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Data Warehouse Design Solutions by Michael Venerable, Christopher Adamson

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8

BUDGETS AND SPENDING

The computer systems used by accountants and financial planners are among the most complex in any business. Tucked away in these financials systems are thousands or even millions of transactions, broken down into subcomponents and spread across hundreds of tables. Business managers hunger to study these transactions at a high level of summarization, but super-normalized models make aggregate reporting and analysis nearly impossible. Nowhere is there a subject area that better demonstrates the strengths of the star schema.

The financial workings of a business can be a perplexing topic, and financials systems are equally enigmatic. We've chosen to begin our study of the financial side of the business by looking at a focused piece of the financials landscape: budgeting and spending. An excellent data mart with which to inaugurate the financials data warehouse, this subject area can have immediate benefit while affording the data loaders an opportunity to dip their toes into the uncharted waters of the financials system. In Chapter 9, “Financial Reporting,” we'll be asking them to dive in.

Budgeting Demystified

Large and small organizations alike plan their annual spending by creating a budget. The budgeting process begins in advance of the fiscal year. In large companies, budget development can involve many cycles of proposals, reviews, and revisions before approval. The budget may pass through several states before it is considered approved. In smaller companies, ...

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