Posts Tagged Excel

Getting help choosing the right chart type in Excel

As a follow-up to my previous post depicting a flow chart for choosing which type of chart can better emphasize our reporting needs, I dig up an Excel add in intending to help you in this task.

Published by Microsoft Office labs, the Chart Advisor add in for Excel “identifies, ranks, and displays an array of charts most relevant to you so you
can make the most out of your presentation.”

Though not very new (it was first published in may 2010), it’s worse mentioning it for those of you who may not have been aware of its existence. One last word to say that there is no Office 2010 version, it only works with Office 2007.



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Analysis Services Feature Suggestion : Managing Measure Group visibility

The most commonly used reporting tool by the users to query Analysis Services may surely be Excel. As professionals, while testing SSAS solutions, we also add BIDS and SSMS to the list.

One of the great but little known feature of those SSAS reporting tool, is their ability to hide the multiple measure groups complexity by selecting one of them and only displaying the measures and dimensions that belongs to it.

Just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a screenshot :

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Analysis Services: What are the best practices for grouping measures ?

You’ll find in the following post some general considerations to have in mind when designing cubes about how to dispatch indicators into groups to suite the end-user needs and the consequences of these choices.

Lately, a colleague of mine at Avanade was embarrassed because his customer wanted to visually group and mix heterogeneous kind of indicators into same folders so that he’ll later find them easily into his pivot table into Excel.

As a good practices follower he designed his data warehouse and cube by respecting multidimensional modeling, commonly approved, best practices and putted all the measures that share the same grain into a single fact table and into the same measure group…. which, as he discovered it later, is not necessarily the organization that the end-user have in mind for his data when it comes to build analysis reports.

My colleague first thought was to rely on the “display folder” and “associated measure group” properties to fill the end-user need. The drawback is that what is defined in a measure group stays in the measure group and a fact table cannot lead to more than one measure group.

So as it comes that he was unable to easily answer the requirements, he asked me for advises on how to handle the situation. Here is what we can say…

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