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Understanding a data model

With the advent of self-service business intelligence, an additional need for knowledge has emerged: the data model, also known as a star model. If you are working with Power Pivot, Power BI or another BI solution, the data is delivered in what is called a star model. In this free video course, you will learn to understand a data model so that you are prepared for this way of structuring data. A must for people working with Power BI and Power Pivot.

Developing a data model

Developing data models is expert work. It usually takes a lot of time since data models for analytical purposes often include data from different sources. All this data must be checked before it enters the database, is everything written the same way? Are there no data missing? Can we link data coming from different systems? etc.

History must also be taken into account. What if you want to see a listing of a sales person from a certain region and that person moves to another region after a few years? It is important then that the sales remain with her and are not suddenly in the name of her new colleague who has taken over the region.

In short, data models have many challenges. For you as a report designer or dashboiard developer, it is important to know how these models are built. Fortunately, there is a standard for this; the star model. In this free video course, you’ll learn how a star model works so you can use it for all your reporting needs.

The course Understanding a data model

In this completely free online course, you will learn step-by-step how to read an existing data model and how to use it. You learn different terms such as facts and dimensions. On some parts we will go a little deeper. By the end of the course, you should be able to create your reports and dashboards based on a provided data model in the form of a star model. You can use this knowledge for Power BI, Power Pivot and reporting services, for example, but also when working with other BI-Tools such as Qlik and Tableau.


In the introduction, we will briefly tell you the background of a data model and what to expect in this course.

Facts and dimensions

Facts and dimensions are at the heart of the data model. You learn what they are and how to use them. We further discuss different types of facts and different types of dimension types. Of course, you will also learn how a star model deals with history and what to expect from it.

Example of a star

At the end of the course we will give you concrete example of a star model. From this you can see how it works in practice.

Semantic layer

To make the course complete, we end with a brief explanation of the semantic layer. This is almost always used, and in the last video you get some more information about this so you know what to expect when someone says to use this in the data model.


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Digitaaleon helps

Want to know what understanding a data model can do for your organization? Then Digitaaleon is happy to help you out. We can provide excellent support for inventorying and automating your processes and making data transparent.

Are you curious about the possibilities? And would you like to meet with our services and people? If so, feel free to contact Digitaaleon. You can call us at +31 85 00 43 678, email us at info@digitaaleon.nl or fill out the contact form on our website.

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