Reporting — Access to your Sourcing Information
Reporting and Analysis gives you access to complex business information from multiple sources, including event history, specifications on goods and services, RFX summaries and awards, lot and bidding information, and surveys and scorecards of supplier performance data. Reports display data from these sources on a pivot table, which you can manipulate to see different scenarios for the data. Pivot tables allow you to filter, slice, and drill down into the information as needed to see broad patterns and relationships, summary information, and detail at the same time.
Here are descriptions of these concepts and terms as used in Reporting and Analysis:
- Facts represent the basic transactions you are investigating when you run a report. Facts can be Ariba Sourcing projects or events, and others. The data you want to examine in the report—suppliers, bids and lots, project tasks, and so on—are elements of those facts. Information about a business tends to fall naturally into dimensions such as commodities (or products), cost departments or centers (business units), suppliers, and time. Suppliers and events are just two examples of dimensions in supplier participation:
- Dimensions can stretch across multiple facts. For example, both Supplier Participation and Event Item Summary have supplier and lot commodity dimensions. A dimension can contain different levels of data. Those levels are organized in a top-down structure called a hierarchy, which progresses from general to specific information. For example, the lowest level in the Commodity hierarchy in the Commodity dimension might be the actual commodity item; the next level might be the class of product, then the product family, with the highest level being product segment.
- Hierarchies: A dimension can have more than one hierarchy. For example, a Time dimension can be divided into two hierarchies: Calendar and Fiscal.
- A measure is a numeric data value from a fact, such as the bid amount submitted by a supplier or an event’s lot quantity. You apply aggregation functions (such as sum, average, min, and max) to measures and display them in reports. The measure can be numerical data, calculations from computed fields, or aggregations of numerical data. You can create user-defined fields (also called computed fields or derived measures), which are calculations based on measures. Measures are always values that can be calculated, such as number of bids submitted; reports also show data such as suppliers, but since the name of a supplier is not a value that can be calculated, it is not a measure.
- Cubes: A traditional spreadsheet or relational database shows a two-dimensional view of business data with data cells arranged in rows and columns. Ariba reports can show several dimensions and data fields at once, and those dimensions and data fields can be represented by a cube.
- Pivot Tables: In Ariba reports, cubes of data are represented by a pivot table. A pivot table is a spreadsheet-like structure of row fields, column fields, page fields, and data fields. Any dimension in a cube can be represented by a page field, row field, or column field. For example, you can make Supplier a page field, Date a column field, and Commodity a row field: purchases by commodity, month, and supplier. The data fields provide the data values and detailed information for the commodities by time and supplier. The page fields act as filters on the other fields. For example, if you make Supplier a page field, the report can show the row and column data for all suppliers, or for just one supplier. Column fields correspond to the columns in a traditional spreadsheet. Row fields correspond to the rows in a traditional spreadsheet.
Reporting and Analysis for Ariba Sourcing & Supplier Management
When analyzing your Ariba Sourcing or Supplier Management, you might typically ask the following questions:
- How much are you spending?
You might want to analyze your spend by event, by commodity, and by supplier. Who are your suppliers and how much do you spend with them in sourcing events? Once you view your spend data, you can investigate further by asking: where can you consolidate?
- How are you spending the money?
You can analyze your events by management processes. Are your events and projects completed on time, and what savings are you achieving? After viewing the data, you can delve into operational efficiency: are there any bottlenecks? Is the workload distributed evenly across your company? What are they costing you? What kinds of events and processes produce the best results?
- Who is performing?
You can analyze your events and suppliers in comparison with your spend. Which suppliers are participating in events, and what is their bidding behavior? Which suppliers have the best Supplier Performance Management metrics, and for which commodities? Using these results, you can determine who should be eliminated and who should receive more volume.
When you work with the reports, you can ask yourself the questions above to help you decide how to manipulate the report fields to get the answers you need.
These default analytical, parameterized, and compound reports are delivered with your Ariba Spend Management solution as a basis for your own customization or adaptation for your particular company’s needs. The reports are grouped into folders by area, for example, Event Reports. Within the Event Reports folder are reports relating to sourcing events.
The reports that are available to you, and the fields that are available in those reports, depend your company’s Ariba Spend Management solution configuration. This section describes reports in the default configuration. Some prepackaged reports are available as part of features that might or might not be enabled in your solution. The best way to become familiar with the reports is to work with them. In addition to the standard data fields associated with each of the supplied facts, many of the reports contain user-defined fields based on these data fields. In some reports, the data has been constrained to illustrate a type of analytical report. For example, sometimes unclassified data has been excluded from the pivot table view for easier recognition of other trends.
Beverly Dunn is a Customer Success Manager with Ariba. All customers are invited to join the private Customer Success group on Ariba Exchange, where you can access the Customer Success Spotlights, Lunch 'n Learn Webinar calendar and replays, and the Ariba Knowledge Nuggets.