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Oracle Financial Analyzer User's Guide
Release 11i

Part Number A96138-01
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3
Dimensions and Dimension Values

Chapter summary

This chapter describes dimensions and dimension values.

Who should read this chapter

You need to know the information in this chapter if you are:

List of topics

This chapter includes the following topics:

About Dimensions and Dimension Values

How data is organized

Data is organized in Financial Analyzer using three kinds of data structures:

Financial data items are made up of dimensions, which in turn are made up of dimension values.

Definition: Dimensions

Dimensions are database objects that perform the following functions:

Definition: Dimension values

Dimension values are the elements that make up a dimension.

Example: Dimensions and dimension values

The report in this example contains the following dimensions and dimension values:

Dimension

Dimension Values

Line

Taxes, Benefits, Office Expenses

Organization

Eastern Region, Central Region, West Region

Time

January 1996

The report displays information for a financial data item called Actuals.


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The following illustration shows how the intersection of the Taxes, Eastern Region and January 1996 dimension values points to the financial data item value 5,565,146 in the database.


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Who can work with dimensions and dimension values?

Administrators

As an administrator, it is your responsibility to maintain the dimensions and dimension values that your users access in the shared database that you administer. When you create or modify a dimension or dimension value and want other users to be able to access it, you must distribute the dimension or dimension value to the shared database and to other users.

Budget workstation users

As a Budget workstation user, you can create and modify dimensions and dimension values for personal use. You can modify dimensions and dimension values that your administrator has created for you, but you cannot save the modifications unless you assign a new name to the modified dimension or dimension value, so that you retain the original. Also note that you cannot submit data to the shared database if is associated with a dimension or dimension value that you have created in your personal database.

Creating and Modifying Dimensions

Creating dimensions

You choose Dimension from the Maintain menu to create a new dimension. This opens the Maintain Dimension dialog box. From this starting point you can perform the following functions:

Assigning properties and user privileges to dimensions

Once a dimension has a name, object name, object prefix and type, you can specify whether the dimension supports the following types of operations:

You can also specify the types of users who can create new hierarchies, models, or attributes based on this dimension. You can choose DBA, EveryOne, or NoOne.

Important: Base your selections on how the dimension will be used in the system. Refer to "Suggested Ways to Set Up Dimensions for an overview of typical ways in which dimensions are used in Financial Analyzer.

Example: Dimension information

The following example shows the Maintain Dimension dialog box with information for the Product dimension.


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In this example:

Modifying dimensions

You choose Dimension from the Maintain menu to modify dimensions in your personal database. This opens the Maintain Dimension dialog box, from which you can perform the following modifications:

Distributing a deleted dimension

If you delete a dimension, you must distribute the structure with a Delete from System action. This deletes the structure from the shared database and from the personal databases of all of your users, including any administrators immediately below you in the reporting hierarchy. Administrators below you in the reporting hierarchy should propagate this change by distributing the deletion to their shared database and to the personal databases of their users, and so on down to the leaf nodes. If they choose not to do so, they can retain the structure for their own use, but they can never submit data associated with the structure into your shared database.

If you delete and then redefine a dimension

If you delete a dimension and then attempt to define a dimension with the same object name before distributing the deletion, the system prompts you to specify whether to process the deletion.

Related information

For more information about working with dimensions, search for the following topics in the Financial Analyzer Help system:

"Creating Dimensions"
"Modifying Dimensions"
"Moving Dimensions"
"Renaming Dimensions"
"Deleting Dimensions"

Suggested Ways to Set Up Dimensions

Using dimensions in models

When the data associated with a financial data item needs to be calculated, a model is defined using one or more of the dimensions that make up the financial data item. For example, models might be based on dimensions such as Line Item and Account. Dimensions that are used in models typically aggregate over time and do not require hierarchies because Financial Analyzer provides a Time hierarchy.

Using dimensions in hierarchies

When the data associated with a financial data item needs to be aggregated into higher and lower levels of detail, a hierarchy is defined using one or more of the dimensions that make up the financial data item. For example, hierarchies might be based on dimensions such as Organization and Product. Dimensions that are used in hierarchies typically do not aggregate over time and are not used in models.

Using dimensions as attributes

When you need to establish a relationship between two dimensions for the purpose of selecting values of one dimension by their association with another dimension, an attribute can be defined to link them. Typically, the grouping dimension of an attribute is not used to dimension any financial data item, does not aggregate over time, is not used in a model, and does not require hierarchies.

Using custom time dimensions

You can set up time periods using either the Standard Time dimension, or you can create a custom time dimension. A custom time dimension requires hierarchies to build time relationships.

Suggested properties to assign when creating dimensions

The following table recommends the properties to assign to dimensions used in models, hierarchies, attributes, and custom time dimensions.

Property

Dimension used in model

Dimension used in hierarchy

Dimension used as attribute

Custom time dimension

Dimension Type

Text

Text

Text

Time

Dimension Options

  • Time Aggregations

  • B/W Variance Indicators

  • Maintain DBA Sort Order

  • Control Dimension Value Scaling

Maintain DBA Sort Order

Maintain DBA Sort Order

Maintain DBA Sort Order

Users Who Can Define Hierarchies

  • DBA

  • EveryOne

  • NoOne

  • DBA

  • EveryOne

NoOne

  • DBA

  • EveryOne

Users Who Can Define Models

  • DBA

  • EveryOne

NoOne

NoOne

NoOne

Users Who Can Define Attributes

  • DBA

  • EveryOne

  • NoOne

  • DBA

  • EveryOne

  • DBA

  • EveryOne

NoOne

Creating and Modifying Dimension Values

Creating dimension values

You choose Dimension Value from the Maintain menu to create a new dimension value. This opens the Maintain Dimension Value dialog box, where you choose the dimension for which you want to create the dimension value. From this starting point you can perform the following functions:

Note: If you are creating a new dimension value that is similar to a saved dimension value, you can save time by copying information for row and column labels, time period, aggregation type, variance, and scaling from the saved value to the new value. Choose Copy in the New Dimension Value dialog box to copy dimension value information.

Example: Dimension value information

The following example shows the Maintain Dimension value dialog box with information for a Product dimension value.


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Text description of the illustration newdval.gif

In this example:

Modifying dimension values

You choose Dimension Value from the Maintain menu to modify dimension values. This opens the Maintain Dimension Value dialog box, from which you can choose the dimension and the dimension value and perform the following modifications:

If you delete and then redefine a dimension value

If you delete a dimension value and then attempt to define a dimension value with the same object name before distributing the deletion, the system prompts you to specify whether to process the deletion.

Related information

For more information about working with dimension values, search for the following topics in the Financial Analyzer Help system:

"Creating Dimension Values"
"Modifying Dimension Values"
"Moving Dimension Values"
"Renaming Dimension Values"
"Deleting Dimension Values"

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