In December, Oracle announced that Management Reports, which was previously only available through Oracle Narrative Reporting Cloud, is going to be included in other Oracle EPM Platforms (Planning, Financial Consolidation and Close, Tax Reporting, and Free Form). It has now been confirmed that Oracle will be releasing it in the February release.
The new reporting solution released to EPM platforms in February is referred to by Oracle as Reports, while the existing Narrative Reporting Cloud version is called Management Reports. In this article, I will use this terminology to describe the differences between the two solutions.
What is Reports?
Reports is a cloud-based reporting solution for creating financial and managerial reports. Sound familiar? Well, you could say that Reports is the next generation of Financial Reports and eventually it will replace Financial Reports completely.
Why use Reports instead of Financial Reports?
The Reports solution is more focused on user experience. It has a more user-friendly interface, especially when you look at the Designer tool for creating and editing the reports. This is a very welcome improvement. Some of the improvements related to the viewer experience are:
- Selectable alias tables
- Member label display
- Snapshot and PDF generation
- Ad-hoc zoom mode
- HTML report scrolling
When it comes to designing and editing, a selection of improvements include:
- Drag and drop interface
- Grid titles
- Row banding
- Grid-level alias selection
- Intelligent narrative generation through the conditional formatting framework
- Enhanced charting
- Zoom to children/descendants/bottom
- Saved selections
- Better POV control
- Drill to content
- Improved design paradigms which let you preview individual reporting objects
- Apply already-defined conditional formatting and suppression to additional cells.
What are the differences between Management Reports (Narrative Reporting Cloud) and Reports (the new release to other EPM platforms)?
Not all features from Management Reports will be included in the new released version of Reports, and some will be available later on but will have a lag time before appearing in the EPM platforms. One example of this is the Excel integration.
The Management Reports solution is a centralised, cross-cloud, multi-source reporting solution while the Reports solution is a single instance solution. In Narrative Reporting Cloud, you are able to connect a Management Report to multiple sources (EPM Cloud, ERP Cloud & Essbase Cloud), so that you can combine the data in grids and charts. For example, you could connect to both your planning and consolidation applications to retrieve data from both sources. This functionality will not be included in the Reports version and will therefore only be available in Narrative Reporting Cloud. The Reports version is embedded in each business process and can only connect to that single instance.
Management Reports is integrated with narrative reporting, which means that it can be integrated with reporting packages and its variables as embedded content with server-side refresh. You can also use the narrative reporting functionality called Notes for POV-based narrative text. The Reports solution does not integrate with Narrative Reporting Cloud and can therefore not be part of a reporting packages or include Notes functionality in the report.
There is also a difference where the infrastructure and artefacts are managed. For Management Reports, these are managed in the Narrative Reporting platform while for the Reports version these are managed in the EPM platform where it is included.
When it comes to migrating existing Financial Reports, a migration tool is included for both versions. The Reports version migration is integrated with Financial Reports, while for Narrative Reporting Cloud the migration occurs when importing Financial Reports.