Design and Theory

Technical Article

Automatically Utilizing XML's Untapped Semantic Goldmine

  • Article

A mind is a terrible thing to waste and so is the vast quantity of untapped data structure meta information available free for the using in any XML document. This semantic data available in XML is like gold lying on the ground ready to be scooped up and cashed in with little or no effort. This is meta information that can be utilized immediately to significantly increase the value of the raw XML data. By automatically utilizing this valuable structure meta information, hierarchical fourth generation languages (4GLs) can nonprocedurally process XML's complex multi-leg hierarchical structure. This significantly increases the usefulness of the data and makes it immediately available for use at its enhanced value. This article describes the semantics of hierarchical data structures and how they can be automatically utilized by 4GLs.

2005-03-14

1,424 reads

Technical Article

Slowly Changing Dimensions Are Not Always as Easy as 1, 2, 3

  • Article

To kick off our first column of the year, we're going to take on a challenging subject that all designers face: how to deal with changing dimensions. Unlike most OLTP systems, a major objective of a data warehouse is to track history. So, accounting for change is one of the analyst's most important responsibilities. A sales force region reassignment is a good example of a business change that may require you to alter the dimensional data warehouse. We'll discuss how to apply the right technique to account for the change historically. Hang on to your hats — this is not an easy topic.

2005-02-21

1,868 reads

Technical Article

Surrounding the ETL Requirements

  • Article

November 13, 2004 / Issue TOC

Surrounding the ETL Requirements

Before designing an ETL system, you must first understand all of your business needs.

By Ralph Kimball , Margy Ross

Ideally, the design of your extract, transform, and load (ETL) system begins with one of the toughest challenges: surrounding the requirements. By this we mean gathering in one place all the known requirements, realities, and constraints affecting the ETL system. The list of requirements is pretty overwhelming, but it's essential to lay them on the table before launching a data warehouse project.

The requirements are mostly things you must live with and adapt your system to. Within the framework of your requirements, you'll have many places where you can make your own decisions, exercise your judgment, and leverage your creativity, but the requirements are just what they're named. They are required.

2005-02-15

1,855 reads

Technical Article

The Three Ms of BI: Manage, Monitor and Model

  • Article

Business intelligence is awash in so many products, buzzwords and technologies that it is often hard to see the forest for the trees. It is at times like this that I put on my industry analyst's cap and muse, "Hmm, what is this: manage, monitor or model?" This tripartite way of looking at the world has served my clients well, and I thought I'd pass it along.

2005-02-02

2,090 reads

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