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ProjectDesign 8

ProjectDesign 8

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Published by: Srikanth Sri on Aug 16, 2011
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12/26/2012

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Degradation, which lowers a fact level, is the logical opposite
of aggregation. To view fact data at a lower logical level than
the fact is stored at, you must degrade the fact to a lower
level. This scenario may occur because you stored a fact at a
level that is used most commonly in reports. However, you
must support those users who wish to view and analyze the
same fact data at a lower logical level.

For example, the Human Resources Analysis Module of the
MicroStrategy BIDK includes a Planned Compensation fact
that is stored at the Department level, and has a fact
degradation to the Employee level (the attributes, facts, and
metrics used in this example can all be found in this Analytics
Module). The fact extension does not use an allocation
expression to degrade Planned Compensation to the
Employee level. This causes every employee to be listed with
the same planned compensation value as the employee’s
department, as shown below:

The analytical value of this fact degradation is not
immediately recognizable. However, now that Planned
Compensation is available at the Employee level, you can
create more meaningful analysis with other fact data that is

Project Design Guide

The Building Blocks of Business Data: Facts 5

© 2007 MicroStrategy, Inc.

Modifying the levels at which facts are reported: Level extensions 119

stored at the Employee level. For example, the Compensation
Cost fact is stored at the Employee level. The metric Actual as
% Planned Compensation has been created to calculate the
actual compensation of an employee as a percentage of the
planned compensation for the entire department of the
employee. The metric definition is ([Compensation
Cost]/[Planned Compensation]), which performs a
division of metrics defined from the Compensation Cost and
Planned Compensation facts, respectively. You can now view
what percentage of your planned compensation per
department has been spent per employee, as shown below:

Without using a degradation of Planned Compensation to
Employee, you could not include Department and Employee
on a report with these metrics and return accurate values.

The following procedure steps through how to create the fact
degradation that has been created for the Planned
Compensation fact of the Human Resources Analysis
Module. The procedure also describes general principles of
creating fact degradations which you can use to create fact
degradations for the facts in your project.

To define a fact degradation

1In Desktop, log in to the Human Resources Analysis
Module.

2Browse to the Facts / Compensation / Planning folder
and double-click the Planned Compensation fact to edit
it. The Fact Editor opens.

The Building Blocks of Business Data: Facts

Project Design Guide

5

120 Modifying the levels at which facts are reported: Level extensions

© 2007 MicroStrategy, Inc.

3Click the Extensions tab.

4Select Degradation to Employee and click Modify. The
Level Extension Wizard opens.
To create a new fact degradation you would click
New. However, this example steps through how the
Planned Compensation fact degradation
Degradation to Employee was created.

5Read the Welcome statement and click Next. The General
Information page opens.

6Enter a name and a description for your fact extension
(already provided). Then select whether you want to:

•Lower the fact entry level: define a fact degradation

•Extend the fact entry level: define a fact extension on
a table relation, dynamic fact relation, or a cross
product join (see Defining a join on fact tables using
table relations, page110
and Defining a join on fact
tables using fact relations, page114
)

•Disallow partially or completely the fact entry
level
: define a fact extension that does not allow a fact
to be reported at a certain level (see Disallowing the
reporting of a fact at a certain level, page122
)

For this example you are creating a fact degradation so
select Lower the fact entry level, and click Next. The
Extended Attributes page opens.

7Select the attributes you want to degrade the fact to,
allowing the fact to be reported at the new level. For this
example Employee is already selected. Click Next. The
Join Type page opens.
To extend the fact so that it can be reported at any
level in a hierarchy, choose the lowest level
attribute in that hierarchy.

8Select what attribute(s) to perform the join. For this
example, the Department attribute is already selected.
Click Next. The Join Attributes Direction page opens.

Project Design Guide

The Building Blocks of Business Data: Facts 5

© 2007 MicroStrategy, Inc.

Modifying the levels at which facts are reported: Level extensions 121

9You can choose to join using the attribute, or join using
the attribute and its children. For this example, the join is
performed on the Department attribute and its children.
Click Next. The Allocation page opens.

10Enter an allocation expression that calculates the fact at
the new level. For this example, you do not need to
include an allocation expression. See Fact degradations
with allocation expressions, page121
for an example of
using an allocation expression for a fact degradation.

11Click Finish to create the fact degradation.

Fact degradations with allocation expressions

Not all fact degradations can simply be lowered to a new
level. Ordinarily, you must add an allocation expression,
which allows the distribution of values according to a
calculation you specify, to change the definition of the fact in
a level extension.
This is similar in concept to choosing an aggregation
function (Sum, Avg, and so on) when aggregating data
to higher levels.

For example, if your fact is stored at the yearly level and you
want to report the data at the monthly level, you can create a
degradation on the fact to relate it to the monthly level. You
select Month to be the attribute to which to degrade. You then
specify that the allocation expression is fact/12.

By creating allocation expressions, you define how
higher-level facts are degraded to lower-level attributes.
Allocation expressions are defined by operations you set on
attributes and facts in the Level Extension Wizard in the Fact
Editor.

Fact degradations often produce data estimates rather than
exact values for the fact data at lower logical levels. For
example, consider the allocation expression fact/12 for a
degradation from Year to Month. Using such an allocation
expression would spread a year’s fact data evenly over the 12
months of that year. While it is possible that the fact data
would be the same for every month of the year, this is often
an unlikely scenario. Such fact degradations should be used

The Building Blocks of Business Data: Facts

Project Design Guide

5

122 Modifying the levels at which facts are reported: Level extensions

© 2007 MicroStrategy, Inc.

only when fact data is not stored at a lower logical level and
there is no way to directly relate the fact data to the lower
logical level.

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