Design Tip #163 Build a Ready-to-Go Resource for Enterprise Dimensions

Although dimension tables are typically much smaller than fact tables, the dimension tables are the true drivers of the data warehouse. Dimension tables provide the descriptive context for all the measurements recorded in the fact tables. Although it’s something of an obvious point, without the dimensions Read More

Design Tip #159 “Official” Kimball Dimensional Modeling Techniques

The third edition of The Data Warehouse Toolkit, our flagship book, was released in July. Although the second edition published in 2002 continued to sell amazingly well, this new edition gave Margy and me the opportunity to “re-master” the science and logic of dimensional modeling, update Read More

Design Tip #156 An Excel Macro for Drilling Across

Drilling across separate business processes is one of the most powerful applications in a data warehouse. We often describe drilling across as magic: separately open connections to the dimensional models for each business process, fetch answer sets from each process labeled identically with row headers drawn Read More

Design Tip #128 Selecting Default Values for Nulls

Design Tip #43 Dealing with Nulls in the Dimensional Model describes two cases where null values should be avoided in a dimensional model; in these situations, we recommend using default values rather than nulls. This Design Tip provides guidance for selecting meaningful, verbose defaults. Handling Null Read More

Industry Standard Data Models Fall Short

Industry-standard data models are an appealing concept at first blush, but they aren’t the time savers they are cracked up to be. What’s more, these prebuilt models may inhibit data warehouse project success. Vendors and proponents argue that standard, prebuilt models allow for more rapid, less Read More

Design Tip #119 Updating the Date Dimension

Most readers are familiar with the basic date dimension. At the grain of a calendar day, we include various labels for calendar and fiscal years, quarters, months, and days. We include both short and long labels for various reporting requirements. Even though the labels in the basic date Read More