Filter Enhancements in PerformancePoint Services 2013

On a previous project, there was quite a bit of PerformancePoint dashboard work.  A few of the dashboards contained a large multi-select nested filter with a ton of items to choose from.  Once the dashboards were published, some of the users began voicing their frustrations with having to dig through this filter to find all the previously checked items every time they wanted to change the filter selections.

You see, in PerformancePoint 2010, there is absolutely no indication of which parent items have child items that are currently selected…so for example if there are 5 top level items, each with 10 middle level items, and each of those middle level items has 100 child items…you start to see how this could become a real pain the ass for the users who need to filter on a mix of child items across the entire set.  And to my utter disbelief, there wasn’t a “clear-all” option for the filter list.

The image below will give you an idea of what I’m describing.  This is what a nested multi-select filter on a PerformancePoint 2010 dashboard looks like to a user…

Now compare that to the same scenario in Excel 2010…

Notice how the parent item (2012) is marked in the Excel screenshot but not in the PerformancePoint screenshot.

Now some of you sharper BI-people are probably thinking to yourselves…why would you build a filtered list with 5,000 items (5 x 10 x 100) ???  You’re right.  Eventually, the solution we settled on was to break up the levels of the nested filter into separate cascading filters.  But I was still unsatisfied…after wasting an embarrassing amount of time crawling the wild world web for solutions, as a last ditch effort, I ended up posting a question on StackOverflow.  But there was no magic bullet 🙁

Thankfully the PerformancePoint Services team at Microsoft heard my prayers and answered them with the enhancements coming up in the 2013 release.  Kevin Donavan recently shared a post, Introducing PerformancePoint Services 2013, covering a list of the major enhancements.  There are quite a few items that I know are certain to make the lives of developers much easier.  But I was especially happy to see the one about “Filter Enhancements” !!!

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