Data Warehousing - Dimensional Modeling
Space is no longer a limitation when it comes to information. Organizations have the ability to store all of the data they want and need. The focus has shifted. IT departments are now concerned with the all important matter of SPEED.
The 'race' is on to deliver lightning-fast answers to an array of pressing business questions. Often overlooked however, is the essential need for accuracy and dependability for this data. To meet all of these challenges you must start from the bottom and build up, with well-structured data. Dimensional modeling is the logical design technique used in Data Warehousing and data marts, which makes it possible to deliver information to the end-user quickly and accurately.
The Details: A Brief Overview of Dimensional Modeling
Dimensional models also known as star-schemas are very agile data structures. These structures clearly provide three important aspects of your data:
Dimensions – The categories of information represented (e.g., Time Periods, Geography).
These aspects are used to define the data warehouse, which comprises fact tables and dimension tables. As you would expect from its name, the dimension table houses information regarding attributes, including hierarchies.
Attributes – The information for which the warehouse was created to analyze (e.g., Customer Type, Product Category, Unit Price).
Hierarchies – The delineation of relationships between attributes/measurements within a specific dimension (e.g., Year > Months > Days).
The fact table houses the measurements for a combination of dimensions. These are often numerical values that have the ability to be aggregated (e.g., total cost of sales for all items in a particular category on a particular calendar date).
Since space is no longer a concern for most IT departments, the data within the warehouse may now be structured in a way that consumes more space, yet delivers significantly faster results.
Chateaux's proven methodologies coupled with dimensional modeling best practices can help your organization 'race' ahead of the competition.