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Overview of PerformancePoint dashboard filters and connections

SharePoint 2010

Published: November 4, 2010

You can use PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer to create many kinds of dashboard filters and connections. For example, you can create dashboard filters that are stand-alone dashboard items that you can reuse across multiple dashboards or across multiple pages in a dashboard. You can also create analytic reports and scorecards that use built-in filters to display particular information. In addition, you can create connections between dashboard items, such as a connection between a scorecard key performance indicator (KPI) and another report.

This article summarizes the different kinds of dashboard filters and connections that you can create by using Dashboard Designer.

In this article:

Dashboard filters

When you create a dashboard filter, you must first decide what kind of filter that you want to create. By using Dashboard Designer, you can select from six different dashboard filter templates, as shown in the following table.

Filter template Description

Custom Table

Use the Custom Table filter template when you want to create your own data table that you will use for the filter. Here are several examples of when you might use this template:

  • To bring together data from different data sources and construct a mapping table to organize the data.

  • To specify the names of the items that dashboard users will see. This is useful when the data source that you want to use contains names that dashboard users might not recognize.

  • To create your own list of items for the dashboard filter.

When you create a dashboard filter by using the Custom Table filter template, you begin by using an application, such as Microsoft Excel, to create and configure the table that you want to use. Then, you use that table to create a data source. Finally, you create and configure the dashboard filter.

The Custom Table filter template works with tabular data sources, such as Excel Services, an Excel workbook, a SharePoint list, or a table that is stored in Microsoft SQL Server.

To create a Custom Table dashboard filter, see Create a Custom Table filter by using Dashboard Designer.

Important Important:

Do not use the Custom Table filter template when you can use the Member Selection filter template. Although the Custom Table filter template works with tabular data, you should only use this template for special cases such as those that are described earlier in this article where you create your own data table. For more information, see Filters for Tabular Data Sources and Tabular Filters Explained (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=204884).

MDX Query

Use the MDX Query filter template when you want to specify your own Multidimensional Expressions (MDX) expression to create the dashboard filter. For information about the kinds of MDX expressions that you can use, see Filter (MDX) (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=204885).

The MDX Query template works with data that is stored in SQL Server Analysis Services.

To create an MDX Query dashboard filter, see Create an MDX Query filter by using Dashboard Designer.

Member Selection

Use the Member Selection filter template when you want to quickly and easily create a dashboard filter by selecting dimension members that are in a database.

The Member Selection filter template works with data that is stored in Analysis Services or any tabular data source that contains members.

To create a Member Selection dashboard filter, see Create a Member Selection filter by using Dashboard Designer.

Named Set

Use the Named Set filter template when you want to quickly and easily create a dashboard filter by selecting a group of items that was defined as a set in a database.

The Named Set filter template works with data that is stored in SQL Server Analysis Services.

To create a Named Set dashboard filter, see Create a Named Set filter by using Dashboard Designer.

Time Intelligence

Use the Time Intelligence filter template when you want to create a dashboard filter that contains a list of dynamic time periods that are continuously up to date. Examples of time periods that you can use are included in the following list:

  • Last Year

  • Last Six Months

  • Last 30 Days

  • Year to Date

When you create a dashboard filter by using the Time Intelligence filter template, you create a list of time periods by specifying Time Intelligence formulas. Each formula uses a particular syntax (this is known as Simple Time Period Specification syntax) which generally takes the form of Period-n (or Period+n), where “n” represents the number of time periods to include in the formula.

For more information about Time Intelligence formulas, see PerformancePoint Time Intelligence quick reference.

The Time Intelligence filter template works with data that is stored in Analysis Services, or any tabular data source. However, the data source that you use for the Time Intelligence filter and any data sources that are used by the reports and scorecards to which you want to connect the Time Intelligence filter must be configured to work with Time Intelligence. For more information about how to configure a data source to work with Time Intelligence, see Configure data sources to work with Time Intelligence by using Dashboard Designer.

To create a Time Intelligence dashboard filter, see Create a Time Intelligence filter by using Dashboard Designer.

Time Intelligence Connection Formula

Use the Time Intelligence Connection Formula filter template when you want to create a dashboard filter that uses a calendar control to display information as of a particular date. By default, the Time Intelligence Connection Formula filter is always set to the current date in the dashboard. However, dashboard users can use the calendar control to select a different date and view information for that particular date in the reports and scorecards that are connected to the dashboard filter.

When you create a dashboard filter by using the Time Intelligence Connection Formula filter template, you configure each connection to the filter by using the Formula Editor dialog box. For more information, see Use the Connection Formula dialog box in Dashboard Designer to configure a filter connection.

Similar to the Time Intelligence dashboard filter, the Time Intelligence Connection Formula filter template works with data that is stored in Analysis Services or any tabular data source that was configured to work with Time Intelligence.

To create a Time Intelligence Connection Formula dashboard filter, see Create a Time Intelligence filter by using Dashboard Designer.

Except for the Time Intelligence Connection Formula filter, which uses a calendar control, dashboard filters are displayed as lists or expandable tree controls in a dashboard. Similar to reports and scorecards, dashboard filters are reusable items. That is, you can use dashboard filters across multiple dashboards and across multiple pages in a dashboard.

To create a dashboard filter, see Create a dashboard filter by using Dashboard Designer.

Report and scorecard filters

You can create reports and scorecards that use their own hidden filters. For example, you can create an analytic chart to show information for the top 10 items in a group. You can do this by applying a Top 10 value filter or by using a custom MDX query to specify the information to display in the chart. For more information about how to create and configure analytic reports, see Create an analytic chart or grid by using Dashboard Designer.

You can also create scorecards that contain their own filters. For example, you can configure a scorecard to only show (or not show) rows that are on target or off target. You can configure scorecards not to show empty rows, and similar to analytic charts and grids, you can apply value filters to a scorecard to show the top or bottom members of a group. For more information about how to create and configure scorecards, see Create a scorecard by using Dashboard Designer.

Report and scorecard filters are not noticeable in a dashboard because they are seamlessly integrated into each report or scorecard. Depending on the method that you use to create an analytic report or a scorecard, some analytic functionality might not be available. For example, if you use a custom MDX query to create an analytic chart or grid, dashboard users might be unable to open the Decomposition Tree from a report value. This can also occur with scorecards that contain KPIs that use calculated metrics. In addition, the Show Details command, which enables dashboard users to view transaction-level details for a particular value, might not be available.

Scorecard KPI connections

You can connect a scorecard KPI to another report in a dashboard. For example, you can connect a KPI to an analytic chart or grid, or to a Reporting Services report. This enables you to use the KPI as a filter for another report or as a mechanism to cause another report to display in the dashboard.

Connect a KPI to another report when you want to do any of the tasks that are described in the following list:

  • Use a KPI as a filter for other reports, such as analytic charts or grids.

    For example, suppose that a KPI shows overall sales performance for a particular geographical region. Suppose additionally that you want to view sales amounts across product categories for that geographical region. You can connect the KPI to an analytic chart that shows sales amounts across different product categories. Then, when dashboard users click that KPI, the analytic chart automatically updates to display the product sales information.

  • Enable dashboard consumers to click a KPI to see more information about its underlying details.

    Suppose that a KPI shows sales performance for a particular geographical region and that there are several sales representatives for that region. You can connect the KPI to an analytic chart that shows detailed information for each sales representative. Then, when dashboard users click that KPI, the analytic chart shows even more detailed information for the sales representatives.

  • Link a KPI to multiple reports.

    Suppose that a KPI shows overall sales performance for a geographical region. Suppose additionally that you want to display more detailed information about that KPI in multiple reports in the dashboard. You can connect a single KPI to multiple reports. Then, when dashboard users click that KPI, all the reports that are connected to it automatically refresh to display the detailed information.

When you link KPIs to other reports in a dashboard, you create a more dynamic, interactive dashboard that displays information based on what a dashboard user clicks.

Using combinations of filters and connections

You can use combinations of filters and connections in your PerformancePoint dashboard. For example, consider the following scenario:

A user named Pat creates a line chart to show product sales amounts over multiple periods of time. The chart uses an embedded filter to show sales amounts for just the core products. Next, Pat creates a scorecard to show sales performance information for various sales representatives in the group. Then, Pat creates a dashboard filter that contains a list of geographical regions. Pat creates a dashboard page and adds the scorecard, line chart, and filter to the page. Pat connects the dashboard filter to both the scorecard and the report and then deploys the dashboard. Now, dashboard users can use the filter to select a particular geographical region. Then, the scorecard shows sales performance for only that region, and the line chart updates to show sales amounts over periods of time in that geographical region.

When you use combinations of filters and connections in your dashboard, make sure that you create connections that make sense for the data and that will work in the dashboard. For example, if a report contains an embedded filter to show information for a particular time period, you might not want to connect a dashboard filter that also contains a list of time periods to the report. For more information, see Overview of connecting filters to reports or scorecards by using Dashboard Designer.

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