A comparison of the impact of data vault and dimensional modelling on data warehouse performance and maintenance
Van Schalkwyk, Marius
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This study compares the impact of dimensional modelling and data vault modelling on the performance and maintenance effort of data warehouses. Dimensional modelling is a data warehouse modelling technique pioneered by Ralph Kimball in the 1980s that is much more effective at querying large volumes of data in relational databases than third normal form data models. Data vault modelling is a relatively new modelling technique for data warehouses that, according to its creator Dan Linstedt, was created in order to address the weaknesses of dimensional modelling. To date, no scientific comparison between the two modelling techniques have been conducted. A scientific comparison was achieved in this study, through the implementation of several experiments. The experiments compared the data warehouse implementations based on dimensional modelling techniques with data warehouse implementations based on data vault modelling techniques in terms of load performance, query performance, storage requirements, and flexibility to business requirements changes. An analysis of the results of each of the experiments indicated that the data vault model outperformed the dimensional model in terms of load performance and flexibility. However, the dimensional model required less storage space than the data vault model. With regards to query performance, no statistically significant differences existed between the two modelling techniques.
- Engineering 
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