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During Budget Season, there are a number of ways to make Forecaster's overall performance better.  The following is a short list of ideas and hints, but there are many more.  If you have any ideas about how to make the budgeting season more efficient, please add them in the comments.

1. Have your DBA schedule a database backups at least once daily.  If anything goes wrong, it's critical to have as little recovery effort as possible.

2. Re-index, perhaps weekly, but only when other people are not using the system.  This helps ensure the health of the database indexes used on the tables in order to keep data flowing efficiently.  To run the re-index, go to Tools | Validate Database.  Choose only the Re-index tables option!

3. If your calculations change a lot and people are not regularly going into their input departments, Run an INPUTCALC task.  This task does tend to take time and does conflict with other users (remember: users can't get into departments while they are being re-calculated and the task can't recalculate a department when other users are already in it).  Personally, during the majority of the input season, while people are budgeting regularly, I'd hold off on these calculation tasks and just do them if it is extremely urgent or if calculations change after the majority of the work has been done.  I'd also plan to do one at the end of the input cycle so that you can ensure the data is all calculated properly.

4. Similar to the InputCalc task, the COMP, CAP and CALCREV tasks should be run only when needed and when other users are not using the system.  They do take some time to complete because they have to touch every departments, project,account,etc.

5. Manage Audit Trail History -- the larger this table gets, the slower it gets to keep track of and review/analyze it.  So, periodically clean it up by removing older entries using the Zap Wizard.

6. The need for Restates depends on your Optimization Factor.  If your Optimization Factor is 0 (which I recommend during budget input season), Restate is virtually unnecessary.  If your optimization factor is NOT 0, Restates should be run whenever you alter your Rollups.  When you are finished with the majority of your budget input, I recommend that you bump the Optimization factor up to the maximum (if you have less than 4 or 5 segments), because it will improve the performance of reports while you are analyzing your budget.

7. If you are not using Workflow to manage your budgeting process, turn it off on the Setup | Budgets | Input Sets screen (Options tab).  This will save some processing time when people open or save their input screens.

These are just some of the things you can do to help improve efficiency from an administrative standpoint during budgeting season.  There are many other things that can be done to ensure the best health and performance for your Forecaster system.

Rob Diaz
MSX Group
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