Time Machine

Leanne Strickler

The Time Machine allows you to see the supplier’s diverse status on the day you spent money with them, even if their status changes later. Your prior diverse supplier spend won’t change just because a supplier is no longer diverse owned or certified.

About the Time Machine

The Annual Report publishing tool (the “Time Machine”) enables authorized users to “freeze” data for a specified period. You can choose between whole fiscal or calendar years, and data can be frozen on a quarter by quarter basis.

The Time Machine allows you to confirm that all eligible diversity spend is properly captured, including spend found during data discovery. This will maximize the capture and impact of your diversity spending overall, and allows you to capture spends with businesses who may have been certified or diversely owned in the past, but are no longer.

Who can publish (freeze) Time Machine reports?

The ability to publish (or freeze) a report is restricted to users with the appropriate permission designated by your system administrator. 

  • Users that can publish Time Machine reports will  see the Time Machine Manager icon in the Spend Reporting dashboard.

  • Users without this permission will only see the Time Machine Switch to view or not view Time Machine data.

Who can see published (Time Machine) vs live data?

All users with access to the Tier-1 spend dashboard have the ability to view Time Machine vs live data.  Switching between the two views is as simple as toggling using the slide button next to the Tier-1 tools.

It is important to understand the distinction between the two views.

Time Machine Data vs Live Data

Time Machine Data

Time Machine data is a representation of spend for a past period of time based on the demographics of the suppliers at the time you spent money with them. 

For example, if you spent $100 with ABC Corp on March 24, 2021 and ABC Corp was a Woman Owned Business (WBE) with an active WBE certification, the spend would record as follows:

  • WBE – $100
  • WBE Certified – $100

What happens if ABC Corps Status Changes after March 24, 2021?

Imagine that ABC Corp was sold to a large publicly traded company on April 1, 2021 and is now no longer woman owned or a Certified WBE.  When you are in Time Machine mode, the $100 in spend for ABC Corp on March 24, 2021 will still show as WBE and Certified because you spent $100 with ABC Corp when they were WBE and Certified. 

That is the key benefit of the Time Machine – it shows your spend based on how the supplier was categorized on the day you spent the money with them, not how they are currently categorized.

If you are familiar with how annual reports or financial reports are generated, this should be familiar.  The data you are freezing is an accurate representation of what you did during a specific time period in the past and that information stays static and does not change.

Live Data

Live data is a representation of spend based on what demographics apply to your suppliers right now. This is usually quite accurate, but as the fiscal or calendar year ends, many organizations prefer to “freeze” the data for a past period of time, establishing a “report of record” for that period.

Important things to know about freezing data

  1. You can freeze data for any past time period. You cannot freeze data for the future, or for current fiscal periods (if you are in Q2, you cannot freeze data until you are in Q3).
  2. You do not have to freeze data immediately after the period ends, and have time to confirm your data before freezing it. You can freeze data as far back as three years into the past. 
  3. You can add data to the supplier record if you discover new information today that was applicable back when you spent the money (e.g., you find out now that ABC was also a Veteran Owned Business in 2021).
  4. You can unpublish (unfreeze) Time Machine data even after you freeze it – this is important if you discover a significant material item that needs to be adjusted after you publish the report. This should not be common but you can do it if needed.

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