Spaghetti Data Models

Hi there,

So I find myself trying to figure out someones, what I call spaghetti, data model (Power BI) because there is so much going on in the models that it looks like a spaghetti dish. I love spaghetti, but not when it comes to data.

I am looking for advice on how to best deal with such models. In general, would it be more efficient to start over or try and figure out the maze, and work with what they have?

Hope there’s some helpful wisdom out there!

Thank you!

Having been guilty of ‘spaghettification’ of my models in my earlier days working with the Power tools - I can honestly say that both methods have value.

I tried with my first-ever business model (built real-world, not in class situation) to clean it up about a year ago. I decided it was such a disaster that I had no choice but to start fresh. Unfortunately, I had to keep going back to the original to see what exactly I had done, and this caused a lot of frustration when I had two models open and needed to track where I was.

So when I decided to tackle the next one that needed cleanup, I took the approach of untangling the mess. What this looked like was a lot of post-it notes stuck to walls with additional notes ‘connected’ to them with bits of string. (My co-workers thought I was nuts, and for a short time I was willing to agree.)

Now, as I tackle cleanup efforts - for my data or someone else, I determine just how bad it is, and take my approach from that. If there is too much to untangle, then I start fresh, if I think that cleaning up a few tables and/or measures will do the trick then I just do that.

Regardless of what I do, I take time to COMPLETELY understand the model I’m cleaning up - determining where tables come from, what measures are interconnected and how they are used. Generally this still means sticky notes all over the walls… but that’s just because I like to see the data spread out when I’m problem-solving.


Everything you need to know about this in contained within this course below

All my best practices around managing the data model are drill into here.

You definitely want to avoid the spaghetti and create a ‘waterfall’. All is explained in the course.


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