This document holds high-level information on Carleton College's data warehouse, i.e., information on the plethora of objects - star schemas, dimensions, fact tables, and views - that make it up.
In efforts to present this plethora of objects in a more tractable and manageable way, we've collected groups of related objects into so-called packages, each with a different basic business function, and each having primary use for a specific subject area, such as academic records, business/GL, space utilization, and so on.
Before diving into the documentation, think about what you're looking for. Try to match it up with a package name. For example, if you're thinking of doing longitudinal analysis of student aid, then look in the ViewsFinancialAid package.
In general, prefer packages that begin with "Views" over those that begin with "Stars" or "Dims." While the "Stars" and "Dims" packages do document actual objects in the data warehouse, those objects are not directly accessible. They serve, rather, as the basis for the views (which are user accessible) that end up in the various "Views" packages.
Within the documentation for each package, you will find two diagrams (one small and one large), which offer graphical/clickable depictions of star schemas (which are basically just collections of related views or tables, linked in such a way as to make reporting easier). Within the star schemas are tables and/or views. These are also documented inside the packages, along with the many columns/fields that make them up.
Although individual columns or fields are documented here, this is not always the best place to search for them. If you are looking for a specific field, and don't know exactly where to begin, there is actually a separate spreadsheet available that offers this sort of information in a more easily searchable format. Please ask the data warehouse team for it.
Note that not everything documented here will be accessible to every user. In fact, only a few people in Information Technology Services and Institutional Research and Assessment have full and complete access to everything here. If you want access to something, and don't yet have it, contact the data warehouse team (firstname.lastname@example.org). We'll route your request around to the appropriate people.
Finally, note that although the objects documented here form the heart and soul of the data warehouse, a good many users will never access them directly. Rather, they will access them via cubes. Cubes are not documented here, and in fact are rather difficult to document in general, because of limitations on the ability of Microsoft Office tools to find and display the appropriate metadata attached to cubes.
If you want help using a cube, contact the data warehouse team directly.