About this lesson
Facts vs Dimensions
Overview of what Facts and Dimensions are in Pivot Tables.
When to use
When you want to start building a Pivot Table using best practices.
A Fact is something that needs to be aggregated in a Pivot Table (e.g. sum, count, average of the column values)
- Facts always go in the Values area of the Pivot Table
- Types of columns that should exist in Fact Tables:
- Columns to be aggregated
- Columns used to link to a Dimension Table (aka Foreign Key)
- Nothing else
A Dimension is how we slice our Facts
- Dimensions go in the Filters, Columns, or Rows areas of the Pivot Table, or in Slicers and Timelines
- Types of columns that belong in Dimension Tables:
- Columns used to link to other tables (aka Primary Key)
- Columns used in dimensional fields
Hints & tips
- A simple rule of thumb is that if the column does not need to be aggregated, it’s a Dimension
- Facts and Dimensions should always be on separate tables
- Do not add a column from a Fact Table to one of the dimension fields. Likewise, do not aggregate a column in a Dimension Table
- Use Power Query to create a Dimension Table or Fact Table instead
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