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Fact Tables Design

Fact Tables Design

Fact Tables Design

I'm setting up a star schema dimensional model.
I have a fact field that is text and can be one of a set of values. Is it better to store it as a text value on the fact table or is it better to store it on the fact table as a 1 digit code and link it to a dimension table that holds the text value?.

The first method avoids a join.
The second makes the fact table smaller.

Consider a simple Order Status field that can be 'Active', 'Cancelled', 'Delivered'.  I could record the literal text in the fact table of 'Active', 'Cancelled' or 'Delivered'.  I could also store the code value of '1', '2' or '3' and link to a dimension table of 'Active', 'Cancelled' and 'Delivered'.

Is there a best practice for going one way or the other?


Dazed and confused

RE: Fact Tables Design

Its best practice to use the Integer Foreign Key in this case.     There are numerous reasons:  to save space in the fact table, to avoid having to update hundreds of millions of rows should you have to change the display name of the attribute, etc, etc.

RE: Fact Tables Design

Gotcha.  Thanks dude.

Dazed and confused

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