This week I'm in the Big Easy hanging out at ODTUG’s Kscope 13 conference. I have heard this is the best conference for Hyperion and Oracle Business Intelligence so my expectations are high. I’m not as strong in either topic as I am with PeopleSoft but there’s nothing like a good conference to get up to speed.

So here's a quick run down of the sessions I was able to attend today along with a quick synopsis:

Balance Sheet Reporting in HFM 6/24/13

Alexandre Seran

Balance sheet analysis is often done outside of HFM in Excel.  CTA is often done in the same way.  This is a problem because of tight timelines and accuracy concerns.

OK You can’t automate everything. There will always be entries that have to be manually made in the financial statements. But this doesn’t necessarily mean Excel. Alexandre presented a methodology to capture the manual adjustments (and supporting documentation) in Webforms and/or Smartview and create proof of CTA, cash flow statements for each entity, and a detailed balance sheet movement report all within the boundaries of HFM.

This session went pretty deep into the business requirements of balance sheet analysis and reporting which was mostly over my head (I admit), but I left with an understanding that a good HFM architecture and design lays the foundation for streamlined automated reporting at month end, and without that foundation you may find yourself with a highly manual reporting process at month end.

Using OBIEE to Retrieve Essbase Data

Edward Roske and Tracy McMullen

Oracle has done a lot of work to integrate Essbase into everything.  OBI is no exception.  But integrating a relational tool like OBI with an OLAP tool like Essbase requires some planning and effort.  This session did a great job laying out what’s required to make this integration happen and boiling it down into 7 steps.  Ok the 7 steps shouldn’t be taken TOO literally but definitely download this presentation or check out my favorite Hyperion Planning authors’ blog(s) if this is something you’re interested in.

Introduction to the Essbase Java API

Tim Tow

Tim is an admitted Essbase geek and self-taught Java programmer.  Not too shabby for someone with an accounting background.  This session focused on the Essbase Java API and what you can do with it.  It included specific programming examples and use cases.  While I personally think he spent way too much time on the ins and outs of Java programming (what is a class, what makes a good IDE, etc), the session provided a detailed view of what you can do with the Java API.  It’s good to know we’re not limited to .NET and Visual Basic to working programmatically with Essbase anymore.

Automating Hyperion Reporting for the Rest of Your Organization

Jim Wilking

This session turned out to be a session about how to use delivered Smartview VBA functions to do generate advanced Smartview reports.  Topics included how to add prompts to the report, how to refresh specific sections of the report based on those prompts, etc.  And if you have a lot of reports to run, Jim showed how that could be automated as well.

VBA in Excel always demos well (especially to accountants!) and there’s nothing like creating custom automation for a specific task to improve efficiencies.  But the functionality in this presentation could also be met with Hyperion Financial Reporting as far as I could tell.  Jim did point out that there are disadvantages to a high dependence on VBA to generating your monthly reporting package.  Having to maintain a set of reference values in Excel and having to keep advanced VBA skills on your team were a couple he called out.  From experience I know what a headache it can be to upgrade when you have a lot of custom VBA code to re-test so I would add that to the list.


All in all it was a good day and I definitely left with a lot to think about.  Looking forward to day 2 tomorrow!


Written by :
Brent Martin

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 13:04.