I’ve recently gotten started on a project using Microsoft’s new PerformancePoint Server (PPS) Plan software. I’m actually writing this on a flight back from Seattle after meeting with the PPS team. It was a valuable trip, and I learned a lot about the product.
Perhaps more importantly, I learned about the best way to utilize it in our scenario, which is not a traditional financial scenario. Microsoft is supporting and encouraging its use in non-financial applications, but there are definitely some things that you have to plan ahead for.
One of the first things we encountered was in handling time. Plan creates the time dimension for you, based on some settings that you specify. You have the option to choose between a number of standard financial calendars, but our calendar definitely did not fall into any of the available options. We ended up creating an additional dimension to hold our time attributes, but there are still a number of open issues around coordinating this alternate time with the built-in financial calendar (which is required in every model). As we resolve some of these issues, I’ll post the resolutions.
Fortunately, from an overall standpoint it looks like PPS Plan will support our scenario very well. As we continue forward with the project, I’ll post some additional details.