Performing Ad Hoc Analysis with Narrative Reporting Data

Narrative Reporting comes with a sample application that consists of a model containing seven dimensions. You create the sample application with a click of a button in the Narrative Reporting web interface.

When connected to the sample model in Oracle Smart View for Office, you can perform ad hoc queries that allow you to create data reports containing the information that you want to see. You can copy and paste data from the reports into doclets in Narrative Reporting report packages. You can copy and paste grids or individual data points into doclets.

The scenario in this topic shows you how to create an ad hoc grid and paste individual data points and an entire grid into a doclet, in preparation for the doclet being included in a report package in Narrative Reporting.

Watch this video to see a tutorial on analyzing data using ad hoc analysis.

video icon Tutorial video

To create an ad hoc grid from an Narrative Reporting data source:

  1. If you have not already done so, launch Excel, and set up a data source connection as described in Creating Data Source Connections to Narrative Reporting.
  2. In Excel, connect to the Narrative Reporting data source.
  3. In the Smart View Panel, expand Reporting Applications, then Sample Application, and then right-click Sample Model and select Ad hoc analysis.

    The initial dimensions and data are placed on the sheet. The Accounts dimension and Fiscal Calendar dimension are the active dimensions.

    Note:

    The dimensions , Entities, Total Segments, Currencies, Years, and Scenarios are in the POV and are not in the body of the grid. They can be used to change the data perspective of the grid; however, we are not showing that functionality in this scenario.


    Initial ad hoc grid as described in previous paragraph.

    And the Narrative Reporting ribbon for ad hoc functionality is displayed:


    Narrative Reporting ribbon, includes the following functionality: Zoom In, Zoom Out, Pivot, Keep Only, Remove Only, Pivot, Member Selection, Change Alias, Refresh, POV, and Visualize.
  4. Before proceeding, in the Smart View ribbon, click Options, select the Formatting tab, and ensure that these options are selected:
    • Use Excel Formatting

    • Adjust Column Width and Row Height

    Click OK.

  5. Click the Refresh button in either the Smart View ribbon or the Narrative Reporting ribbon to see the effect of the formatting changes on the current grid:

    Initial ad hoc grid with columns adjusted to fit the dimension names.

    The goal for our layout is to show the Accounts members in rows, and Scenarios members in columns, to create a simple operating expenses report.

  6. To move the Scenarios dimension to the column, right-click and drag the Scenarios dimension cell, and then drop it on the Accounts dimension cell.

    Scenarios and Accounts dimension in the column;, Fiscal Calendar dimension in the row; Entities, Total Segments, Currencies, and Years in the POV row.
  7. To move the Accounts dimension to the row, right-click and drag the Accounts dimension cell, and then drop it on the Fiscal Calendar dimension cell.

    Accounts and Fiscal Calendar dimensions in the row; Scenarios dimension in the column; and Entities, Total Segments, Currencies, and Years in the POV row.
  8. Right-click and then drag the Fiscal Calendar dimension to the POV row, and then drop it on the Entities dimension.

    Accounts dimensions in the row, Scenarios in the column, and Fiscal Calendar, Entities, Total Segments, Currencies, and Years in the POV row.

    In the previous grid, the Scenarios and Accounts dimensions are the active dimensions. The dimensions Fiscal Calendar, Entities , Total Segments, Currencies, and Years are in the POV. This is the desired dimension layout.

    Now let's zoom into row and column members and use the Keep Only and Remove Only buttons on the Narrative Reporting ribbon to create the row and column layout that we want to see.

  9. Select the Scenarios dimension, and then either double-click or click Zoom In on the Narrative Reporting ribbon.

    Members of the Scenarios dimension ranging from cells B2 through G2: Actual, Plan, Forecast, Variance, Variance %, and Scenarios.
  10. Press the Ctrl key, select the Forecast and Scenarios members, and then click the Remove Only button in the Narrative Reporting ribbon.

    The grid should look like this:


    Members of the Scenarios dimension ranging from cells B2 through E2: Actual, Plan, Variance, and Variance %.

    Now let's zoom in to the Operating Expenses member.

  11. Select Accounts, and then either double-click or click Zoom In from the Narrative Reporting ribbon.

    The result of the first zoom in:


    Members of the Accounts dimension ranging from cells A3 through A6: Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Statistics, and Accounts
  12. Continue to zoom in:
    1. Click Zoom In on the Income Statement member.
    2. Click Zoom In on the Net Income member.
    3. Click Zoom In on the Total Pretax Income member.
    4. Click Zoom In on the Pretax Income From Operations member.

    The grid should look like this:


    Accounts dimension expanded to the level of Gross Profit and Operating Expenses, ranging from cell A3 through A14
  13. To keep only the Operating Expenses member, we'll select the Operating Expenses cell and click Keep Only from the Narrative Reporting ribbon.

    The grid should look like this:


    Grid with only Operating Expenses as the row member, in cell A3
  14. Double-click or zoom in on the Operating Expenses member cell.
  15. In the expanded grid, select members with #Missing in their rows, Operating Expense Synergies and Allocations, and click Remove Only from the Narrative Reporting ribbon.

    The grid should look like this:


    Ad hoc grid with expanded Operating Expenses member; with members populating rows 3 through 13, Total Compensation is in row 3, and Operating Expenses in row 13; the members of Operating Expenses are indented.

    Now let's format the left column.

  16. For a left-aligned list, in the Smart View ribbon, click Options, and then click the Member Options tab.
  17. In Indentation, select None, and then click OK.
  18. In the Smart View ribbon or Narrative Reporting ribbon, click Refresh.

    The grid should look like this:


    Ad hoc grid with expanded Operating Expenses member; with members populating rows 3 through 13, Total Compensation is in row 3, and Operating Expenses in row 13; all titles in column A are flush left.

    Next, we want to remove the POV members from the first row of the report.

  19. In the Narrative Reporting ribbon, click the POV button.

    The POV button in the Narrative Reporting ribbon

    Clicking the POV button causes the POV members move to the POV toolbar, which floats on the grid, as shown in Figure 17-52.

    Figure 17-52 POV Toolbar


    The POV toolbar on the grid.

    Note:

    The POV toolbar can be moved around on the grid or docked by dragging the POV toolbar to the top, bottom, left, or right of the Excel window. You can prevent the POV toolbar from docking by holding the Ctrl key as you drag the toolbar.

    Now let's apply formatting to the numbers in the grid. Number formatting will carry over when we copy the grid and paste it into Word.

  20. Press and hold down the Ctrl key, and then select the dollar amounts in the first and last rows of the report, cells B3, C3, D3, B13, C13, and D13.

    Ad hoc report showing cells B3, C3, D3, B13, C13, and D13 selected.
  21. With cells B3, C3, D3, B13, C13, and D13 selected, in the Excel Home ribbon, in the Number group, click the Accounting Number Format button, Accounting Number Format button in Excel.

    If you are working in a non-American English environment, choose the default currency symbol for your locale.

  22. In the Excel Home ribbon, make the following changes to the currency and variance percentage figures:
    1. Select only the figures in columns B, C, and D, and then, in the Number group, click the Comma Style button, Comma Style button in Excel.
    2. Select only the figures in column E, Variance %, and then, in the Number group, click the Decrease Decimal button, Decrease Decimal button in Excel, until only one decimal place remains.

    You should now have a report similar to the one shown in Figure 17-53.

    Figure 17-53 Ad Hoc Report from Narrative Reporting Data Source


    Ad hoc report showing cells B3, B4, B5, B13, B14, and B16 with the number formatting changes applied.

    This formatting will carry over to the report package doclet in Word. You'll add more formatting when you're authoring the doclet in Word (as described in Copying and Pasting Narrative Reporting Data into Doclets).

  23. Save the report and continue with Copying and Pasting Narrative Reporting Data into Doclets.

    We'll show you how to copy and paste the dynamic data points from this report in to a doclet in an Narrative Reporting report package. This is a typical task that a doclet author performs during the authoring phase of the report package lifecycle.