Overview: Characteristic Hierarchies

Characteristic hierarchies

In SAP-EIS and in Profitability Analysis, you can define hierarchical structures for characteristics for use in drilldown reporting. In SAP-EIS, you can create your own hierarchies using the function Master data ® Master data hierarchies ® Edit. In addition, you can use hierarchy groups which are defined in other applications, such as the cost element groups in Cost Element Accounting or cost center groups in Cost Center Accounting. (For information about how to create master data hierarchies in SAP-EIS, see Master Data Hierarchy).

In account-based Profitability Analysis, you can only use the cost element groups from Cost Center Accounting.

A hierarchy lets you group values of a single characteristic together into a hierarchical structure. For example, you can group cost elements together according to personnel costs, material costs, administrative costs, and so on, and then differentiate them within each of these categories by dividing personnel costs into wages, salaries and additional personnel costs, and so on. The group "Wages" might then contain direct labor costs, labor overhead, compensation for time lost, overtime and miscellaneous costs. Another good example is a hierarchy for the characteristic Company, which consists of various sub-groups.

Hierarchy nodes and end nodes

A hierarchy consists of a number of nodes, each of which can have either other nodes or individual values of the characteristic attached to them. An end node is the lowest level of the hierarchy and can only contain characteristic values. In the above example, the nodes "Direct labor costs", "Labor overhead" and "Compensation for time lost" would represent end nodes, since these would contain the individual cost elements. The other nodes represent hierarchy nodes, since they contain other groups and end nodes of the hierarchy.

Hierarchy for the characteristic Cost element:

PERSONNEL COSTS (hierarchy node)

Wages (hierarchy node)

Direct labor costs (end node)

420000 - 420999 (interval of values)

Labor overhead

421000 - 421999

Other labor costs (end node)

423000 (single value)



Other personnel costs


The function Choose hierarchy

If hierarchies exist for a characteristic, you can have the system display that characteristic in a hierarchy either when you define the report or after you have executed it. This function displays the chosen hierarchy in its entirety. The characteristic values not contained in the hierarchy appear in the report list in the row "Other characteristic values". You can also drill down on this row if you wish.

To do so, choose the function Extras ® Choose hierarchy when you define the report or Edit ® Hierarchy ® Choose... after executing it. Both of these functions are also found under the pushbutton . In each case, the system displays a list of the existing hierarchies for that characteristic. This makes it possible to analyze the selected data interactively according to different hierarchies. In addition, the option "No hierarchy" lets you return to a non-hierarchical display.

You can change the look of the hierarchy at any time from the report list using the function Edit ® Hierarchy ® Display. For more information, see Hierarchy Display and Functions for Editing Hierarchies.

The function Hierarchy node

The function Edit ® Hierarchy node lets you report on selected parts of a characteristic hierarchy.

To do so, choose the pushbutton Hierarchy node on/off when you define either the form or the report. Then you can enter a hierarchy node in place of a characteristic value for the selected characteristic. When you execute the report, the system displays only those characteristic values that are attached to that node. For example, you can report on all the cost elements that belong to the group Wage costs.

If, on the other hand, you either enter a single characteristic values or leave the field blank to receive all values instead of a hierarchy node when you define the report, the system displays the data for that single value or for all values.

Note that when you enter a hierarchy node for a characteristic, that characteristic becomes fixed, which means that it can no longer be a drilldown characteristic. The characteristic name and the hierarchy node chosen appear above the navigation area.

To be able to choose a group (profit center group, cost center group, cost element group, and so on), you first need to set the controlling area.

See also:

Entering and Using a Hierarchy Node