conformed dimension

In data warehousing, a conformed dimension is a dimension that has the same meaning to every fact with which it relates.

In data warehousing, a conformed dimension is a dimension that has the same meaning to every fact with which it relates. Conformed dimensions allow facts and measures to be categorized and described in the same way across multiple facts and/or data marts, ensuring consistent reporting across the enterprise.

A conformed dimension can exist as a single dimension table that relates to multiple fact tables within the same data warehouse, or as identical dimension tables in separate data marts.  Date is a common conformed dimension because its attributes (day, week, month, quarter, year, etc.) have the same meaning when joined to any fact table.  A conformed product dimension with product name, description, SKU, and other common attributes could exist in multiple data marts, each containing data for one store in a chain. 

This was first published in September 2010

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