Drilling on reports lets you look deeper into your data to discover the details behind a good or bad summary result displayed in tables, charts, or sections.
You can drill on dimensions and measures, in charts, tables and sections. You can drill on both hierarchical or non-hierarchical data. To drill, the application relies on:
- The definition of the hierarchy, for hierarchical data.
- Navigation paths set up by the universe designer, for non-hierarchical data.
Depending on your needs, you can decide to drill either on a single element, or on multiple elements in the report. The Synchronize drill on report blocks option available in the BI launch pad preferences lets you select the way you want to interact with the report and how you want to drive your analysis. You can either focus on a single element, or drive your analysis simultaneously on all elements when drilling.
Defining the Scope of Analysis
Defining the scope of analysis before drilling allows you to better control the amount of information the application should retrieve.
An object that’s part of the scope of analysis is also part of the query specification. This means that when you’re reaching that object when drilling up or down, the application doesn’t have to go through the database and run a new query to retrieve the data. If it’s not part of the scope, it’s not part of the query, and the application hits the database and runs a new query to retrieve the missing information.
Defining the scope of analysis is important, as it can impact performance. You can specify the number of levels to which you want to drill up or down directly in the scope of analysis panel, if your security profile allows you to do so.
Drill Paths and Hierarchies
When you analyze data in drill mode, you move along a drill path.
These paths are based on the dimension hierarchies set by the universe designer. Universe designers organize objects in classes in a hierarchy with the summary objects at the top and the most detailed at the bottom. So if you want to make a high-level report, you know that your query should include objects at the top of the list. If you want to see more detailed information, you can start drilling down on each dimension value displayed in the report.
For example, if the data from the Quarter did not sufficiently explain a result, you could drill down to the Month or Week, depending on how the universe designer set up the hierarchy. When you drill to a different level, measures such as a Revenue or Margin are recalculated accordingly.
Drill paths usually follow the same hierarchy order as the classes on a universe. For example, a class called Time typically includes the Year dimension at the top of the class, followed by the Quarter, Month, and Week dimensions. The hierarchies for drill within the Time hierarchy typically follow the same order, because users want to drill annual results to analyze details for quarter, month, and so on. However, the universe designer can also define custom hierarchies. You can view the drill paths and hierarchies defined by the universe designer in the query panel. Just click the icon next to the name of the universe, and select Display by Navigation Paths.