Clear Cube Insight

Center of Excellence
edited April 2023 in Best Practices

1.   Abstract

Clearing data in a Board application that has a large dataset, and high concurrency, needs to be done with care to avoid an unintended consequence. The approach you use to clear data has an impact on data retention and can impact performance. The purpose of this article is to review the options available for you.

2.   Context

These best practices are always applicable.

3.   Content

You can effortlessly clear a Cube in Board with a procedure called Clear Cube.

It’s suggested you always use the “Clear Cube” step with the "use current selection" option active. This applies the clearing action to the selection being used in your current procedure. Without this option enabled, the entire contents of a Cube is cleared, regardless of selections.

Be aware that this approach to clear a portion of a Cube doesn’t erase tuples* in the selection, but sets the related key figures to 0. This means that:

  • The sparsity structure keeps those tuples as a valid sparse combination
  • The Cube size is not reduced by the clearing action

It’s best practice to use the Current Selection option when performing the “Clear Cube” step because you are deleting content files from the Cube. Without using the Current Selection option, problems can arise if there is a high concurrency environment associated with these files. This action should be reserved as an admin task to be executed during periodic maintenance windows.

In situations with very large Cubes, where a large portion is cleared, we suggest running an extract Cube, clear Cube process—without the Current Selection option, and then reload the source content. This way, during the reloading process, all records with the value 0 will be discarded.

When your processes involve clearing large portions or frequently clearing portions of Cubes, using a Cube extract-clear-reload will help to optimize Cubes size and sparsity.


*A tuple is a sequence of any objects in parentheses, separated by commas. A Tuple can’t be changed, as it’s used to include fixed collections of items, for example:  (2.7, 3.8, 5) — this tuple contains three numeric objects.