Dimensions in Planning Business Modeler

PerformancePoint Planning Business Modeler organizes the data in a model by using structures that are called dimensions. The dimensions of data describe where the data fits in the business picture, just as dimensions in ordinary life describe a desk by using the measurements 60" long, 40' deep, and 32" high. More technically, a dimension is an organized hierarchy of categories, or members, that describe data in a fact table. A dimension member is a single position or item in a dimension.

Dimensions represent elements of the business. The elements might be completely tangible, such as Employees, Products, or Accounts, or they might represent important views of the business data, such as Business Process, Time, or Scenario.

Dimensions are created and contained in a model site. When you create a model in Planning Business Modeler, you select the dimensions that you want in the model. For example, to create revenue forecasts, you might include dimensions such as Accounts, Entity, Time, Scenario, and Product, and leave out dimensions such as Employee, Business Process, and Consolidation Method.

To learn how to create a dimension, see Create a dimension. To learn how to make a dimension available throughout an application, see Share a dimension.

In this article

Dimension members and member sets

Dimension member properties

Predefined and user-defined dimensions

Dimension members and member sets

Dimensions have members that represent data in a fact table. Within a dimension, members can be arranged in a simple list, or organized in groups that are called member sets that form a dimension hierarchy. Members can belong to an unlimited number of member sets.

Large companies might have many dimensions, with thousands of members in each dimension. A member set can be flat, with all dimension members organized as siblings. Members can also be organized into a hierarchy, with some dimension members designated as parents and other members designated as child elements, nested below the parents in the hierarchy.

Simple list of members

When a member hierarchy is not necessary, dimension members can be listed at the same level. For example, members of an Employee dimension might form a simple list of employee names such as the one below:

  • Aaberg, Jesper

  • Abercrombie, Kim

  • Hao, Junmin

  • Palit, Punya

  • Periera, Michel

Hierarchies and member sets

Alternatively, you can organize dimension members in a hierarchy. You can create parent-and-child relationships between dimension members; if needed, you can create a multi-level hierarchy.

In addition, you can create member sets. A member set should include all the members that are required from a dimension for the calculations that will be performed by a model or group of models.

For example. the Account dimension represents the Chart of Accounts for an organization, and contains a multi-leveled hierarchy. It also uses member sets to group related members, such as accounts that pertain to an Income Statement, and those that are used to create Balance Sheet reports. For convenience, Planning Business Modeler automatically creates some commonly used members and member sets in the Account dimension, and you can add custom members at any point.

The following table shows just a few of the many hierarchies that you can find in the Account dimension.

Top-level member set

Mid-level member set

Low-level member set

Operating expense

Cost of services

Payroll and compensation

Building maintenance




Administrative expense


Legal Services




For more information about dimension members and working with member sets, follow one of the links below:

Create dimension members

Create a member set

Create a member view

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Dimension member properties

Dimension member properties provide identification and descriptive information about dimension members. In fact, Planning Business Modeler requires three particular properties for every dimension member: Name, Label, and Description.

In addition, most dimension members have other properties that define aspects of member behavior and member characteristics. For example, one of the dimension member properties of the Account dimension indicates whether or not an account member should be used in consolidation calculations. Another property indicates whether an account member value is a debit or credit entry.

For more information about dimension members and working with member sets, see Create or modify member properties.

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Predefined and user-defined dimensions

Planning Business Modeler automatically creates some dimensions for you. Some of these system-defined, or predefined, dimensions are very complex, such as the Account dimension. It has multi-level hierarchies and several important predefined member properties. Others are very simple, such as the Intercompany dimension. It is just a list of the Entities in a model that are involved with intercompany transactions. For more information about the predefined dimensions, see Dimensions and members in Planning Business Modeler.

In addition, users in Data Administrator and Modeler roles can create user-defined dimensions. The administrator or modeler can add members and create member sets in user-defined dimensions, but they also can specify permissions that allow other users to modify dimensions and their members. For information about creating user-defined dimensions, see Create a user-defined dimension.

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