Attributes are logical groupings with lists of possible values. You can use them to tag accounts, dimensions, and levels with those values. For example, an attribute called SEO Reporting might have values of Include and Exclude, and accounts included or excluded in SEO reporting could be tagged appropriately. Attributes can be used to build alternate hierarchies of accounts, dimensions, or levels. For example, you could create attributes to represent different rollup hierarchies for your organization (for example, geography vs. function). Because attributes are themselves hierarchical, the alternate hierarchy can be as deep as you would like.
Attributes are created and managed by the administrator.
Although superficially similar, attributes and dimensions serve different purposes in Adaptive products. Dimensions are created to categorize data, like individual transactions, while attributes are created to categorize groups of data, like accounts and levels. Because attributes categorize groups, they therefore also have the effect of categorizing the data which the group categorizes, but data cannot have attributes assigned to them directly. Data can only inherit attributes from the accounts, dimensions, or levels where they are located. If you imagine your data as sheets of paper filed in a cabinet, dimensions are codes you put on the pages and attributes are codes you put on the file folders.
You cannot give dimensions and attributes identical names. For example, if your instance already contains a dimension called Region, you cannot create an attribute called Region. If your instance already contains a level attribute called Manufacturing, you cannot create a dimension or account attribute called Manufacturing. Dimension values and attribute values can have identical names, but the dimensions and attributes themselves cannot.
To switch between defining level attributes, dimension attributes, and account attributes, use the drop-down menu above the attributes list. Note that each list dimension is named individually (list dimensions are described in more detail in Dimension Administration). Dimension attributes and attribute values created for one dimension are not available to other dimensions.