Analyze Service Manager OLAP cube data with Excel
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Service Manager includes predefined Microsoft Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) data cubes that connect to the data warehouse to retrieve data so that you can manipulate it by using Microsoft Excel in a tabular fashion. When it's opened, a data cube is presented as a worksheet containing a blank PivotTable report. Information defining the OLAP data source is embedded in a worksheet. When you open a report or when you refresh the data connection, Excel uses Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) to connect to the data warehouse to retrieve key performance indicators (KPIs) and other data. After it's opened, the current worksheet contains a snapshot or subset of data from the data warehouse. If you save a worksheet, the data source connection information, KPIs, and any other customizations you've made are saved with it. If you save the worksheet to an analysis library, you can later reopen it without having to use the Service Manager console.
KPIs included in Service Manager data cubes are predefined, special, calculated measures that are defined on the server that make it possible for you to track KPIs, such as status (does the current value meet a specific number?) and trend (what is the value over time?). When these KPIs are displayed in a PivotTable, the server can send related icons that are similar to the new Excel icon set to indicate status levels that are above or below a certain threshold (for example, with a stop light icon) or whether a value is trending up or down (for example, with a directional arrow icon).
PivotTables can help you quickly and easily create useful reports. PivotTables that appear in Service Manager data cubes include many predefined KPI categories, called measure groups or dimensions. These groups are the highest level of categorization, and they help you examine the data and focus your analysis. In turn, most measure groups have many additional levels of subcategories and individual fields. All the categories, subcategories, and fields are contained in the PivotTable Field List. For example, you can create a straightforward report using the following steps:
- Using the PivotTable Field List, select a category and add it as a row.
- Select a second category and add it as a column.
- Select a category or subcategory to add values.
After you've created your report, you can add any level of additional complexity by sorting, filtering, formatting, and adding calculations and charts. You can also go in and out of categories as you continue your analysis.
To view a demonstration of creating a report and manipulating data in Excel using data from an OLAP data cube in a PivotTable, see Drill into PivotTable data.
View and analyze a Service Manager OLAP data cube with Excel
You can use the following procedure to view and analyze a Microsoft Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) data cube from System Center - Service Manager with Microsoft Excel. You can also save your workbooks into an analysis library. Using the PivotTable field list, you can drag and drop fields from the cube into the workbook. You must have Microsoft Excel 2007 or later installed on the computer running the Service Manager console in order to use the following procedure.
The first time you analyze a cube with Excel, it can take a few minutes to load.
To view and analyze an OLAP data cube with Excel
- In the Service Manager console, select Data Warehouse, expand the Data Warehouse node, and select Cubes.
- In the Cubes pane, select a cube name, and then under Tasks, select Analyze Cube in Excel. For example, select SystemCenterWorkItemsCube and analyze it.
- When the worksheet opens in Excel, you can drag and drop fields from the PivotTable Field List and create slicers and charts.
- For example, if you want to see the total number of incidents currently open, expand IncidentDimGroup, and then select Incidents Opened.
- You can add additional fields to generate a more complex analysis. For example, you can add computers from the ComputerDim dimension by selecting the DisplayName field to see the number of incidents that affect different computers.
- Optionally, you can save the workbook to a shared folder or other shared location, such as the analysis library. For more information about the analysis library, see How to Use the Analysis Library.
Use Excel slicers to view Service Manager OLAP cube data
The most useful reporting data available from Service Manager is in the form of data cubes. One method of viewing and manipulating cube data is using PivotTables in Microsoft Excel. You can use slicers in Excel to filter PivotTable data.
Slicers are easy-to-use filtering components that contain a set of buttons that enable you to quickly filter the data in a PivotTable report, without the need to open drop-down lists to find the items that you want to filter.
When you use a regular PivotTable report filter to filter on multiple items, the filter indicates only that multiple items are filtered, and you have to open a drop-down list to find the filtering details. However, a slicer clearly labels the filter that is applied and provides details so that you can easily understand the data that is displayed in the filtered PivotTable report.
For more information about Excel slicers, see Use slicers to filter PivotTable data on the Microsoft Office website.