When I look at the data warehouse/BI/ETL processes in my group, how can I tell if we are using Kimball methodology or not?

If I use Slowly Changing Dimensions i.e expire the old record and create a new record, and are also using a Star Schema, does it automatically mean we are using Kimball?

  • Do you have columns that correspond to the concepts of start and end dates? Kimball and Inmon data warehousing methodologies support slowly changing dimensions. Unless you have receipts from the Kimball team having helped you design your DW, you likely have KimballBut - it's the Kimball DW approach but we used these house rules. And that's ok as long as it's solving the business problem. Many people get held up on adherence to a poorly understood process over results – billinkc Sep 15 '15 at 18:37
  • Yes, we have start and end dates. That makes it Kimball? – Victor Sep 15 '15 at 18:56

As I'm only familiar with Kimball approach and my Inmon book gathers dusk, unopened and unloved, I'm going to cite this article which indicates the difference between a Kimball model for a slowly changed dimension and an Inmon would be the design.

The common way to track changes in an Inmon or 3rd Normal Form data warehouse is to use the Natural/Business Key combined with a start and end date

The Kimball approach would be to use a surrogate key instead of the natural/business keys.

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  • Thanks. But the surrogate key is usually derived from the business keys...in my project, it is a concatenation of business keys (hashed). So what is the difference? – Victor Sep 15 '15 at 18:55

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