Create a Slice View

 

  New Slice

The New Slice command, found on the Slice tab of the PowerOLAP ribbon, allows you to open a new slice in the open database. Since Slice views allow you to access and model the data in a Cube, creating a new Slice is one of the most common functions analysts will perform in PowerOLAP.

 

 Open Slice

If there were pre-existing Slices that we had created for a Cube in Avon Trading Company, we could access these through the Open Slice command (Slice menu or button). Since there are not any Slices in this database yet, we will create our own. (It is not necessary to save Slices for future use, though we will explore this function as well. Slices that we foresee reusing in our business are usually quickly made into Excel worksheets, and subsequent work can be done through the worksheet itself.)

 

Create a new Slice as follows:

1.   In the PowerOLAP ribbon, select Slice tab, New Slice command. The New Slice dialog box is displayed:

New Slice dialog box with available Cubes

This is our first view into the Avon Trading Company.olp file. We see something of the architecture of the database here in the New Slice dialog box: it is made up of five Cubes—Financial Data, Financial Data Assumptions, Margin, Products, and Sales. The continuing steps will give us some insight into what types of data and Dimensions you could find in such Cubes, and how they would be useful, say, for reporting and analysis, or maybe for creating budgeting, or forecasting models.

2.   Next, select a Cube from the list of available Cubes. For our exercise:

3.   Select the Sales cube.

4.   Click OK.

5.   Press the F9 Key if you do not see any data in the grid.

The Slice is displayed in the PowerOLAP main application window:

There are two different slice display output that you can use when viewing data in a cube.The first slice shown below is the default slice display in PowerOLAP.

Above: A Slice of the Sales cube using Default Slice view

Above: A Slice of the Sales cube using Traditional Slice view

Tip

PowerOLAP’s default setting for recalculation is Manual, so to update all values within the Slice grid you must press F9 on your keyboard. (To change this setting to Automatic recalculation, go to Home tab, Options command and on the General tab select Automaticradio button as Calculation mode.)

We recommend Manual recalculation for the exercises found in the User Manual.

The default, “initial Slice view” of the Cube is opened. When a Slice is opened or created, the Dimensions that make up the selected Cube appears in either the Page, Columns or Rows. The grid displays the dimension Members that goes into the Rows and Columns, and corresponding data, in a manner similar to a worksheet. The title bar indicates both the current Cube and the current Slice being viewed (thus, in the above figure, Sales: Untitled 2 and Sales: Untitled 3).

By viewing a Slice, you can immediately see the Dimensions of a Cube. In this case, within the Sales Cube, the Dimensions are Region, Product, Sales Account, and Month— this Cube is a four-dimensional model. The Slice indicates that the Monthdimension is shown as rows; its members are January, February, March, etc. The Sales Account dimension is shown as columns; its members are Quantity, Revenue and Cost of Sales. The Region and Product dimensions are shown in the Page section (For the Default slice view, Page section is located at the top of the grid. For the Traditional slice view, Page section is located at the top left hand pane).

Note that a single Member from each of the Page dimensions is shown in the Slice (the Member’s name comes after the colon in the Page section). Thus, the example Slice is displaying the data grouped under the member USA in the Dimension Region, and data from the member Aunt Re’s Chicken in the Dimension Product. The Slice itself, in sum, shows figures for Quantity, Revenue and Cost of Sales for all Months for the USA Region, for Aunt Re’s Chicken.

Notes

Within an initial Slice view, all Members are shown for Dimension(s) listed as Rows or Columns—as the row and column headings in the grid. For Dimensions in the Pages section however, a single Member is shown. This enables viewers to customize their Slice to view business figures according to a particular scenario (say, Actuals for a specific location). Thus, Slice views may be thought of as “pages” from a multi-page business summary.