Adding Nodes to a Value Driver Tree

In the Calculation tab in the value driver tree (VDT) modeler, you create nodes to bring in data from the source model, perform calculations on it, and return the calculation results to the model. These nodes make up the calculation flow.

Context

You can use the Auto-Complete feature to immediately add multiple nodes based on the model’s account structure, and then create and configure additional nodes yourself if necessary.

Create a value driver tree and set up the model and time period before performing these steps. For more information, see Creating a Value Driver Tree.

Procedure

  1. From the Main Menu (), select Start of the navigation path Browse Next navigation step Processes Next navigation step  Value Driver TreesEnd of the navigation path.
  2. From the list, choose the value driver tree that you want to work with.
  3. Select the Calculation tab.

    Here, you can build the value driver tree by creating nodes and configuring their relationships to the model and to other nodes.

    The Designer panel allows you to configure a selected node in the Node Details view, or to view, search, and sort all of the nodes in the List of Nodes view. You can also show or hide the currency and unit details on all nodes by selecting Start of the navigation path Next navigation step Currency/UnitEnd of the navigation path from the List of Nodes view.

    By default, the value driver tree is created with a single blank node. You can begin working with this node to set up your value driver tree, or you can use the Auto-Complete feature to add multiple nodes from the account structure of the model.

  4. To add multiple nodes from the model’s accounts, select (Auto-Complete).

    In the Auto-Complete window, the model’s account hierarchy is displayed. By default, all accounts are selected for addition to the calculation flow.

    1. Change the selected accounts as necessary.

      When you select an account that has dependencies, those accounts are also selected by default.

      For example, if you select the Net Revenue account, its child members Gross Sales and Sales Discounts are also selected, as well as Unit Price and Units Sold, which are used to calculate Gross Sales. You can deselect the dependencies if necessary.

    2. Select Ok.

      A data source node is added for each selected account that did not already exist in the calculation flow. The nodes are arranged according to their dependencies.

      You can continue to add and configure individual nodes.

  5. To add a new node, select (Add Node) and type a unique name in the Node Details panel.
  6. Select the Node Type in the Node Details panel, and configure the inputs and outputs.
    Setting up a node

    Node Type

    Options

    Data Source

    A data source node provides data from the model. Other nodes can use data source nodes as the basis for calculations.

    Source: Select the account that will provide source values for the node.

    The source account can be a restricted account or a calculated account. In this case, the node can be used as an input for a simple calculation node or a union node, but not for a YOY node.

    Source accounts that use exception aggregation and aggregation other than SUM are supported. They can be used as inputs for nodes that are calculated on details, and for union nodes. If they are calculated accounts, they can also be used as inputs for nodes that are calculated on aggregates.

    By default, all dimension members will be included, but you can filter one or more dimensions if you only want to include certain members.

    YOY (Year over year)

    A YOY node calculates the yearly values for an account using a base value and a growth rate driver, and outputs that data to an account in the model.

    For example, if you have an account containing sales data for 2015 and an account containing the YOY sales growth rate, you can use a YOY node to forecast sales for 2016 and subsequent years.

    Calculate: Choose how to perform the calculation. Your selection affects how values are distributed to the leaf members of the output account. For more details, see Aggregation in Formulas.
    • On Details: Select this option to perform separate calculations with each leaf member of the input nodes. This option will capture different growth rates for different regions or products, for example. In this case, the filter for the node is inherited from its base input, and cannot be changed.

    • On Aggregates: Select this option to aggregate values from each leaf member of the input nodes before performing the calculation. In this case, newly calculated leaf members keep the same distribution as the previous time period, except along the Date dimension, where the first member of each year receives the entire value. This option allows you to broaden or refine the filter on the node. However, all dimensions for the input accounts must use SUM aggregation, unless the input account is a calculated account. In this case, the account can use exception aggregation, or standard aggregation other than SUM.

    Base: The node that provides the base value for the first year, which will grow for subsequent years according to the driver that you configure. You can select the YOY node itself to calculate subsequent time periods from the base value, or you can select a different data source node as the base. For example, if you want to simulate an optimistic growth rate scenario and a pessimistic growth rate scenario from the same base, you can use this option to create two YOY nodes that use the same base node. In this case, the value of the base account in the year before the calculation period is copied to the output account, and the values for subsequent periods will be calculated using the driver that you select. The base account must not be calculated by a formula.

    Driver Type: The type of YOY calculation to apply. In this release, only Growth Rate is available.

    Driver: The node that provides the growth rate data for the calculation. For example, if you created a YOY node for Software License Sales, you could use a Data Source node for Software Licenses YOY Growth as the driver.

    If you haven’t configured a node for the driver yet, you can select New Node to add the input node to the canvas, and then configure it.

    Output: The account where the results of the YOY node calculation for each year are stored. This account therefore provides the base value for calculating the subsequent year, too. For example, the Software License Sales node would use the Software License Sales account as the output.

    This account must be a leaf member, and must use SUM aggregation for all dimensions.

    Union

    A union node creates an aggregate of two or more nodes.

    For example, you might create a union node called Overall Sales that uses Software Sales and Hardware Sales nodes as inputs.

    Inputs: The nodes that will be aggregated together. Select to add another input.

    Parent and ancestors of the union node cannot also be used as one of its inputs.

    If you haven’t configured an input node yet, you can select New Node to add the input node to the canvas, and then configure it.

    If you use nodes with two or more different units or currencies as inputs, the union node does not display a unit.

    Simple Calculation

    A simple calculation node allows you to perform basic arithmetical calculations using two input nodes.

    For example, you may need to calculate values for the Average Contract Value (ACV) per year by multiplying the Total Contract Value (TCV) account and the ACV/TCV Ratio account. You can carry out this calculation using a Simple Calculation node, and filter the result for specific products or sales regions.

    Operator: Select an operator to set the type of calculation as addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.

    Calculation Period: You can specify a time period for the calculation. To use the default calculation period specified for the value driver tree, leave the Use default settings switch On. To change the time period, set the switch to Off and choose a Calculation Start Date and a Calculation End Date. In this release, you can set each date to a year within the time period for the model.

    Calculate: Choose how to perform the calculation. Your selection affects how values are distributed to the leaf members of the output account. For more details, see Aggregation in Formulas.
    • On Details: Select this option to perform separate calculations with each leaf member of the input nodes. This option will capture different growth rates for different regions or products, for example. In this case, the filter for the node is inherited from its base input, and cannot be changed.

    • On Aggregates: Select this option to aggregate values from each leaf member of the input nodes before performing the calculation. This allows you to broaden or refine the filter on the node. However, all dimensions for the input accounts must use SUM aggregation, unless the input account is a calculated account. In this case, the account can use exception aggregation, or standard aggregation other than SUM.

    If you select On Aggregates, values are distributed to members of the output account in the following manner:
    • For the Date dimension, all values are booked to the first time period of the year that is included in the calculation.

    • For each dimension that is filtered in the node, values are equally distributed among the leaf members included in the filter.

    • For dimensions that are not filtered, all values are booked to the Unassigned member (#).

    Inputs: Set two inputs for the calculation. For each input, either select a node from the list, or set the Constant switch to On and type a constant value for the input.

    For subtraction and division, set the inputs in the same order that you want them to appear in the formula.

    Output: The leaf account where the results of the calculation are stored. This account must use SUM aggregation for all dimensions.

    When you create simple calculation nodes, YoY nodes, and union nodes in the Calculation tab, they are automatically linked by solid lines to the nodes that provide input data to them.

  7. If necessary, you can apply filters to the account data. Choose the icon next to Filter in the Node Details panel.

    The Selected Filters dialog allows you to select members for each dimension other than Account, Date, and Version.

    For data source nodes, filters determine which data from the account is passed onto other nodes in the value driver tree that use the node as an input. For YOY and simple calculation nodes, the filters determine how the node values are distributed to the dimension members of the output account.

    For example, if you only want to calculate values for a certain region, you can filter the account data by geography. If you want to work with data for a specific product, you can filter the members of the product dimension.

    When you use filtered nodes as inputs for a union or calculation node, the intersection of the filtered members are kept. That is, if a member is filtered out in any of the input nodes, it is completely excluded from the node. As a result, the calculation is performed on the members that are at the intersection of the filters of all input nodes.

  8. To show data for the node, select (Reload Data).

    Each node that is fully configured will show a value for each year in the value driver tree's time range that has booked data. As in a table, dash characters (–) represent unbooked data, and cells with diagonal lines through them represent values that cannot be aggregated, for example, cells that use NONE aggregation and have two or more different child values.

  9. To highlight important nodes or help identify different types of nodes, you can set a unique header color for each node. Select the node and choose Formatting on the Designer panel. Select a color from the Node color list to apply it to the node header.

    You can quickly format another node with the same color by selecting the colored node, selecting (Node style painting), and then selecting another node that you want to color.

  10. On the Formatting panel, you can also choose to display the change in value from the previous year, or from the value of the node in the first year. Select a node and select one or both of Show Previous Year Delta and Show First Year Delta.

    These settings are preserved when you copy the node to the Consumption tab, and they can also be selected or deselected from that tab.

  11. Repeat steps 5-10 to set up subsequent nodes and build your value driver tree.

    As you build your tree, you can navigate by clicking and dragging the page and using the mouse wheel to zoom. A map of the value driver tree is displayed in the lower-left corner by default, and you can drag the selected area in the map or use the zoom buttons to change the view of the value driver tree, or select Fit to Screen to show all nodes in the canvas. You can also disable the map, resize it, or drag it to reposition it on the tile.

    To center the view on whichever node is currenctly selected, choose (Center View).

  12. To delete a node, select the node and select (Delete).

    Any copies of the node in the Consumption tab will also be removed. See Configuring a Value Driver Tree for Presentation for more details.

  13. You can also specify the version of the data that is displayed by selecting the version name in the top left corner of the canvas. The default version is Actual.

    If you want to add or edit values in the model, select Examine to show the model data in a table. See Exploring Model Data for a Value Driver Tree for more details.

  14. Select (Save).

Results

The calculation flow provides the underlying data and structure of the value driver tree. To optimize the value driver tree for presentation and analysis, see Configuring a Value Driver Tree for Presentation.