1. What is a Data Warehouse?
A data warehouse is a subject oriented, integrated, time variant, non volatile collection of data in support of management's decision making process.
2. What is Data Mart?
A data mart is a subset of data warehouse that is designed for a particular line of business, such as sales,marketing, or finance. In a dependent data mart, data can be derived from an enterprise-wide data warehouse.In an independent data mart, data can be collected directly from sources.
3. Important aspects of Star Schema & Snow Flake Schema
In a star schema every dimension will have a primary key.
In a star schema, a dimension table will not have any parent table.
Whereas in a snow flake schema, a dimension table will have one or more parent tables.
Hierarchies for the dimensions are stored in the dimensional table itself in star schema.
Whereas hierarchies are broken into separate tables in snow flake schema. These hierarchies help to drilldown the data from topmost hierarchies to the lowermost hierarchies.4. A snowflake schema is a term that describes a star schema structure normalized through the use of outrigger tables. i.e dimension table hierachies are broken into simpler tables. In star schema example we
had 4 dimensions like location, product, time, organization and a fact table(sales).In Snowflake schema, the example diagram shown below has 4 dimension tables, 4 lookup tables and 1 facttable. The reason is that hierarchies(category, branch, state, and month) are being broken out of thedimension tables(PRODUCT, ORGANIZATION, LOCATION, and TIME) respectively and shownseparately. In OLAP, this Snowflake schema approach increases the number of joins and poor performancein retrieval of data. In few organizations, they try to normalize the dimension tables to save space. Sincedimension tables hold less space, Snowflake schema approach may be avoided.