MDX Essentials: Basic Numeric Functions: The Count() Function - Page 5

March 8, 2004

Ascertaining Accuracy and Completeness

To get a feel for the correctness of the information we are about to report to the information consumers in Finance, let's draft a query that asks for the data from a different viewpoint. We will request the information indirectly, without using the Count() function at all, but simply asking for Units Ordered information for each Store Type, by Country.

We will use a Crossjoin() function to accomplish this alternative perspective. CrossJoin() allows us to combine two or more dimensions on a single row, column, etc., and can be a powerful tool to use in MDX queries. We will devote an article to CrossJoin() in our next lesson, but, for now, we will use it as a means of checking our results from the prior sections. Consider this a preview of CrossJoin() as well, and as an opportunity to give it some thought before we focus on its use in the next and later articles.

1.  Select File --> New to create a new query in the Sample Application.

2.  Type the following into the Query pane:


-- MDX17-4:  Proof of  Count() Results
SELECT
    {[Measures].[Units Ordered] } ON COLUMNS,
NON EMPTY
CROSSJOIN (
    {[Store].[Store Country].Members},
    {[Store Type].[Store Type].Members}
        ) ON ROWS
FROM
    [Warehouse]
WHERE 
[Time].[1998]

3.  Execute the query by clicking the Run Query button in the toolbar.

The Results pane is populated by Analysis Services, and the dataset shown in Illustration 8 appears.


Illustration 8: Result Dataset - Using CrossJoin() to Generate Another Perspective

While we have asked for the Units Ordered quantities for each Store Type, by Country (excluding empty combinations with another keyword for that purpose, NON EMPTY, that we will encounter again in the future), we have also achieved another objective: we can see that our counts were accurate in reviewing the physical breakdown of the Store Types that had activity for each country. This provides proof positive that our counts in earlier sections were correct, and, in our business case, that the numbers we intend to provide to Finance are accurate. (With only a little additional work, we will even be ready to respond to the virtually certain request for "more information" once we provide the statistics requested!)

Summary ...

In this lesson, we stepped out of the purely set-related functions that we have examined in recent articles to focus on the numerical Count() function, as it is applied to sets. We introduced the Count() function with a discussion of its straightforward purpose, to return the number of cells in a specified set, and then exposed options within the syntax for overriding the default behavior of the function, to exclude empty cells within the range of the specified set, and therefore within the returned result of a query using the function.

Along with an introduction to the Count() function, our lesson included an examination of the syntaxes surrounding the function and illustrative examples where we used the function, both with and without the EXCLUDEEMPTY keyword, to meet a hypothetical business need. We performed a query using the CrossJoin() function to act as a "proofing" procedure, to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the results we obtained within our practice with the Count() function, as well as to preview CrossJoin() for our next article. Finally, throughout the steps of our examples, we discussed the results we obtained using MDX.

» See All Articles by Columnist William E. Pearson, III

Discuss this article in the MSSQL Server 2000 Analysis Services and MDX Topics Forum.

MDX Essentials Series
The LEVEL_NUMBER Member Property
The LEVEL_UNIQUE_NAME Intrinsic Member Property
Intrinsic Member Properties: The HIERARCHY_UNIQUE_NAME Property
Intrinsic Member Properties: The DIMENSION_UNIQUE_NAME Property
Further Combination of BottomCount() with Other MDX Functions
Combine BottomCount() with Other MDX Functions to Add Sophistication
Basic Set Functions: The BottomCount() Function, Part I
Intrinsic Member Properties: The MEMBER_VALUE Property
Intrinsic Member Properties: The MEMBER_UNIQUE_NAME Property
Intrinsic Member Properties: The MEMBER_NAME Property
Intrinsic Member Properties: The MEMBER_KEY Property
Intrinsic Member Properties: The MEMBER_CAPTION Property
Set Functions: The StripCalculatedMembers() Function
Set Functions: The AddCalculatedMembers() Function
MDX Numeric Functions: The Min() Function
MDX Numeric Functions: The Max() Function
Set Functions: The .AllMembers Function
MDX Essentials: Set Functions: The MeasureGroupMeasures() Function
String Functions: The .Properties Function, Part II
String Functions: The .Properties Function
Logical Functions: IsGeneration(): Conditional Logic within Filter Expressions
MDX Scripting Statements: Introducing the Simple CASE Statement
Logical Functions: IsGeneration(): Conditional Logic within Calculations
Logical Functions: IsAncestor(): Conditional Logic within Filter Expressions
MDX Clauses and Keywords: Use HAVING to Filter an Axis
Logical Functions: IsAncestor(): Conditional Logic within Calculations
Logical Functions: IsSibling(): Conditional Logic within Filter Expressions
Logical Functions: IsSibling(): Conditional Logic within Calculations
MDX Operators: The IsLeaf() Operator: Conditional Logic within Filter Expressions
MDX Operators: The IsLeaf() Operator: Conditional Logic within Calculations
MDX Numeric Functions: The .Ordinal Function
Other MDX Entities: Perspectives
MDX Operators: The IS Operator
MDX Set Functions: The Distinct() Function
MDX Set Functions: The ToggleDrillState() Function
Set Functions: The DrillUpLevel() Function
Set Functions: The DrillDownLevelTop() and DrillDownLevelBottom() Functions
MDX Set Functions: DrillDownLevel()
MDX Set Functions: The DRILLUPMEMBER() Function
MDX Essentials: Set Functions: The DRILLDOWNMEMBERTOP() and DRILLDOWNMEMBERBOTTOM() Functions
MDX Essentials : Set Functions: The DRILLDOWNMEMBER() Function
MDX Essentials: Drilling Through with MDX: The DRILLTHROUGH Statement
MDX Essentials: String Functions: The .UniqueName Function
MDX Essentials: String Functions: The .Name Function
MDX Essentials: String / Numeric Functions: The CoalesceEmpty() Function
MDX Essentials: Basic Set Functions: The TopCount() Function, Part II
MDX Essentials: Basic Set Functions: The TopCount() Function, Part I
MDX Essentials: Enhancing CROSSJOIN() with Calculated Members
MDX Essentials: Set and String Functions: The GENERATE() Function
MDX Essentials: The CROSSJOIN() Function: Breaking Bottlenecks
MDX Essentials: String / Numeric Functions: More on the IIF() Function
MDX Essentials: String / Numeric Functions: Introducing the IIF() Function
MDX Essentials: Logical Functions: The IsEmpty() Function
MDX Essentials: Basic Set Functions: The EXTRACT() Function
MDX Essentials: Numeric Functions: Introduction to the AVG() Function
MDX Essentials: Basic Member Functions: The .Item() Function
MDX Essentials: Basic Set Functions: Subset Functions: The Subset() Function
MDX Essentials: Basic Set Functions: Subset Functions: The Tail() Function
MDX Essentials: Basic Set Functions: Subset Functions: The Head() Function
MDX Essentials: Basic Set Functions: The CrossJoin() Function
MDX Essentials: Basic Numeric Functions: The Count() Function
MDX Essentials: Basic Set Functions: The Filter() Function
MDX Essentials: Basic Set Functions: The EXCEPT() Function
MDX Essentials: Basic Set Functions: The Intersect() Function
MDX Essentials: Basic Set Functions: The Union() Function
MDX Essentials: Basic Set Functions: The Order() Function
MDX Essentials - MDX Time Series Functions, Part III: The LastPeriods() and ParallelPeriod() Functions
MDX Time Series Functions, Part II: The OpeningPeriod () and ClosingPeriod() Functions
MDX Essentials - MDX Time Series Functions, Part I: PeriodsToDate() and Kindred Functions
MDX Essentials: MDX Member Functions: "Relative" Member Functions
MDX Member Functions: The Cousin () Function
MDX Essentials: Member Functions: More "Family" Functions
MDX Member Functions: The "Family" Functions
MDX Essentials: MDX Members: Introducing Members and Member
MDX Essentials : MDX Operators: The Basics
MDX Essentials: Structure of the MDX Data Model
MDX at First Glance: Introduction to SQL Server MDX Essentials








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