What is comparative data?
It is a set of data that you compare your draft plan against. The dataset shown under comparative data is also used to calculate other elements of your new plan. Look for … ‘based on comparative data’… in a section header like this:
Comparative data is often just last year’s actual costs for the department and cost type we are looking at. We have given it a general title because the admin user doing setup can choose what the plan will be compared to and can also mix and match several sources as in this example.
When doing the setup the admin user can choose between actual data from any past year that is in PMI and any of the previous forecasts/budgets created through the planning module. As a forecast file can be longer than one year they can also use multiple sources to cover all the months.
What comparative (data) should I use?
The first time you set up a plan we would normally advise using last year’s actual data as long as it had a fairly normal business pattern. For example, the results from 2020 will not be a good base for planning a normal business year and Actual 2019 may need to be used.
If you prepare frequent (monthly or quarterly) forecasts it may be best to use the last forecast each time. That way you will start from your latest expectations of pricing and cost levels each time and can just update for the latest developments.
Note that creating a plan will always fetch the latest consumption/usage data from cockpits so the choice of comparative only affects any prices or splits used to turn the expected volumes into financial plans.
It is advisable to set up a policy around the comparatives to use in your chain to make different property forecasts more comparable.
Example below is Energy. This is the main dataset chosen centrally to compare your plan against. This saves you going elsewhere to check the values in Actual data or in the last forecast (the source is pre-set by admin/controller for the whole property). This is the data used as basis to prepopulate the unit prices.
When the source is Actual data this section will display the cost for each month from the P&L (trial balance) for the month and the usage (kWh here) from the full-month cockpit figures. These are used to calculate and display a unit price using the same formula highlighted at the top of the page.