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Level Dimensions and Attributes

Introduces conceptual information and use cases for level attributes and level dimensions to create an alternate level hierarchy in your model.

Audience: Admins who manage the model.

An attribute is a logical grouping with a list of possible values. Use attributes to tag accounts, dimensions, and levels. Create attributes to represent different rollup hierarchies for your organization. 

A dimension is an accounting characteristic with a list of possible values. Use dimensions in all types of sheets. A product dimension can represent the product lines and products sold by your corporation. A job dimension can represent the job titles assigned to employees. A level dimension can provide an alternate rollup structure for your organization. 

Dimensions and attributes may be lists or hierarchical. A list contains values that don't have child and parent values. A hierarchical dimension or attribute has more than one tier of values. When you associate a dimension or an attribute with a level, you can pivot the structure of your levels. 

Use Cases for Level Dimensions and Attributes

  • Alternate rollups: To report on rollups by regions, rather than department.
  • Simpler Formulas: Reference the level dimension or attribute, rather than each level.

See Create Level Dimensions or Attributes for a walkthrough on alternate level hierarchies.

How Level Attributes and Dimensions Work

Scenario

Your level organization reflects the departmental structure of your company. With this structure you can see the totals for each department. You also want to see the totals for regions across departments.

Solution with Level Dimensions or Attributes

Create your level hierarchy to roll up by department as shown in the first column. The second and third columns shows the tags for each level. The fourth column shows the pivoted hierarchy. Use this setup throughout the examples in this article. 

Level Hierarchy Level Dimension or Attribute Tag Pivoted Level Hierarchy by Dimension/Attribute

G&A

  • Finance 
  • Human Resources
  • Legal
  • IT

Product Development

  • Operations
  • Engineering
  • Product Management

Sales

  • East Coast Sales
  • West Coast Sales
  • Midwest Sales
  • South West Sales
G&A Finance West Coast Region

East Coast Region

  • Legal
  • Human Resources
  • Operations
  • East Coast Sales

West Coast Region

  • Finance
  • Engineering
  • Product Management
  • West Coast Sales

Uncategorized

  • IT
  • Midwest Sales
  • Southwest Sales
G&A Human Resources East Coast Region
G&A Legal East Coast Region
G&A IT  
Product Development Operations East Coast Region
Product Development Engineering West  Coast Region
Product Development Product Management West Coast Region
Sales East Coast Sales East Coast Region
Sales West Coast Sales West Coast Region
Sales Midwest Sales  
Sales Southwest Sales  

Attributes versus Dimensions

General

  • Attributes: An attribute tags metadata. Level attributes tag levels and the data that intersect at that level. When you tag a level with an attribute, the level always has that attribute. All that level's data has that attribute.
  • Dimensions: A level dimension is metadata. Along with levels, time, and accounts, dimensions create a specific data point. When you tag levels with a dimensions, you partition the data further by the level dimensions.

As  Administrators

  • Attributes: Child levels inherit their parent level's attribute. For example, if you tag the parent level G&A with West Coast, you tag all the G&A departments with West Coast. To tag each department with a different attribute, leave the G&A uncategorized. 

    If you have a hierarchical attribute, you can tag parent levels with a parent attribute. For the child levels, you can choose the parent attribute or any of the attribute's child values. For example, if the East Coast attribute has child attributes, Northeast and Southeast. Tag the parent level with East Coast. Then for the child level, you can choose either East Coast, Northeast, or Southeast.
     
  • Dimensions: Child and parent levels do not have to have the same level dimension. 

In Reports

  • Attributes: The report returns only the tagged levels. 
  • Dimensions: The report returns each possible combination. 

On Standard Sheets

Standard sheet with level dimension splits

  • Attributes: You can't add level attributes to standard sheets. When you enter data, the attribute comes with the level.
  • Dimensions: If you add the dimension to the sheet, you can override the tagged dimension. In the example, the splits break the Finance level into two categories: East and West Coast. Although you tagged Finance with the West Coast Region in the level settings, you can tag the Finance level's data with the East Coast Region. If you don't tag the data with the dimension, the data is tagged with the uncategorized dimension.

On Modeled Sheets

The example modeled sheet has both level attributes and level dimensions to show the differences.

Modeled sheets with dimensions and attributes

  • Attributes: When you choose a level, the associated attribute pre-fills with read-only attribute values.
  • Dimensions: You can override the level setting. For example, you can choose West Coast for Operations, even though it should be East Coast

On Cube Sheets

Attributes

In cube sheets, attributes help sort and filter the sheet. 

Use the level attributes to filter the level drop-down list if both are filter drop-downs. If you choose West Coast, only the levels tagged with West Coast appear in the levels drop-down:

Filter level by level attributes.png

If levels are on the sheet and attributes are in the filter, use the attributes to filter the rows:

Attributes filtering rows

Partial Attribute Rollups

When you add a level attribute to cube sheets, you have the option to include some values while excluding others. In the example below, you include West Coast and none of the others: 

Attributes on a cube sheet.png

Here's what you can expect on the cube sheet:

  • All the levels you previously added are still available on the sheet, not just those tagged with West Coast.
  • If you drag just the attribute to the rows, only the West Coast shows on the sheet. The rollup includes only data tagged with West Coast.
  • If the attribute is a filter drop-down, only West Coast and All are available.
  • If you choose West Coast from the filter drop-down, the sheet filters the levels to display only the levels tagged with West Coast. The rollups in the sheet include data tagged with West Coast.
  • If you choose All, the sheet displays all the levels, even those not tagged with West Coast
  • The attribute rollup for All totals all levels on the sheet. 

Notice the totals for G&A and how they differ based on the attribute selection:

Dimension Total with All Attributes.png

Dimensions

If the level dimension is in a filter, you must choose a leaf level dimension value to enter data.

Like dimensions in modeled sheets, you may override the level setting association. For example, if you choose West Coast from the filter, you can edit all the levels under G&A . By doing so, you tag the data you enter with West Coast, regardless of the level and its tagged dimension.

Cube sheet with level dimensions

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