Managing Classification Data

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Manage classification data
  • Create a category hierarchy

Classification Data

Classification data is used to organize transactions in a meaningful ways. This data is organized into a tree structure and used to group, classify, organize, and distribute sales transactions data. This ensures that sales reps are accurately compensated, and reporting is also accurate.

Categories and classifiers are used to sort and classify transactions. Classified transactions are allocated as credits to generate compensation, through the use of Territories.

During the calculation, the Pipeline will compare transaction fields and match them with classification rules. What’s the advantage of classification data? Let’s look at a few examples.

Scenario 1: Stacey is a Sales Rep that specializes in bike products in the western region of the US. Her territory includes the states of California, Arizona, and Nevada. The Postal Codes hierarchy will hold a list of US states and other geographical regions, and a classification rule that tells the system how to match a transaction with the correct state. We can then create a territory that contains the three states in the region, and assign Stacey to that territory.

Scenario 2: Each customer has a negotiated discount that differs for each account. Customer data is stored in the Customers hierarchy, and the discount is stored in a generic number field. The compensation plan finds the customer that matches the one on the transaction, extracts the negotiated discount, and uses it to calculate the commission.

Category Hierarchies

An implementation will generally have multiple hierarchies for different types of data. Different types of data are identified assigning different Classifier Types. Examples of classifier types are Products, Customers, and Postal Codes. These three classifier types appear by default, but you can also create new classifier types.

Category Hierarchies are made up of three levels of data:

  • The Root Category
  • Categories and Subcategories
  • Classifiers

Classification Data

The Root Category

The Root Category is a record at the top level of the Category Hierarchy. It has the role of defining the details of the hierarchy and contains three important pieces of information.

A Unique Name

The Classifier Type

The Classification Rule

Categories And Subcategories

Categories are used to group sales transactions in meaningful ways. The groupings determine how position assignments receive credits.

Categories are used to filter transactions into groups based on specific fields on each transaction. They are built in a hierarchical structure that can include multiple levels of sub-categories.


The Classifier is a generic term used to refer to the data used to classify transactions. The Classifier consists of the lowest level of the category hierarchy and represents the actual object that is being categorically organized, such as an individual product or customer.

Classifier Types

Every Category Hierarchy must have a Classifier Type which defines the type of data stored in the hierarchy. By default every system includes three classifier types: Product, Customer, and Postal Code. In addition, you can add generic classifier types if you need to classify transactions by another type of data.

Generic Classifier Types, like any Generic Attribute, can be created and maintained in the Customization workspace.

Classification Rules

The Classification Rule is a Boolean expression that matches a field on a classifier record with a field on a transaction. During calculation processing, the expression is processed for each transaction and it is determined whether the transaction has a matching classifier.

The Classification Rule is the mechanism in which a unique identifier, such as a Product ID, is used to match a Classifier record to a Transaction being processed.

If the classification rule does not have an expression, it will not classify the transactions. After a category hierarchy is created, the classifier type cannot be changed.

The classification tree is defined by the Classification Rule. If this expression is left blank, the hierarchy will not classify transaction data.

Exercise: Create a Category Hierarchy for Bike Products

Business Example

In this exercise, you will navigate the Category Hierarchies that we imported in the previous unit. You will also change the classification rule in the Postal Code hierarchy to meet the needs for Bikes in Motion.


  1. Open the Postal Code Tree.

    1. From the Plan Data menu, click Classification.
    2. Select the Classifiers button.
    3. Click the Classification Type drop down and select Postal Codes.
    4. Expand the Postal Code category hierarchy.
      • Select Postal Code Tree
      • Select Regions
      • Select Americas
      • Select Canada
      • Note the list of classifiers in the right pane. Each classifier corresponds to a province.
      • Select Alberta (AB) to open the details for the classifier. Note the Postal Code ID contains the two letter abbreviation for the province.
  2. Update the classification rule in the Postal Code tree to match the Postal Code ID with the State field on the Transaction billing address.

    1. Open the Classification Rule.

      • In the Category box select Postal Code Tree.
      • Select the Edit icon in the Hierarchy Details pane.
    2. Select the Expression box.

    3. Edit the Classification Rule.

      • In the first placeholder, type Tranand select Transaction.Billing.State.
      • In the second placeholder, type = and select the equal sign (=).
      • In the third placeholder, type Post and select Postal Code.Postal Code ID.
    4. Select Save.

Best Practices for Classification

  • Always have a classification rule in the category hierarchy.
  • When creating a new classification rule, use a field that is both required and unique, such as the Product ID field, on the classifier.

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