Integrating Cognos Planning & BI – Dimension for Publish

Choosing the dimension for publish is one of the most critical steps in the Integrating Cognos Planning & BI process. In addition, the Generate Framework Model admin extension will model the dimension chosen for publish as the fact table. More simply put, the dimension chosen for publish will be your measure dimension.

Typically, you’ll find candidates for the dimension for publish contain items by which the business tracks or measures performance. These items are often numeric and can be aggregated across other regular dimensions. For example, a common reporting requirement is the creation of a Profit and Loss type report where dimensions could include:

• Time (year, month, day, etc)
• Version (Budget, Actual, Forecast etc.)
• Summary Expenses (Revenue and Expense detail)
• Contract Type (Current Year Signed vs. Ongoing business)
• Organizational Hierarchy (typically this is our Elist and cannot be used as the dimension for publish).

In this scenario, the Summary Expense dimension contains fact information that is numeric and can be aggregated across the other dimensions. Therefore it is an excellent candidate for the dimension for publish. However, depending on what type of reporting you are looking to accomplish, other dimensions for publish could make sense as well.

Using the same scenario above, let’s say you wanted to preserve the hierarchy from your Summary Expense dimension for use in reporting. Typically, this would be found in a drill down scenario where users can navigate the revenue account hierarchy to see what revenue accounts contribute to a total revenue number. You would likely choose a different dimension for publish in this scenario to preserve the Summary Expense hierarchy (remember, the measure dimension will not have a hierarchy). I would say Version or Contract Type could be candidates for the dimension for publish; however, it really depends on what type of reporting requirements you are working with.

Clear as mud ehh? I’ve found that looking at my reporting requirements and sketching out how I’m going to construct each report in report studio helps bring the appropriate dimension for publish to the surface. It’s a quick exercise that will help you lay out the components of the report and what type of structure will work best for you!