Introducing the activity schema: data modeling with a single table

Login to watch this content

Categories covered by this talk

About this talk

Ahmed will present a new data modeling approach called the activity schema. It can answer any data question using a single time series table (only 11 columns and no JSON). Instead of facts and dimensions, data is modeled as a customer doing an activity over time. This approach works for any business data used for BI.

This approach has some fundamental benefits over-dimensional modeling.

  1. Single modeling layer. All aggregations, metrics, materialized views for BI, etc, are built directly from the single activity schema table. This means the only dependency is the raw source data.
  2. No more foreign key joins. Queries use relationships in time to relate activities together. This means that any data in the warehouse can be directly combined with any other data, without having to create foreign keys between them.
  3. Open source analyses. The activity schema specifies a specific table structure. This means that the data is structurally the same, no matter who models it. This allows analyses or queries to be directly shared between companies.

Ahmed's talk will cover: - the activity schema's structure - how it works in practice - how it can be built and queried - how it makes analytics engineering and data analysis vastly more efficient - how it makes your warehouse cheaper and way faster - how it really can answer any possible data question

Join the chat in the #coalesce-activity-schema channel ( If you’re not yet a member of dbt Community Slack, sign up at

Ahmed Elsamadisi

Ahmed is the founder and CEO of He built WeWork's data platform and grew it to a team of 40 data engineers and analysts. He previously worked on missile defense algorithms at Raytheon and is one of Forbes' 30 under 30 for 2021

Sponsor this Event

Your logo could go here!

If you'd like to get your brand in front of attendees contact us.