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Understanding Dimensions

A dimension is a logical category with a list of values. For example, a dimension called Region might have values of North, South, East, and West. Dimensions are used on sheets to tag and view data in different groupings, such as personnel by job title, sales by product, or expenses by project. Once data is tagged with a dimension, the data can be grouped by dimension value and these groups can drive other data. For example, head­count might be tagged with a dimension called Status. Each headcount would be associ­ated with a Status value of FullTime, PartTime, or Contractor. Then, salaries by status could be used to drive different benefit calculations. Dimensions can also be used as sort­ing and filtering devices on reports.

Other places dimensions are commonly used include:

  • Categorizing data on splits in standard accounts

  • Categorizing rows on modeled sheets

  • Enabling more detailed data entry on cubes

  • Filtering, sorting, or grouping data on reports

  • Setting a "default dimension value" for a Level of your organization

  • Matching elimination entries in Consolidation

  • Drilling down on data in Discovery

  • Filtering or aggregating data in Integration

Although superficially similar, dimensions and attributes serve different purposes in Adap­tive products. Dimensions are created to categorize data.  Attributes are created to cate­gorize groups of data, like accounts, dimensions, 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.

Dimensions are created and managed within Modeling > Model Management by clicking Dimensions.

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