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Non-numeric Facts

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Post  perchristian Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:02 am

My customers are challenging me..... They tell me that my reporting models are not flexible enough. I agree, but I am not sure how to approach this issue and give them what they need in a simple way.
My products today offers 2 types of reporting today:
- Standard/traditional predefined/predesigned reports through MS Reporting Services. Where the users can do their selections from a predefined set of selection criterias, and a standard "simple" report with filtering, grouping etc. is shown.
- (Traditional) MS Analysis Services Cubes, where the user can slice and dice and do pivoting in Excel or other OLAP tool.
- Cubes are offering flexibillity but they are limited to showing, aggregating and/or calcualting numbers.
My customers are asking me for reporting solutions where they can slice and dice and build reports, like from a cube, but without the limitation of only having numbers as facts.
I suppose I am not the only with these kind of needs ? And if not, where should I start to look for a solution to this ?

Thank you for your help !

Best regards

Per C.

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Post  BoxesAndLines Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:09 pm

Why can't you add dimensions to support drill down analytics? That is possible in cubes.
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Post  ngalemmo Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:19 pm

An B&L mentioned, drill-thru will help. But' I am wondering what text fields are facts? Can you give an example? Could requirements be satisfied by adding them as attributes?
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Post  VHF Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:30 pm

perchristian wrote:My customers are asking me for reporting solutions where they can slice and dice and build reports...

As you are aleady using SSRS, have you looked at using Report Builder 1.0 to give your users some ad-hoc reporting capabilities? Report Builder 1.0 requires that you define a semantic "model" against which the users can drag-and-drop to build reports. Data source can be either relational or SSAS cube. Only fields that you put in the model are available to the users.

Report Builder 1.0 is somewhat limited in capability, but is adequate for simple end-user ad-hoc reporting.

(There is also Report Builder 2.0 which debuted in SQL 2008, but this is really a different tool rather than a version upgrade. More powerful, but doesn't use the "model" approach. SQL 2008 R2 adds Report Builder 3.0 which is supposed to be the best of both worlds, but I haven't worked with it yet. Sounds like in SQL 2011 Microsoft might be introducing a full-blown semantic layer equivilent to a Business Objects Universe.)


Last edited by VHF on Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:31 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fix typo)

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