Exploration and Analysis: Decomposition - It's a Good Thing
provides a host of ways to leverage the strengths of MSAS, and makes it easy
for analysts and power users to access and take advantage of MSAS' analytical
functionality. The interface is intuitive, and users find it remarkably
straightforward, from their introduction to the product, to explore complex
data, track key performance indicators and publish, or to otherwise share,
their findings with other members of the organization.
have established connectivity to the Budget cube, we can explore the
data to analyze overall performance and to gain a deeper understanding of the
factors that drive profitability. We will examine some of the key features of
ProClarity in this section, and use it to explore and analyze the Budget
cube. Let's get started with the following steps, beginning where we left off
in the previous section, at the Select how you want to visualize your
1. Click the Decomposition Tree
dialog for the Decomposition Tree Wizard appears, as depicted in Illustration
Illustration 6: Welcome
Dialog for the Decomposition Tree Wizard
2. Click Next to proceed.
Tree Wizard initializes, and prompts us for specification, in the dialog
that appears next, of the measure and dimension upon we wish to perform
3. Select Amount in the Breakdown
4. Select Account in the list
labeled For items in.
The What do you
want to analyze? dialog appears, with our settings, as shown in Illustration
Illustration 7: The What
Do You Want to Analyze Dialog - Decomposition Wizard
We are specifying that
we wish to decompose the Amount measure (the only measure in the
somewhat simple Budget cube) for the Account dimension. In other
words, we want to be able to determine the values of the accounts that make up
the summary numbers appearing in the FoodMart 2000 financial
reporting levels - to "break down" the rollup amounts therein into
their constituent, hierarchical account parts.
5. Click Finish to accept the
The initial view
appears, with the top (or All Account) rollup amount displayed in the
view shown in Illustration 8.
Illustration 8: Initial
View - Decomposition Tree Wizard
6. Roll the mouse over the label in
the All Account box until the information shown in Illustration 9
Illustration 9: Context-sensitive
Rollover Display of the Mouse Pointer
We can readily see the
value of Amount displayed ($ 398,755.69) is the total (100%)
rollup value. The labels for the box exhibit link-like behavior when we hover
the mouse pointer over them.
7. Click the All Account label
to drill to the next lower level.
We see Net Income
appear next. The reason for this is that the default year, 1997,
contains only P & L / Income Statement account activity in the simple Budget
cube. We note that the Level 02 label appears underneath the "All"
label in the upper left corner of the pane, reflecting that we are on Level
2 of the hierarchy.
8. Roll the mouse over the Net
Income label until the information shown in Illustration 10 appears.
Illustration 10: Rollover
Display with Added Property Information
We see a
display very similar to the rollover results for the All level, except
we note the appearance of member property information, as well. (For a discussion
of the meaning of the Unary Operator: + detail, see our DatabaseJournal
Cubes: Financial Reporting - Part I and Part
9. Right-click the Net Income
A context menu
10. Select Drill Down --> Account --> Level 3 across the cascading menus that
appear, in turn, as depicted in Illustration 11.
Illustration 11: Drill
Down --> Account --> Level 3
The drill down is
accomplished, leaving us with the view shown in Illustration 12.
Illustration 12: Level
Three Account Components of Net Income
In addition, the Level
3 indicator appears in the upper left corner of the pane. We can also "get
our bearings" at anytime, determining our location from the perspective of
the hierarchy, by noting the information at the bottom of the dialog (in this
instance, it states "Decomposition of Net Income," indicating
that the Net Sales and Total Expense boxes roll up to the Net
Income level in the Account dimension hierarchy).