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Knowledge @ Adaptive Insights LLC, a Workday company.

Variables to Consider when Setting up Assumption and Driver Accounts

There are a lot of variables to consider when setting up assumption/driver accounts.  This guide assumes that you know how to create accounts and offers things to consider when selecting and setting up your assumptions.

What should be an assumption

Any number you would need to flex in a formula (or may need to in the future) is an assumption/driver.  The key benefit of setting up the assumption accounts is that it gives you the flexibility of changing the value in one place and impacting several others.  Also, you can vary assumptions between versions for analysis.  Common examples include:

  • Raise %
  • Days Sales Outstanding
  • Growth %
  • High level targets
  • Planned Average Selling Price

Select the right type of account for the job

Any type of account can serve as an assumption account

  • Assumptions 
    • For data that are entered at the Top Level (only) level
    • One value for the entire model
    • Can only be Periodic type accounts, so often Quarters and Years are meaningless
    • Examples
      • Global raise assumption
      • Workdays per month
  • Custom Accounts
    • For data that can vary by level
    • Can be Periodic or Cumulative type accounts
      • Tip:  Use Cumulative, planned by Delta as your account settings to simplify entry for values that should be the same for all future periods instead of having to copy forward

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  • Cube or Modeled accounts
    • For data that can vary by level as well as custom Dimensions
    • Can be Periodic or Cumulative type accounts (see Tip from Custom Accounts above)
    • Most types of cube account can be used (standard, calculated, metric).  You should avoid using assumption type of cube account as they only exist within the cube
    • Modeled sheets are better for sparse data as they allow you to only create rows for valid dimension combinations.  Like cubes, you should avoid using the assumption type of account in the modeled sheet

Leverage groups to keep related Assumptions together in your account list

This is mostly for Assumptions and Custom accounts as Modeled and Cube sheets already represent a grouping of your accounts.  Leveraging groups simplifies sheet creation and reporting on the assumptions.  It also makes them easier to find while building formulas.

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Turn off Actuals, if not needed

It is common that Assumptions/Drivers are for planning only, therefore there is no Actual data.  To prevent any formula problems related to the lack of Actual data, you should change the account property in the Actuals overlay section to “No actuals for account” (if you have data in the Actual version for this account it will just be hidden if this setting is selected and only the plan values will be used in formulas in any period).  Sheets like Personnel benefit the most from this setting as you move into midyear revisions.

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Select the right sheet location

  • Level Assigned sheets:  End users should be able to adjust their own assumptions, these sheets display on the Sheets navigation menu item
  • User Assigned sheets (most common):  Selected users can adjust the assumptions, these sheets display on the Assumptions navigation menu item
    • Tip:  Use “Assum” in the sheet code as a prefix for User Assigned cube/modeled sheets.  This will help you know where to find the sheet when debugging formulas later

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