The Entity Dimension in BPC

download (1)The Entity dimension is one of the most important dimensions in BPC. The SAP ECC has four different objects that can act as Entity like Cost Center, Profit Center, Business Area and Company Code. The planning can happen on any of the above based on company structure and planning requirements.

The question is how we build the Entity dimension, by encompassing all four objects into one entity dimensions or by keeping them as separate dimensions. Let’s weigh the pros and cons.

Keep Cost Center, Profit Center, Business Area and Company Code as separate dimension

Pros:

  • Easy to integrate and automate master data from ECC to BW to BPC
  • Duplicate members can be tolerated, many times same member id is used for business area and company code in ECC

Cons:

  • Sparse data model, extra number of dimensions make data sparse and unnecessary big model
  • The availability of data decides the relationship and not hierarchies. If a transaction exists having a particular cost center and a particular business area then they are related. The hierarchy across these objects does not exist.
  • Become difficult to locate the data across these objects.
  • The usability goes down as user has to select all four objects correctly to find the require data
  • The chances of wrong data submission due to user error increases

Integrate one or more into a composite Dimension

Pros:

  • The BPC data model becomes smaller and easy to manage
  • The data available at Cost Center get rolled up to company code.
  • The planning and reporting become easy and intuitive

Cons:

  • The four objects need to be integrated in an hierarchy in BW or BPC using custom logic
  • Duplicate members require renaming with prefix like BA or COMP, etc.
  • The relationship between cost center, profit center, business area and company code needs to be many to one and not many to many. This may need redesign in ECC

The Take-Away

The composite dimension in BPC has efforts in the design and development phase but it makes the life of the end-user easier and reporting more robust. Entity dimension is one of the most important dimensions in BPC and its design has long term consequences on success or failure of BPC implementation. Considering each BPC implementation has its own set of challenges, it requires a careful study of the pros and cons listed above.

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