Warehouse Class Words

Data element names will contain a Class word which describes the type of data. Exceptions to using class words will be made if the common usage does not have a class word and the common usage is clearer. Below is the complete list of Class words for all elements in the warehouse regardless of subject area.
WAREHOUSE NAME DATA TYPE EXAMPLE DEFINITION
ADDR VARCHAR2 EMAIL_ADDR Designation of a place where something is located or something is to be delivered.
AMT NUMBER ADJUSTED_BUDGET_AMT A measure or sum of some quantity in a given unit of measurement. May indicate an amount that has been accumulated over time, such as a balance amt, or may indicate activity, such as a transaction amount.
BAL NUMBER PAYROLL_ENCUMBRANCE_BAL A measure or sum of some quantity in a given unit of measurement. Incidates an amount that has been accumulated over time rather than a transaction amount. Use when the date grain of the fact table is higher resolution than the computation for the element. eg. an element summarizing a month's transactions should be _AMT, not _BAL, if the grain of the fact table is monthly. If the grain of the fact table is monthly but the element is a year-to-date summary, the element should be _BAL. _BAL is a cue to the user that the element is a "semi-additive fact" (see Ralph Kimball's "Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit").
CODE CHAR VARCHAR2 NUMBER CAMPUS_CODE One or more letters or numbers that, in a given context, have a specific meaning or interpretation. Often requires a separate table to look up the code's meaning.
COUNT (preferred) CNT NUMBER ADJUSTMENT_COUNT The number of items which are of the same type. This is specifically used to keep track of how many of a particular kind of item exist.
DATE DATE BATCH_DATE The point in time, stated in terms of day, month and year, at which something happened, existed or is to happen. Time part (hours, min, secs) may or may not be significant. If the time part is significant we now (14May2002) prefer the class word DTTM.
DESC VARCHAR2 ACCOUNT_DESC Textual information that gives identifying information but does not necessarily identify an entity uniquely.
MDESC VARCHAR2 ACCT_LONG_MDESC Textual information that gives identifying information but does not necessarily identify an entity uniquely. Lower case alphabetic caracters allowed (the M stands for "mixed case").
DTTM DATE REQUEST_DTTM Point in time at which something happened, existed, or is to happen. Time part is significant. Class word DATE may be used instead, but DTTM is now (14May2002) preferred. Note however that if much analysis is expected we prefer separate DATE and TIME elements.
HRS NUMBER ENROLLED_HRS A measure of time. An amount.
ID CHAR VARCHAR2 PERSONAL_ID An identification number. A type of number used to identify a person or thing. This class word is sometimes used instead of CODE when there are thousands of possible values.
NAME VARCHAR2 VENDOR_NAME A word or words by which an entity is conventionally designated and distinguished from others.
NOTE VARCHAR2 GRIEVANCE_NOTE A brief comment not restricted in content.
NUM CHAR VARCHAR2 DOCUMENT_NUM A number used as a label. Not used with arithmetic operators.
PCNT NUMBER FTE_PCNT A special kind of RATE which is usually bounded by 1 and 100, and is calculated by dividing a partial amount by a total amount.
RATE NUMBER HOURLY_RATE A ratio or proportion that is derived from or applied to another number.
SEQ CHAR VARCHAR2 APPOINTMENT_SEQ A record number or element number derived by counting. See Data Elements that are Sequence Numbers
TERM CHAR ACADEMIC_TERM A number indicating the year and academic term. For example, 19977 or 977 represents Fall, 1997. Fall, spring and summer are coded by 7, 1 and 4 in the last character.
TIME CHAR START_TIME The point in time, stated in terms of hours, minutes and/or seconds, at which something has happened or is to happen. Usually 8char HH:MM:SS with 24hour HH.
TITLE VARCHAR2 COURSE_TITLE TITLE is similar to NAME but NAME is preferred for things that do not have multiple instances, like a person, whereas TITLE can be used for things that do have multiple instances, like a course (offered many different terms and sections) or a book (thousands of copies). Even though there are multiple people with the name "Fred" they are not multiple instances of the type "Fred", so element names like EMPLOYEE_FIRST_NAME still stand ok. TITLE may also be used for a person's formal title eg. Mr. or Mrs. (nothing like this in CIW at the time of this writing, however).
YEAR CHAR NUMBER RETIREMENT_YEAR The year part of a date, where the month or day is not relevant, not stored or is not available.
YESNO CHAR ACTIVE_APPOINTMENT_YESNO Either Y or N. These elements are sometimes called 'flags.'
YYYYMM CHAR REQ_YYYYMM Year and month together as 6 digits. Month must have leading zero when single digit. Example 200205 represents May, 2002.