Why is the customer dimension so important?
- A well-maintained, well-deployed conforming customer dimension is the cornerstone of sound customer centric analysis
What are special characteristics of the customer dimension?
- Customer dimension is extremely deep. It may have million rows.
- Customer dimension is extremely wide. It has hundreds of attributes.
- Customer dimension changes often. It is not really a slowly changing dimension. It is sometimes called as rapidly changing monster dimension.
- Keeping the historical images of the customer data is important.
- The data in the customer dimension come from multiple sources. Matching, de-dup, standardization among different sources is critical for successfully conforming the dimension.
- The customer dimension with data may be enriched from the external data.
- Customer data is the source for other dimensions – geography, industry, lines of business, etc.
- You have to comply with the privacy regulation.
- The data from external source may be only licensed for a period of time. The external data need to be associated with your own internal data for analysis for special purposes and the data need to be removed from your database.
- The customer dimension itself is actually a source of fact tables. For example, # of customer living in California with the breakdown by age groups.