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Attribute Discretization: Customize Grouping Names - Page 3

July 17, 2009

Process the Analysis Services Database to Update Structure for Our Discretization Settings

We will process the Analysis Services database within which we have been working, and then browse the Vacation Hours attribute members to confirm that we have provided preliminary answers to the client’s stated requirements.

1. Right-click the Analysis Services project atop the tree in the Solution Explorer.

2. Select Process ... from the context menu that appears, as shown in Illustration 9.

Select Process ... to Process the Analysis Services Project
Illustration 9: Select Process ... to Process the Analysis Services Project

3. Click Yes on the dialog asking if you would like to save changes, which appears as depicted in Illustration 10.

Click Yes to Save All Changes before Processing
Illustration 10: Click Yes to Save All Changes before Processing

Information updates on the server, and then the Process Database dialog appears, as shown in Illustration 11.

The Process Database Dialog Appears ...
Illustration 11: The Process Database Dialog Appears ...

4. Click the Run button on the dialog.

The Process Progress viewer appears, and generates periodic status updates for various processing events. When processing is complete, we see a Process succeeded message appear in the Status bar in the lower part of the viewer, as depicted in Illustration 12.

Process Succeeded Message Appears ...
Illustration 12: Process Succeeded Message Appears ...

5. Click the Close button on the Process Progress viewer to dismiss the viewer.

6. Click the Close button on the Process Database dialog to dismiss the dialog.

We are now ready to return to the Dimension Designer browser to examine the results of our handiwork.

Browse the Newly Discretized Attribute with the Dimension Browser

1. Click the Browser tab in the Dimension Designer.

2. Ensure that Vacation Hours remains selected in the Hierarchy selector atop the Browser tab.

3. Click the Reconnect button atop the tab, as shown in Illustration 13.

Partial Browser View - before Reconnecting
Illustration 13: Partial Browser View - before Reconnecting

The browser details update, and (assuming the All Employees level remains expanded in the browser), we see ten groups appear, as depicted in Illustration 14.

The Discretized Attribute Member’s Groups
Illustration 14: The Discretized Attribute Member’s Groups

We see the groups appear, as expected. Ten groups have been created, based upon the algorithm selected by the Automatic discretization method.

4.  Leave the Employee Dimension Designer open for a later section.

Browse the Newly Discretized Attribute with the Cube Browser

Let’s go one step further and examine the results of our selection of the Automatic discretization method from another practical perspective, that of the cube browser. This will give us an appreciation for the improvements seen by the information consumers in querying / analyzing from the affected data.

1.  Within the Solution Explorer, once again, right-click the Basic cube (expand the Cubes folder as necessary).

2.  Click Open on the context menu that appears, as shown in Illustration 15.

Opening the Cube via the Cube Designer ...
Illustration 15: Opening the Cube via the Cube Designer ...

The tabs of the Cube Designer open, and we arrive, by default, at the Cube Structure tab.

3.  Click the Browser tab.

4.  Click the Reconnect button atop the tab.

5.  In the Metadata pane, expand the Employee dimension by clicking the “+” sign to its immediate left.

6.  Expand the newly exposed Organization folder.

7.  Right-click the Vacation Hours attribute within the expanded Organization folder.

8.  Select Add to Row Area from the context menu that appears, as depicted in Illustration 16.

Adding the Vacation Hours Attribute to the Browser Row Area ...
Illustration 16: Adding the Vacation Hours Attribute to the Browser Row Area ...

We see all ten Vacation Hours buckets appear in the rows of the browser pane.

9.  Click and drag the Employee Name attribute to the immediate right of the physical column containing the newly placed Vacation Hours buckets (a line will form at the drop point), juxtaposing the Employee Names on rows to the immediate right of the Vacation Hours, as shown in Illustration 17.

Juxtaposing the Employee Name alongside the Vacation Hours in Rows
Illustration 17: Juxtaposing the Employee Name alongside the Vacation Hours in Rows

All ten Vacation Hours buckets continue to appear in the rows of the browser pane – with “+” sign “expand” buttons appearing to the immediate left of the bucket labels.

10.  Expand the 70-79 and the 90-99 Vacation Hours buckets by clicking the “+” sign to its immediate left of each label.

The two Vacation Hours buckets expand, revealing lists of the employee members whose total Vacation Hours place them within the respective buckets in which they appear, as partially depicted in Illustration 18.

Select Vacation Hours Buckets, Expanded to Show Membership (Partial View)
Illustration 18: Select Vacation Hours Buckets, Expanded to Show Membership (Partial View)

In what is but one example of how we can use the Vacation Hours buckets, we can see lists of employees that have Vacation Hours on the books for each of the ten buckets we have created via Automatic discretization. We tell our client colleagues that they might use this arrangement to do far more than present lists of the members of the various strata. They might also flesh out the browser with other dimension members (such as Calendar Years, etc.), drop in various measures (such as Reseller Sales and the like), and perform analysis (as another simple example) upon employee balances of “unused vacation” when viewed within the perspective of the sales figures attributed to those employees.








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