OBIEE 11g Selection Steps and Filters: Their Differences and How to Use the Two

Brian BurdiTechnical TipsLeave a Comment

Selection steps and filters in OBIEE 11g analyses overall serve a similar purpose by limiting the data for the user. Filters are applied before the query is aggregated meaning that it could affect calculations and measures because the query is affected. Whereas selections steps are applied after the query is aggregated meaning that the only thing that is affected is what the user will see, this will not affect calculations and measures. Filters can be applied to attribute and measure columns while selection steps can be applied to attribute and hierarchical columns.  The selection steps work incrementally so you should be mindful of what you want prior to defining them as the user may not want to  lose information that they are interested in.



Selection Steps

Applied to attribute columns



Applied to hierarchical columns


Applied to measure columns


Applied before query aggregation


Applied after query aggregation


Potentially affect aggregations




In this section, we will investigate where to find the selection steps and filters with an example on how to format them. For this example, I first selected a few columns in the Criteria tab of a new analysis:


Selection Steps

Now that we have created an analysis with several columns, we will navigate to the Results tab in the analysis. There are two places to access the selection steps:


Our Selection Step pane will show below the compound view or the table in the previous image as you can see we have all of the attribute columns that we selected in our analysis:


Now, suppose that we are only interested in “LOB” values “Electronics”, “Digital”, and “TV”.  We will need to hover over the “Products – LOB” step one, there you will see a pencil to edit that selection step:


Once, that is selected you can now edit what elements are shown and select the values that you are interested in:




Now that we have selected the values that we are interested in we can see the data that will be returned as a result of this selection step choice:


Other options for types of Selection Steps:

  • Select Members– allows the user to specify a specific group of elements with the following actions “Add”, “Keep Only”, or “Remove”.
  • Add Groups or Calculated Items – This is a nice feature that will allow you to group items.
    • Such as grouping states into a region or products by a product type.
  • Conditions – This give you the flexibility to limit your data by various logical operators.


If you are following along with this example, I have deleted the previous selection step so we are starting with all of the data that is available. Now, navigate back to the Criteria tab. There are two places that we can add a filter that is highlighted with the black squares (the red square is where we can access the selection steps in the Criteria tab):


Please note: I have put a box around the “LOB” column but that is because we’re following the previous example and that you can filter on any of the columns that are in this analysis.

From the “LOB” column click the drop down and then select Filter. Once you have completed that you will see the following and we will select the binoculars to select the values we are interested (you can also add logical operators to this column by selecting the “Operator” drop down):


Select the three values that we are interested in:


And select “Ok”. Our filter section will reflect our choices:


Select “Ok” again and navigate back to the Results tab in our analysis. For this I will show the Selection Steps area as well:


Now, we have set up both selection steps and filters for this analysis. You can now you will be able to navigate and create these options on your own analysis.



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