barcode vb.net 2010 The Accumulating Snapshot in Software

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The Accumulating Snapshot
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Tracking time elapsed at one or more steps of a business process can be supported with a third kind of fact table, called an accumulating snapshot. This kind of design contrasts sharply with transaction and snapshot designs in that fact table rows will be updated, and on a regular basis. The grain of an accumulating snapshot, however, allows it to be used in correlating the dates that various status milestones are achieved and the time spent at each processing stage.
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Tracking Process with an Accumulating Snapshot
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The grain of an accumulating snapshot design is framed in terms of an identifiable entity that passes through the business process. The fact table will have exactly one row for each instance of the entity. Multiple relationships to the day dimension represent the achievement of each significant milestone or status. Corresponding facts capture the number of elapsed days at each processing stage.
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Grain To design an accumulating snapshot, it must be possible to identify unique instances of an entity that is being processed or tracked. The grain will be defined as one row per instance of the entity in question. For mortgage processing, the entity is an application. An accumulating snapshot for mortgage processing will contain exactly one row for each application. That simple statement describes the grain of the fact table, mortgage_processing_facts, in Figure 11-6.
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MORTGAGE_ PROCESSING_FACTS DAY day_key_submitted day_key_reviewed day_key_processed day_key_underwritten day_key_settled application_key employee_key_officer employee_key_processor employee_key_underwriter status_key days_reviewing days_processing days_underwriting days_pending_settlement days_submitted_to_settled application_amount review_amount underwriting_amount settlement_amount
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Days spent at each step Days for entire process
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Facts specific to process steps
Figure 11-6 An accumulating snapshot with one row per application
11 Transactions, Snapshots, and Accumulating Snapshots 279
This statement of grain contrasts with the grain of a transaction fact table, which typically records one row per event, or the grain of a periodic snapshot, which records a row for something for each period. Also unlike these designs, the rows in the accumulating snapshot will be regularly updated after they have been inserted. An example of this progression will be studied shortly.
Completion Dates for Milestones The snapshot records the date each monitored processing stage was completed. These dates are represented by a set of day_keys in the fact table. In the case of mortgage_processing_facts, these various dates are named after the milestones. Day_key_submitted, for example, represents the date that the application was submitted by the applicant. At this point, the application is assigned to an officer to be reviewed. Day_key_reviewed represents the date the review was completed and the application was passed along to the processing stage. One date is present for each of the processing stages to be studied. In this example, there are also three relationships to an employee table. These three relationships represent the officer who reviewed the application, the processor who gathered the supporting materials, and the underwriter who assessed its risk.
NoTe There is no need to build multiple versions of the employee or day dimensions; each role can be isolated using a view, or through the aliasing capability of SQL. (If you need a refresher on the use of a single dimension table in multiple roles, see 6.)
Facts for Elapsed Time at Each Stage Each row in the accumulating snapshot contains a group of facts that measure the number of days spent at each stage. When an application has Submitted status, it is in the reviewing stage. The amount of time an officer spends reviewing an application after it is submitted is captured by days_reviewing. Once it has achieved Reviewed status, it is in the processing stage. The time spent by the processor processing the application is captured by days_processing. An additional fact, called days_ submitted_to_settled, tracks the time spent from the beginning of the process to the end. This fact is redundant; its value is equal to the sum of the other counts. It can be omitted, if desired. These facts are sometimes referred to as lags because they represent the elapsed time between the dates associated with successive status milestones. An alternative way to name them is to describe the two milestones that demarcate each stage. The days_reviewing fact, for example, can also be thought of as the lag time between the submission of the application and the completion of the review. It could be called lag_submitted_reviewed. Naming the fact after the processing stage, however, is a more flexible approach. As you will see, it allows the fact to remain useful in situations where a particular application may reenter a given stage. Note that some other facts are also present in this fact table. The amount of the mortgage may be changed at the end of each stage; separate facts capture its value at the end of each stage. The exception here is the processing stage. During this stage, documents are gathered, but the application itself is not altered.
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