FR to MR WDTFG Series: Grid vs. Global POV

This week I’m starting a new series called “FR to MR WDTFG” or “Financial Reporting to Management Reporting…where did that feature go?” The intention is simple – to assist folks who are making the migration from FR to MR. In this new series, I’ll cover tips on how to mentally shift from old FR features to replacement MR features.

Note that not all features have come over from FR to MR. There is not 100% parity between FR and MR today (July 2020). However, in my opinion, nearly all of the commonly used features in FR have moved and are represented in some capacity in MR.

In this inaugural series post, we’ll cover the grid and global dimension POV options. In FR you have the ability with POV dimensions to decide if they are at the grid level or globally at the report level. In MR you have these same options. However, finding where this feature exists in MR is not super intuitive at first.

The first thing to know is, by default, POVs are global POVs in MR. It doesn’t matter if the data sources are the same or not. You have to physically switch each dimension POV to grid if you want to restrict its usage.

But let’s back up a second. What is a grid POV vs. a global POV? This generally matters when you have multiple grids on a single MR report. In theory, each grid could have different POV dimensions, depending on its data source. Making those POVs “global” within the report consolidates those POV dimensions so users don’t have to modify the same dimension POV multiple times. In general, you want to keep the POVs global when your grid data sources are the same.

Here’s an example where I’m using the exact same data source and dimension layout for 2 grids on a single report. Note that this is a simple example for demo purposes only – the 2 grids only differ on the Scenario dimension:

Because I’m using the same data source for both grids and the grids are structured exactly the same way, the global POV is nice and clean when a user runs the report. So when they make their POV member selections, those will apply to both grids:

However, if the grids are for completely different data sources, then it might make more sense to make these POVs grid-specific. Otherwise, the POV bar can get messy.

Here’s an example of a messy global POV. I have this super simple report that has 2 completely different data sources: one is the Sample Model within Narrative Reporting and one is the Planning Cloud Financials module:

There are some dimension names in common, some similarly named dimensions, and some completely different dimensions between these 2 data sources. The similarly named and same named dimensions have completely different members. Therefore, MR will list them separately. If I were to run the report right now, the global POV bar would be confusing. My dimensions, although named similarly, would appear in what seems like duplicate at the top. The dimensions from the first grid appear all together, then the dimensions from the next grid appear after those from the first grid. I wouldn’t necessarily know which dimensions belong to which data source unless I was familiar with the metadata hierarchies:

This is when it would be a better idea to change these global POVs to grid POVs instead. The converted grid POV dimensions will appear directly above their corresponding grid.

This is a pretty simple change. Just note that you have to do it dimension by dimension and grid by grid. Within the grid editor, navigate to your POV dimensions and select the action menu next to the dimension name you wish to switch over. Then uncheck the option called “Global Dimension”:

Side note: all MR developers should become better acquainted with this POV actions menu. We’ll be referring to it several times in this series. It’s easy to miss.

Repeat this action for all POV dimensions and grids that are impacted. Now when the report is run, those global POV dimensions will disappear from the global POV bar and appear above the grid to which they correspond. In the example below, I’ve changed the “Scenario” dimension for each grid to be grid POVs instead of global POVs:

Now I can see the grid POV dimensions appear above each grid. I can interact with these POV dimensions just like before, it’s just that the placement is different on the report. #trainingissue

Note that if you decide to make only one grid’s POV a grid POV and keep the other one global, then you’ll see a hybrid placement of POV dimensions: one will be at the top and one will be above its corresponding grid. Unless your users are tech savvy or you have a very good business reason to justify doing this, I don’t recommend this. It’s difficult for users to have to remember to look in multiple places for POV dimensions:

My rule of thumb for the grid vs. global POV question is “all or nothing” by dimension. A common dimension between multiple grids should be either completely global or completely grid, but not a mixture.

Let it out here

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