Hyperion Essbase and its importance to Hyperion Planning

Hyperion Essbase and its importance to Hyperion Planning

Published by: Blandine Faure
Published date: 11th Jun 2014
Categories: Blog

The Difference between Hyperion Essbase and Hyperion Planning

Hyperion Essbase is an Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) multi-dimensional database server that extracts data from a wide range of data sources, files, and spread-sheets; calculates and aggregates this data; providing fast access to the results, using a dimensional model. Essbase brings analytics to the business user and enables the business to quickly access business scenarios, forecast outcomes and perform what-if analyses to identify trends.

Essbase stores data in a ‘cube’ or Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) database. Additionally, Essbase incorporates one of the leading calculation engines for doing financial calculations such as allocations and eliminations.

Hyperion Planning is an excel and web-driven planning, budgeting and forecasting application to help connect operational assumptions to financial outcomes. Hyperion Planning sits in an application server (relational layer that sits on top of Essbase); between the Essbase database and the client tools that work with it; integrating financial and operational planning processes; leading to improved business predictability. Planning does so by leveraging Essbase’s multidimensional data model as well as standard relational database management platforms.

  • The Essbase portion of the application gives Hyperion Planning the calculation power to handle predictive planning, allocations and complicated revenue recognition planning.
  • The relational source allows Planning to collect textual information critical to a coordinated understanding of the budget.

Essbase is a database. Planning is an application that uses Essbase (i.e.: suite of products all bundled together – HAL, Essbase, Hyperion Reports, HAB).  Customers think they are getting Essbase when they buy Hyperion Planning. This is in somewhat true, as Essbase is the back end of Hyperion Planning; where planning cannot work without Essbase.
A comparison of the features of Hyperion Essbase and Hyperion Planning is outlined in Figure 1, below.
Figure 1: Comparison of Hyperion Planning and Essbase features.

Importance of combining Hyperion Essbase and Hyperion Planning:
Hyperion Essbase is more flexible than Hyperion Planning as it is a standalone OLAP engine and can be used for more than just planning purposes. While Essbase excels at financial calculations and analysis, it can benefit any business department that uses numeric data. Its ability to analyse horizontally across multiple business functions, using a multidimensional technique, allows users to manipulate data and numbers to gain insight into what is happening in their business departments such as:

  • Operations: inventory control, forecast accuracy analysis
  • Sales and Marketing: product profitability, spend planning
  • HR: compensation trend analysis, timesheet tracking
  • Manufacturing: build plans, bill of material analysis
  • Finance: days sales outstanding (DSO) analysis

However, as can be seen in figure 1, Hyperion Planning has specific functionality for certain types of planning, budgeting and workflows that Essbase does not originally offer.  Overall; there are numerous advantages of using Hyperion Essbase as a stand-alone support engine, nevertheless, in order to profit from your IT infrastructure; by supporting overall company requirements and to ensure department-wide success; it is advised to adopt Hyperion Planning (using Essbase is its database server).

An organisation can improve business knowledge, predictability, forecast outcomes and perform what-if analyses to identify trends, gain a competitive advantage and succeed in the ever changing environment of the 21st century by combining these systems;  availing of Planning functionality advantages, as well as those delivered by Hyperion Essbase.

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