Business Intelligence – Oracle

Oracle BI EE – Bins and Groups

Posted by Venkatakrishnan J on December 5, 2007

One of the features that end users generally want is the ability to group multiple dimension attribute values into their own understandable groupings. For example, if we have a Product Name column, then end users would like to group different products under different categories like say Computer Products, Household Products etc. Also, they would like to have the capability to drill down from these groupings into their corresponding individual products. In order to achieve this we can use a feature in Answers called as Bins. Bins can group multiple values into smaller simpler groups thereby helping end users to analyze their data better. Lets see how this Bins work. We shall start with a simple report containing the Product Names and their corresponding sales.


Now if you go the formula section of the PRODUCT_NAME column, you would find a tab called as bins.


Now lets try to add a simple Bin. As you would see this would pop up a filter window wherein we can choose how we want to group the values into. In our case lets choose a set of products into a simple group called as “Important Computer Goods”. And for the remaining products lets group them as “Remaining Goods”.



Now if you go back to the formula console, you would see that the corresponding CASE statements would have been generated automatically. Now lets view the results. As you would see you only have 2 groupings now and you can drill down within each of these groups. Also, aggregation for these groups would happen automatically.


A very simple feature but can reduce a lot of effort while writing case statements.

9 Responses to “Oracle BI EE – Bins and Groups”

  1. Vagner said

    Hi Venkatakrishnan,

    First of all congratulations for your site. I hope you can help me. I followed your instructions but I can’t drill the new groups made by bin.

    What I’m doing wrong?


  2. Mamoun said

    Congratulations for such a great website, I am a frequent visitor( daily!) and I find your site to be the most useful site about OBIEE on the web. Keep up the great work!

  3. Venkatakrishnan J said

    @Vagner – You need to have the column that you use in the bin to be part of a hierarchy. Only then the drills will be enabled.

  4. Sam said

    I have the same problem. I have created bins and columns form a part of hierarchy. basically we have account hierearcy defined in repository. The moment you use bins and multiple request, we do not get drilldowns. Another bug in OBIEE.

  5. Annajoch said

    Hi Venkat,

    could we re-use the bins that we’ve created? my user prefers to create a one time bins then re-use it whenever they create a report. If it is possible, could you help me how ?


  6. kelsey said

    Is there any way to use a variable set in the dashboard prompt to create bins? I would like to set up four bins to break up years to only display four columns:

    ‘Variable’ (i.e. 2009)
    ‘Variable -1’ (i.e. 2008)
    ‘Variable -2’ (i.e. 2007)
    ‘All Other Values’ (i.e. 2006 and older)

    Is this possible? Thanks!

  7. Jeremy said

    Hello Venkat,

    Do you know of any way to physically reorder the order in which our custom bucket names are listed? Apparently, they display with an alpha sort, but I’d like to create buckets like:

    0-30 Days
    31-60 Days
    61-90 Days
    91-120 Days
    121-150 Days

    But, my buckets get displayed as:

    0-30 Days
    121-150 Days
    31-60 Days

    I’m just trying to avoid adding something hokey like “(1) 0-30 Days”, “(2) 31-60 Days”, etc just to get it to display in the correct order.

    In the RPD I have the flexibility to sort one column by another, but the client likes the idea of Answers Bins so they can more readily change the bucket size (without having to edit the metadata model).



  8. Sean said

    Jeremy — I had the same issue as you.

    I added another column of the prebinned formula:
    TIMESTAMPDIFF(SQL_TSI_DAY, “Time Measures”.”Order Day”, “Time Measures”.”Reject Day”)

    And sorted by that column ascending, and put it in the Excluded area of the pivot table view.

    This made my bins appear in proper order.

    0-3 days
    4-7 days
    7-14 days
    15-30 days

  9. Elazhari Ridallah said

    Thanks for the great tutorials here

    I have a question concerning Bins, Is it possible to activate the drill down option, i.e when I choose some group it will show me results with the grouped childs?

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