Arrange Values Hierarchically

The hierarchical display of values brings multiple detail levels to a single report. The more fields that take part in a hierarchy, the more flexible the report is. Multi-level hierarchies allow end-users to view data from different perspectives thus giving them total control over the data's layout. At the same time, you only have to create a single report and don't need to change a single thing to show more or less detail within the report.

There are numerous use-cases for which to enable value hierarchies. From dropping existing fields into a single area to creating additional fields with different detail levels - with the ExpressPivotGrid, everything's at your fingertips. Once the hierarchy is generated, you can join fields into a non-breakable group so end-users see and use it as a single field.

Three Approaches to Create Hierarchical Axes

The most obvious situation when a hierarchy may enhance a report is when the source data contains lookup fields. For instance, the car models table may contain a lookup field that refers to the trademark. In this instance, you can display a trademark-model hierarchy on an axes. You simply drop two headers into the same area to achieve this result. End-users will be able to browse compact data summarized by trademarks view details for each car model within a single report.

Value hierarchies can also be used to provide different detail levels for a single field. To achieve this, create several ExpressPivotGrid fields bound to the same data field. Apply different group intervals for each field and drag the fields to the same area to create a hierarchy.

If built-in group intervals don't meet your needs, you can easily group values using your own criteria. In such cases, you have full control over the hierarchy - you can build any number of hierarchy levels with any degree of detail. For instance, the employee age example can be extended to transform a single Age axis into a three-level hierarchy.

Keep Fields Together

After you've joined certain fields into a hierarchy, you may want to keep these fields together. This makes it easier for end-users to handle fields since they need only initiate a single drag and drop operation to change the location or visibility of all the fields in a group, and they will be prevented from accidentally corrupting the structure, because no additional fields can be inserted inside a field group.

To create a group at design time, you can use the ExpressPivotGrid Designer.

The ExpressPivotGrid draws connector lines to indicate that fields are included into a group. All but the last header in a group displays an expand button that allows you to display or hide the following headers.

Once the group has been created, end-users can initiate drag and drop for any of the included fields... and the entire group will be affected. The image below describes how the generated group can be moved to the Field Chooser.

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