About filters

An important step in designing a report is ensuring that the correct data is returned from your data sources to be displayed on the report. To do this, you add a filter to the report.

A filter screens data in your data source to determine whether the data should be included in or excluded from the calculations of the report results. A filter is not required in a report, although reports without filters are more likely to return too much data to be displayed effectively. If a filter is added, it should make sense with the objects already on the report.

For a more in-depth introduction to filters, including images and examples of the various types of filters, see the Building Query Objects and Queries, for Designers, chapter of the Basic Reporting Guide.

Creating a filter

A filter is composed of at least one qualification. A qualification defines the conditions that the data must meet to be included in a report, for example, "Region = Northeast" or "Revenue > $1 million". If a filter contains more than one qualification, the qualifications are joined by an arithmetic operator such as AND or NOT. For steps to add or delete qualifications in a filter, and change the operator joining qualifications, see Editing a filter.

To create a stand-alone filter object within a MicroStrategy project, review the table below to determine what kind of qualifications you want to use in the filter. Then use the appropriate link for steps to create that filter.

Qualification Type

Qualification Name

What Data It Is Designed To Filter

Attribute qualifications

These types of qualifications restrict data related to attributes on the report.

Attribute form qualification

Create a filter based on attribute forms.

For details, see Filtering data based on attribute forms: Attribute form qualification.

Filters data related to a business attribute's form(s), such as ID or description.

For example, the attribute Customer has the forms ID, First Name, Last Name, Address, and Birth Date. An attribute form qualification might filter on the form Last Name, the operator Begins With, and the letter H. The results show a list of customers whose last names start with the letter H.

Attribute element list qualification

Create a filter based on attribute elements.

For details, see Filtering data on attribute elements: Attribute element list qualification.

Filters data related to a business attribute's elements, such as New York, Washington, and San Francisco, which are elements of the attribute City.

For example, the attribute Customer has the elements John Smith, Jane Doe, William Hill, and so on. An attribute element list qualification can filter data to display only those customers that you specify in the qualification.

Attribute-to-attribute qualification

Create a filter by comparing two attributes.

For details, see Filtering data by comparing attributes: Attribute-to-attribute qualification.

Filters data by comparing the attribute forms of two attributes.

For example, an attribute-to-attribute qualification might filter data to display information only for those customers whose First Order Date is equal to their Last Order Date.

Set qualifications

These types of qualifications restrict data based on the value, rank, or percentage of a metric, by comparing the values of two metrics, or based on the relationships between the attributes on the report.

Metric set qualification

Create a filter based on metric value or rank.

For details, see Filtering data on metric values or rank.

Filters data related to a set of attributes that are determined based on the metrics associated with those attributes.

For example, a metric set qualification might filter data to display sales data for only those products with an inventory count below a specified number.

Metric-to-metric qualification

Create a filter comparing the values of two metrics.

For details, see Filtering data by comparing metrics: Metric-to-metric qualification.

Filters data by comparing the values of two metrics.

For example, a metric-to-metric qualification might filter data to display those records with Revenue greater than Last Year Revenue.

Relationship qualification

Create a filter based on relationships between attributes.

For details, see the Basic Reporting Guide.

Filters data based on a specific relationship between two attributes.

For example, a relationship set qualification might filter data to display those stores selling Nike shoes in the Washington, DC area.

Shortcut qualifications

These types of qualifications restrict data related to existing report results or an existing filter.

Shortcut-to-a-report qualifications

Create a filter based on the results of an existing report.

For details, see Filtering data based on report results: Shortcut-to-a-report qualification.

Uses the result set of an existing report as is, or with additional conditions, as a filter in a different report.

For example, you might use a shortcut-to-a-report qualification by taking the result set of one report showing all customers in the Southwest region, placing that result set as a filter into a new report, adding a new filter qualification for active customers in the current year, and displaying all currently active customers in the Southwest region.

Shortcut-to-a-filter qualifications

Create a filter based on an existing filter.

For details, see Filtering data based on an existing filter: Shortcut-to-a-filter qualification.

Uses an existing filter as is, or with additional conditions, in a report.

For example, you might use a shortcut-to-a-filter qualification by taking an existing filter for Region = Northeast and Year = 2006, placing it in a report, and adding a new filter qualification for Month of Year = December.

Adding a filter to a report

Filters can be added to reports in two ways:

If a filter object has already been created in your project (this is a stand-alone filter) that you want to use on the report, you can add that filter to the report. To add an existing filter to a report, see Adding a stand-alone filter to a report.
You can create a filter directly in the report. However, this kind of filter cannot be used as a filter on other reports. To create a filter within a report, see Creating a filter within a report: Embedded filters.

Both types of filters accomplish the same results in a given report. The difference is that a stand-alone filter can save you time, because it can be reused on multiple reports. This is especially useful if your report users require common subsets of data for almost every report you create. For example, if most of your users will only need to see results for your Northeast region for the current year, you can create a filter with the Northeast attribute and the current year attribute in it. When you add that filter to all reports, only data related to the Northeast region for the current year will be displayed.

Related topics

Asking for user input into a filter's definition
Filtering data based on attribute forms: Attribute form qualification
Filtering data based on attribute elements: Attribute element list qualification
Filtering data by comparing attributes: Attribute-to-attribute qualification
Filtering data based on dates
Filtering data based on metric values or rank: Set qualification
Filtering data by comparing metrics: Metric-to-metric qualification
Filtering data based on report results: Shortcut-to-a-report qualification
Filtering data based on an existing filter: Shortcut-to-a-filter qualification
Adding a stand-alone filter to a report
Creating a filter within a report: Embedded filters
Editing a filter