6.1. The Unified Dimensional Model

To generate profits for a business, key strategic decisions need to be made based on likely factors such as having the right business model, targeting the right consumer group, pricing the product correctly, and marketing through optimal channels. To make the right decisions and achieve targeted growth you need to analyze data. The data can be past sales, expected sales, or even information from competitors. The phrase "Knowledge is power" is very fitting here because in the world of business, analyzing and comparing current sales against the expected sales helps executives make decisions directly aligned with the goals of the company. Such sales information is typically stored in a distributed fashion and must be collected from various sources. Executives making the business decisions typically do not have the capability to access the raw sales data spread across various locations and subsequently optimize it for their use. The decision-makers typically rely on the data that has already been aggregated into a form that is easy to understand and that facilitates the decision-making process. Presenting aggregated data to the decision-makers quickly is a key challenge for business intelligence providers. Analysis Services 2008 enables you to design a model that bridges the gap between the raw data and the information content that can be used for making business decisions. This model is called the Unified Dimensional Model (UDM).

The UDM is central ...

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