Data Warehousing and Data Science

16 March 2011

Measures on a Dimension Table

Filed under: Data Warehousing — Vincent Rainardi @ 9:20 pm

Recently I found a dimension table which had both attributes and measures. The reason for putting the measures in there was because they had the same grain as the dimension. I was thinking: was there a good reason why they should separate the measures into their own fact table? Several things that popped into my mind were:

  1. Was any “date” part of the grain? If so there could be an argument to break half of it (the measure columns) into a fact table, as this means there would be 2 dim key columns in the fact table: the main dim key and the date key (not only 1).
  2. There could be an advantage for ETL: we could truncate-reload the measures without affecting the dimension.
  3. And vice versa, we could treat the attribute as, for example, SCD 2 attributes, without affecting the measures.

As usual I welcome comments and discussion at Vincent 16/3/11.

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