Process Modeling – Is this a fact or a dimension?

November 23, 2011


This is a question I see a lot on forums (and also get asked) and it’s generally based on confusion around events and processes (such as an incident, a bank application process etc). Let’s remember what the difference is between a fact and a dimension. A fact table stores a business process.  A fact is therefore an […]

Posted in: Data Modeling, SQL

Date Order

November 19, 2011


I had a request recently to change the order of the date dimension in my SSAS cubes to descending, so that users could easily find the most recent dates. Users are using COGNOS Analysis Studio to slice and dice the data. The users of course could have simply dragged the date hierarchy onto the “canvas”, […]

Posted in: Data Modeling, SSAS, SSRS

Populating your date dimension

October 9, 2011



My friend and colleague Boyan Penev wrote a post recently on his blog regarding what a date dimension table should contain: I’ve got a script that I’ve been using for a while to populate a date dimension table that I thought worth posting. I’ve not included fiscal periods in this script. Living in Australia this […]

Posted in: Data Modeling, SQL

Tracking History with Slowly Changing Dimensions

September 24, 2011


In this post I’d like to show a few of the different ways to maintain history. As anyone who has been in data-warehousing for a while can attest to, the two most common scenarios that business users want to see are the data as it was (Kimball Slowly Changing Dimension Type 2) , or as-is […]

Posted in: Data Modeling, SQL

Dimensional Modeling Worst Practices

May 16, 2011


As a consultant I see a lot of BI/DW solutions with various clients, and am often called in to fix performance issues. Often times developers/architects will ignore the Ralph Kimball methodology, or try to “improve it” by breaking a few rules. So I thought it might be worthwhile for me to post some of the […]

Posted in: Data Modeling, SQL

SSRS Sparkline report using MDX

March 23, 2011


In this post I am going to describe how to create a report with Sparklines using an MDX query. In my current role I do a lot of Proof Of Concept pre-sales work for different industries, and I’ve really grown to love sparklines. I think they are fantastic in giving users an understanding of how […]

Posted in: SSAS, SSRS

Using the DatePicker in SSRS with MDX

March 22, 2011


This post, continuing on from the previous post, shows how to use the DatePicker functionality within SSRS as a parameter for an MDX query. First we set up the Date parameter, which we will call pDate. We change the data type to Date, and leave all other tabs with the default settings. We then […]

Posted in: SSAS, SSRS