Grouping a subset of dimension records for a report

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Grouping a subset of dimension records for a report

Post  wddockery on Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:13 am

A few years back, business users requested they no longer wanted to see some of the locations of recruiting events in a specific report and instead wanted them grouped together under a more general event. To use an abstract example, events {A, B, C, D, E} are all possible events in the dimension and a subset {D, E} should just be grouped together with event C so you end up with events {A, B, C} in the report. Their reasoning behind this request was events {C, D, E} were related and the events D and E were so small it was simpler just to group them together with event C. The dimension records stayed the same, but my way of implementing this request was to create a "Reporting Label" attribute in the event dimension and group on this instead of the normal dimension label. That way I can maintain the same level of detail in the fact table and if they changed their mind later to expand them I would just change the report query back to the normal dimension label.

This decision has always bugged me since I modified the schema for one report. Looking back on this, I imagine I should have sat down with the business users to determine if we should map those events to the same dimension record in our lookup table, a back-room approach. However, that would affect other reports that may use this information. Since it was for a single report I figured it would be better to use a front-room implementation. Was this the right way to approach this problem or should I have implemented it another way?

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Re: Grouping a subset of dimension records for a report

Post  gvarga on Wed Jul 29, 2015 4:25 pm

I agree wholly with your solution!

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Re: Grouping a subset of dimension records for a report

Post  ngalemmo on Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:32 pm

I agree. Your original solution makes sense. If the users are happy, I wouldn't mess with it.
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Re: Grouping a subset of dimension records for a report

Post  wddockery on Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:36 am

Thanks for the reassurance gvarga and ngalemmo. Would there be other valid ways to implement this kind of request while still maintaining a conformed dimension?

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