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Consolidations and custom groups are two special reporting features that enable you to surpass basic reporting

functionality. With consolidations, you can group attribute elements to define virtual attributes that enable you to analyze data at levels that are not inherently available in the business model. With custom groups, you can create reports that qualify on a row-by-row basis, greatly enhancing the flexibility of report design and the capabilities of report-level qualifications.

What is a Consolidation?

Consolidations enable you to group together attribute elements and allow you to place these groupings of attribute elements on a template, just like any typical attribute. The elements of the consolidation appear as rows on your report.

Consolidations provide two powerful functions that can enhance your reporting needs. These two functions are:

Serving as a "virtual" attribute Performing row level math

One or more attribute elements together combined with mathematical operators creates a consolidation element.

Consolidation elements can contain any of the following:

Elements of the same attribute (such as two cities) Attribute elements from different levels (such as Region and Country) Elements from unrelated attributes (such as Country and Year) Existing consolidation elements (such as the ratio of Spring and Summer sales to Fall and Winter sales)

Existing consolidation elements from any existing consolidation in the project. You can import consolidation elements from any existing consolidation into another consolidation.

Reports with Multiple Consolidations

A report can contain one or more consolidations. If there is more than one consolidation on a report, you must pay attention to the evaluation order of the consolidations. This becomes important when you place consolidations on a report where one of the consolidations involves division (or multiplication) and the other involves addition (or subtraction) in the definition of the consolidation elements.

The consolidations' positions on the template determines the default calculation order among consolidations. First, calculate the consolidation on the row axis, from left to right (outside to inside); then, calculate the consolidation on the column axis, from top to bottom (outside to inside). For example, suppose you have a report that has a Revenue metric and two consolidations, Seasons and another Years consolidation that is composed of three elements: 2002, 2003, and 2002/2003. Depending on the evaluation order of the consolidations, you will get different results. This is because the row for Spring 2002/2003 can be either calculated as (April 2002 + May 2002 + June 2003) / (April 2003 + May 2003 + June 2003) or (April 2002 / April 2003) + (May 2002 / May 2003) + (June 2002/ June 2003). You need to specify the order in which you want the calculation to be evaluated. You can specify evaluation order via Report Data Options from the Data menu in the Template Editor or the Report Editor

Business Scenario for Custom Groups As Marketing Director, your job is to maintain a strong relationship with your best customers and to increase sales. You would like to offer your best customers special promotions at a very heavily discounted price for the items that have not sold very well recently. To do this you need to obtain a list of your top 10 customers along with a list of your 5 lowest-selling items on the same report. How could you accomplish this?

What is a Custom Group?

A custom group is an object consisting of custom group elements that you can place on a template. Each custom group element is defined with its own set of filter qualifications.

A custom group enables you to apply different filter qualifications to different rows of a report. Thus, the final report is similar to a collection of smaller reports stacked one on top of another.

A custom group enables you to define each row of a report with its own filtering qualification. You can include one or more qualifications in a custom group element depending on the desired result. Similar to an ordinary filter qualification, when adding a qualification for a custom group element, you have the ability to choose any of the following types of qualifications:

Attribute qualification (for example, Region = Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast) Set qualification (for example, metric qualification or a relationship filter) Shortcut to a report (for example, any saved report can be used as a filter)

Shortcut to a filter (for example, any saved filter) Custom group banding qualification Advanced qualification (joint element list)

Custom Group Elements A custom group is made up of custom group elements. Each custom group element is essentially a filter.

Each custom group element contains one or more expressions (qualifications). In the example to the left, Top 10 Customers includes one qualification composed of Revenue, rank top 10 with the level set to Customer. Likewise, the custom group element for Bottom 5 Items would contain one metric qualification of Revenue, rank bottom 5 with the level set to Item.

Custom Group Banding Definition The report for Customers Deciling shown earlier in the business scenario is created using banding points, as displayed on the left. The points assigned for this custom group slice the revenue metric (at the Customer level) into percentage ranges with the Top 10% as the first band, the next 40% as the second band, and the bottom 50% as the last band. Because banding involves metrics, you must select an output level when creating a banding qualification. The output level you specify indicates the level at which the banding

calculation applies. In this business scenario, the level is set to the Customer attribute, so the bands calculate across all customers.

Custom group banding enables you to slice data into bands by metric value, rank or percent using three possible methods. With the Band Size method, you must specify the Start at and Stop at values as well as the Step Size parameter to define the size of each band. With the Band Count method, you must specify the Start at, Stop at, and Band Count values to define the number of equal bands. With the Banding Points method, you can specify the exact placement of bands by assigned point size. This enables the display of different size bands. Any custom group that uses custom group banding must have a specified level at which to calculate the bands.