The Basic Concepts of Valsight


Learn about the core elements in Valsight: models, simulation workspaces, scenarios, assumptions and charts.

Valsight is built around the concepts of models, simulation workspaces, scenarios, assumptions and charts. This article will give you a brief overview and description of each.

Models

Value driver models define the calculation logic of a project using multi-dimensional operations and connect them with data sources. They can be created using a graphical editor that visualizes the relationships and allows to add new elements simply per drag and drop. A model is created with nodes. Nodes are connected to data or calculated from other nodes using an operation that allows to combine nodes with simple mathematical operations or more advanced node operation functions.

The most important operations:

Simulation Workspaces

A simulation workspace is a sandbox that allows to create simulation scenarios and to visualize, analyze and compare them using charts and tables. A simulation workspace is always linked to an underlying model that defines the list of possible nodes and their calculation logic. It allows to view any node of the model in charts, whereas any dimension can be used on the axes or as a filter. Simulation scenarios are local to the simulation workspace and are defined by creating a list of assumptions and assigning those assumptions to the simulation scenario. Each assumption describes a change to the base data and can be individually activated or deactivated for a scenario. This way it is easy to describe different alternatives or measures and combine them to what-if scenarios, discussing them live in meetings and even changing them on the fly.

Charts

A key activity in workspaces is the creation of charts. Charts are always calculated dynamically based on the underlying value driver logic and configured simulation scenarios. A chart describes the data to display by selecting which dimensions should be shown on the axes and optionally adding filters. The dimensions scenariosyear and nodes are treated special as they should never be aggregated in a chart. Therefore they have to be either displayed on an axis or configured as a single select filter.



Supported chart types include:

  • Line: A chart that displays its data series as connected lines.
  • Column: A column or bar chart displays data using vertical bars. Multiple data series can be displayed next to each other. 
  • Bar Chart: A rotated column chart.
  • stacked column chart displays its data using vertical bars and stacks the bars on top of each other if multiple data series are displayed.
  • Mixed charts are a combination between a stacked column and a line chart. By default, data series are displayed as stacked vertical bars, but it is possible to configure single data series to be displayed as a line.
  • Tables allow to display data in a tabular format and flexibly selecting dimensions for the rows and columns.
  • waterfall chart displays a transition between values, it can be e.g. used to create a profit bridge that explains how the profit developed was from one year to the next or to create an assumption bridge that explains a simulation scenario by adding up the effects of all assumptions.
  • The raw data table displays unaggregated data for a selected node with all its available dimensions.
  • Model tree charts show the graphical value driver structure of the underlying model and allow the display of values for multiple scenarios inside of the nodes. They are very useful to understand how data flows through a model and impacts top KPIs.

Scenarios and Assumptions

A simulation scenario groups a set of assumptions that describes how alternative actions impact nodes in the value driver model. Scenarios are defined using the scenario manager component, which is always visible in the first tab of a workspace and can also be added as a tile to any other tab. The scenario manager lists each assumption as one row and each scenario as a column. An assumption is active in a scenario when the respective checkbox in the row for the assumption and the column for the scenario is checked. Scenarios can be used as an additional dimension in charts to visualize and compare results graphically. Whenever something is changed, e.g. a new assumption is activated in a scenario or data of an assumption is changed, charts are always recalculated on the fly using the updated data so that all charts always display the current scenario configuration.

Assumptions describe changes to the base data of a model. These changes are always non-destructive and are only active if the assumption is activated for a simulation scenario so that the original data remains intact. The system stores assumptions as a delta to the base data, so that multiple assumptions affecting the same node can be combined in one simulation scenario.




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