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Oracle® Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Help
11g Release 1 (11.1.1)
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Drilling in Results

Many of the results that are displayed in views represent hierarchical data structures. The metadata specifies these hierarchies, and this enables you to access the different levels of detail within them. For example, information in a sales graph might be categorized by region. Clicking a specific region in the graph might display each country within that region, if the country is the next level within the hierarchy of the metadata. Such clicking is referred to as "drilling."

If the content designer has set up views for drilling, then you can drill in them on dashboards.

What is Drilling?

Drilling is a way to navigate through data in views quickly and easily.

  • You drill down to display data in more detail, which displays more members.

    You can drill down to an actual item in the database. For example, if you work in sales, you can drill down to the city level within a sales analysis, and observe that there is a large sale pending in Paris. If you are using an Oracle Siebel operational application, then you can then drill down on the pending sale and go directly to that opportunity in the Oracle BI application.

  • You drill up to display data in less detail, in hierarchical columns.

    For example, you might drill up from a month value to see a summary for the whole year. You can drill up in the current hierarchy, either for the entire column at the header level or for individual members. For example, you can drill up from District to Region. Drilling up hides the current level (such as District) and retains the higher level (such as Region).

Where Can I Drill?

You can drill in the following types of views:

Drilling in Tables, Pivot Tables, and Trellises

When you drill down in a table, pivot table, or trellis, the detail level data is added to the current data. For example, when you drill from a continent, the table displays data for the continent and for the countries in that continent.

The way that you drill in tables, pivot tables, and trellises depends on the column type, as described in the following sections.

Drilling in Attribute Columns

To drill in an attribute column, click the heading or member in which you want to drill. When you hover over the value before clicking, an underline is displayed below the value to indicate that you can click to drill.

When you drill in an attribute column, you add the lower level to the view. All views are affected by drilling in an attribute column, which is equivalent to a filter drill. After you click the value, a column is added to the analysis and a filter is automatically created and listed in the Criteria tab.

You cannot drill on groups for attribute columns. To see the definition of a group for an attribute column, edit the corresponding step in the Selection Steps pane.

You can also use the "Right-Click Menu for Data Views" to drill in attribute columns.

Drilling in Hierarchical Columns

To drill in a hierarchical column, click the Expand and Collapse icons beside the members. Click to expand or collapse one level. For example, expanding from Total Products to Products inserts the Product members while retaining the value for Total Products.

When you drill in a hierarchical column, you expand and collapse the nodes of data that are in the view. Drilling in a hierarchical column affects only that particular view. No other views are affected.

Drilling in level-based hierarchies and value-based hierarchies works the same. Each time you drill in a hierarchy, you expand or collapse one level. For example, if the hierarchy has a level for continents, regions, and cities, and the view shows continent data, you can expand from Australia down one level to display regions in Australia. From there, you can expand one level from a region, to cities in that region, or you can collapse one level, back to continents.

When you drill, the drill state is preserved. If you collapse at a higher level and re-expand, then the members are re-displayed at the same drill point.

When you click the Collapse icon, you collapse back to the current level any levels in the hierarchy that are present in the analysis, regardless of whether they were added by drilling down or by adding the levels from the Subject Areas pane.

You can perform asymmetric drilling, which enables you to drill various members to different levels. For example, if you expand World, then you might see Americas, Asia, and Australia at the same second-level for continents. You can then drill Americas to expand it and see its regions, while Asia and Australia are not expanded.

You can expand and collapse the members of a group for hierarchical columns. For example, if you have a group that includes cities and the group is included in a view, then you see the cities when you click the group name.

You can also use the "Right-Click Menu for Data Views" to expand and collapse hierarchical columns.

Drilling in Graphs

When you drill down in a graph, the detail level data replaces the current data. For example, when you drill down from a continent, the graph displays data for the countries in that continent, but not for the continent itself.

You can drill down in the following ways:

  • You can click a label (for which drilling is available) on any axis or in the legend to drill down. (A change in the mouse pointer indicates that drilling is available.)

  • If the graph contains only attribute columns and measure columns, then you can click a data point to drill all columns.

  • If the graph contains multiple columns including at least one hierarchical column, then when you click a label or a data point, you see a menu from which you can select which columns to drill down. If there are action links available, then the menu also displays those links.

Depending on how the graph was embedded in the dashboard, you can use the breadcrumb feature, the Back button on the browser, the Clear Customizations option on the dashboard (for all views), and so on to return to a previous graph.


The time series line graph does not support drill down on a time column where data types other than data or date-time are used.