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John O'Rourke | Jan 24, 2018

OneStream Relational Blending 101

OneStream is a unified platform solution, it is not a siloed set of solutions that are fused together. OneStream can be expanded upon, extended, and in a very real sense – blended together to meet the needs of a data consumer. 

  • XF Stage – this is a Relational Stage table (many tables) that is the destination for data that is imported to OneStream XF.
  • XF Financial Model – this is the Cube (one to many Cubes) for the Consolidation, Planning, and Analytic engine.
  • XF Framework – this is the vertebrae of the platform: Security, reporting interfaces, auditing, metadata management, etc…
  • The OneStream XF Workflow manages this process with fully customizable user tasks and steps to ensure data quality, accuracy, traceability, and auditing capabilities.
      • Where applicable you can setup a drill-back connector that executes SQL statements to see the source data in the external system.
      • In the case the Import/Load is a CSV or delimited file, you can see the source file in its original state before transformation.  That is the dictionary definition of transparency.

OneStream XF combines Analytic, Stage, Relational, and Source transactional data in One Model.  It provides a simple end user experience to collect and update detailed relational data.  There is full auditability with all relational data naturally connected to analytic data and which is drillable.  This permits the data to live where it belongs, not all data belongs in the cube.  OneStream XF balances the right mix of where analytical and operational data resides for the best performance and analysis.

So that is a lot of words, here’s a diagram that has some arrows, database tables, cubes and other good visuals for those of you who don’t like to read and just look at pictures.  Did anyone just read that sentence or did you jump right to the picture?

relational blending 2.png

Data Blending

The example above is a simple illustration to show Stage data being loaded to a Cube.  The reverse of which is the Drill Back to Source feature so data consumers can see the data in Stage before any calculation or translation is done on the source data.

relational blending 3.png

Above is a single Stage table sending raw data to a Cube.  Data in the Cube when applicable is consolidated, calculated, translated via FX rate table, reported on, audited, re-calculated, etc.  The Cube View reporting interface is how a data consumer views data in OneStream.  In the Data Explorer view the user can right-click on any cell to Drill Down to see how that number originated.

Right-click menu functionality from a Cube View: Drill Down on a data cell

relational blending 4.png

Drill Down window: Right-click again to see Load Results for Imported Cell

relational blending 5.png

Load Results for Imported Cell

relational blending 6.png
There’s a button here to Navigate to Source Data

This is basic XF functionality that requires no developer or consultant coding or special configuration.  Here’s a step up from that simple 1-to-1 Stage table to Cube that shows how a single cube can be the target for multiple Stage tables.  XF knows how the data got there and regardless of complexity or quantity of source systems and import channels, the tool knows where to go to provide the data consumer with full transparency and auditability of the data.

relational blending 7.png

XF MarketPlace Solutions that Leverage Relational Blending Capabilities

The OneStream XF MarketPlace is the download center for OneStream solutions, Software downloads, Release notes, Training videos… content for Customers and Implementation Partners.  Here are 4 examples of how customers can extend the platform and, known or unbeknownst to them, use Relational Blending in the approach and solution.

OneStream XF People Planning

People Planning

OneStream XF Thing Planning

Thing Planning-1

OneStream XF Cash Planning
cash Planning

Reconciliation Control Manager
Account recconciliation

When would you use one of these Specialty Planning solutions?  Note just because is says Planning in the name, does not mean these are only for Forecast or Budget scnearios.  The Specialty solutions can be leveraged for Actual, What if, LRP, Flash, or any Scenario type that is in OneStream XF.

The OneStream Specialty Planning Engine (SPE) blends the relational data and analytic model capabilities of the OneStream XF Platform. This creates a completely different way to approach the unknown nature of the Specialty Planning process. The Specialty Planning Engine uses a relational table to collect the items intended for planning (People, Things, Cash, etc.).  This enables Data to live where it belongs – again, not all data belongs in the cube. OneStream XF balances the right mix of where analytical and operational data resides for the best performance and analysis.

So that is XF Relational Blending 101, simply to introduce the topic and provide the baseline for what it is.  As a follow-up please stay tuned for part 2 – the 201 blog post where I’ll hit on the XF MarketPlace solutions noted above and also get into some more detailed business cases, solutions, and report examples.

In the meantime, to learn more, visit the OneStream XF MarketPlace and check out our Specialty Planning and other solutions that leverage our Relational Blending capabilities.

Michael is a Lead Consultant at OneStream Software with over 19 years of experience working with corporate performance management (CPM) products.  He is a proactive and results oriented professional with extensive experience in system implementations, project management, and project delivery methodologies.  Michael joined OneStream as a Lead Consultant in April 2015 and has been a valuable team member working with customers in many areas of the OneStream XF platform including Consolidation projects, Specialty Planning, Specialty Compliance, Postal Service configuration and automation, Financial Reporting, as well as delivering Training.

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