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  1. 1. ModelSheet Authoring – Reference Manual Chapter 7: Glossary Draft of 11/16/09 For the alpha test product as of this date, we recommend Internet Explorer 7 for ModelSheet online help. Other browsers may not display correctly. A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A Abstraction: In computer science, abstraction is the practice of factoring out details so that one can focus on key concepts. Addition provides a simple example of abstraction in mathematics. In concrete terms, addition is the process of counting, as represented by tables of addition of integers. In abstracted mathematical terms, addition is an associative, commutative binary operation mapping a set to itself. Accounting Type: Accounting Types are composites of ModelSheet’s four kinds of Base Data Types. They are easiest kind of Data Type to use in ModelSheet because they have names and meanings drawn from elementary accounting. For example, an Analysis Variable can be assigned Accounting Type “revenue” or “asset” (or one of over a dozen other Accounting Types). The Accounting Type affects computations, and display of numbers. Continuing the example: to combine revenues over several time periods, add revenues for the separate time periods; to combine (end-of-period) assets over several time periods, take the asset total for the last time period. In most situations, an Accounting Type tells ModelSheet just about everything it needs to know about the Combine and Split operators, the type of values, and the element display format of an Analysis Variable. See also Type. Analysis Variable (Avar for short): A named variable that holds data and formulas that define values for a basic concept in a model (such as ‘revenue,’ ‘expense,’ and ‘profit’). Analysis Variables can take on different values for different points in time (or intervals of time) and different items of segmentation Dimensions (such as different countries from a list of countries). Defining an Analysis Variable in ModelSheet requires specifying a Time Series (if its values depend on time), its segmentation Dimensions (if it has any), a Data Type, and data and formulas that define values of the individual cells. See also Analysis Variable Assistant. Analytical Models: Analytical models are algorithms implemented in software that accept (usually but not necessarily quantitative) inputs, and produce (usually but not necessarily quantitative) outputs. Analytical Modeling refers to the activity of authoring and using Analytical Models for decision support and similar applications. Automated Method of Analytical Modeling: An Automated Method for Analytical Modeling chooses design features and implements them in code that modelers would otherwise have to choose and write. Automated Methods are applied mostly to lower-level design decisions, such as combining and splitting variables over segments, and coarsening or refining the time unit of a model. As used herein, Automated Methods also refers to automatically choosing and implementing report layouts and formatting. High-level design decisions for Analytical Models require human judgment and usually are not such good targets for Automated Methods. See also Analytical Models. Avar: A short name for Analysis Variable. Avar Type: Attribute of an Avar that control their processing and display. For more information, see Type. Analysis Variable Assistant: A dialog in the Analysis Variable Editor that helps you to construct and enter Analysis Variables (with optional time and Dimension indices) into formulas in Analysis Variable cells. The Analysis Variable Assistant is useful if you don’t recall the name or spelling of an Analysis Variable, or you want to compare Analysis Variables that differ in subtle ways, or if you want to evaluate the Analysis Variable at a specific time or dimension item, or you don’t want to type the entire Analysis Variable and its index specifications. The Analysis Variable Assistant is documented in the chapter on Data and Formulas in the Reference Manual. B Base Avar Type: ModelSheet has four kinds of data types that underlie the higher level composite data types. These are Time Scaling Types, Dimension Scaling Types, Element Types (conventional data types like number, Boolean, string…), and Format Types. See also Type. BI: An abbreviation for Business Intelligence. BPM: An abbreviation for Business Performance Management a.k.a. Corporate Performance Management; or Business Process Management (which means something different) Business Intelligence (BI): Business intelligence (BI) is a broad category of application programs and technologies for gathering, storing, analyzing, and providing access to data to help enterprise users make better business decisions. BI applications include the activities of decision support, query and reporting, online analytical processing (OLAP), statistical analysis, forecasting and data mining. (Source: Copyright © 2009 ModelSheet Software, LLC. Contains confidential and proprietary information of ModelSheet Software, LLC. ModelSheet and the ModelSheet logo are registered trademarks of ModelSheet Software, LLC.
  2. 2. Page 2 of 7 Business Performance Management: See Corporate Performance Management. C Category: A Category is an ordered list of Analysis Variables. You can specify and view which Analysis Variables are members of a Category in the Category Editor (entered for example from the left column in the main window). Categories have several uses in ModelSheet: You can use Categories to 1) display all the variables in a Category on a worksheet table by naming the Category in the worksheet editor; 2) define model Features that can be enabled or disabled; 3) filter the global Formula View. See also Feature and Formula View. Client-Server Architecture: The client-server software architecture model distinguishes client systems from server systems, which communicate over a computer network. A client-server application is a distributed system comprised of both client and server software. A client software process may initiate a communication session, while the server waits for requests from any client.[1]. Reference: See also Software as a Service. Client/server describes the relationship between two computer programs in which one program, the client, makes a service request from another program, the server, which fulfills the request. Collapsible Group: A collapsible group of contiguous rows or columns that can be opened or closed in exported Excel workbooks. Collapsible row or column groups translate into Excel collapsible groups in exported Excel workbooks. The groups do not close in the web workbook in the ModelSheet Workbook Editor. Combine Operation: The process of combining information that is available at a fine level of detail to obtain information at a coarser level of detail. For example, if we have monthly revenue information, we obtain annual revenue by summing twelve monthly revenue totals. See also Split Operation. Comment: Authors can attach a comment to every Analysis Variable and every Dimension in a model. The comments appear in ModelSheet and in generated Excel workbooks. • In Excel workbooks, Avar comments appear throughout the workbook as Excel comments in the cell that contains the name of the Avar. Avar and Dimension comments appear on the worksheet “Labels” where you can edit the comments and re-import them to ModelSheet. • In ModelSheet, Avar comments appear in the Avar Editor on the tab “Properties”, on the tab “Data/Formula Table” ( if the Menu item “Display Comments “ is selected), and on the Global Formula View (accessed with the button “F”, if the box “Show Comments” is checked. Dimension comments appear near the top of the Dimension editor screen. Count: A Dimension Scaling Type that causes an Analysis Variable to roll up over a Dimension by adding the values for the Dimension Items. For example, you compute global revenue from country revenues by adding country revenues. Corporate performance management: is a set of processes that help organizations optimize their business performance. It is a framework for organizing, automating and analyzing business methodologies, metrics, processes and systems that drive business performance. BPM is seen as the next generation of business intelligence (BI). BPM helps businesses make efficient use of their financial, human, material and other resources. Acronym BPM. Same as Corporate Performance Management (CPM) and Enterprise Performance Management (EPM). Reference: CPM: abbreviation for Corporate Performance Management. Current User: is a customer who has purchased either SaaS service, a software license, support or an add-on product (and Application or Template) within the previous 12 months. D Data Source: the term “Data Source” refers to an external file of input data for a ModelSheet model. The term is used in two ways. • A “Data Source file” is the physical external data file, such as a file located on one of your directories. Currently Data Source files must be Excel workbooks. • A “Data Source object” in ModelSheet is an abstraction, or placeholder, for the Data Source file. It enables you to build the model with references to the Data Source object without specifying the Data Source file, and to change the Data Source file (by editing the Data Source object once) without editing every reference in the model to the external data. Data Sources are particularly useful when you want to use a data set with hundreds or thousands of records as input to a ModelSheet model. Data Type: A property assigned to an Analysis Variable that classifies it as a particular type of data. For example, an Analysis Variable may be assigned data type “revenue” or “asset.” The data type contains information about how to use the Analysis Variable in various operations. For example, to combine revenues over several time periods, add revenues for the separate time periods; to combine (end-of-period) assets over several time periods, take the asset total for the last time period. See also Type. Dimension: An ordered, hierarchical set of similar items used as segmentation variables for Analysis Variables. For example, the set of all countries forms a geographic “Location” Dimension which can be used to segment revenues, expenses, Copyright © 2009 ModelSheet Software, LLC.
  3. 3. Page 3 of 7 headcount etc. of a business. A Dimension can be hierarchical; for example, the Location Dimension can include continental regions where each country belongs to a continental region. Other examples include product group/product family/product, continent/region/country, division/department, job level/job title, and asset type. See also Item. Reference: Dimension Scaling Type: A Dimension Scaling Type that is assigned to an Analysis Variable (or to a Dimension of an Analysis Variable) determines the Dimension Combine and Dimension Split operators that are used to change the grain of the Analysis Variable with respect to segmentation Dimension(s). ModelSheet has two Dimension Scaling Types: Count and Ratio. Type Count is for Analysis Variables that count things, so that their values are rolled up over segments by addition. Type Ratio is for Analysis Variables that cannot be rolled up by addition (such as prices of products, gross margin % by product) that must be rolled up by weighted averages, or more generally by evaluating the rolled-up value using a defining formula for the Analysis Variable (for example, Gross_Margin_pct = Gross_Margin / Revenue). Dimension Scaling Types are one of the four kinds of Base Avar Types in ModelSheet. See also Type. E Element Type: An Element Type is a conventional data type for a variable. ModelSheet supports five Element Types: Any (i.e. an arbitrary expression), Boolean, Date, Number, and String. Element Types are one of the four kinds of Base Data Types in ModelSheet. See also Type. Enterprise Resource Planning: Management information systems that integrate and automate many of the business practices associated with the operations or production aspects of a company, including product planning, parts purchasing, maintaining inventories, interacting with suppliers, providing customer service, and tracking orders. ERP: an abbreviation for Enterprise Resource Planning. Error Codes: ModelSheet uses the following cell error codes that are similar to those in Excel. • #DIV/0 – attempting to divide by zero • #REF – referring to cells that do not exist • #VALUE – using a parameter of the wrong data type (such as text when a number is expected) See Excel help for more précised interpretations of how these error codes are used in Excel. ModelSheet uses several cell error codes that are not used in Excel. • #ERR – an unspecified error occurred in computing the value in a ModelSheet cell. • #MISSING – A ModelSheet cell has no formula or value. (Excel usually interprets an empty cell as a zero.) For detecting errors, see the ModelSheet functions iserr, iserror, and isna. Export: A ModelSheet model usually includes one or more web workbooks. It exports these web workbooks as Excel workbooks. F Feature: A model Feature is a part of a model that can be turned enabled or disabled (turned on or off) in ModelSheet. A Feature consists of (1) a Category of Analysis Variables that is marked as a Feature in the Category Editor, and (2) a set of worksheets, table containers and tables that are designated as members of the Category in the Worksheet Editors. When a Feature is disabled, it does not appear in computations, in web workbooks or in exported Excel workbooks. Each Analysis Variable in a Feature has a substitute value (defined in the Analysis Variable Editor) to be used in place of the variable in formulas of the model. See also Category. Format Type: A Format Type affects display of numbers or text titles. A Format Type that is assigned to an Analysis Variable determines how the numerical elements of the Analysis Variable are displayed in editors and in worksheets. The allowable Format Types depend on the Element Type of the Analysis Variable. ModelSheet supports five Format Types: Currency, Decimal, and Percent (for numbers), Date (for Dates), and Text (for Boolean variables and strings). See also Type. Formula: Inside the definition of an Analysis Variable, the values of an Analysis Variable for particular cells and collections of cells are given as data (for one cell with one value) or Formulas (for multiple cells with a value for each cell). Most of these formulas are used to compute cell values, similar to the way cell formulas are used in spreadsheets. Formula Bar: A type-in box in the Analysis Variable Editor where you type in data and formulas to specify values of an Analysis Variable. The Formula Bar is analogous to the type-in bar in Excel located at the top of each worksheet. The Formula Bar is located above the table on tab Data/Formula Table in the Analysis Variable Editor. Formula View: A view that shows all data and formulas inside an Analysis Variable or a group of Analysis Variables. The Formula View also shows for each formula at which time node and dimension node to which the formula is attached, and whether it is a regular formula or a roll-up formula. ModelSheet has two kinds of Formula Views: 1) The Avar Formula View shows this information for one Analysis Variable and its precedent and dependent Analysis Variables (in the Variable Editor). 2) The global Formula View shows all formulas in all Analysis Variables of a model (reached by clicking on button “F” at the top of the main window). You can filter the global Formula View by Categories. See also Category. • The global Formula View shows all data and formulas in all Analysis Variables in the model. (To go to the global Formula View, click on the “F” button at the top of the model window.) Copyright © 2009 ModelSheet Software, LLC.
  4. 4. Page 4 of 7 The global Formula View allows you to display all Analysis Variables alphabetically or to group them by Category, to include (or exclude) selected Categories of Analysis Variables, and to control the order of display of Analysis Variables in each Category. • The Analysis Variable Formula View shows the data and formulas for a specified Analysis Variable. It also lists the precedent and dependent Analysis Variables of the selected Analysis Variables and the data and formulas for those Analysis Variables. (To go to the Analysis Variable Formula View, select the tab “Formulas” in the Analysis Variable Editor.) • The Workbook Formula View shows, for each Analysis Variable that appears in a Workbook, its data and formulas. (You can insert a Formula View Table on a Worksheet in the Workbook Editor at the time you change a Table Container to a Table, by selecting the Table Type “Formula View.”) Function Assistant: A dialog in the Analysis Variable Editor that in the Analysis Variable Editor that helps you explore and use functions in formulas in a model. For each built-in function in ModelSheet, the Function Assistant provides the correct name, a short description of the operation performed by the function, argument syntax, and short descriptions of each argument. It is documented in the chapter on Functions in the Reference manual. G Group: See Collapsible Group. H I Input Cell: A leaf cell of an Input Variable in a ModelSheet web workbook or an exported Excel workbook. In Excel workbooks, you can enter new data into Input Cells without destroying essential formulas of the model. Input Cells are unlocked in exported Excel workbooks, so that you can protect a worksheet or workbook and you can still edit the Input Cells. Input Variable: An Analysis Variable that is marked as containing input data. You can mark a Analysis Variable as an Input Variable either in the Analysis Variable Type Editor, or by making it a member of a Category that marks all its member variables as Input Variables. In web workbooks, and exported Excel workbooks, the leaf cells of Input Variables are colored blue, and the leaf cells of the editable master copies of Input Variables are colored dark blue. See also Input Cell. Item: The term Item (with initial capital letter) denotes a member of the list of items in a segmentation Dimension. J K L Layout Style: Layout styles affect the display of Analysis Variables web workbooks and in generated Excel workbooks. Typical Layout Styles include: inserting quarter sums (in monthly reports) or annual sums (in monthly or quarterly reports); changing between standard table layout (with sums displayed below the items being summed) and outline table layout (where sums are displayed above the items being summed; and transposing tables. Layout Styles can be applied to a table, a container of tables, to a worksheet, or to an entire workbook. They are applied in the Workbook Editor. M Mash-up: combining various web applications and internet data in the same piece of work Model Assistant: The Model Assistant is part of ModelSheet that offers a simple framework for building a new model from scratch. You can type most information into a spreadsheet grid, and see the entire model you have built in one view. It offers helpful information about what authoring tasks you can do next and how to accomplish them. When you open a new or existing model, you can enter the Model Assistant by clicking the button “Model Assistant.” For more information, see the section of the Reference Manual on the Model Assistant. Modeler: A (business) modeler is someone who captures business reporting, metrics and logic in code. ModelSheet documentation distinguishes Modelers who author reports from report users who use Excel reports but do not generally author those reports. N O OLAP: Online Analytical Processing, or OLAP, provides multidimensional, summarized views of business data and is used for reporting, analysis, modeling and planning for optimizing the business. SQL Server supports OLAP via Analysis Services. Copyright © 2009 ModelSheet Software, LLC.
  5. 5. Page 5 of 7 Analysis Services can be used to work with data warehouses or data marts designed for sophisticated enterprise intelligence systems. These systems process queries required to discover trends and analyze critical factors. (source: The most common implementation of an OLAP report is a spreadsheet pivot table. P Pivot Table: The name for OLAP reports offered by Excel and other spreadsheet programs. Reference: wiki/Pivot_Tables Q R Ratio: A Dimension Scaling Type that causes an Analysis Variable to roll up over a Dimension either by averaging or by using a formulas specified by the modeler. All Analysis Variables with numerical values whose Dimension Scaling Type is not Count are of type Ratio. So Type Ratio is equivalent to “not Count.” RDL: Abbreviation for Report Definition Language. Report Definition Language: Report Definition Language is a standard used for defining reports. RDL files are composed of specifically structured XML. This format is primarily used with Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services. Microsoft Reporting Services or other 3rd party reporting frameworks are capable of rendering charts, graphs, calculations, text, images (through links) and other "pretty" reporting objects by interpreting an RDL file. Reference: S Series: A Series is a one-dimensional discrete or continuous variable that has ordering and interval arithmetic on the items in the Series. Time is the only Series in ModelSheet at this time. Series are used to segment analysis variables; for example, annual revenue can be segmented by month. A Time Series is defined by specifying a start time, an end time, and a time grain/unit. See also Time Series. SaaS: Abbreviation for Software as a Service. Scaling Type: ModelSheet has two kinds of Scaling data types: Time Scaling Types and Dimension Scaling Types. These control the choice of Combine and Split operators for Time and segmentation Dimensions. Software as a Service (abbreviated “SaaS”): Services that make software applications available as a service over the internet, as opposed to software licenses purchased by the user organization. For example, users can make pdf documents with Adobe Acrobat software available as a web service from Adobe Systems for small usage fees instead of as purchased software licenses. See also Client-Server Architecture. Split Operation: The process of splitting information that is available at a coarse level of detail to obtain information at a finer level of detail. For example, if we have year-end asset information, we can approximate month-end asset levels by interpolating between the asset levels at the start and end of the year. See also Combine Operation. Spreadsheet: A spreadsheet is a rectangular table (or grid) of information, often financial information. The word came from “spread” in its sense of a newspaper or magazine item (text and/or graphics) that covers two facing pages, extending across the center fold and treating the two pages as one large one. The compound word "spread-sheet" came to mean the format used to present bookkeeping ledgers—with columns for categories of expenditures across the top, invoices listed down the left margin, and the amount of each payment in the cell where its row and column intersect—which were traditionally a "spread" across facing pages of a bound ledger (book for keeping accounting records) or on oversized sheets of paper ruled into rows and columns in that format and approximately twice as wide as ordinary paper. (Source: Spreadsheet Layout: The geometric structure of tables, worksheets and workbooks that determines how they appear to spreadsheet authors and users. The most basic elements of layout are the organization of data in tables, and the positions of tables on worksheets. Other aspects of layout are titles on tables and worksheets, headers and footers on worksheets, and formatting of numbers and text. See also Table and Table Container. Spreadsheet Template: A spreadsheet template is a spreadsheet that is designed to be easily customized by users to match their situations. Users can change numerical data, rename items, and shift time ranges with little or no editing of formulas. Users can edit underlying formulas of the spreadsheet template, but that is usually harder. Common examples of spreadsheet templates include expense forms, sales reports and forecasts, cash flow analyses, financial statements, financial plans for a business, and asset valuation models. This definition of a spreadsheet template was proposed on the Microsoft Office Online template blog at See also Template. SQL: Abbreviation for Structured Query Language. SQL is commonly spoken either as the names of the letters ess-cue-el, or like the word “sequel.” Structured Query Language: is a computer language used to create, retrieve, update and delete data from relational database management systems. SQL has been standardized by both ANSI and ISO. Reference: Copyright © 2009 ModelSheet Software, LLC.
  6. 6. Page 6 of 7 T Table: A two-dimensional rectangular layout of data with rows and columns. In ModelSheet, a table refers to a layout with one rectangular array of data that has one set of row headings and one set of column headings. If a worksheet has several rectangular arrays of data with different sets of row and column headings, each array is a separate table. See also Table Container. Table Container: A structure on the layout editor of a worksheet (the Edit tab) that collects several Tables in a stacked column or in a side-by-side row, possibly with blank rows between the columns, and one or more Titles on the Container. See also Table. Template: Microsoft’s generic definition: “Templates are files designed to be interesting, compelling, and professional-looking documents. All the formatting is complete; you add what you want to them. Examples are resumes, invitations, and newsletters.” See also Spreadsheet Template. Time Scaling Type: A Time Scaling Type that is assigned to an Analysis Variable determines the Time Combine and time Split operators that are used to change the time grain of the Analysis Variable. The Time Scaling Types are: Flow, Stock, Start_Stock, Time_crate (e.g. continuous time interest or growth rate), Time_drate (e.g. discrete time interest or growth rate), and Mixed. Time Scaling Types are one of the four Base Data Types in ModelSheet. See also Scaling Type, Type. Title: A title is a text string that appears at the top/bottom./left/ right of a Table, a Table Container , or a Worksheet. ModelSheet can add one Title that is the same for all Worksheets in a Workbook, and another Title that is customized for each Worksheet. ModelSheet Titles can be (concatenations of) literal text strings and computed text. Time Series: A Time Series consists of a time grain which tells the length of each time period (e.g., day, month, week, year) and a time range, which tells when the series starts and how many periods it has. See also Series. Type: ModelSheet uses the term “Type” to describe several classes of objects and attributes of objects. 1) “Avar Types” are attributes of Analysis Variables that control how they roll up and split over time periods and dimensional segments. Avar types have a hierarchy, with “Accounting Types” at the highest level, “Time Scaling Types” and “Dimension Scaling Types” at the middle level, and “Base Avar Types” at the lowest level of detail. When you set a higher level type for an Avar, this automatically sets values for all the lower level types subordinate to it. • “Accounting Types” are a special case of “Avar Types” at the top of a hierarchy of Avar Types. Most Accounting Types have names that suggest basic accounting variables, like “Revenue” and “Margin percent”. When you set an Accounting Type for an Avar, this automatically sets values for all the lower level Avar types. ‒ “Basic Avar Types” are a special case of “Avar Types” in the middle of a hierarchy of Avar Types. The four Basic Avar Types are “Element Type” (number, string Boolean, Date, xxx), “Time Scaling Type”, “Dimension Scaling Type”, and “Format Type.” o “Time Scaling Types” are a special case of “Avar Types” in the middle of a hierarchy of Avar Types. These types specify how to combine or split values in an Avar over time periods. For example, combine quarterly revenue by adding to obtain annual revenue; combine end-of quarter assts by selecting the final quarter’s value to obtain year-ending assets; combine quarterly growth rates by compounding to obtain an annual growth rate. o “Dimension Scaling Types” are a special case of “Avar Types” in the middle of a hierarchy of Avar Types. These types specify how to combine or split values in an Avar over dimension items. For example, combine product revenue by adding to obtain total revenue for a product line; combine product prices by averaging (or units-weighted averaging) to obtain average unit price for a product line. o “Element Type is the fundamental type of each value in an Avar. The five Element Types are: Number, Date, Boolean, String, and Any. o “Format Types are a special case of “Avar Types” in the middle of a hierarchy of Avar Types. They specify how to format the values in the cells of an Avar. One Avar must have the same Format Type for all of its cells. 2) “Advanced Types” are software objects that can combine attributes of formats, time series, categories, and other objects. (In a software sense, these objects are all types, but we avoid referring to them as types because it is not helpful to modelers to describe them that way.) 3) “Data Types” is a generic term for attributes of objects that subsumes the kinds listed above and more. See also Accounting Type, Avar Type, Base Avar Type, Scaling Type, Time Scaling Type, Dimension Scaling Type, Data Type. U V Copyright © 2009 ModelSheet Software, LLC.
  7. 7. Page 7 of 7 W Workbook: a spreadsheet document or file that contains one or more worksheets containing quantitative analyses. A ModelSheet model usually includes one or more web workbooks. It exports these web workbooks as Excel workbooks. See also Spreadsheet and Export. Worksheet: one of the sheets in a spreadsheet workbook, either in a ModelSheet web workbook, or a workbook of Excel or another spreadsheet application. X Y Z Copyright © 2009 ModelSheet Software, LLC. ModelSheet and the ModelSheet logo are registered trademarks of ModelSheet Software, LLC. Copyright © 2009 ModelSheet Software, LLC.