Fact table

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A fact table is a table, typically in a data warehouse, that contains the measures and facts (the primary data).

A fact table typically has two types of columns: those that contain numeric facts (often called measurements), and those that are foreign keys to dimension tables. A fact table contains either detail-level facts or facts that have been aggregated. Fact tables that contain aggregated facts are often called summary tables. A fact table usually contains facts with the same level of aggregation. Though most facts are additive, they can also be semi-additive or non-additive. Additive facts can be aggregated by simple arithmetical addition. A common example of this is sales. Non-additive facts cannot be added at all. An example of this is averages. Semi-additive facts can be aggregated along some of the dimensions and not along others. An example of this is inventory levels, where you cannot tell what a level means simply by looking at it.

[edit] Creating a New Fact Table

You must define a fact table for each star schema. From a modelling standpoint, the primary key of the fact table is usually a composite key that is made up of all of its foreign keys.

[edit] Also see

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