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Analysis Services - Dimension Fundamentals

ssas1 Analysis Services   Dimension Fundamentals SSAS – Dimension Fundamentals


After building our first Cube it becomes clear that the wizard although useful in creating quite a lot of the mundane/repetitive configurations, is let face it a little too basic for our tastes. For example the dimensions were not fleshed out, I couldnt for example select a product name or customer name, only the ID values. Which lets face it is useless when presenting this to a manager. So what we need to do is create/alter our Dimensions.

What is a Dimension ?

Well, if you havent guessed already that Dimension objects are the areas where your text-based information such as product names, customers names etc are placed. Why call it a Dimension? Well the whole purpose of a cube is to identify aggregated values grouped by commonality such as year by customer, or region by product etc… The grouping “buckets” (not a reserved word but what I call them) are the placeholders to store these aggregated values. By using one or more of these they mark a form of co-ordinate to pick a specific value. E.g. I want to see total sales by year by product by region. That example uses 3 Dimension objects Date, Product & Region. If you are still not sure what I mean please watch the Business Intelligence 101 video prior to continuing on.

This video will tell you the basics of Dimension modelling but be warned, there is significant work to be done here it is not as clear cut as it first seems. If you want to be good at  Cubes you need to be amazing at Dimension creation!

This video is one of many SSAS tutorials on this site click here for more.

The Dimension example files

To obtain the sample files please click here:

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18 Comments

  1. yatakrish says
    11 Apr 15 at 10:07am

    Please help: I can’t see grand totals. How did you do it? And my browser
    does not show those line that say “drop columns here”, and “drop fields
    here”.

  2. Vasu Jonnareddy says
    16 Dec 14 at 3:27am

    Really…. a wonderful way of explanation. Great! Very much helpful. Thank
    You So Much

  3. jf713jf says
    27 Jun 14 at 7:01am

    I was wondering if you could help me. I have 3 tables that are related,
    orders, order items, and customers. orders is related to customers using a
    composite key, since customers have more than one location. for some
    reason, my cube compiles (i turned off error checking since there were a
    few references errors) but when I view my cube the sums are the same for
    every single customer… And when I go to view the references location I
    only see a relationship between orders and order items, not between
    customers and order items. I don’t understand how I am supposed to set up
    the referential relationship.

  4. ESAYAS says
    21 Nov 13 at 9:28pm

    Nice! especially for beginner like me it is excellent

    Thanks ,Thanks …

  5. scottbentzel says
    23 Oct 13 at 1:08am

    Thank you for these videos. Clear and concise explanations of each concept. Excellent!

  6. Sergio Barbosa says
    15 Oct 13 at 5:42pm

    Excellent presentation. Thanks

  7. kai13man says
    19 Jan 13 at 6:42pm

    Thanks..you really made a complex topic palatable

  8. hungryofknowlege21 says
    22 Nov 12 at 2:16pm

    Once agian, thank you. This is very good!

  9. b00b00r00za says
    01 Nov 12 at 3:14pm

    Thank you so much for these video series! I learned a lot from them.
    Great job!

  10. Guruprasad Vijayarao says
    29 Aug 12 at 7:35pm

    Absolutely clear… Thank you for the video

  11. konvucious says
    09 Jun 12 at 5:07am

    Great video series. Videos that show viewers how to navigate through the tools (i.e. BIDs) are great because it really cuts down on the reading necessary when learning a new software. This is extremely helpful to a seasoned developer picking up a new platform.

  12. konvucious says
    09 Jun 12 at 5:07am

    [..YouTube..] Great video series. Videos that show viewers how to navigate through the tools (i.e. BIDs) are great because it really cuts down on the reading necessary when learning a new software. This is extremely helpful to a seasoned developer picking up a new platform.

  13. MrSaeedamir says
    07 Jun 12 at 11:32am

    thnaks very handy

  14. 07 Jun 12 at 11:32am

    [..YouTube..] thnaks very handy

  15. 07 Jun 12 at 11:32am

    [..YouTube..] thnaks very handy

  16. joeltesssier says
    28 May 12 at 9:50am

    Exactly what I was looking for, thanks!

  17. 28 May 12 at 9:50am

    [..YouTube..] Exactly what I was looking for, thanks!

  18. 28 May 12 at 9:50am

    [..YouTube..] Exactly what I was looking for, thanks!

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