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Workday Adaptive Planning KB

Basic Concepts for Sheets

Describes the basic concepts of your planning model.

Instance and Model

An instance is the collection of structural components that define a fully-functional  planning entity. Sometimes called an installation, an instance consists of a single set of accounts, organization structure, versions, dimensions, attributes, sheets, versions, permissions, fiscal years, integrations. Workday allows multiple planning instances. 

Think of your instance as how your business exists within Adaptive Insights. It includes all your company's actuals and planning versions and all the related data, levels, and so on. The model of your instance refers to the building blocks, (the accounts, levels, assumptions and formulas). 


A version represents a particular financial scenario.  For example, a version can be current-year actuals, next year's budget, a three-year plan, or a what-if plan for evaluating the effects of a business transaction.

There are two types of versions: actuals and plan versions. When you're viewing actuals, you're looking at actual numbers of sales, costs, and so on, that have already happened. There can be more than one sub-version of actuals. For example, you may have a sub-version of actuals that slices the data into smaller segments, based on levels, dimensions or attributes.

Plan versions, on the other hand, are data that has been or is being forecasted or budgeted. These are estimates of the future. An instance generally has more than one plan version. For example, you may see a Budget, a Forecast, a Working Budget as well as an Approved Budget. Plan versions may also be further broken down by year, level, dimension or attribute.


Levels are the organizational structures of your business. For example, levels represent departments, profit centers, cost centers, or geographical regions.

Level access is the primary way your admin controls which users can see which data. The levels a user has permission to see dictates the data they can view and update. Levels also help you filter data displayed on sheets. 


Sheets provide an interface to view, enter, and update data (such as actual ledger data, forecasts, personnel information and budgets). There are three types of sheets: standard, modeled, and cube. 

See Sheets Overview, Sheets Interface Tour, and Sheet Types


An assumption is a global value that is accessible to all users when writing formulas in their own plans. Assumptions can vary over time and have different values in different versions, but will have the same value at all levels and in every account.

Assumptions are often associated with user-assigned sheets. These sheets let you see and update data to which you normally do not have access. For example, expenses from the IT department are allocated to all other departments based on the number of computers in each department. The IT manager does not have access to enter data in departments outside of IT. With a user-assigned sheet, the IT manager can enter the number of computers for each departments. The data can be used to calculate the IT allocation.

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