Structures, such as organization entities, are at the core of any data collection and consolidation process. SERAM has a distinct approach at handling structures.
A family of structures is called a Structure Type in SERAM. The most obvious one is the organization, but SERAM can manage any number of different Structure Types concurrently. Other common examples for Structure Types could be geography, site type or currency codes. Structure Types can be added and removed at any time by administators.
Each Structure Type has one or more Structure Levels which are used to categorize the different nodes. For the organization, the Structure Levels could be "Group", "Division", "Business Unit" and "Site". Structure Levels can also be added and removed (if not in use) at any time by administators.
Any number of Structure Node, representing an entity, can be created on Structure Levels.
Each Structure Node has a creation date, which defines the start date when the Structure Node shall be available. This creation date is independent of the date when it is added to SERAM, therefore users can create nodes in the past or in the future to reflect changes as they effectively occur.
Also, each Structure Node can be attached to a parent Structure Node, which has to be from a Structure Level above the Structure Node being modified. These relationships form the tree used for data consolidation. A special feature of SERAM is that these relationships also have a date defining the start of the validity. This allows to change the attachment during the lifespan of the Structure Node, for instance if sites of a business unit are restructured to other business units.
Finally, the deletion of a Structure Node is also controlled by a deletion date. This makes sure that the Structure Node and any data collected on it will remain accessible even after deletion, and just like the creation and attachment dates, the deletion date may be set in the past or in the future (e.g. scheduling a node for deletion, for instance by the end of the period).
- Organization and Structures