Modeling Dimensions

Objectives
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Create a dimension with a hierarchy and custom property

Dimensions

In SAP Analytics Cloud, dimensions represent master data in general. For example, product, cost center, and employee are all examples of dimensions. A model can have any number of dimensions.

On the other hand, a Measure represents transactional data (quantitative). In a classic account model, model values are stored in a single default measure, and you use the account structure to add calculations, specify units, and set aggregation types for all the data. In the new model type, you can add and configure multiple measures with aggregation and units to fit your data.

Dimensions can be private (model specific) or public (shareable across models).

Let's compare private and public dimensions.

SAP Analytics Cloud Dimension Types

Dimensions are qualified as a specific type. Depending on the type selected, you can configure various properties and possibly create hierarchies for the dimension.

Now, let's look at each dimension type in a little more detail.

Dimension Properties

Dimension properties have many uses in SAC. Here are a few examples:

  • Sort & filter: for example, in a story, filter companies based on their currency property
  • Reporting: for example, display the material type property for materials in a story
  • Currency translation: for example, translate average vs. end-of-month rates via the account dimension rate type property

The Account dimension type includes a set of unique properties:

Note
There are many aggregation types available in SAC: average, last, first, rank, sum. Aggregation behavior can be specified in account dimensions, calculated measures in stories as well as the New Model.

Dimension Formulas

Dimension member formulas are configured in account dimensions to perform on-the-fly calculations such as gross margin % or labor as a percent of total operating cost. Here are some other key features of dimension member formulas:

  • You can use dimension member formulas to calculate account values that are restricted to other dimension member values such as prior year revenue.
  • A dimension formula is available any story that uses a model that contains the account dimension with a formula.
  • An account dimension formula can be used as-is or they can be modified in specific models.
  • You can also use dimension member formulas to calculate account values that are restricted to other dimension member values such as prior year revenue.
  • Dimension member formulas can be viewed in stories by displayed the formula bar.

Hierarchies

A hierarchy is used to establish parent-child relationships within your data. For example, suppose you have sales data for the following:

  • Worldwide

  • Region

  • Country

  • State/Province

  • City

A hierarchy allows you to organize these geographic areas into logical levels (also called nodes), from largest area to the most granular.

The Hierarchy column in a dimension is used to store the parent-child values.

In a classic model, the account dimension has only a single hierarchy but multiple are allowed in new model types.

You can add hierarchies by selecting Add Hierarchy from the Add menu (+ symbol) on the toolbar. When you choose this option, a new Hierarchy column is inserted into the dimension, and you must enter the name of the new hierarchy.

The hierarchy is visualized in the preview panel in the dimension. You can use drag and drop in the preview panel to arrange the members and build the relationships. If more than one hierarchy has been defined, you can select the one you want to display in the preview from the drop-down list.

General Information about Hierarchies

A dimension can have one or more level-based hierarchies, or one or more parent-child hierarchies, but not both.

The following types of dimensions do not support custom hierarchies:

  • In a classic model, the account dimension has only a single hierarchy but in the New Model, multiple account hierarchies are allowed.

  • For the date dimension, hierarchies are predefined based on the model granularity, and whether you have enabled fiscal time for the model. You can specify a default hierarchy in the settings for the date dimension. In the New Model, custom hierarchies may be added.

  • The version dimension does not have a hierarchy, as different versions are separate and do not have parent-child relationships.

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