There are various types of hierarchy that range from simplistic to complex hierarchies with multiple level starting points. These complex hierarchies are often referred to as ragged hierarchies. Ragged hierarchies can occur because some of your source data systems may capture data at a very granular level whilst another system may capture or output data at summary levels. You may also be using third party data and wish to combine it with your in house data. When the data is consolidated it may not be possible to populate all levels of the hierarchy with the same coverage if at all.
In these situations it can be useful to undertake a mapping exercise with an outcome similar to that shown in the diagram. This should occur before modelling the hierarchies in dimension tables and the ETL build.
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Biography – Russell Beech, Founder of BISB & Cornerstone Solution®
Russell is a Business Intelligence Leader who has specialised in providing Analytics, Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence Solutions for almost two decades. He is the founder of BISB (BI System Builders Ltd) and the innovator of BISB’s Strategic Business Intelligence Framework known as Cornerstone Solution®. Russell developed Cornerstone Solution® as a strategic framework to successfully deliver Business Intelligence services within End to End BI solutions.
Russell holds a BSc in Philosophy and Science, an MSc in Tourism Management, and a Postgraduate Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. After studying, Russell started work in Strategic Marketing becoming a fully elected member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing in 1997. His involvement in analysis and planning activities extended into databases. This encompassed Ralph Kimball’s Redbrick Platform, Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence, and several analysis tools including BusinessObjects. Post the Millennium, he joined the Product Group at BusinessObjects UK. After several years at BusinessObjects Russell worked for two prominent BusinessObjects partners. Firstly, Northgate Information Solutions as their SAP BusinessObjects Solution Architect, followed by HCL Axon as their SAP BusinessObjects Subject Matter Expert. He founded BISB in 2009. He has extensive technical, functional and business knowledge around Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence Solutions.