.108.40.206.102) is intended to provide all the features of the Spreadsheet Add-in that were previously missing from Smart View.
In this webcast we will review the basic features of Smart View for those who are new to Smart View. We will also highlight the changes and new features and make comparisons to the Spreadsheet Add-in.
The Calc Member Block: Seriously What Is It?
April 17, 2012; 31 minutes
First of all, congratulations and welcome to the land of Essbase geeks. Calc member blocks are seriously geeky stuff. If you even think you care about calc member blocks you are one of us. So sit back and enjoy a trip down the Essbase rabbit hole.
The Calc Member Block is a little understood aspect of Essbase BSO calculations. But why do we need it? How do you do it? And what exactly does it do? You won’t find much documentation on this topic and most attempts to get a clear answer leave one scratching one’s head.
In this webcast we will not only explain the “rules” for when you need a calc member block and how to construct it but we will also dig into how it behaves in various implementation scenarios. For example we will examine what happens if you use sparse members vs. dense? What is the effect on calculation order and performance? What options behaviors do we need to watch out for and what can we use to do new things?
Budgeting 2012: Lessons from the Front-line
March 28, 2012; 1 hour 24 minutes
It may be pretty easy to build a budgeting database. But it’s another story to make sure your budgeting process adds value and creates competitive advantage.
The techies know how to build the database and the finance people know what their analytical needs are. But the gap between the two remains large.
Taken together Tony Mastro and Ron Moore have been building budgeting and forecasting systems for more than 65 years. They have built systems for some of the largest companies in the world using Essbase, Hyperion Planning and other tools before Essbase and Planning existed. With backgrounds in Finance, not IT, they have focused on how to create budgeting and forecasting systems that create business value.
In this webcast we will identify the most important lessons from more than 65 years of field experience. We will also briefly describe several interesting Essbase/Planning implementations.
But in this webcast we won’t just listen to a couple of talking heads. We are inviting you to make comments and ask questions. We will execute several polls on questions including objectives for your budgeting systems, what features are implemented and how was it delivered, and what you see as the biggest challenges to creating budgeting systems that create real business value.
Getting Started with Essbase Calculations
March 15, 2012; 1 hour 3 minutes
The ability to easily implement sophisticated calculations is Essbase’s competitive advantage. Lots of tools will do zoom and pivot reports. But in my honest opinion no competitive product can touch Essbase when it comes to sophisticated calculations. And adding more sophisticated logic to your databases is frequently the easiest way to boost ROI because you provide more insightful, more actionable information.
So who should learn Essbase calcs and how do you get started? Anyone doing numerical analysis should learn Essbase calcs including financial analysts, marketing analysts and the IT people supporting them. The secret sauce is global, cross-dimensional operations. Almost any large system built in Excel and most analytical systems built in relational databases would be more secure, less error prone and easier to build, use and maintain in Essbase. And it’s not really that hard.
In this webcast we will give you a one hour introduction to Essbase (BSO) calculations and we will have you writing some calc scripts before you know it. We will make some suggestions for how to keep learning – additional classes as well as cheap and free resources.
Essbase Advanced Calcs: Temporary Variables
January 26, 2012; 46 minutes
Temporary variables allow you to store a value or set of values for later use in a calc script without having to store them in the database. This makes many complex calculations easier and faster and in some cases allows for possible calculations that simply couldn’t be done, in particular complex analytical calcs and “what-if” calcs.
In this webcast we will explore the two types of temporary variables; VAR and ARRAY. We will discuss how to use them and give several examples of useful calculations using them.
Essbase Application for Profit & Loss Statement / Earnings Variation Analysis
November 15, 2011; 44 minutes
Improve a client’s ability to develop, report and analyze Annual Budgets and Reforecasts (usually quarterly) and monthly actual results.
Practical Profitability Analysis
October 27, 2011; 1 hour
You can look at your income statement and see if your company is profitable.
But if your business has more than one product or more than one customer some of them are going to be more profitable than others. The fastest way to improve profitability and cash flow is to know which of them are most profitable and least profitable so you can focus your resources where they will produce the best results.
So looking at one income statement isn’t enough. Even a business with just 10 products and 10 customers has potentially 100 income statements, one for each product for each customer.
You could assume that the economics of each product and customer are pretty much the same. But what if they aren’t? You might be overlooking opportunities to better focus your resources on more profitable activities and to discontinue the unprofitable ones.
Profitability analysis, the calculation of profit and loss by product, by customer, by region etc. allows you to see what’s working, what’s not and why.
Many successful companies commit a lot of resources to profitability analysis however even a modest investment can produce big returns if done properly.
In this webcast we will:
• define profitability analysis and components of its calculation
• explore how to make profitability analysis results actionable and integrate them into strategy
• identify the biggest challenges and how to overcome them
• provide a road-map for companies who want to implement a practical approach to profitability analysis
Advanced Calculations for Forecasting and Driver Based Budgeting
October 20, 2011; 1 hour 2 minutes
It’s budgeting season for many companies. Budgeting has two main objectives: financial control and profitability strategy. Based on our research the budgeting process of most companies meets their financial control objectives reasonably well. But most companies report that their budgeting process falls short of meeting objectives for profitability strategy.
How can we use the budgeting process to improve profitability? All improvement happens in the future and the future is uncertain. So we need to project and forecast and simulate and “what-if”. That requires calculation logic. So calculations are the key to “seeing the future” or perhaps a range of possible futures.
In this webcast we will:
• Describe how to use projections and “what if” analysis to plan for an uncertain future
• Show a few common Essbase cube designs for driver based budgeting
• Show a few advanced calculation techniques for revenue forecasting and cost forecasting
Aggregate Storage Option (ASO)
October 13, 2011; 48 minutes
Essbase’s Aggregate Storage Option (ASO) can be used to create “near real time” databases with many more dimensions and much larger dimensions. ASO’s new storage engine is up to 100x faster than block storage and dramatically reduces the size of Essbase databases even when loading much more data. This means that Essbase can now be used in many applications where it was not practical before, for example sales and marketing applications with very large dimensions and “near real time” reporting requirements. ASO has some limitations relative to traditional Block Storage (BSO) databases however.
In this webcast we will compare BSO and ASO features and explain the strengths and weaknesses of each. We will also review typical applications where each would be used. In the demonstration we will point out the differences (compared to BSO) in an ASO outline. We will discuss the ASO architecture and how that makes possible a whole new array of Essbase applications.
Next Generation Hyperion Automation with Star Command Center 3.0
April 28, 2011; 55 minutes
Get introduced to Star Command Center 3.0 which is revolutionizing how companies are automating their Oracle Hyperion EPM environment.
March 17, 2011; 50 minutes
Partitions allow Essbase cubes to exchange data so you can view data or even calculate across cubes. This opens up many optimization and design options. In this webcast we will discuss the three types of partitions and consider when to use each. We will discuss strengths and limitations of partitions designs and we will demonstrate a couple of simple partitions. We will also talk about partitioning cubes with different outlines including different dimensions.
Why Relational Database Developers Should Learn Essbase
February 15, 2011; 1 hour
V11 New Features: Smart View
December 7, 2010; 27 minutes
Smart View has been significantly enhanced in Version 11. In this webcast we will cover the most important new features including:
-New connection manager
-Smart View’s new report writer
-Building dashboards with new grid, chart and POV controls
Got Script? Best Practices for Automating Your Hyperion EPM and BI Environments
October 5, 2010; 50 minutes
Got lots of ESSCMD, MaxL, Perl, Java, SQL, DOS, and other batch scripts? Throw in some manual processes, multiple scheduling tools, operating systems, and applications that need to work in harmony, and you have an implementation that is costly to define and maintain. All these moving parts create challenges in providing consistent, reliable, accurate, and timely access to your critical planning, reporting, analysis, and financial close processes and data. This presentation will showcase how many companies with limited time and resources over the past year have eliminated inflexible, fragile, and costly code and processes with the Star Finance Command Center. You will also see how easy it is for business users to run and monitor their entire ecosystem of critical applications from an iPhone or other Smartphone device.
Stupid Load Rule Tricks
March 16, 2010; 54 minutes
Okay – you know how to build garden-variety dim build rules and load rules. But what happens when things get tricky? In this webcast we will explore some advanced features and we will also show you some tricks you probably didn’t expect.
• Multi-dimensional field properties
• Dynamic field property definition
• Dynamic ranges in numeric attributes
• Substitution variables
• Using duplicate member names
• and more…
Essbase Beyond Finance – Driving ROI with Non-Traditional Essbase Models
February 16, 2010; 58 minutes
Essbase earned its early success in the Finance Department doing budgeting, profitability analysis, allocations, forecasting and financial reporting. But some of the biggest opportunities to improve business performance are found in functions other than finance. This webcast explores Essbase modeling outside finance. Manufacturing, IT Staffing, Insurance, and many other business domains are analyzed. Economic benefits; call to action for developers.
Other topics covered:
• Quick review Business Intelligence architectures
• Recent BI warehouse trends; challenges to Essbase
• Warehouse / Cube culture gap
• BI in the Cloud
• Multiple reasons to expand the Essbase footprint
• Benefits to the business of novel Essbase models
• How to work with a line of business
• Merging metrics from cubes to warehouses: advantages, methodology
• Near real time BI
Getting Started with VBA to Automate Essbase Functionality
February 2, 2010; 1 hour 9 minutes
Ever wanted to know how to write some simple code to have EXCEL replace your manual processes? Well you can easily do that by utilizing EXCEL’s macro language, VBA! VBA is an extremely powerful language which can be used to accomplish many things in EXCEL. One of the important areas where VBA can be leveraged is in the automation of Essbase functionality in the Spreadsheet Add-in and SmartView. Please join us today to get started along that path.
In this module you will learn:
- About the VBA development environment. It’s components, how to navigate around in it and how to use it.
- What a procedure is, what a Function is and the difference between them.
- A look at the Essbase API and the declarations available for you.
- How to record a macro.
- How to write code for a number of basic Essbase actions
Difference Cubes: Making Testing Fast & Easy
October 20, 2009; 56 minutes
Difference Cubes are a powerful technique for comparing the data in two similar cubes. Building on the concept of “Audit Sheets” which use Excel to compare a “control” data set to a “test” data set, essentially use a third cube to subtract every cell in the test cube from every cell in the control cube.
It’s easy in concept and easy to set up in simple circumstances. However, in more complicated circumstances there are a number of issues including size, calculation order and resolving differences across outlines.
In this webcast we will review the concepts, demonstrate a simple difference cube and then address some of the more complex issues.
First Looks: Essbase Studio
September 30, 2009; 36 minutes
Essbase Studio combines the cube building functionality of Admin Services AND Integration Services. It supports a wide variety of data sources including: OBI Suite EE, flat files, and the Dimension Server Library in EPM Architect. Studio also kicks drill-thru up a few notches supporting drill thru on data cells and members names and on data sources such as relational databases, OBIEE, URLs, custom SQL, and Java methods. Lineage Tracking is also supported.
August 27, 2009; 55 minutes
MaxL is the batch scripting language that allows Essbase developers to completely automate Essbase administrative processes such as modifying dimensions, loading data, managing users and much more. Improve reliability while reducing effort using MaxL to automate your Essbase environment. In this webcast we will cover the MaxL basics that anyone can understand and that you can use in every environment.
- Interactive use and scripts
- Dimension building
- Loading data
- Executing calcs
- Managing users
- Passing variables and parameters
Maximizing Version 11: Text and Date Measures
August 20, 2009; 29 minutes
Essbase 11 allows completely new types of measure, Text and Dates. In this webcast we see how to see them and how to implement them.
Learning to Love SmartView V 11: I Really Mean It This Time
July 14, 2009; 46 minutes
SmartView in System 9 has some great features including the POV toolbar, connection management and multi-level undo. But can it convince the hard-core Spreadsheet Add-in users?
We asked – and answered – that question in our previous “Learning to Love SmartView” Webcast. Now, as predicted SmartView is marching relentlessly forward and there are even more great new features. Is it time for the die-hards to convert? We will find out in this webcast.
Essbase Optimization: Beyond the Basics
June 2, 2009; 57 minutes
Okay, so the basics won’t cut it on this one. What do you do now? In this webcast we will cover Optimization Level 2, i.e. we will go deeper into cache settings and discuss optimizing calc scripts. We will also cover some more unusual outline design topics.
Leveraging Interactive Reporting: An Introduction
May 20, 2009; 29 minutes
Are you interested in leveraging Hyperion Interactive Reporting but not exactly sure of its real benefits and how to use the interface? Join this web session and we will talk about the strengths and weaknesses of using Interactive Reporting as opposed to other Hyperion front end reporting tools (Financial Reporting, Web Analysis).
There will also be a demonstration of creating a basic Interactive Reporting Document.
Essbase Optimization Basics
May 19, 2009; 46 minutes
Optimizing Essbase may seem complicated at first. But the 80/20 rule applies. There are a few simple steps that accomplish most of the result. In 1 hour you can learn the techniques that will cover 80% of the Essbase optimization you will ever have to do.
Integrating Essbase with Visual Analysis Software – Hyperion Visual Explorer (HVE) and Tableau
April 14, 2009; 1 hour 8 minutes
Many Essbase developers know about HVE but have never found the time to integrate it into their work process. It’s time to take a look at HVE and its big brother Tableau. These visual analysis tools can make your Essbase outputs much more valuable with charts and tables that can be shared with coworkers or published on the Web. They also allow managers who understand the pertinent business issues to quickly run a reality check on Essbase outputs before they are sent to senior management. For many BI problems, Tableau by itself is enough to get the analytical support needed for decision making with major savings in time and resources..
In this session we will introduce you to the basics of Tableau and show how Essbase outputs can be easily connected to Tableau. We’ll have a discussion about how VA software can be used most effectively in large enterprise applications as well as SMB environments. We”ll close with a quick look at how Tableau can be used to analyze and distribute 3rd party data for financial and competitor analysis.
Who should attend: Essbase developers looking to expand beyond cubes to visual. Non-IT managers and analysts interested in using Visual Analysis tools like Tableau to complement and perhaps replace their “heavy iron” BI tools. Data distributors interested in low cost cloud distribution channels.
The session will be highly interactive as we are developing course plans in this area and we’d like to know your thoughts about this exciting new area of BI. If you haven’t looked at Tableau yet, take a few minutes for their product tour.
Dimensional Modeling for Essbase Designers
March 17, 2009; 47 minutes
Deciding on dimensions and outline design is frequently taken for granted but dimensional modeling errors could very well be the single biggest cause of Essbase project failures or partial failures. Getting the right dimensional model can make the difference between a project that looks easy and the big costly disaster.
Understanding a few simple rules can make the difference. During this web cast will introduce simple rules for determining when to use hierarchies and when you need two different dimensions. We will also compare hierarchies, dimensions, attribute dimensions, alternate hierarchies and UDAs. We’ll see what happens if you get it wrong and we will explore some examples that present some interesting and tricky problems. We’ll also examine the concept of slowly changing dimensions and explore Essbase 11’s varying attributes capability.
At first an Essbase calculation can appear inscrutable. But in fact Essbase calculations are easy. This webcast will help you SEE how Essbase calculations work.
Getting Started with MDX, Part 4
January 15, 2009; 23 minutes
Getting Started with MDX, Part 3
January 13, 2009; 43 minutes
Getting Started with MDX, Part 2
December 16, 2008; 24 minutes
Getting Started with MDX, Part 1
December 11, 2008; 46 minutes
MDX is an increasingly important technology for query and calculation for Essbase databases. It’s also an industry-wide standard supported by nearly all the important players in the multi-dimensional database market.
Calculating Across Cubes: Using @XREF
November 11, 2008; 43 minutes
@XREF is an Essbase calculation function that allows you to specify calculations in a target cube using data in a separate source cube. @XREF has powerful features for working with cubes with different dimensions and different members on the same dimensions.
In this session you will learn:
-How to specify calculations using @XREF
-How to use @XREF with differing outlines
-Possible pitfalls of using @XREF
-Some example applications using @XREF
Beyond Essbase: Extracting Critical Essbase Info to Vitalize Your Downstream Operational Applications in Real-time
September 11, 2008; 53 minutes
Liberating Hyperion analytical results means integrating it faster and more completely across the enterprise than you have ever imagined. The result is dramatic changes in the way businesses are able to leverage financial analytics. -How is decision making transformed into top and bottom line impact when line of business decision makers are empowered with sound business analytics generated by finance? -What combination of software, training, internal skills and outside consultants can transform how you leverage your Hyperion data and thus your business performance?
Integrating Essbase with Relational Databases: Analytic Integration Services
July 15, 2008; 58 minutes
Analytic Integration Services (formerly Essbase Integration Services or EIS) allows you to visually map data and member names from relational databases into Essbase cubes. It also allows end users to drill through to relational database detail or to zoom and pivot on relational database detail using hybrid analysis.
Integration Services tremendously reduces development time and maintenance costs. It provides tighter integration between Essbase and relational source data opening up a wide array of new applications.
In this session you will learn:
-How Integration Services reduces development time and maintenance costs -How Integration Services improves the usefulness and sophistication of Essbase cubes -How Integration Services can help make Essbase cubes faster and consume less disk space -How to implement Integration Services to improve your business intelligence capability
Demystifying Sparse and Dense
June 12, 2008; 45 minutes
Review of the concepts behind sparse/dense configuration. This is critical for performance optimization as well as correct calculations.
All About Allocations
June 10, 2008; 38 minutes
Allocations are critical in understanding true costs and true profitability. This webcast reviews the concepts and purpose of allocations and then examines the major functions and techniques required to perform allocations in Essbase.
In this session you will learn:
-The role of allocations in improving business performance
-Basic steps to perform allocations
-Essbase allocation calculation techniques
Learning to Love SmartView
May 15, 2008; 58 minutes
Still can’t live without the Spreadsheet add-in? Me too! But SmartView 9.3 has nearly all the features of the Spreadsheet Add-in and some really valuable new features as well. In this webcast we will see how SmartView does all our old favorite add-in tasks and then we will review the things SmartView does exclusively or does better.
Essbase Spreadsheet Add-In
May 13, 2008; 53 minutes
The Essbase Spreadsheet Add-in is still the gold standard for business analysts who need simple yet fast and powerful to get data out of Essbase databases. It’s the fastest, simplest way to do ad hoc analysis but because it works so well with Excel you can take it much further.
In this session we start with the basics and work through a few intermediate techniques.
-How Essbase queries data
-Ad-hoc query techniques zoom and pivot
-Working with formulas