Where should I put units?

3.67K viewsGeneral Discussion
0

Hello!

A simple question…. where in Quantrix matrices should I put units?

For example, if I am doing a financial analysis of a company, I will often have tables where some lines are in dollars and cents (eg. earnings per share) and some in millions of dollars (eg. market capitalisation).

Somehow I need the possibility to define and (optionally) see in each view an array of units for each category.

I can see two ways:

1. Put the units as part of the item name. (eg. “Earnings per share, USD”, “Market capitalisation, USD million”) This is not good because formulae become hard to read.

2. Put the units in an item called “Units” in a time category (most of my models have a time category). So, for example, I have in the category: {Units, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007}. Then I have to put skip units in every formula; again it makes the model look more complicated than it is.

There must be a better way! I’m very new to Quantrix… so if I’m missing a trick, please let me know. Thanks.

Philip

0

Hrmmm… This is a long shot but if you view the matrix in Outline mode in this scenario (View –> Outline from the menu) does that help the presentation when using multiple groups?

What do you think about adding another dimension for Units? Add another category tile, call it units and then starting adding the unit items to this dimension. You will have some holes in the matrix where no data will live, but you might be able to handle these with collapsing the empty items…

-Mike

0

But… the “single item groups” solution for units is not so handy when you want to use further group levels to bring items together. The problem is with making all the units appear in the same column.

Any suggestions??

Philip

0

And… using the “single item groups” solution to add units to a category, you can include the units in formulae whenever you want to (which can be handy for clarity from time to time)!!

As an update to Quantrix, you could give us an “add units” button which:

1. converts selected single items to single item groups
2. puts the original item name as the group name
3. leaves the item name blank (ready for units to be typed in)
4. automatically adjusts formulae to reference the group instead of the item (of course the formulae look the same).

Cheers,

Philip

0

Thanks for the suggestion.

In the meantime, I realised that making single item groups does more or less what I am talking about. See the Units using groups matrix in the attachment.

Apart from setting up the single item groups to start with, I don’t think this will make building models more complicated. If I run into any knock-on ill-effects, I’ll post.

Cheers,

Philip

0

I like your ideas of parrell arrays. I will analyze this is more detail in the coming week and take it under consideration.

With the current version of Quantrix, you are on the right track. I recommend a combination of using Groups and the IN clause in your formulas. Basically, group your items representing years into a group called ‘Years’, then precede each formula with an IN statement. This makes the formulas a bit easier to read in comparison to ending each fromula with a SKIP.

See attached model file for an example.

Thanks for the suggestion! I hope this helps…

-Mike

0

Hello Mike,

The model attached has two matrices showing my suggested solutions to the units questions. As I said before, both work up to a point but:

With the units as part of the item names, the table and formulae start to look untidy and hard to read.

With units as an item in the time dimension, the table is neater but the structure is not sound and the formulae are more complicated (with “skip Units” in every one) . More importantly, if I rearrange the table by putting time in the filter tray my units disappear.

A suggestion… the correct structure would have “item names” and “item units” as parallel arrays. If that feature were added (ie. a dedicated space in which to write the units for each item), an option could be given to display units or not (in tables, in formulae). I think I’m right in saying, it would only make sense to define units for one category in each matrix.

An ideas?

Philip

0

Hi Phillip – Thank you for your post.

I pretty much undertand your questions, but before I answer, would you mind attaching a simple model file to this post to show exactly your questions? I can then take that model file and post back to you an answer.

Many Thanks…

-Mike