Create an analytic grid by using Dashboard Designer

You can use PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer to create dashboards that contain a variety of report types, including analytic grids. An analytic grid is an interactive table that uses data that is stored in SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services.

An analytic grid can resemble the following:

Example of an analytic grid.

You typically create analytic grids for your dashboards to provide dashboard consumers with an easy way to view and explore data. Dashboard consumers can expand or collapse rows, double-click row items to see the next level of detail, and right-click in cells to see all the individual transactions for a particular value.

Example: Analytic grid in a sales manager's dashboard

Suppose that you create dashboards that contain reports for a sales manager and you create a basic report that shows sales amounts by region for the past year. In the dashboard, the sales manager can see those sales amounts at a glance.

If the sales manager wants to see the sales amounts by month (instead of by year), he can click the year column in the grid to drill down to the next level of detail and display sales amounts for each month. If the sales manager also wants to see sales amounts for divisions within the geographical regions, he can click an individual region and see sales amounts for those divisions by month.

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Learn more about analytic grids

Create an analytic grid

Learn more about analytic grids

Analytic grids are dynamic, visual representations of performance data that you can display as interactive tables. Analytic grids remain connected to the data, which means their content is always up-to-date.

Analytic grids pull information from data that has been arranged into cubes in Analysis Services. These cubes consist of dimensions, measures, and named sets, which are defined in the following table.




A dimension is a structured, hierarchical way of organizing data. For example, a Products dimension might have hierarchies such as Products > Product Categories > Product Names, and a Date dimension might have Year > Week > Day.


A measure is a cube member that associates a numeric value with one or more dimension members. For example, some measures include Sales Amounts, Gross Profit, and Gross Profit Margin.

Named Sets

A named set is a collection of one or more dimension members that have been defined in the database. For example, Core Products is a typical named set. It contains a subset of all members that are in the Products dimension.

Note: If you use named sets, you can save you time and effort when you create analytic grids.

Depending on how you set up your analytic grid, dashboard consumers can use your analytic grid to do the following:

  • Drill down or up to see lower or higher levels of detail

  • Sort the rows in ascending or descending order

  • Filter out empty rows or columns, isolate an item, or remove an item from the report view.

  • Pivot the grid, or change the grid to an analytic chart

  • Use Additional Actions, which are defined in the Analysis Services cube.

  • Show or hide information that is included in the chart. You might want to hide certain measures or background information, for example,

  • Work with pages of grid data (useful when a query returns a large set of results)

These activities are largely contingent on the way that the data cubes are configured in Analysis Services. For example, if no Actions are defined in Analysis Services, then the Additional Actions option is not available for your analytic grid. To learn more about Analysis Services, see Analysis Services on Microsoft TechNet.

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Create an analytic grid

Important: Before you begin to create your analytic grid, make sure that the data source that you want to use has been published to PerformancePoint Monitoring Server. To verify that your data source is available, in Dashboard Designer, click the Home tab, and then click Refresh. In the Workspace Browser, click Data Sources. In the center pane of the workspace, review the list of data sources on the Server and Workspace tabs. Confirm that the data source that you want to use is available. If it is not listed, then you may need to create a data source.

When you create an analytic grid, you do so in two stages. In Stage I, you create the basic structure of your report. In Stage II, you configure the report to display data.

Stage I: Create the basic structure of your report

  1. In Dashboard Designer, click the Create tab, and then click Analytic Grid. The Create an Analytic Grid Report wizard opens.

  2. In the Name box, type a name for your report. To specify where you want to store your report in Monitoring Server, click Select Display Folder and then select or create a folder. Click Next.

  3. On the Select a Data Source page, select the Analysis Services data source that you want to use. If you do not see the data source listed, click Refresh to update the list. If you cannot find the data source, click Toggle View to see the available data sources arranged by their folder structure. Click Finish.

    Note: Analytic grids use data that is stored in SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services. If you do not have that type of data source available, click Cancel to exit the wizard without creating a report. Create your data source, publish it to Monitoring Server, and then create your report. To learn how to create a data source, see Create a data source.

  4. In the Confirmation screen, review the information in the Details pane to verify that your report was successfully created. Then click Close to close the wizard.

  5. Click the Home tab, and then click Publish Item to save your changes to Monitoring Server. Proceed to Stage II: Configure the report to display data.

Stage II: Configure the report to display data

Before you begin, make sure that you have created the basic structure of your report.

  1. In the center pane of the workspace, click the Design tab.

    Note: Depending on the version of Dashboard Designer that you are using, you may have an Editor tab instead of a Design tab.

  2. On the Details pane, expand Measures, Dimensions, or Named Sets to display the list of items that are available in each category. Drag an item to the Rows, Columns, or Background section. Repeat for each item that you want to display in your grid. Keep the following points in mind as you add items to your report:

    • The Rows section corresponds to the horizontal rows of your grid, and the Columns section corresponds to the vertical columns.

    • Items that you place in the Background section serve as hidden filters for your analytic grid.

    • To display data in your analytic grid, you must place at least one item in each Rows and Columns section. You can place a named set in one section, and a measure in another section. Or, you can place a dimension in one section and a measure in another.

    • You cannot combine a measure and a dimension member in the same section.

  3. For each dimension on your grid, you can select the dimension members that you want to display. To do so, use the following procedure:

    • Right-click a dimension, and then click Select Members. The Select Members dialog box opens.

    • Use the expandable tree control to view the list of dimension members. Select the items that you want to display in your analytic grid, and then click OK. The Select Members dialog box closes and your analytic grid refreshes to display the members that you selected.

  4. Click the Home tab, and then click Publish Item to save your analytic grid to Monitoring Server. Then, you can add it to a dashboard.

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