Skip Navigation
Online help

Analyzing additional levels of detail: Drilling
Drilling on a grid report
Drilling on a graph report
Drilling on a Report Services document
Using the Drill panel
Advanced drilling
Drilling to another report template
Saving a drilled report

Analyzing additional levels of detail: Drilling
Drilling is one of the most powerful data analysis functionalities in any reporting environment. Drilling lets you explore data beyond the data immediately visible on a report. You can drill through a report to analyze data that is closely related to the original report data, or you can expose an entirely different object on a report to see what the data looks like within a different context. Drilling successfully on data in a report requires that you understand how business attributes in a reporting project can relate to each other within higher-level business concepts called hierarchies. Hierarchies and drilling are covered in the MicroStrategy Basic Reporting Guide.

Drilling down allows access to data at progressively lower levels within a hierarchy. For example, if the attribute level displayed for geography is region, drilling down would allow you to see information at the state, city, or store level.

Similarly, you can broaden the scope of information by drilling up to levels of data increasingly higher within a hierarchy. For example, if time is shown at the date
level, drilling up could display this hierarchy at the week, month, or quarter level.

Additionally, you can use drill across from one attribute level to another, either within a hierarchy or across hierarchies. In other words, you can drill in any direction, allowing you to find specific element values.

Drilling example

The data on your report is organized by regions, markets, and stores, and you run a report that shows region sales. You can drill down from the region level to see
the sales for the markets that make up that region. Conversely, you can drill up from stores to view the markets to which those stores belong.

This hierarchical relationship is sometimes referred to as a parent-child relationship. In the preceding example, region is the parent of market; market is the child of
region and the parent of store; store is the child of market.

For more information, click the following:

Drilling on a grid report
The following describes the different methods for drilling on a grid report.

Some drilling methods provide more drilling options than others:

  • Single-click an attribute element: You can drill down one level for a single element.
    • For example, if your report shows the attribute Year, the attribute elements might be 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. You can single-click one of the years (one of the attribute elements) to drill down from that year and see the quarter level data for that year. So, if you click on 2005 and drill down, you can drill to Q1 2005, Q2 2005, Q3 2005, or Q4 2005.
  • Use the Drill option on the Data menu or use the Drill toolbar icon: You can drill on either the entire report or only selected items using these features. For more information about the Drill panel, see Using the Drill panel.

To drill on a grid report:

  1. Open a grid report.
  2. Right-click on the object on which you want to drill.
  3. From the drop-down list, select the attribute you want to drill to. The new report is automatically executed based on your chosen drilling action.

Drilling on a graph report
You can drill on a graph report just like you drill on a grid report, to analyze additional levels of data within the report.

To drill on a graph, do the following:

  • Click labels (attribute elements) on the graph. For example, if you have a list of cities, you can single-click a city to access different drill options for the attribute City.
  • Click compound metric labels on the graph. A compound metric is a metric made up of other metrics. If you have a compound metric on the graph, you can single-click the metric to access different drill options for that metric.
  • Click one of the categories on the graph to drill on it. A category is any one of the shapes on the graph that represent a label (attribute element). For example, single-click a bar in your bar graph to drill to the default drill level for that data. If no default drill level was specified, you are notified that you cannot perform a click drill on that object.
  • If you are in Grid Graph View, you can easily drill on the grid by single-clicking attributes, or by selecting Drill from the Data menu.

Drilling on a Report Services document
You can drill on reports in Report Services documents through the use of hyperlinks that exist in the reports included in the document. For specific information about drilling on documents, see Drilling on documents.

Using the Drill panel
You can use the drill panel to do the following:

  • Drill from an attribute to its immediate parents or immediate children
  • Drill from a compound metric to its underlying metrics
For example, if you are on "market," you can drill up to "region," which is the parent of market, or drill down to "store," which is the child of market.

Note: A report designer using MicroStrategy Desktop can customize the options that appear for each attribute on the Drill panel, so you might have more or less options for drilling than described here. A Web administrator can also customize drill settings under the Drill Mode section of Project Defaults.

The following applies to the simple drill mode:
  • Access the Drill panel or click the Drill icon in the Crosstab toolbar. Drop-down lists are displayed, corresponding to each attribute and drillable metric on the report. Select a choice from a drop-down list and click Apply.
    Note: If DHTML is enabled, you can simply right-click an attribute or metric to drill to a variety of paths.
  • When you are drilling from simple mode, you can select one attribute or metric to drill from and decide where you drill based on that selected attribute or metric.
  • A check box displays next to each of the drillable attribute elements and metrics on the grid report itself. You can select these check boxes to filter based on certain criteria. Select the check boxes next to the elements from which you want to drill. If you do not select any of the boxes, you drill from all elements corresponding to the selected attribute or metric from which you are drilling.
  • If you want to also see the parent attributes on the new report:
    1. Select Keep parent while drilling.
    2. Click Apply next to the chosen attribute or metric. MicroStrategy Web launches a new report that shows the requested level of detail.

Note: If an attribute has no parents or children as defined in the drill path, you cannot perform a simple drill on it. However, you can still do an advanced drill (description follows).

To show or hide the Drill panel:

  • To show simple drill mode, from the Data menu (or drop-down list) select Drill. The simple Drill panel displays.
  • To access the advanced drill panel, click the More options... link next to the item on which you will drill. If DHTML is on, you can access this by right-clicking on an object and selecting More options...
  • To hide either of the drill panels, click the X icon on the panel's far right.
Note: This hide/show drilling setting is retained on the client machine. When you log in again using the same browser, it will be the same as when you last logged out.

Advanced drilling
If you want to perform advanced drilling from a specific attribute, click the More options link next to the specific attribute or metric within a simple drill. The Drill - Advanced panel displays drop-down lists that provide options to drill to another hierarchy or to different levels within the same hierarchy.

As an example of using advanced drilling to navigate from an attribute in one hierarchy to an attribute in another hierarchy, you can drill from "store," which is part of the geography hierarchy, to "customer name," which is part of the customer hierarchy. Keep in mind that the hierarchies available to you are based on your company's business model.

To drill using the advanced drilling option:

  1. From the Drill panel, click More options... next to the drop-down list for the desired attribute or metric.
  2. A new drop-down list appears. Click the Update button (HTML only) to show the attributes in the chosen hierarchy, and select the attribute you wish to drill to. If DHTML is on, the attributes update automatically and the Update button is not visible.
  3. If you want to see the parent attributes on the new report, select the Keep parent while drilling check box.
  4. Click Apply. MicroStrategy Web launches a new report that shows the requested level of detail.
  5. To return to simple drilling, click Back to simple drill.
Note: Advanced drilling is available only if you have the necessary MicroStrategy Web privileges. For more information, contact your administrator.

Drilling to another report template
It may be useful to drill from the template of your present report to an entirely new report template. A report designer can enable this functionality by defining a custom drill path, which can be done using the Drill Map Editor in MicroStrategy Desktop.

For example, a report may have Year and Total sales. You might want to view the profit generated in a particular year by each store. In this case, the report designer may design the drill path to go from Year to a template having Store and Profit.

Saving a drilled report
To save a drilled report, click the Save icon . For more information, see

You can temporarily save a report by adding it to the History List, which contains the latest version of the report. (Unless specified, the changes are retained only within the same Web session.) For more information, see
History list.