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The Data Warehouse Toolkit: The Definitive Guide to Dimensional Modeling, 3rd Edition by Margy Ross, Ralph Kimball

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Chapter 15

Electronic Commerce

A web-intensive business's clickstream data records the gestures of every web visitor. In its most elemental form, the clickstream is every page event recorded by each of the company's web servers. The clickstream contains a number of new dimensions, such as page, session, and referrer, which are not found in other data sources. The clickstream is a torrent of data; it can be difficult and exasperating for DW/BI professionals. Does it connect to the rest of the DW/BI system? Can its dimensions and facts be conformed in the enterprise data warehouse bus architecture?

We start this chapter by describing the raw clickstream data source and designing its relevant dimensional models. We discuss the impact of Google Analytics, which can be thought of as an external data warehouse delivering information about your website. We then integrate clickstream data into a larger matrix of more conventional processes for a web retailer, and argue that the profitability of the web sales channel can be measured if you allocate the right costs back to the individual sales.

Chapter 15 discusses the following concepts:

  • Clickstream data and its unique dimensionality
  • Role of external services such as Google Analytics
  • Integrating clickstream data with the other business processes on the bus matrix
  • Assembling a complete view of profitability for a web enterprise

Clickstream Source Data

The clickstream is not just another data source that is extracted, cleaned, and dumped ...

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