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Consolidations and custom groups are two special reporting features that enable user to surpass basic reporting functionality. Withconsolidations, user can group attribute elements to define “virtual” attributes that enable users to analyze data at levels that are not inherently available in the business model. With custom groups, users can create reports that qualify on a row-by-row basis, greatly enhancing the flexibility of report design and the capabilities of report-level qualifications.
What are consolidations?
Consolidations are used within templates to specify the data users wish to view in their report. Consolidations allow users to group attribute elements in new ways without changing the metadata and warehouse definitions. Consolidations enable users to create customizedgroupings that allow row calculations between elements of a given attribute.
What are custom groups?
custom group is a special filter that can be placed on a template and is comprised of an ordered collection of elements called customgroup elements. Each custom group element can be labeled with a header and includes a logical expression of attribute, metric, object, advanced or custom group banding qualifications. These qualifications resolve into a list of attribute elements once the report is run. Customgroups; therefore, provide a way to group attribute elements from the same or different attributes to meet user’s reporting requirements.
The following table provides the differences of the two features:                    
   Consolidations Custom Groups 

1. Based on attribute element groupings
2. Users need to exactly know which attribute elements togroup to define the consolidation elements
1. Based on filter qualifications
2. Users do not need to know much about the data to create the filter qualifications that define each custom groupelement
To create a “Virtual attribute” for reporting at levels not existing in the project schema and displaying row-level math calculations
To apply different filter qualifications to different rows of a report
Seasons consolidation that groups specific months of the year into different season
Custom group that displays Top 10 Customers and Bottom 5 Items
For the detailed steps of creating consolidations and custom groups, refer to the following MicroStrategy Knowledge Base technical notes:

TN32015: What are the differences between Consolidations and Custom Groups in MicroStrategy 9.x and higher.

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