"Going Multidimensional" in Cube Reporting

We will take the a few steps to demonstrate how we can unleash the multidimensional power of our cubes, by making multiple dimensions share the same axis in our PivotTable report. The PivotTable report provides a full realization of the information presentation potential of the multidimensional cube by intersecting dimensions on a single axis, and therefore delivers the full impact of multidimensional data in the "two-dimensional world" of the typical reporting environment.

We will begin by making the Store Type a part of the row axis to make analysis of Store members more powerful, yet more compact.

1.      Drag the Store Type item from the page axis (upper left hand corner of the PivotTable report) to the left of the Store State column, dropping it to the left of Store State. The result set should resemble that shown in Illustration 27.

Illustration 27: Combining the Store Type and Store Dimensions in the Row Axis

We can easily tell that only the Store Type label represents the top level of a dimension, as a drop-down arrow only appears at top levels. We can see in this simple scenario that multiple dimensions (in our case the Store Type and Store dimensions), as well as multiple levels of a given dimension (here, the Store State and Store City levels of the Store dimension), can co-exist on a single axis. The possibilities that emerge are far reaching, indeed.

Now let's add another measure to the report - Unit Sales - to give us more information about store performance.

2.      Drag the Unit Sales item from the PivotTable Field List to the Data section of the PivotTable report (the column under the Year heading in our present report). Once we drop the measure, the PivotTable report should resemble the illustration below.

Illustration 28: Dual Measures now appear in the PivotTable Report (Partial Illustration)

A new Data column appears, and in accordance with its default behavior, represents what appears to be a fourth row dimension.