Author: Ian Britz
In the part 2 of the Modeler Tutorial, we'll create the fundamental building blocks of our Application: Dimensions. Dimensions are tables used to organize and filter related data. For example, a Geography Dimension could contain countries as Members. A Department Dimension could have Members like Marketing, Human Resources, and Sales.
In our sample Application, we will use five Dimensions:
Account: Financial accounts (e.g., Product Revenue, Operating Income, and Gross Margin)
Time: Units of time (e.g., years, months, and weeks)
Scenario: Business scenarios (e.g., Actual, Plan, and Forecast)
Product: Products sold by business
Metric: Product-related metrics (e.g., Quantity, Price, and Cost)
Before we start configuring Dimensions, you should know about the All Dimensions node.
It allows you to reconfigure your existing Dimensions and add new ones. Every Application comes with Account, Time, and Scenario Dimensions pre-generated.
Let's take a look at the Time Dimension first. You can navigate to a specific Dimension by double-clicking it in the All Dimensions node or selecting it in the right pane.
You should see the Dimension populated with Members spanning the previous five years to the next three years. The Dimension is further organized by Member Lists (Days, Months, Quarters, Years). Essentially, these are subsets within a Dimension.
If you click Configure Calendar, you can reconfigure the Fiscal Calendar to start on a different date.
Expand the Scenario Dimension and go to the Scenario Member List.
This Member List does not contain pre-generated Members, so we need to add some. Click Add New three times. Double-click on the default Member Labels and change their names to Actual, Plan, and Forecast.
Make sure the checkbox in the Input column is checked for Plan and Forecast. Members without this option selected won't have input capabilities on Forms. The Annotate option allows text input on Dimensions.
Note: Changes made in the Dimension section will be immediately saved in the database.
Users can also import and export Member Lists from .csv files.
For the Account Dimension, go to the Account Member List and click Import.
Click the Data file field and select the account_dimension.csv file attached below. Select Start when the validation process completes.
Your Account Dimension should now look like the example below:
Tip: You can define a Parent-Child Hierarchy in a Member List when it's set to Hierarchy mode. To switch the mode, please see this article.
Now that we've configured the three pre-generated Dimensions, let's add the two additional Dimensions we'll need.
Return to the All Dimensions node and click Add.
Configure the Product Dimension as shown below:
|Name of the Dimension||Dimension Name|
|Copy From||Copy the Member Lists from an existing Dimension|
|Dimension Size||Optimizes performance based on the number of Dimension members|
|Enable for member security||Allows this Dimension to have security applied to it. Leave un-checked for better performance.|
Within the default Product Member List, click Add New to add sample products to the list.
Applying what you've just learned, create a Metric Dimension and populate it with the members in the image below. You will later use these metrics to capture user input in the Assumption Form.
With our Dimensions configured, we'll show you how to combine Dimension to build Models in Part 3 - Models.