Dimensions of analysis in the life sciences industry

Introduction to dimensions

Dimensions can be used by businesses to extend their chart of accounts by adding in more  layers to their accounting structure; yet still roll back up to the corporate structure. Extend your chart of accounts to allow for more detailed actual AND budget management reporting, all in one application. Share dimensions across more than one cube to reduce maintenance of the system going forwards. Updates to shared dimensions will pass from one analytical model to another. This could typically be used in the case of the organisation or time dimension. Remember to keep the keys unique in all dimensions.

Accounts dimension

Use a unique key for each individual account, and map those individual accounts into relevant parent accounts. Set the account type, to determine whether the account is revenue, expenditure, asset or liability/equity. In addition, set the time conversion method to understand how the financials aggregate at year-end, half-year end or quarter-end. Profit and loss reports typically show summed data, whilst a report on the statement of financial position would show the last monthly position.

Organisation dimension

Since the corporate structure always remains in tact, there is no concern when a business unit extends an account because corporate actual’s are never impacted. For each organisational entity, tag the relevant currency for that organisation member.

Currency dimension

Utilize the currency dimension to import all data as native, and then convert to US Dollars, Great British Pounds, Euros, etc.

Time dimension

Utilize the time dimension to configure how reports are set up, and to allow for loading of monthly, weekly or even daily values.

Business recommendation

Implement ONE solution to keep track of actual’s vs budget – don’t implement more than one solution and then waste time integrating, reconciling and validating data  between two systems. This is time consuming, laborious, and will contain so many moving parts that errors are unavoidable. Remove the need for mapping data from one database into another. Remove the need for data entry templates being used to collect data from subsidiaries who do not have access to an all-in-one application.