One excellent feature of the new EPM 11.1 release is that one can now add cell level/report level comments in Hyperion Financial Reporting. Since Hyperion Financial Reporting(HFR) is primarily used for creating financial reports out of Essbase, this feature makes a lot of sense wherein users can add attachments/comments to a report which other users can see & comment/reply upon. For example, consider a scenario wherein there are 2 users admin1 and admin2 who are analyzing the same HFR report. Consider admin2 to be a financial analyst and admin1 to be an Essbase/HFR Administrator. Now, lets assume that the HFR administrator has created the below shown report based on the DMDemo data which one would get by default after installing EPM 11.1.
As you see, the above is a very simple report wherein users can analyze the product sales across different years for different scenarios. Now, once this report has been created admin1 would then publish the report out to admin2 so that he/she can do the analysis on the report. Admin2 user, after doing an analysis realizes that there is a huge mismatch in the data. There are some negative numbers which is not possible since sales can only be positive or zero. In a normal scenario, if admin2 wanted to raise a flag to the Report Administrator (admin1), he would have to send an email to admin1 stating that the report data is wrong. Now with the introduction of Annotations, one can add comments to a report at the report level, cell level, grid level and individual member levels. So, admin2 would basically come inside the HFR report and would enable the Annotations window.
The annotation window would look similar to the screenshot shown below.
Now, the admin2 user would click on New to create an annotation.
One can assign different categories to the annotation. Also, one can assign contexts and also attach an URL or a custom document to the annotation.
In our example, admin2 realizes that 2003 numbers are totally wrong (since they are all negative). Hence he would be creating 2003 Year member level annotation indicating to the admin1 user that 2003 data is wrong.
He would also assign a 2003 member context to the above annotation.
Now, the annotation would automatically come on the 2003 member as a cell document (shown in the below screenshot)
The admin2 user would then set a permission on this annotation so that admin1 can see this annotation.
Now if we log in as admin1, we should be seeing an annotation on the 2003 member. Now, admin1 user can reply back to this annotation, informing admin2 that he would look into the reporting issue.
A very interesting feature. I believe this was part of the Hyperion Planning product before and this has now been incorporated into Hyperion Financial Reporting. It would be very interesting to see how this feature comes over to BI EE since dashboard commentary is something that is lacking currently in BI EE. Though i have blogged about the method of implementing the dashboard commentary for BI EE here, the major problem there is it maintains all the commentary in the database which should typically not be the case. Report and member level commentaries should be maintained only in the report metadata.