Situation where attribute dimension fit the requirement
For simplicity, the examples in this topic show alternative arrangements for what initially was designed as two dimensions. You can apply the same logic to all combinations of dimensions.
Consider the design for a company that sells products to multiple customers over multiple markets; the markets are unique to each customer:
|Cust A||Cust B||Cust C|
Cust A is only in New York, Cust B is only in Illinois, and Cust C is only in California. The company can define the data in one standard dimension:
Market New York Cust A Illinois Cust B California Cust C
However, if you look at a larger sampling of data, you may see that many customers can be in each market. Cust A and Cust E are in New York; Cust B, Cust M, and Cust P are in Illinois; Cust C and Cust F are in California. In this situation, the company typically defines the large dimension, Customer, as a standard dimension and the smaller dimension, Market, as an attribute dimension. The company associates the members of the Market dimension as attributes of the members of the Customer dimension. The members of the Market dimension describe locations of the customers.
Customer (Standard dimension) Cust A (Attribute:New York) Cust B (Attribute:Illinois) Cust C (Attribute:California) Cust E (Attribute:New York) Cust F (Attribute:California) Cust M (Attribute:Illinois) Cust P (Attribute:Illinois) Market (Attribute dimension) New York Illinois California
Situation where attribute dimension don't fit the requirement
Consider another situation. Again, the company sells products to multiple customers over multiple markets, but the company can ship to a customer that has locations in different markets:
Cust A Cust B Cust C
| New York | 100 | 75 | N/A |
Cust A is in New York and California. Cust B is in New York and Illinois. Cust C is only in California. Using an attribute dimension does not work in this situation;
A member cannot have more than one attribute member. Therefore, the company designs the data in two standard dimensions.
Customer Cust A Cust B Cust C Market New York Illinois California