Dylan's BI Study Notes

My notes about Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, OLAP, and Master Data Management

Dimension (AW, OBIEE, DBI)

This term is widely used.

1. Dimension in AW

Here is the specific definition from Oracle Analytical Workspace:

Dimensions contain a set of unique values that identify and categorize data. They form the edges of a logical cube, and thus of the measures within the cube. Because measures are typically multidimensional, a single value in a measure must be qualified by a member of each dimension to be meaningful.

For example, the Sales measure has four dimensions: Time, Customer, Product, and Channel. A particular Sales value (43,613.50) only has meaning when it is qualified by a specific time period (Feb-01), a customer (Warren Systems), a product (Portable PCs), and a channel (Catalog).

– From Oracle OLAP Application Developer’s Guide 10g R2

2. Dimension used in OBIEE

Siebel Analytics Server (Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition) also uses this term and defines it in a similar way:

Dimensions are categories of attributes by which the business is defined. Common dimensions are time periods, products, markets, customers, suppliers, promotion conditions, raw materials, manufacturing plants, transportation methods, media types, and time of day.

Within a given dimension, there may be many attributes. For example, the time period dimension can contain the attributes day, week, month, quarter, and year. Exactly what attributes a dimension contains depends on the way the business is analyzed.

…When creating a dimension, each dimension can be associated with attributes (columns) from just one logical dimension table. The logical column comprising the logical key of a dimension table must be associated with he lowest level of the dimension…

– From Siebel Analytics Server Administration Guide 7.8.2

Note: The term “attribute” is different from the one defined in AW.

3. Dimension in DBI

A dimension defines the summarization levels available for your data in a dashboard or report. Dimensions can be flat, a simple list of objects such as a list of cities, or hierarchical, a list of objects that with parent-child relationships such as global and regional sales groups.

– From Oracle Daily Business Intelligence Implementation Guide R11i