Thursday, June 25, 2009

Scope of Analysis and Custom Hierarchies

Video: Demystifying Scope of Analysis and Custom Hierarchies on Business Objects XI Universes and WebI / DeskI reports.

The terms "Scope of Analysis" and "Custom Hierarchies" sound so complex and sophisticated that one would think that wow... Business Objects got some very advanced futuristic features. I, of course do not deny that these are amongst the most useful features of BOE, but they could've used simpler terms, like 'custom drill down' or 'drill down settings' - sounds much friendlier and less terrifying.

If you are in the field of Business Intelligence - using any BI tool, you've probably come across drill downs in reports. Well, in BOE, drill down options, or custom hierarchies, as they call it, is defined in Universes - which in turn, reflect in DeskI or WebI reports.

For example, you may be creating a sales report and your database has records for last 5 years, by year, quarter, month and so on. By default, drilling down on this report would let the users dynamically view the results like this:

Level 1:

Year Sales
2009 500

Level 2:

Quarter Sales
3 150

Level 3:

Month Sales
11 70

...and so on.

But, let's say your CIO is either lazy or simply doesn't care about the quarters and would like to drill down from Year level to Month level to Week level - skipping Quarter level. This customization of drill down is what is known as 'custom hierarchies' in a BO universe and when it is used in a WebI / DeskI report, it is called the mysterious 'scope of analysis'. Wow, big deal...

Let's see a quick video walkthrough:

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