Before you begin - Microstrategy

The Reporting Essentials chapter of the Basic Reporting Guide contains fundamental information on report design. This advanced chapter builds on the concepts and procedures presented there by providing more technical details and advanced options for report design. Therefore, you should be familiar with the information from that chapter, such as Report Objects, Report Grid, Report Filter, and a general working knowledge of the Report Editor and its functions. A quick review of that chapter is included in the next section.

This guides you through advanced reporting concepts in a hands-on way, although detailed instructions are not included. The online help contains such step-by-step procedures, if you need more guidance. The sample reports are intended to show you how reports are built and generated. After you read the chapter, explore the reports on your own to learn more and to better understand the concepts presented here.

The reports discussed in this chapter are saved in the MicroStrategy Tutorial. To simplify the content, the discussion and presentation of the reports are from Desktop only. However, you can access them from Web and perform many of the same operations. The directory path within Desktop is Public Objects \Reports \Technical Reports \Reports by Feature \Advanced Reporting Examples. You can follow the steps to interact with the reports, or you can view all of the sample reports without creating your own reports.

Remember to save any reports you create under a different name, so that you do not overwrite the sample reports in the MicroStrategy Tutorial.

Reporting Essentials review

The Reporting Essentials chapter of the Basic Reporting Guide provides an overview of the essential reporting topics you need to understand to begin building reports and creating a business intelligence application. These topics are explained in the following sections.

Report design versus report creation

Report design is the process of building reports from basic report components in MicroStrategy Desktop and Web. While report design is the most generic method for defining a report, it also requires the most in-depth knowledge of the project. In general, this method should be available only to the select group of advanced users and report designers who will design reports for others to use.

Report creation

Report Creation is the process of building reports from existing, predesigned reports either in Desktop or in Web. Given the wealth of reporting functionality that you can make available to your users, you have the ability to design reports that provide a wide range of options for users to create their own reports.

Report creation is different from report design in that it provides a more guided experience and does not require your users to have a thorough understanding of the project. This allows your users to create their own reports in a controlled, user-friendly environment.

Designing reports

You create reports in the Report Editor of Desktop, which has four report view modes:

  • Design View describes the report definition and allows you to create and edit reports. The attributes, metrics, and other objects to be used in the report are displayed. You do not have to execute the report to view or modify the report structure.
  • Grid View offers a formatted, cross-tabular display of the actual report data after the report is executed.
  • Graph View is similar to Grid View, but the display is in a graphical format instead of cross-tabular.
  • SQL View displays the SQL generated by the MicroStrategy Engine and executed in the warehouse. It also includes various execution statistics.

MicroStrategy Web provides the same report view modes, although the equivalent of SQL View is called Details.

You design reports in Design View, which allows you to select the metrics and attributes to use on the report. You can also define report filters, which determine the data used for metric calculation.

You can add various formatting options, such as fonts and styles, in either Design View or Grid View.

Interactive report editing

Once a report is saved, you have the option of allowing your users to edit it interactively while viewing the results without re-executing the report against the warehouse. This means that the changes are performed in Desktop or the Intelligence Server, rather than in the warehouse. The following functions are described fully in the Reporting Essentials chapter.

  • Pivoting and page-by reorganizes report data by swapping objects within an axis or by moving objects from one axis to another.
  • Sorting allows you to specify an ascending or descending order to present the report data for a particular row or column.
  • The View filter restricts the amount of data displayed on the report, by controlling the subset of data to be displayed from the data retrieved from the database.
  • Derived metrics are calculations defined on-the-fly with the data available in the report. They are based on existing metrics in the report to provide simple column math capability.
  • Report Objects contain all of the objects available for display on the report. Use Report Objects to interactively modify the content of the report while viewing the report results. It displays the level of the report data definition.
  • Thresholds and stoplights allow you to highlight data that meets conditions by using different cell formats, symbols, and images or replacement text.
  • Subtotals permit you to add, remove, and edit the subtotals at different levels for metrics on the report.
  • Aliasing is the temporary renaming of objects for the report display.
  • Outline Mode creates an indented grouping of related attribute elements, allowing you to expand and contract sections of related data.
  • Exporting is rendering the report in different formats or applications, such as a spreadsheet or a word processor.

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