Degenerate Dimensions

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Degenerate Dimensions

Post  memphis on Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:59 pm

Hi there,

I have come across a situation where my Fact table contains a degenerate 'Claim Number' column. This is fine, but I have discovered that some of the incoming data to populate my fact table do not have a claim number. How should I handle this situation? I don't want to fill my fact table with 'N/A', are there any other suggestions to handle this?

Thanks.

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Re: Degenerate Dimensions

Post  ngalemmo on Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:26 am

Depends on which database system you are using.

If it is Oracle, it will interpret a blank value as null, which messes up joins if you are combining data from multiple facts with claim number as one of the dimensions. So, you should set it to some constant... "N/A", "?" or whatever the business suggests.

Other database systems would allow you to set it to "" or " " and not interpret it as null. In which case it doesn't matter.
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