Crystal Analysis Professional is a new reporting tool from Crystal Decisions that enables organizations to deliver action-based OLAP analysis to business users. It enables better insights to help decision makers affect business performance through interactive analysis. Crystal Analysis Professional takes OLAP reporting to the next level by enabling you to create intuitive and highly interactive reports that offer a guided analysis approach to business issues.
Power users implementing Crystal Analysis can create analytic reports, based on OLAP data, using a powerful designer (similar in concept to Crystal Reports). Crystal Analytic Reports can contain many pages, each presenting a different predefined view of the OLAP cube. Data can be presented in tables or visualized through a wide range of charts, exception highlights, data sorts, filters, and analytic transition buttons. Business managers can use the resulting analytical reports to drive the business decisions they need to make every day. Figure 16.20 displays a sample analytic report created in Crystal Analysis Professional. These reports, in the same manner as Crystal Reports files, can be published to, secured, managed, and distributed by the Crystal Enterprise solutionalso available from Crystal Decisions.
Figure 16.20. A Sample Crystal Analysis report that includes an OLAP grid, chart objects, and several transition buttons for guided analysis.
Details of Crystal Analysis are beyond the scope of this chapter but are covered in detail in Chapters 19 and 20.
Crystal Reports in the Real WorldOLAP Summary Report with Drill down
The scenario discussed here describes the flexibility behind accessing multidimensional and relational data sources in one report. The benefit of this type of functionality is to enable the user to see aggregated information coming from a cube while allowing drill-down on the relational data to provide greater detail. By using parameters in this report you let the user decide which information elements are displayed.
- Start by creating a simple sales report against the sample Xtreme data source. For the data, select the Customer table. Group the Report by Region, City, and then Customer. Hide the City and Customer groups and enable drill-down on these sections. The report at design time should look like Figure 16.21.
Figure 16.21. Framework for drill-down.
- Now add an OLAP grid to this report that will go against an offline cube file. Using the steps described earlier in this chapter, point the grid at the xtreme.hdc file located in C:Program FilesCrystal DecisionsCrystal Reports 10SamplesEnDatabasesOlap Data. Keep the defaults assigned by the grid expert except in the Rows/Columns tab; here, you will change the Customer Rows to only include AZ, CA, and MA to limit the number of rows displaying in the report. Perform the same task in the report select expert so that both data sources return the same information.
- Drop the OLAP Grid in the Report Header area. Now split the Report Header area into A and B sections using the Insert Section Below right-click menu function from the Report Header Title area. The OLAP Grid remains in Report Header A. Insert a pie chart based on the relational source that displays Last Year's Sales on change of values in the Region and City fields and place the chart in Report Header B to enable the user to also visually understand what the contribution of sales is from each of the selected regions. The report in design view should look similar to Figure 16.22.
Figure 16.22. A Report using both OLAP and Relational data sources. The pie chart based on the Relational Data enables drill-down into the relational data details.
- If the user viewed this report he would currently see both the chart and the OLAP grid at the top of the report. Create two parameter fields, which will specify whether to display the grid or chart or both. This enables the users to decide how they want to look at information in the report.
- Create a parameter of Boolean type called Display Grid and a parameter of the same type called Display Chart.
- Next conditionally suppress sections containing the grid and the chart based on the values supplied to the parameters. To do this, right-click on Report Header A and select Section Expert from the Report Explorer. Make sure Suppress is checked and then click next to the suppress option on the formula sign. Inside the formula editor type in
and close the editor. Highlight Report Header B and repeat this step using the parameter you created before called Display Chart. Now if the user runs the report he will be prompted to select whether he wants to see the chart, the grid, or both. Save the report as chap16OLAPLinkedToDetail.rpt. On Display, it should look similar to Figure 16.23.
Figure 16.23. Report showing both the OLAP grid and charts.
This example illustrates combining relational and multidimensional data in one report to allow for different views based on the same underlying data. This allows drill-down on relational elements and provides aggregate information for views on summary OLAP data.