New Contributor III

flagjk.jpgIt is the month of June, I wanted to pay homage to PRIDE month.

When I think of PRIDE

The image of the rainbow is a very clear one for me.  The colours reflect the diversity of communities and the range of human sexuality and gender. The flag rainbow symbol is one that is well-known all over the world.

I started thinking about how each of the colours in the rainbow not only complement each other, but also support each other. This led to me thinking about the colours used within our OneStream system.

So, I wanted to talk a little bit about the use of colour coding, and its influences and impact, within the OneStream system.

Let me start by saying colours play an important part in most people's experiences, not just in the world at general, but in their mood, the way they communicate ideas and how they influence others.  People can interpret abstract meaning from colour, which really makes colour a useful perception feature but also, it’s great for visual communication because it allows us to convey information nonverbally and influence decision making. Research suggests that 90% of snap judgments are influenced by the psychological effect of colour alone!

But what are we looking at in terms of our OneStream colour? And why use colour?

Colours help the brain tune in, switch on and open because colour is attractive. This entices the brain to connect and engage in associating and focusing.  Colour stimulates and awakens hundreds of neurons in the cortex, especially in the occipital lobe. So, in effect, by using colour we are supporting, millions of individual cells in our brain to get up and come to work.

Colour is our prime coding tool, which therefore assists the brain in discriminating and organising structures and allows for clustering of information.  According to several psychological theories of memory, colour also increases both creativity and learning.

I will discuss three areas where colour is used within the OneStream system.

The first example is within One Place.

We start by going into the workflow, and we are going to take a simple example such as loading. A darker blue identifies the first step the user should take (for example, import) and the lighter shades of blue, identify the next steps after that. This explains the path the User needs to go through in a non-verbal way through the progression of colour.

As each activity is performed correctly, we see the colours turn green, which indicates a process has successfully completed. The green, also symbolises that the user can move onwards to the next step. You could even say green is “good for go”!

The red stands for error and which can be seen in validation, where errors with data sources or transformation errors will be reviewed.  They are highlighted, along with a clear triangle, with an exclamation mark, clearly giving a warning. But OneStream also gives a clear solution of how to resolve the issues in most cases. And when the errors are corrected, a nice green tick appears, giving a clear visual indicator to a job well done.

What is the impact of the colour coding? It allows users to quickly appreciate errors or resolution and resolve with optimum efficiency, ultimately solving any issues that may arise and providing strong appreciation of where they are in the loading process.




The second example is inside our cube views.

We are looking at “rows and columns” when setting up formatting for the reports for this example.

Three different colours represent the different modes of reporting within the formatting section. Using a colour can keep a clear separation between the type of reports, as you can imagine working with 3 different formats to present the data that have completely different formatting needs (including colour) of their own!! could be an area of potential for mistyping.

The blue colouring is the first in line inside the formatting table, which can be seen in the header format and under the column-row header format. Here, both text, and border represent the normal grid view in the cube view. Users in this area could be those working with the Cube View to enable the information to show the correct analysis.  The colour green represents formats within Excel.  Users in Excel may need the formatting to include industry norms such as red for negative values and green for positive, utilizing colours for ease of reading reports for different stakeholders.  The third is orange, which represents the published reports. Users of these reports may be a need to be in line with corporate colours or simply to ease the eye for the user when reading.



When we look at running our reports, we have two icons in the header, one of them represents the reports and is a clear orange icon, while the other represents Excel in green, with the normal grid.  The impact of using colour is so that the same data can have three completely different types of output formats, don’t get confused, supporting three different types of stakeholder range at the same time.

Lastly, I will point out colour templates used as helpers of formulae writing.

Inside the snippet tool, in the accounts dimension, “vary by scenario type and time”, within the “general area” you will see the option to apply formula. The formula editor will pull elements such as snippets for your use to develop and write.

The snippets.

The four key colours used in templates are: green, blue, black, and red.  The colours stand for different things.

The green gives “comments” about the formulae that is shown directly underneath, and it includes how and what the calculation is that you're trying to achieve.

The “If” and “Endif” are all triggers for import statements and declarations. The neon blue highlights programming while the instructions/actions are black, for example.  The instructions can be checked by looking at the black tick icon, which demonstrates, whether the formula is written correctly for functional use in VB.

The red stands out clearly. This is the section that the administrator, consultant, or user may adjust to specifically target dimensions and members using the template structure. The red section is the only area not checked by the compile formula check syntax.

The colours give clarity as to what areas can be changed and what need to be left for the formulas to work.  This can give both comfort and confidence to the less VB friendly users that may find this activity stressful.  The use of clear, recognizable colours clearly draws boundaries and promotes confidence due to visual nature of the activity.



The use of colour within the OneStream design supports and helps our users, administrators, and consultants.  Colour supports OneStream’s effectiveness and optimizes templates and formats as the platform continues to grow and develop.

1 Comment
New Contributor III

Love this! I'm a visual learner, so this blog helps me link the colors with the functions. Thank you!