3 Key Uses of Supplemental Data Manager

3 Key Uses of Supplemental Data Manager

Have you ever heard of the quote, “Less is more”? In the case of data, this is not true. In today’s business environment, data is abundant. Everywhere we look, businesses are either talking about or analyzing data; and for good reason. Data is critical to the success of any business, in any industry. So, when we talk about data, actually, “More is more”!

Regardless of your position in a company, you are either handling data, analyzing data, or both. With that being said, most businesses struggle with a place to store and analyze financial information and other unstructured, textual data from sources outside of their existing EPM tools. If you fall into that category, look no further! Oracle Supplemental Data Manager (SDM) may be the tool for you.

What is SDM?

Supplemental Data Manager is a module within Oracle’s Financial Close Manager suite. SDM is a platform that can be used to centralize the collection of financial, textual, and other unstructured financial or textual data. It easily integrates with Oracle Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) and allows metadata pulls from, source data uploads to, and drill-back from HFM. SDM is really just like your kitchen cabinets (a lot more organized than mine). Like your kitchen cabinets, SDM has 3 key uses.

1. All Financial Data Stored

Some kitchen cabinets store only food. Similarly, SDM can be used to store data only. This means that there are no textual fields. Financial data is collected on all members and can either reside only in SDM or can have totals calculated and pushed to HFM. A common example would be a rollforward schedule for property, plant, and equipment.

2. Both Financial Data and Textual Data Stored

Sometimes your kitchen is so small that food and dinnerware must co-mingle in the cabinets. SDM is by no means small but occasionally both financial and textual information need to be captured. To be clear, the textual data you capture may/may not describe the actual financial data. This is available in HFM using cell text submission, however, SDM provides a much easier and cleaner way of entering text. Think of an investment schedule where you would want to capture not only the investment amount, but also other items such as the ticker symbol, bond rating, date of investment, etc. The combinations are endless.

 

3. All Textual Data Stored

Everyone has that one cabinet in their kitchen where Betty Crocker resides. Not her of course, but those glorious cookbooks. SDM has similar capabilities where it can store all the recipes to the financial information. In this instance, no financial information is collected, and only textual information is stored. In SDM, there is the ability to store text in many different forms (actual text, check boxes, drop downs, etc.). There are endless possibilities with this use, however, the most common pain point cured is the capturing and storing of financial statement footnotes.

When talking about SDM I like to stress “the right tool for the right job”. Sure, you can put rollforward schedules, submit cell text, and things of that nature in HFM, but it may be more clunky and less streamlined for user input. SDM can provide a better tool for things that are currently in HFM, but also take data/text that is in a spreadsheet somewhere else and bring it into an enterprise grade system, with centralized access, security, reporting, etc. SDM is a centralized reporting tool; it eliminates the need to pass multiple files around for editing–also referred to as, “too many cooks in the kitchen syndrome.” When files are on shared drives there are numerous versions out there all containing bits and pieces. Digging through the shared drives to find those files from months, maybe even years ago (after data has been closed) is a huge pain point.

As mentioned earlier, SDM is often used to capture supplemental information that doesn’t necessarily need to reside in HFM, but is part of the reporting package, such as financial statement disclosures.

The best way to get a feel for SDM it is to see it for yourself! So, if your kitchen needs remodeling or updating, contact us to schedule a demo.

blogJared GoldSDM, EPM