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Knowledge @ Adaptive Insights LLC, a Workday company.

Linked Account Walkthrough: Dimensions and Revenue

Introduces common linked account use cases with revenue and dimensions. The three examples include 1) having the revenue calculated in a cube sheet with multiple dimensions and still have it roll up to the general ledger revenue totals without the dimensions; 2) breaking that data down by dimension in general ledger accounts; 3) using dimensions in formulas to filter data from general ledger accounts.

Audience: Administrators who manage the model.

Dimensions and attributes categorize data with tags to help you analyze, plan, and record slices of data. When an account is linked to a cube or modeled sheet, it links to all the dimensions and dimension attributes in that sheet as well. The link makes those dimensions and attributes available to explore in the cells, as filters, and as tags in formulas. 

The following is a scenario that walks you through how dimensions in linked accounts work.

See Linked Accounts Overview and Pull Data from a Modeled or Cube Sheet into Another Account.

Model with Dimensions and Dimension Attributes

Your business is a store that sells clothes. "Products" is a dimension in your model. The dimension values for products are: Tank tops, T-shirts, Blouses, Sweaters, Leggings, Jeans, Skirts, Shorts, Belts, Hats, Purses, Gloves. The revenue for each item is tracked in the Revenue Sheet cube sheet, to support the multiple dimensions. 

Products has a dimension attribute, called Product Group, with these values: Tops, Bottoms, and Accessories. You tag each product dimension with the appropriate attribute. The products are organized like this:

Product Attribute Values Tops Bottoms Accessories
Product Dimension Values
  • Tank Tops
  • T-shirts
  • Blouses
  • Sweaters
  • Leggings
  • Jeans
  • Skirts
  • Shorts
  • Belts
  • Hats
  • Purses
  • Gloves

On the Product Revenue cube sheet, team members enter data per dimension, customer, and product in two accounts: Units and Discounts.

Product revenue cube sheet

The rest of the accounts in the sheet use formulas and assumption drivers to calculate values based on those two entries. 

Use the Complex Revenue Data in a Simple P&L Sheet

The cube sheet saves your team time when it comes to data entry, and it provides data for  analyzing customers and products. But these dimensions, like each customer and each product, are distracting in a Profit and Loss sheet. How can you use the relevant data without pulling in all the details?


Create a general ledger Product Revenue account that rolls up to Revenue. Then, link the Product Revenue account to Net Revenue in the cube. 

Create linked account in general ledger

Add the accounts to your P&L sheet. Just as expected the Product Revenue:

  • Displays none of the details
  • Rolls up to Revenue
  • Contributes to the total
  • Has no confusing and irrelevant dimensions and attributes

 Revenue with Link

"Dimensionalize" the Data in the General Ledger

What if you want some of the dimensions from the cube sheet in your general ledger, but not all of them?


Filter the link by dimension.

1 Create child general ledger accounts within Product Revenue for each product category. (If your general ledger account is linked, you'll have to unlink first). 

2 For each child account, link to the Net Revenue account in the cube.

3 Then use the Linked filters drop-down to filter by the product group dimension. Dimensions are available as soon as you link to a sheet that has them. 

Filtering by dimension

Now the Profit and Loss sheet breaks down the Product Revenue by product group. When your team explores the cells, they can see more dimensional breakdowns by clicking through Cell Explorer. This is because the link preserves all the dimensions in the cube sheet.

Explore the dimensions

Reference "Dimensionalized" General Ledger Accounts in Formulas

Let's reverse our work to show an important difference between using a formula to pull data (which does not "hold" dimensions) and using a link (which does "hold" dimensions).

Formulas Instead of Links for General Ledger Accounts

Product Revenue is a general ledger account with three child accounts. In the three child accounts, the instance uses formulas to show the product group dimensions in the general ledger account.

Product Revenue - Tops uses the formula =ACCT.ProdSalesCube.Net_Revenue[Group=Tops]:

Acounts using shared formulas or master formulas

The calculator follows the formula's "instructions" and populates the cell with data:

  1. Find the Product Revenue cube sheet: (ProdSalesCube).
  2. Get this account (Net_Revenue).
  3. Use only data tagged with this dimension: [Group=Tops].

Conduct Dimension-Tagged Calculations with General Ledger Accounts

Suppose another account uses some portion of the general ledger account 4110 Product Revenue-Tops. You want to take that total and "dimensionalize" it by product in your formula.

You enter the account in a formula and add a product dimension: =ACCT.4110_Product_Revenue_Grp_tops[Product=Tank Tops].

The calculator follows your instructions:

  1. Find the general ledger account: =ACCT.4110_Product_Revenue...
  2. Use only data tagged with this dimension: [Product=Tank Tops]

The calculator looks for the dimension in the general ledger model and in the general account, but neither is tagged with dimensions. The account uses a formula, and formulas don't bring in related dimensions from the cube sheet. So, the result is blank:

Blank calculation for dimension formula

If you're familiar with the model, you might know to look at the formula for the general ledger to find the source data. You might also explore the cell of the general ledger account. First you would have to find a sheet with the general ledger account (it might not be in the same sheet, as in this example). Only then could you know to use the source account with the source dimension in your formula =ACCT.ProdSalesCube.NET_Revenue[Product=Tank Tops]

 Formula using Cube

If you were reviewing or auditing the data in this sheet, these formula references may be confusing... especially if you're familiar with your general ledger codes and are looking for them, but you're not familiar with the model.

It's more intuitive for both data entry and reviewing when the formula references the general ledger and the general ledger code.


Link each of the child Product Revenue accounts to the cube sheet account and filter by product category:

Filtering by dimension

The dimension filtered in each account is the Product Group, you can reference any other dimension or attribute that exists in the cube sheet source, such as color, customer, product...

Now when you reference the general ledger account in a formula, you can tag it with any dimension that has been added to the source cube sheet.

Formula using the GL code and dimensions from the cube sheet

On the sheet, the cell calculates appropriately and other members of your team can understand the calculation because it references the general ledger code!

Data in the sheet

In fact, in formulas throughout the instance, referring to this general ledger account allows you to also pull any dimension or attribute in the source account without ever having to know or understand the source account, the source account code, or the sheets that use the source account.

Recap Formulas

Intuitive but Incorrect

The general ledger uses a formula, so formulas that reference the general ledger and an attribute or dimension don't work. 

Blank calculation for dimension formula

Correct but Unintuitive

The formula must reference the source account in the cube sheet creating a formula string that isn't intuitive to team members who aren't familiar with the model. 

Formula using Cube

Intuitive and Correct

The formula references a general ledger code and because the general ledger account is linked to the cube sheet, the dimension in the formula works!

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