Thursday, March 13, 2014

Who invented dimensional modeling?

Who introduced or invented Dimensional Modeling? Was it invented by Ralph Kimball? Since he completely aligns with Dimensional Modeling in his business intelligence strategies, many believe that it was from him. Unfortunately, it is one of the misperceptions persist in the industry related to Dimensional Modeling.

What is Dimensional Modeling?
Dimensional Modeling is a technique that has been used for decades for structuring databases in simple manner, supporting business users’ requirements such as understanding data, navigating through them easily, and running both simple and complex data analysis queries. Dimensional model designed with relational database management systems is called as Start-Schemas and dimensional model designed with multi-dimensional databases is called as OLAP cubes.

Who invented this?
History is limited on this, however, as per the record exist;

  • The terms “Facts” and “Dimension” were introduced with a joint project developed by General Mills and Dartmouth University in 1960’s.
  • During 1970’s, Nielsan Marketing Research team used these techniques for grocery and drug store data.
  • In 1980’s Nielsen Marketing Research and IRI used grocery and drug store scanner data to link with customer’s internal shipment data.

As per the history, no single person holds the credit of introducing the concept but it is something that have been evolved with contributions of many.

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