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Dimensions Overview

Required permission: Model Management Access > Model. 

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 headcount by job status, 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.

Dimension Use Cases

  • 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

Dimensions versus Attributes

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.

Level Dimensions

Level dimensions were designed to provide a way to tag levels so you can filter by types of levels in reporting and refer to types of levels in formulas. We now have a new way of accomplishing these same goals: using level attributes. 

Level attributes are assigned to levels in such a way that all data on that level has a particular attribute value. This means that each number in the level will have exactly one level attribute value, whereas with dimensions a number can have multiple dimension values -- which can lead to confusion and unexpected results in formulas. 

Level dimensions are still available, so if your instance currently uses them, it will continue to work as it has before. For new instances, use level attributes. 

A level dimension is a dimension whose values are assigned to levels in the organization structure. Organization dimensions can be used on reports to calculate level rollups different from the rollup defined in the organization structure. An example is a company whose primary level rollup is by function. The organization structure is organized by functional group, such as Engineering, Sales, or Marketing. But if they also want to see their levels rolled up by location (because the different functions reside in offices in different states), the company could have an organization dimension called Location. 

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