What is Data Flattening?
Flattened or denormalized data is one where the data from the related database tables or flat-file records are gathered into a reduced number of single tables and records. Basically, this is the reverse procedure of normalization where the data would be organized. So, it means each fact would be stored once, thereby avoiding duplication.
The advantage of using data flattening techniques will rely on the ratio of semi-structured files in data repositories to relational database storage of data. Using databases with native support for various semi-structured file types may be necessary if there are a lot of semi-structured files.
Data flattening can be a useful tool to increase query efficiency and enable the use of business definitions on the data structure rather than relying just on the raw format of the files, and it varies for every organization.
How does it help?
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A record containing names of the fields in necessary records. This provides the best documentation and facilitates data manipulation.
Delimited Flat File
A flat file where an identified character is called delimited like commas or tabs separates fields.
Comma Separated Values (CSV)
The delimited flat file would have a comma character to delimit fields.
A flat file where each and every file would be positioned right at the same location of each record. This results in records that are of equal and consistent length.
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