It’s not unusual to identify dozens of different dates, each with business significance that must be included in a dimensional design. For example, in a financial services organization you might be dealing with deposit date, withdrawal date, funding date, check written date, check processed date, account opened date, card issued date, product introduction date, promotion begin date, customer birth […]

Do you know the difference between dimensional modeling truth and fiction? According to Merriam-Webster, fables are fictitious statements. Unfortunately, fables about dimensional modeling circulate throughout our industry. These false claims and assertions are a distraction, especially if you’re trying to align a team. In this column, we’ll describe the root misunderstandings that perpetuate these myths so […]

Business acceptance is a bigger problem than BI/DW professionals want to admit. Here’s how to get on the right track. A recent Data Warehouse Designer column, “Data Warehouse Check-Ups” (June 12, 2004), discussed the importance of regularly casting a critical eye over your data warehouse/business intelligence (DW/BI) program. Check-ups identify early warning signs and symptoms so appropriate […]

In this Design Tip, we return to a fundamental concept that perplexes numerous dimensional modelers: text facts (also referred to as fact indicators, attributes, details or notes). Some of you may be rightfully saying that text facts are a dimensional modeling oxymoron. However, we frequently field questions from clients and students about indicator, type or comment fields that […]

Periodic check-ups will help you avoid letting business intelligence and data warehousing problems spin out of control. It’s human nature to resist visiting a doctor for periodic check-ups. Generally, we’d prefer to avoid being poked and prodded, having our vital signs taken, and then being told that we need to quit smoking, exercise more, or […]

As with most things in life, change is inevitable with dimension attributes. Most Design Tip readers are familiar with the three basic slowing changing dimension (SCD) techniques: Type 1: Overwrite the attribute Type 2: Add another dimension row Type 3: Add another dimension attribute If this is news to you, take a look at Ralph’s April […]

When developing dimensional models, we strive to create robust dimension tables decorated with a rich set of descriptive attributes. The more relevant attributes we pack into dimensions, the greater the users’ ability to evaluate their business in new and creative ways. This is especially true when building a customer-centric dimension. We encourage you to embed intellectual capital in […]

The Kimball bus architecture and the Corporate Information Factory: What are the fundamental differences? Based on recent inquiries, many of you are in the midst of architecting (or rearchitecting) your data warehouse. There’s no dispute that planning your data warehouse from an enterprise perspective is a good idea, but do you need an enterprise data […]

I worked at a company called Metaphor back in the early 1980s. As part of a startup software company introducing then-cutting-edge concepts (such as folders, file drawers, and workflows on a graphical electronic desktop), I appreciated the benefits of using metaphors to represent seemingly complex concepts. Effective verbal and visual metaphors are able to convert complexity into […]