The data scope of a report is made through selections from dropdown lists.  These dropdown lists are representations of Dimensions, and use the Hierarchy and Attribute constructs.  Some DIMENSIONS share an approach to selections (geography and product), others are special and are approached to suit their idiosyncrasies (time and shopper).  Here are some examples


GEOGraphy and PRODuct


TREE_GEOGRAPHY_closed It starts out looking like this.  This selector has already been used in the current session, perhaps in this report or in another report, and its value has been established as “Central”.  Clicking on the dropdown reveals more information.

TREE_GEOGRAPHY_001 This now displays the selection, and the path that got us there. So, we see that there are two hierarchies that have been defined for GEOGRAPHY, and we were interested in one of the nodes in the Standard Hierarchy.




But, what if we were interested in displaying/aggregating results across hierarchy branches. A hierarchy would not suffice and we need another means of access.  This is when Dimension Attributes can be used. They are accessed by clicking on the “Custom…” choice and exposing another dropdown, this one for Attributes.

TREE_GEOGRAPHY_005 Attributes cross hierarchy branch boundaries, and indeed, not every available attribute is even to be found in the available hierarchies.  Here we have decided to expose the StoreFormat attribute and may decide to select “StoreFormat J”, which will identify all format J stores, regardless of where they are grouped in another hierarchy.

TREE_GEOGRAPHY_010To get even fancier, we can enable the multi-select capability (by clicking on the Allow Multiple Selections checkbox) and then identify a subset of available attribute values as the filter to be used for scoping the data in our report.




When thinking of time we thought it would be handy to make some of the most commonly used time selections available directly.  So the time selections begin with a “favorites” list just called Time.

It comes in two flavors, one for trend reports where we need to understand the granularity of the time detail, and has descriptions the have a “by” in them; by Day, by Week, by Month.

TIMESelector for trend reports, TIMESelectorNonTrend or for non-trended reports.

For many reports these standard selections will suffice.  Moreover, a selection made with any of the “Last Complete” selections will automatically be rerun when the time granularity (week, period, quarter) progresses to the next value.

For those times when a standard selection will not suffice, click on “Custom” and a few more selectors appear to let you define the timeframe you desire.

StartCountDays This is the standard pair of selectors that appear next, and they both work the same way.  Their purpose is to define a start and end to your timeframe.  You have a selection of any time attribute granularity that has been defined for your retailer. When selecting a granularity you have the option of selecting a “number of” or a specific choice.  Here are examples of those for Days.

StartCountDaysNumber and TIMECalendar, and for Week as representative of the rest TIMESelectOne.  Remember that a “complete” time selection will trigger an automatic rerun of the report when the database data refresh moves to the next member of that granularity.  Understand also that selecting a “current” time selection will trigger a refresh of the report whenever the database data is refreshed – so you need to understand when that happens in your situation.

If you are working on a trend report one more selector should appear to allow selection of the trend display granularity.TIMEShowTimeBy.

So, that’s how you will tell your report what days to include in the analysis.




The shopper dimension is, again, special and requires its own selector.  The first step is a straightforward selection of “All” and/or sometimes “None”.  SHOPperGroup

These are used often when a report allows two shopper group displays and you might be comparing

  • All shoppers (no breakout) against a segmentation breakout
  • One segmentation only with no comparison set (none)

Then there are the segmentations.  Shoppers are assigned various segmentation values when the segmentation report(s) are run, usually on a quarterly basis. SHOPperGroupSegmentations


Finally, there are the shopper groups that you, the user, defined either through the use of the shopper group definition form or by clicking on a cell(s) in a report and saving a named list. SHOPperGroupTargets


Now, if the user has been in the system for a while and saved a lot of shopper lists it is really easy to lose track of what’s in each of them, especially if you are at all like me and find naming something to be a tedious task and don’t give it the thought it actually deserves.  So, here is a way to refresh your memory!  Follow the illustrated path and when you click on a saved shopper list name you will be brought to the instance of the report that made the list, with the cells participating in the list highlighted.

SHOPperGroupsFind I find that really handy a lot o’ times.

Anyway, these selections allow your report, or sometimes just parts of your report depending upon how its written, to consider only those purchases made by the shoppers identified by your selection.