Data Warehousing Basics Question:
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What is Data warehosuing Hierarchy?


Hierarchies are logical structures that use ordered levels as a means of organizing data. A hierarchy can be used to define data aggregation. For example, in a time dimension, a hierarchy might aggregate data from the month level to the quarter level to the year level. A hierarchy can also be used to define a navigational drill path and to establish a family structure.

Within a hierarchy, each level is logically connected to the levels above and below it. Data values at lower levels aggregate into the data values at higher levels. A dimension can be composed of more than one hierarchy. For example, in the product dimension, there might be two hierarchies--one for product categories and one for product suppliers.

Dimension hierarchies also group levels from general to granular. Query tools use hierarchies to enable you to drill down into your data to view different levels of granularity. This is one of the key benefits of a data warehouse.

When designing hierarchies, you must consider the relationships in business structures. For example, a divisional multilevel sales organization.

Hierarchies impose a family structure on dimension values. For a particular level value, a value at the next higher level is its parent, and values at the next lower level are its children. These familial relationships enable analysts to access data quickly.

A level represents a position in a hierarchy. For example, a time dimension might have a hierarchy that represents data at the month, quarter, and year levels. Levels range from general to specific, with the root level as the highest or most general level. The levels in a dimension are organized into one or more hierarchies.

Level Relationships
Level relationships specify top-to-bottom ordering of levels from most general (the root) to most specific information. They define the parent-child relationship between the levels in a hierarchy.

Hierarchies are also essential components in enabling more complex rewrites. For example, the database can aggregate an existing sales revenue on a quarterly base to a yearly aggregation when the dimensional dependencies between quarter and year are known.

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