The impact of alternative diagrams on the accuracy of recall: A comparison of star-schema diagrams and entity-relationship diagrams

Karen Corral, David Schuff, Robert St Louis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Data warehouses can be constructed using either a relational or a dimensional model. This research compares the diagrammatic representations of these two models. Semantic network theory suggests that, because of their structure, star-schema diagrams (SSDs) are more understandable than entity-relationship diagrams (ERDs). Through two experiments that test both the accuracy and pattern of users' recall, we find strong evidence that SSDs are easier to understand than ERDs. Our findings imply that the use of the dimensional model should help decision makers query the warehouse directly, thereby reducing costs and the need for intervention and support by IT professionals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-468
Number of pages19
JournalDecision Support Systems
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006

Keywords

  • Data modeling
  • Data warehouse
  • Entity-relationship diagram
  • Gestalt theory
  • Semantic network theory
  • Star-schema diagram

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems and Management

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