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4.3 Attributes and Measures in SAP HANA

Columns of modeling view can be classified as Attribute or Measure.

    • Attribute: Non-measurable, Descriptive data, such as customer ID, city, and country
    • Measure: Quantifiable data, such as revenue, quantity sold and counters.

Sounds confusing? Let me try to simplify it.

Let us take an example of an organization’s sales tables. The table contains columns like SALES, PROFIT, PRODUCT, CUSTOMER NAME, YEAR, COUNTRY etc.

Most important business use cases will be like:

    • What is the sales value for country India for year 2013?
    • What is the profit for product ‘XYZ’ for country USA?

The SALES and PROFIT columns are numeric values. These columns are measurable and can be aggregated.
While the columns PRODUCT, CUSTOMER NAME, YEAR and COUNTRY are descriptive and non-measurable.
Here PRODUCT, CUSTOMER NAME, YEAR and COUNTRY are attributes, while SALES and PROFIT are measures.

Types of Attributes and Measures:

SAP HANA supports three types of Attributes.

Simple Attributes are attributes derived from the data foundation.

Calculated Attributes are attributes derived from one or more existing attributes or constants. For example, deriving the full name of a customer (first and last name), or assigning a constant value to an attribute which can be used for arithmetic calculations.

Private Attributes are attributes used inside a modeling views and cannot be used outside the view.

SAP HANA supports three types of Measures.

Simple Measures are measurable analytical elements derived from the data foundation.

Calculated Measures are created using some calculation on top of an existing measures or attributes.

Private Measures are measures used inside a modeling views and cannot be used outside the view.

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