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Flexible Time Modeling

Introduces you to flexible time modeling and the concept of configuring your calendar to accommodate business processes.

Time in Adaptive Insights is used to define the start and end of a Version, set the columns visible in standard sheets, create elements in reports, restrict import ranges, establish parameters for use in Integration, and much more. By default, any choices you need to make involving time rely on the standard fiscal Month/Quarter/Year time granularity.

If you have Administrator permissions and have been granted the Time admin permission, you can configure your organization's calendar to accommodate your business processes.

This is done by defining your own time strata and time periods in an Excel spreadsheet, then uploading the spreadsheet using the Time Management UI.

The term strata was chosen to refer to roll-up layers of time to prevent confusion with the term levels — most frequently used to discuss organizational structure.

How Flexible Time Modeling Works

Time Strata

Time strata are the levels of time that roll up to each other from lowest granularity to highest granularity. You can declare up to 8 time strata for use in your instance. 

Example Strata: Day > Week > Month > Quarter > Half Year > Fiscal Year

A stratum is an individual level of time, with its own name and code. It might be named "Quarter" and have a code of "QTR".

Time Strata Explanation Diagram

Within the Time Administration, you can select which stratum is the default for your standard sheets and general ledger. The strata you configure also make it possible to enable Model Dependent Time -- allowing you to choose the time strata individual modeled or cube sheets roll up to.

Each stratum has the following properties, all of which are editable:

  • Name of stratum (e.g. "Quarter")
  • Code for stratum (e.g. "Qtr")
  • Shortname for stratum (e.g. "Q")

By default, an instance of Planning contains three strata:

  • Month
  • Quarter
  • Year

Time Periods

Time Periods are collections of consecutive days with established start and end dates. The smallest possible time period is one day.

Example Periods: Wk1-2016, Wk2-2016, Jan-2016, Period1-2016, 2016

No two periods in the same stratum are allowed to contain the same day. All periods on a stratum must be contiguous without gaps. Every time period of a higher stratum must contain at least one time period on each lower stratum. Each time period on a stratum must roll up to exactly one time period on each higher stratum. Time must be a strict hierarchy and cannot be ragged.

13 Period Calendar Example

Retail, consumer goods, restaurant chains and other businesses frequently adopt a calendar of 13 four-week periods for a fiscal year. Such a calendar divides the year into equally sized periods, instead of 12 months of varying lengths. The 13 period calendar has the same number of weeks in each period and the same number of each of the days of the week. A P&L statement for this calendar reflects the sales of four Mondays, four Tuesdays, four Wednesdays and so on, within each period. This equally divided calendar allows for more meaningful performance comparisons.

13 Period Calendar Example Diagram

Click here to download an example xlsx file of a 13 Period calendar.

Academic Calendar Example

Many educational institutions use a trimester-based academic year. A fiscal calendar with three consecutive trimester/break sequences allows matching expense, operational and revenue patterns to the academic year. In-session and break weeks fall within their own fiscal periods, making comparisons easier. Such a fiscal year might look like the following:

  • 1st trimester = 15 weeks
  • 1st break = 2 weeks
  • 2nd trimester = 15 weeks
  • 2nd break = 2 weeks
  • 3rd trimester = 15 weeks
  • 3rd break = 3 weeks

Academic Calendar Example Diagram

Click here to download an example xlsx file of an Academic calendar.

4-4-5 Calendar Example

The name of this calendar represents how weeks (4 weeks + 4 weeks + 5 weeks) can be organized into months. It is commonly used for performing weekly and period analysis to measure the effect of marketing campaigns.

The 4-4-5 pattern repeats in each quarter for the rest of the fiscal year. 

Other variations of this calendar use a pattern of 4-5-4 and 5-4-4.

4-4-5 Calendar Example Diagram

Click here to download an example xlsx file of a 4-4-5 calendar.

Half Year Calendar Example

Half year calendars divide the year in two parts at the highest granularity. Lower granularities, like quarters or months, then roll up to the half year. In some countries half year reporting is an accounting standard. Half year calendars are also useful for season-driven companies, such as fashion retail.

This example shows months rolling up to quarters, which then roll up to the half year.

1H 2H Calendar

Click here to download an example xlsx file of a half year calendar.

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