ETL: Connecting end-user transactions to business insights

source: www.rainmakerworks.com

OLAP systems requires a special kind of schema that allows client tools to run multi-dimensional queries on them. This schema is characterized by a main table, called fact table, in which all dimensions, like date, location, etc, are kept as foreign keys from their respective tables. This schema, commonly called star schema, allows the system to handle the data as hypercubes, which could be sliced and diced, drilled down, rolled up, and pivoted. All these operations are the core from where data engineers give sense to meaningless and raw data.

source: http://www.srisubha.co.za/solutions/etl-services/

One feature that any architect must take in account when selecting an ETL tool is its capacity to extract information from different types of data sources, as well as to load into them. This reduces the need for other integration systems in the analytical layer — and also for intermediate ETL flows — , which is easier to maintain and extend when a new source of data becomes available.

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