Time Ranges for a module


Hi - We are facing the size issue and are thinking of using time ranges in the modules as applicable. For Example, in we have a module which is relevant only for the next 6 months, I would like to have the module showing up and consuming the time periods (months) only for the next 6 months. But I fear this can't be done using time ranges when there is a year-shift (say, we are in Oct'20).

Another example: I am in April'20 and I want the module to display/consume the time periods only from May'20 to Apr'21, how do I do that? And how can I ensure that once this is made, the module auto-shifts the calendar months from June'20 to May'21 when we happen to be in May'20?

This in fact is very much needed for our implementation as we need some modules to show only for the current period, some till the current period, some to show for the next two months(excluding current period) and some to show from 3rd month. As of now, we have used the model time settings across all modules and we are almost nearing the workspace size limit already.

Please suggest as this might help us reduce the size consumption.


Regards - Guru


Best Answer

  • Misbah
    Answer ✓



    Time Ranges are really beneficial when we talk about model optimization - infact my first go to option.


    Few things we need to keep in mind about Time Ranges are

    1. They are not dynamic meaning Admins have to change/edit the Time ranges in a yearly roll over process.

    2. Time ranges and Mode time calendar starting month will be same. It can't happen that your model calendar starts at Jan and Time            ranges   start any other month but Jan


    Now to answer you question whether to use Time ranges in your model is up to you because you are the best judge of your model.  We do planning for one year or two year depending upon the use case. If you have followed DISCO strategy while model building it would be easy for you to apply time ranges.However here are my observations on your query.


    1. Firs Example - Modules which have actual data stored in it try to have one Time range for it. Let's say you have one module which has 6 months Actuals and rest of the 6 months have Forecasted data or no data at all. You can easily replace the Model Calendar with your Time Range which has 1 year of horizon.

    2. Second Example - If you want to see May 20 to Apr 21 time horizon in Apr 20 you will have to have 2 years in your Time Range. In that case your Time Range will start from May 19 to Apr 21. Also there are certain Maintenance Activities in Yearly Rollover process - Time Range is one of these where maintenance is needed. You either keep on adding years into Time Range or you keep it Rolling on the same time horizon.

    3. Minimum horizon for any Time Range is One Year, you can't have Time Ranges or Model Time calendar just for few months


    Hope that helps



  • GuruAP

    Hi - Let's take a case where I need to have a module that needs only the next two months to be seen (including the current month). And if I have to use the time range for this, the only option I have in the time range horizon is 2 years. This is because when I am in Nov'20, I need the module to show Nov'20, Dec'20, and Jan'21. So, I should have the time range horizon like 2 years (considering the start month of the time range is Jan in any year)?

    Also, if I am using a history of 2 years for forecasting, and if I have to use the time range for the history module, I should have the time-range for 3 years? This is because the time range will start from Jan and anything 2 years before means it starts on Jan'18 and ends on Jan'20. While as we sit today, the history should be seen till Mar'20, and if we are in Dec'20, the history should be shown till Nov'20 - are we aligned on this point?


    Regards - Guru

  • Misbah



    Yes that's correct. If your time horizon is N Years + 1 Month, you will have to add N+1 Years in to your Time range. 


    In your example if you want to see historical data from Jan 18 to Mar 20 - you have to have 3 years into your time range assuming your Starting month of the year is Jan

  • First thing: time ranges only works for full years.

    Their usage is to reduce model size and this is usually done by having different time ranges for modules that have the historical data vs modules that are used for planning. Typically you might have:

    - Previous Years + Current Year for storing historicals

    -Current Year + Future Years for planning modules


    From what you say,having the need for only a few months, Time Ranges are not enough. If space is really a problem, then the most efficient option is to use a custom time: a normal list where you create only a few items (say 6 months ?) which can dynamically be rolled over every month to a new period. You plan on that, and then store the info on a normal time range.

    Doing this will be space efficient but is much more complex than using the time dimension.


    ps: to see only a few months, you can just apply filters. look at the time filter app on the app hub to get examples.