Overview: What is a model?

In PerformancePoint Planning Business Modeler, a model is collection of data and metadata, properties, and business logic. In a way, a model is a logical replica of some aspect of a business.

A model encapsulates the data, dimension structures, logical relationships, and properties of a business process. Currency conversion is one example of such a business process. Many businesses have to convert different currencies to the currency of the home office. An Exchange Rate model encapsulates key exchange rates over specified time periods.

Another example might be a consolidation model . Many businesses prepare consolidated financial statements for statutory authorities such as the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States. Typically, a consolidation model encapsulates both shares ownership data and the logical rules that determine how to use that information in consolidation. In addition, the consolidation model includes business rules that eliminate intercompany transactions. It also includes all the account structures, data and logic that are required to create financial statements.

A model collects the elements that are required to perform the target business function in a single logical entity. When complete, a model includes the following elements:

  • Source data     Data that is loaded from existing databases, and data provided by team members.

  • Dimensions and metadata     Dimensions, member sets, and members that help you create structures for data that organize it in a way that is meaningful to the organization.

  • Properties     Specific attributes that define the particular model, such as whether users can add annotations, what the default currency is, and whether the model can accept input.

  • Business rules     Logical operations that use the data, such as allocations and value assignments, ordinary calculations such as year-to-year variances and depreciation, and financial calculations such as consolidation.

  • Model-to-model Associations     Specific instructions that map data from another model into the dimensions and data structures of the defined model.

In this section

Overview of model types

Dimensions and metadata

Model properties

Business rules

Model-to-model associations

Overview of model types

To save time, PerformancePoint Planning Server defines the basic structure of several different types of models when you create an application. These predefined models function as templates. A modeler or an analyst adds custom elements to the template as required for the the model. In addition to predefined models, PerformancePoint Planning also offers a generic model definition, which includes only those dimensions that are required by the application for calendar compatibility.

You can customize any model type, predefined or generic, by adding additional dimensions, defining members in the dimensions, creating custom business rules, and creating custom workflow processes.

The following table describes the model types that you can select in Planning Business Modeler.

Model Type


Financial model with shares calculations

A predefined model type that includes logic to perform intercompany reconciliation with shares, share allocations, and consolidation for financial reporting. Use this model to performing financial consolidation for statutory reporting, and for calculating share ownership among subsidiary entities in large, multiple-business scenarios.

Predefined dimensions:      Account, Business Process, Consolidation Method, Entity, Flow, Scenario, Time, and TimeDataView.

Financial model without shares calculations

A predefined model type that includes includes logic to perform intercompany elimination before consolidation, and consolidation without cacluating shares ownership. Use this model to perform consolidation for management purposes.

Predefined dimensions:     Account, Business Process, Consolidation Method, Entity, Flow, Scenario, Time, and TimeDataView.

Generic model

A model type that contains no built-in logic. Use this model to create custom model designs of any kind that include business rules, such as revenue allocation across organizational business units, or forecasting human resources costs.

Predefined dimensions:     Scenario, Time

Global assumption model

A model type that is designed to contain reference data for financial models (with or without shares), or generic models. Use this model to manage business assumptions, such as employee pay rates, head counts, and price lists.

Predefined dimensions:      Scenario, Time

Exchange Rate model

A predefined assumption model type that includes dimensions to track foreign exchange values for all currencies in the system. Use this model to perform currency conversion, and as a reference model for calculation that requires currency conversion.

Predefined dimensions:      Currency (source), Currency (destination), Entity, Exchange Rate, Scenario, and Time.

You can create multiple models of the same type that can be used for different purposes. For more information about how to select a model type, see Create a model in Planning Business Modeler

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Dimensions and metadata

The data in an application is organized in structures called dimensions. Dimensions represent elements of the business. The elements might be tangible, such as Employees, Products, or Accounts, or they might represent important views of the business data, such as Business Process, Time, or Scenario. The dimensions of data describe where the data fits in the business picture, just as dimensions in ordinary life describe a desk by using the measures 60" long, 40' deep, and 32" high.

When you create a model in Planning Business Modeler, you select the dimensions that you want in the model. If you want to use your model to create revenue forecasts, you might include the Accounts dimension and the Entity dimension. By contrast, you might not include an Employee dimension, or a Business Process dimension.

For more information about dimensions, see Dimensions in Planning Business Modeler

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Model properties

In Planning Business Modeler, a model property is an attribute of a model. Typically, model properties specify important configuration information, such as whether PerformancePoint Planning Server should track changes in data or structures in the model, whether a model can be exported, and so on.

When you create a model, Planning Business Modeler automatically creates model properties. These system-defined properties vary according to the model type. For more information about model types, see Overview of model types. For more information about the specific properties, see About model properties.

In addition, you can define a customized model property, and then use that property as a variable in business rules. For example, you might create a property that represents income that might be generated by currency exchange, and then use that value elsewhere. For more information about how to create a user-defined property, see Add, delete, or modify a model property. For information about how to use a model property in a business rule, see Using variables and parameters in Planning Business Modeler.

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Business rules

In Planning Business Modeler, a business rule is a short, executable program that performs a business task. Business rules are part of a model. They define what actions can be taken with the data in the model. You can use rules to allocate resources, calculate forecasts, determine variances, and find values for key performance indicators (KPIs). Rules can help you query, seed data in forms, or move balances from one period to another.

Planning Business Modeler automatically creates some rules for you when you create certain kinds of models. For example, if you create a financial model, Planning Business Modeler automatically creates aggregation rules, rules that calculate opening balance, and rules that calculate non-periodic cumulative values such as Year-to-date. Frequently, modelers and analysts use one of the many business rule templates that are included with Planning Business Modeler to create a rule. For more information, see About predefined rule templates in Planning Business Modeler.

Alternatively, you can write customized rules in the Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Expression Language (PEL). You can also select how Planning Business Modeler implements the rule. This determines whether the rule is run against a relational database, against a SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) system, or against one of the specialized subcomponents within Planning Server.

To learn how to create a business rule, see How do I write a business rule?.

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Model-to-model associations

Each model includes the specifications for its own elements. In addition, a model might include associations, which are specifications for how the model can use data from other models. An association provides detailed instructions for how dimensions and dimension structures should be mapped from a source model to a destination model.

Analysts might use associations for a variety of purposes. For example, an analyst might create an association to map budget data from a corporation-wide model to a model for a subsidiary company. Alternatively, analysts can use an association to map data between models that represent different what-if scenarios.

For more information, see How do I use an association to copy data between models?

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