Nitro includes a library of database objects and data transformation processes supporting the commercial analytical needs of life sciences companies. Nitro organizes data in the Dimensional Data Store (DDS) for analytics and reporting purposes from all data sources. Nitro also allows access to the Operational Data Store (ODS) for reporting on tables that do not need to be summarized.

Star Schemas

Nitro organizes data in the DDS layer using a star schema architecture. This format contains a fact table surrounded by dimensions. By organizing data in this format, the facts can be analyzed by selecting which dimensions the user wants to analyze. Nitro generates surrogate keys to join tables. A surrogate key is a column in the database that Nitro introduces as the primary key instead of a real or natural key. Existing databases can have more than one natural key due to expanding data models, and by using a surrogate key, Nitro removes the complexity in joining via natural keys.

The dimensions determine the granularity of the fact table. Understanding which star to use is determined by how the data needs to be analyzed. The pre-built stars are focused around user activities in Veeva CRM. The metrics in the fact tables delivered with Nitro have different dimensions.

If there is a need to analyze raw tables, the ods layer provides access to what is needed. Depending on what data is needed, the report_current or report_history layer is used. Using the raw tables to join means joining using natural keys from the source data.

Field names go through transformation in Nitro.