Ques 1: What is a FACTLESS FACT TABLE? Where we use Factless Fact?

A factless fact table is fact table that does not contain fact. They contain only dimensional keys and it captures events that happen only at information level but not included in the calculations level. Just information about an event that happen over a period A factless fact table captures the many-to-many relationships between dimensions, but contains no numeric or textual facts. They are often used to record events or coverage information. Common examples of factless fact tables include:     Identifying product promotion events (to determine promoted products that didn’t sell) Tracking student attendance or registration events Tracking insurance-related accident events Identifying building, facility, and equipment schedules for a hospital or university

Factless fact tables are used for tracking a process or collecting stats. They are called so because; the fact table does not have aggregatable numeric values or information. There are two types of factless fact tables: those that describe events, and those that describe conditions. Both may play important roles in your dimensional models. Factless fact tables for Events The first type of factless fact table is a table that records an event. Many event-tracking tables in dimensional data warehouses turn out to be factless. Sometimes there seem to be no facts associated with an important business process. Events or activities occur that you wish to track, but you find no measurements. In situations like this, build a standard transaction-grained fact table that contains no facts. For eg

The above fact is used to capture the leave taken by an employee. Whenever an employee takes leave a record is created with the dimensions. Using the fact FACT_LEAVE we can answer many questions like    Number of leaves taken by an employee The type of leave an employee takes Details of the employee who took leave

Factless fact tables for Conditions Factless fact tables are also used to model conditions or other important relationships among dimensions. In these cases, there are no clear transactions or events. It is used to support negative analysis report. For example a Store that did not sell a product for a given period. To produce such report, you need to have a fact table to capture all the possible combinations. You can then figure out what is missing. For eg, fact_promo gives the information about the products which have promotions but still did not sell

This fact answers the below questions:    To find out products that has promotion. To find out products that have promotion that sell. The list of products that have promotion but did not sell.

This kind of factless fact table is used to track conditions, coverage or eligibility. In Kimball terminology, it is called a "coverage table." Note: We may have the question that why we cannot include this information in the actual fact table .The problem is that if we do so then the fact size will increase enormously. Factless fact table is crucial in many complex business processes. By applying you can design a dimensional model that has no clear facts to produce more meaningful information for your business processes. Factless fact table itself can be used to generate the useful reports. Ques 2: What is Conformed Dimension? Conformed Dimension: A dimension that can be used in more than one fact table is called conformed dimension. The best example is the Date Dimension because its attributes (day, week, month, quarter, year, etc.) have the same meaning across all the facts. The month January will be the same for all the departments in an organization. Unless there are some departments that operate on a different fiscal calendar to the rest of the organization we can consider date dimension as conformed.  Conformed dimensions should be defined at the most granular level so that each record in these tables corresponds to a single record in the fact able.

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Data should never be defined for a specific function or department. Good data is one, which is widely shareable and conformed dimensions help in doing that. Conformed dimension ensures that the facts and measures are the same across all facts and data marts so that reporting is consistent. A conformed dimension is important because it allows to Drill Across. i.e linking of two different fact tables with same granularity.

All dimensions in your warehouse need to be conformed to get the exact power of a Data warehouse. Below are some of the commonly used Conformed Dimensions:

Ques 3: What is Junk Dimension? Junk dimension is simply a structure that provides a convenient place to keep the junk attributes. It is just a collection of random transactional codes, flags and/or text attributes that are unrelated to any particular dimension. Ques 4: What is active data warehousing? An Active data warehouse aims to capture data continuously and deliver real time data. They provide a single integrated view of a customer across multiple business lines. It is associated with Business Intelligence Systems. Ques 5: Difference between dependent and independent data warehouse A dependent data warehouse stored the data in a central data warehouse. On the other hand independent data warehouse does not make use of a central data warehouse. Ques 6: What is data modeling and data mining? What is this used for? Data modeling aims to identify all entities that have data. It then defines a relationship between these entities. Data models can be conceptual, logical or Physical data models. Conceptual models are typically used to explore high level business concepts in case of stakeholders. Logical models are used to explore domain concepts. While Physical models are used to explore database design The process of obtaining the hidden trends is called as data mining. Data mining is used to transform the hidden into information. Data mining is also used in a wide range of practicing profiles such as marketing, surveillance, fraud detection.

Data mining is used to examine or explore the data using queries. These queries can be fired on the data warehouse. Data mining helps in reporting, planning strategies, finding meaningful patterns etc. it can be used to convert a large amount of data into a sensible form. Ques 7: Difference between ER Modeling and Dimensional Modeling Dimensional modeling is very flexible for the user perspective. Dimensional data model is mapped for creating schemas. Whereas ER Model is not mapped for creating schemas and does not use in conversion of normalization of data into denormalized form ER Model is utilized for OLTP databases that uses any of the 1st or 2nd or 3rd normal forms, whereas dimensional data model is used for data warehousing and uses 3rd normal form. ER model contains normalized data whereas Dimensional model contains denormalized data. ER modeling that models an ER diagram represents the entire businesses or applications processes. This diagram can be segregated into multiple Dimensional models. This is to say, an ER model will have both logical and physical model. The Dimensional model will only have physical model. Ques 8: What is snapshot with reference to data warehouse? A snapshot is in a data warehouse can be used to track activities. For example, every time an employee attempts to change his address, the data warehouse can be alerted for a snapshot. This means that each snap shot is taken when some event is fired. A snapshot has three components –
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Time when event occurred. A key to identify the snap shot. Data that relates to the key.

Ques 9: What is Data Mart? Data mart stores particular data that is gathered from different sources. Particular data may belong to some specific community (group of people) or genre. Data marts can be used to focus on specific business needs. Difference between metadata and data dictionary
Metadata describes about data. It is ‘data about data’. It has information about how and when, by whom a

certain data was collected and the data format. It is essential to understand information that is stored in data warehouses and xml-based web applications.
Data dictionary is a file which consists of the basic definitions of a database. It contains the list of files that

are available in the database, number of records in each file, and the information about the fields.

Describe the foreign key columns in fact table and dimension table. A foreign key of a fact table references other dimension tables. On the other hand, dimension table being a referenced table itself, having foreign key reference from one or more tables.

What is the purpose of Factless Fact Table? Fact less tables are so called because they simply contain keys which refer to the dimension tables. Hence, they don’t really have facts or any information but are more commonly used for tracking some information of an event. Eg. To find the number of leaves taken by an employee in a month. What is the difference between view and materialized view? Answer A view is created by combining data from different tables. Hence, a view does not have data of itself. On the other hand, Materialized view usually used in data warehousing has data. This data helps in decision making, performing calculations etc. The data stored by calculating it beforehand using queries. When a view is created, the data is not stored in the database. The data is created when a query is fired on the view. Whereas, data of a materialized view is stored What is a Cube and Linked Cube with reference to data warehouse? Answer A data cube stores data in a summarized version which helps in a faster analysis of data. Where as linked cubes use the data cube and are stored on another analysis server. Linking different data cubes reduces the possibility of sparse data. E.g. A data cube may store the Employee performance. However in order to know the hours which calculated this performance, one can create another cube by linking it to the root cube (in this case employee performance). What is cube grouping? A transformer built set of similar cubes is known as cube grouping. A single level in one dimension of the model is related with each cube group. Cube groups are generally used in creating smaller cubes that are based on the data in the level of dimension. Define non-additive facts. The facts that can’t be summed up for the dimensions present in the fact table are called non-additive facts. The facts can be useful if there are changes in dimensions. For example, profit margin is a non-additive fact for it has no meaning to add them up for the account level or the day level

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