Distributing Data with Planning Panels


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Plan on multiple hierarchies
  • Distribute data with planning panels

Planning on Multiple Hierarchies

In the early phase of your planning process, your lead planner wants to do some high-level planning by store type and then lock down the data. Planning by individual stores will then occur but they won't be able to exceed the lead planner's values.

The process for planning with multiple hierarchies is explained in the following example:

  1. Create a high-level hierarchy by store type.
  2. Create low-level hierarchy that includes stores.
  3. The lead planner inputs the forecast amounts by store type.
  4. The lead planner locks the cell.
  5. The store planners input data by store, in mass data entry mode.
Steps that are listed before the image are highlighted in yellow. They are the steps for Entering Values with Multiple Hierarchies.

Additional Information

Visit SAP Help for more detailed information on: Entering Values with Multiple Hierarchies

Use Case: Top Down Budgeting

When you enter planning data for a dimension with multiple hierarchies, you can end up with values booked directly to parent nodes in some of the hierarchies. For example, you can work in one table with a hierarchy with store types as leaf members, and in another table with store types as parent members.

Top down budgeting has to do with setting a limit on what the planners can assign, for example, to their stores. In the following, you can see an example of the steps required to prevent the store planners from exceeding the total by store type:

  1. The store planner divides up the $1000 using Mass Data Entry and locks the cell.
  2. The budget is exhausted.
  3. The store planner can’t budget any more than $1000.
Steps that are listed before the image are highlighted in yellow. They are the steps for Top Down Budgeting.

Perform Distributions with the Planning Panel

Planning Panel

You can use the Planning Panel to move values in a table and perform distributions. The panel can help if you’re working on a task that’s too complex for basic data entry, but doesn’t need a structured data action or allocation process.

For example, you have an unassigned overhead cost that you want to spread to a few different cost centers. Or you need to redistribute sales volumes among different regions without changing the total. These tasks are difficult with basic spreadsheet applications, but you can handle them quickly with the Planning Panel.

The Planning Panel.

Features of the Planning Panel

Here are some of the features of the Planning Panel:

  • Use a form-based approach to distribute values between the members.
  • Allow the planners to distribute values in the data table using on-the-fly criteria they select.
  • Preview the results before submitting.
  • This is a built-in story feature.

You can also interact with the table while the Planning Panel is open. You can collapse or expand dimension members, set the drill level of a dimension, show or hide unbooked members, and show or hide rows and columns.

Basic Operations

There are two basic operations:

  • Distributing a source value to one or more target cells.

  • Redistributing the values of a group of cells.

Options, such as custom source values and different driver types, let you carry out more scenarios with the Planning Panel. You can also allocate multiple dimensions in one step, and pick target cells from different hierarchy levels.

Planning Panel Recommendations

In the following examples, you'll see the four options to distribute from an entity parent node to its members along with a preview.

The number of recommendation options depends on whether the source value is a parent with only children or a parent with siblings.

1. Distribute to Entity Members of the Same Level

Distribute to Entity Members of the Same Level option to the left and the example on the right.

2. Distribute to Entity Members One Level Below

Distribute to Entity Members One Level Below option to the left and the example on the right.

3. Redistribute Among Entity Members

Redistribute among Entity members option to the left and the example on the right.

4. Redistribute Among Entity Members of Lower Level

Redistribute among Entity members of lower level option to the left and the example on the right.


Use the Driver options to choose how to set the cell values:

  • Input Values: Add the exact target values, either in the table or in the panel.
  • Equally: Divide the source value equally among the cells.
  • Input Weights: Set proportional weights for each cell. For example, if you want to get weights from a different time period, you could copy and paste those values from the table.
  • Proportionally: Use the existing proportions between the cells. This option requires existing booked values.

Year-To-Date Variance

The Planning Panel can be used to adjust your revised annual budget. For example, if your travel expenses are higher than budgeted, you can assign the variance to the upcoming forecast periods. This way, you’ll set new targets that reduce your costs enough to meet the budget for the year.

In the following example, the year-to-date variance is 17,543,670. In the Planning Panel, you enter -17,543,670 and choose Append. The forecast for July to December is reduced. The YTD expense variance is distributed to the remaining months so that no over-runs occur by the end of the year.

Example of Year to Date variance. Table on left is before and the table on right is after. The middle image is the Planning Panel with Append highlighted.

Perform Advanced Distribution Using the Planning Panel

Task 1: Distribute Data Using the Planning Panel

Business Scenario

You want to plan at the country-level and you need a way to efficiently distribute the data to the stores.

You have two pages in the story:

  • The Store Plan page:
    • Uses the H1 Entity hierarchy with all stores
    • Uses this page to distribute the values to the leaf members
  • The Store Type Plan page:
    • Uses the H2 Entity hierarchy that only has parent nodes by country
    • Uses this page to enter the overall values

What skills will you develop in this practice exercise?

In this practice exercise, you will:

  • Input an overall forecast value for a country
  • Distribute the overall forecast value to its regions

Task 2: Input Data and Redistribute Using the Planning Panel

Business Scenario

You have a new value for the Northeast store. You need a way to efficiently redistribute the overall value among all regions.

What skills will you develop in this practice exercise?

In this practice exercise, you will:

  • Input data for a region
  • Redistribute the data to all regions

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