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Breaking Down the Complexity of 3E Data Structures

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TO Blog ON

Jan 4 2019

By Trisha Spietz, Senior Consultant

Among the things that firms must adapt to when going from Elite Enterprise to Elite 3E is the increase in the number of data tables. A firm that has mastered Enterprise’s 800 tables needs to understand Elite 3E’s thousands of tables. You could learn by going through the available architect code guides, which are hundreds of pages deep. Or you could get some help by attending sessions like those we offer at our annual Knowledge Summit, engaging in direct training, or participating in an online training session, including the one I’ll be leading on January 18, 2019 at 11:30 AM EST where I’ll break down the complexity of Elite 3E data structures.

Here’s why it’s important for your database administrators, finance teams, and accounting to gain an understanding of the Elite 3E data structure.

You don’t know what you don’t know

Much of the reporting that’s done in 3E requires you to have a basic understanding of 3E data structures. For example, in order to do basic matter, WIP, or A/R reporting, there’s a level of knowledge that you need to have just to pull down the right dimensions inside the stock reporting functionality within the software.

Also, if you don’t understand the life cycle of a transaction in 3E when you go into an implementation, perform user acceptance testing, pursue your go live, and after you’ve gone live, you won’t really know how to isolate what happens if something goes awry – and things nearly go awry at some point. It helps to understand the 3E framework structure and walk through a transaction so you can see how it all fits together and impacts your financial statements.

Why finance and accounting need to know too  

Obviously, anyone that works directly with 3E tables, such as database administrators, needs to understand 3E data structures. But it would also be useful to your finance team, the financial planning and analysis team, and accountants to take the time to learn. I spent a lot of time recently with a controller of a firm who was in urgent need of help to run reports. She doesn’t have the luxury of extra staff members to take care of this for her, so she has to understand the data structures.

Some prefer to learn through trial and error and reading the code guides. Some prefer to work with resources who already understand the subject matter from a business and a technical perspective. For example, in addition to my role as a consultant with Wilson Allen and previously with Thomson Reuters Elite, my background includes working as a law firm finance business analyst and earning a degree in accounting. I’ve been through the Elite product platform since its beginning, from Elite’s UNIX version all the way to 3E. This background allows me to translate the technical complexity of data structures. Utilizing my finance background, I successfully also translate this into language that’s understood by business users.

When to learn – before or after 3E

The time to learn about 3E data structures is as soon as you’re thinking about implementing the software, and certainly by the time you’ve pursued or completed an implementation. But the earlier you start, the sooner you’ll understand the nuances of the new software and the easier your conversion will be.

When we addressed this topic at Knowledge Summit, it filled a 75-minute session. I’ve also led day-long sessions on-site at law firms where we walk through the firm’s data step-by-step. During our one-hour online training session, we offer a demo, walk through the life of a transaction and highlight key points, and briefly address the framework. It’s a high-level overview but it covers a lot of information. If you register to attend, you can participate in the live session as well as log in to watch a replay later.

If you plan to do 3E reporting, you’ll be glad you did. Learn more here.