Dimension Setup Logic

Guys, is it correct when I assume that:

The CORE of any implementation of Navision is in how we set up our Dimension. Because in the end, the goal of any system is not just to capture data, but how we can slice and dice the data. And how our decision makers in the company can slice and dice data easily is in how we setup our Dimension. We can do a lot with reports, but the real power in Navision is in its “Analysis by Dimension” feature … Am I correct?

So Basically, any detail that I want to be able to analyse when it comes to Expenses, Sales and Customers I should make into a dimension, even if some of the dimensions will become redundant with the way we setup our posting groups and/or existing fields which may already exist in the customer/item card … is this the right way of thinking when it comes to creating dimensions?

So, even though we already setup our Customer PG as: Retail Cust, Commercial Cust … if we want to analyse by dimension using the above we should create the dimension “Customer Type”, even though the dimension values will be exactly the same as whats already in the Customer PG.

The same thing would apply to Items… In setup of items there are already 2 fields “Item Category Code” and “Product Group Code”. If we want to analyse sales by Item Category and Product Grouping, would we have to create dimensions for them? even though those 2 fields already exist in the item card… and the dimension value will probably be the same as whats in those 2 fields.

[:S] Am I making sense?

Thanks guys.

To analyse sales based on “Item Category Code” and “Product Group Code” you can either flow these fields across the system or just use Dimensions as you mentioned. I would prefer the dimension method. Just make sure that your default dimensions get created automatically when the user fills in these fields on the form.


In my experience using too many dimensions will cause performance issues (maximum 4 if you can). I would strongly recommend using your CPG and item categories first and then use additional dimensions (of detail not already available on standard navision fields) for further analysis.

I would answer no because it depends upon “how” you analyse the data.

If you already have definitions by item category, customer group etc then when you do the analysis reporting you can bring in the filter records based upon these settings and have analysis of “other” dimensions based upon these. Your General Ledger and Posting Group construction is as important when analysing data and constructing a system to get the best analysis possible. Also remember the analysis views, which in my opinion a far more advanced than the simple analysis by dimension feature, are item based, whereas you do have analysis by dimensions these are rigid, and you can sometimes get this information is easier ways.

In you example of customer type what will you be analysing? Sales? So why have a dimension, you can run all your reports and views in this manner already, and if the sales are split in the GL in this manner the analysis is apparent.

I am not saying you are incorrect, but you have to understand “what” you want to analyse and “how” before tagging everything with 100 dimensions. It is tricky because this is one of the first decisions that really need to be made, and by the time you understand Navision, and the users do, you will probably be 6 months live and it will be a case of - Oh I wish we had set it up in this manner. I would love the time to get this right, but the customer is the driver on what they want and “when” they want it. Sit down with your NSC and discuss what you want, it will be the best way in the long wrong, although ultimately not how you will wany it 6 months after live [:D]

The first rule, and in my humble opinion the one that should never be broken, is to get the customers (those are the managers and others withing the company) to specify what they want out of the system. The wish list is a different thing.

When this done in some detail, it is then a very simple thing to design the way the data will be recorded.
Bear in mind that the Sales & Marketing people will have sometimes vastly different needs that the accountants. The Inventory management person or team will need different data again.

The more time you spend in getting people to put down on paper their requirements, the more time you will save in the implementation.

It is entirely wrong to think that dimensions will answer all your prayers, as has been mentioned, there is a real issue with performance to consider as well as keeping the setup simple and largly automatic.

As far as the Chart of Accounts is concerned, the dimensions can do away with the need to have multiple sales accounts, yes? Actually, no! Some business owners prefer to have the split at the Account level for an more instant view.
Get those reports done in spreadsheet format and nag the ‘customers’ until you have the framework.

Thanks for your replies.

I guess the bottomline of what im asking is, if my marketing dept wishes to be able to easily (read: use analysis by dim) run reports seeing how:

  1. Each brand / product group / product sells for a certain area (branch)
  2. How each salesperson performs in a certain branch

The million dollar question for me is: even though the combination of my “GenProdPG” (in item card), “item category” (in item card), “product group” (in item card), “Resp Ctr” (in cust card) and “salesperson” (per SO) is already setup to reflect the above, would I still have to have the above as dimensions, if my marketing team want to be able to use the analysis by dim feature to easily analyse, slide and dice, these data?

Thanks again.

In answer to your million dollar question if the marketing department want to use the analysis by dimension feature to analyse all of that data the simple answer is yes. Whether they cannot easily get this information in other ways without using dimensions is one question, another is that the analysis by dimension is limited to what you can do and show. In all likelihood they will use reports and other areas and this may negate the need for dimensions in areas.