We are facing the following item on a project based on web reporting (kpi, dashboard, web application and customized reports).
At the moment the reports published with WebReportStudio on SAS Portal are matching the target of the client about well-defined needs , but often the customer ask to deepen his research by browsing until the minimum detail (i.e. individual code, single wage slip voice, etc.). We use SAS 9.1.3 (ongoing the migration to 9.2).
Which approach could be better?
1. Stored Processes
2. SAS Enterprise Guide
SAS STP could be used to create an extracting engine , directly connected to DataWarehouse, to make selection on several attributes: the user set serie's parameters ad get the detail's rows from the data mart which he's connected to, or an aggregated detail.
The SAS STP could be create also by EG or be called inside a SAS WRS prospect.
SAS EG seems to be a powerful device oriented to advanced users, able to interact with data mart and to create analytical re-usable projects.
Actually the customer needs are:
1. a device to extract data by providing or setting parameters (in a guided way, wizard-like)
2. a device to drill down the report until the minimum detail
a) for the 1-need , EG is the suggestable solution?
b) for the 2-need , until which detail WRS is the suitable solution? Is the functionality drill-through available on WRS? Are there significant difference in term of SAS stored processes performance improvement between SAS.9.1.3 and 9.2?
Just ask in case clarifications are needed.
Thanks in advance
Message was edited by: ross.geller
For requirement 1):
If your customers are able to define what selection parameters they need then stored processes might be a good way.
I assume that the needs and requirements will continuously change. Why not having/training up a few power users who are able to satisfy adhoc requirements via SAS EG and build/implement new stored processes for later ongoing needs?
for requirement 1) i agree with you and will try to follow your suggestion.
For requirement 2), the doubt is that WRS/OLAP Cubes is not the most suitable device to investigate data till the minimum detail , at least in a pretty complex data mart. Which is your experience? i ask because i'm used to hear people saying 'WRS is not the suitable one you need EG' and other people saying 'WRS can investigate the minimum detail , the others do not know very well it!'
Plus, the function drill through is available somewhere on WRS or other SAS solution?
EG is nice because it has so much flexibility built into it. The disadvantage is that there's a definite learning curve to get used to creating projects, working with tasks, etc. A stored process would remove the learning curve aspect as users are asked a series of questions about what they want. The disadvantage is if your customer wanted something outside the pre-defined prompts for the stored process, you'd have to modify the stored process for each new request. And really, if the stored process has more than 3-6 prompts built in, it's going to start to feel really cumbersome to use.
In terms of OLAP, that does let you drill down in a dynamic way. For a large data mart however, you may start to push the OLAP server and the I/O between it and the underlying data source as you go into lower levels of detail if there are many, many rows being analyzed and returned. So, it can be done, but performance-wise it may not be a good decision. Really depends on what you need returned, how much presummarization is in the cube, and the performance of your hardware and network.
Another alternative would be to design reports in SAS Web Report Studio that feature report object linking. For example, you could click on a particular value in a crosstab table, and it would take you to another report (or report section) that was filtered based on where you clicked. This could be useful if the customer always wants the same general sorts of detail reports.
One last alternative would be to use the Visual Data Explorer in the portal. This lets you select data items and create filters in an easy-to-use web-based environment. If the only part of EG you really needed was the query builder, the visual data explorer could be a nice alternative.