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Universe design tips and best practices

by Bridget Kotelly

May 9, 2012

Here is some useful advice courtesy of Joshua Fletcher from ASG Group who is speaking at BI 2012 Europe in Milan June 6-8.  I took a peek at his presentation on 10 universe design best practices using the new information design tool … and there are more than 10 best practices! 

 Here are a few of Josh’s expert recommendations.

 Three best practice categories:

  • Each category needs to be addressed to ensure a universe is optimally designed
  • Remember – if the universe isn’t user friendly, technically correct, and performs well, you can do better!
    • User focus – delivering business value
    • Technical focus – being technically sound
    • Performance focus – ensuring high performance

 Tips for success:

 User Focus

  • Define a universal naming convention that makes sense for your business, and ensure it is used in all universe designs
  • Object classification, naming , descriptions and formatting should be relevant to the business
  • Define custom hierarchies that are relevant to the business
  • Ensure universes are regularly reviewed with the business and continuously improved
  • Provide shortcuts for the end-users, such as predefined filters and date objects al ready expanded (Year, Quarter, Month)

 Technical Focus

  • Define measures to use SQL aggregation functions as well as project aggregation functions
  • Don’t allow Cartesian products to be generated
  • Resolve any SQL traps
  • Utilise contexts and aliases to resolve loops
  • Put comments in your universe where it adds value
  • Add development release notes in a hidden class with an object per release

 Performance Focus

  • Do a performance check after user and technical focus has been achieved
  • Leverage performance increases by using:
    • Tune the database connection(s)
    • Index awareness
    • Aggregation navigation
    • Shortcut joins
    • Avoid derived tables or views that are not materialised

 I’m looking forward to finding out more in Milan!  See you there.

 ~ Bridget

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