June 8, 2011

Non-Additive Fact

Non-Additive Fact - A database fact/measure that you should not sum over time or market or product is often called “non-additive”.  This is a common database term, not specific to CPG data.  Dollar and unit sales are both additive.  By contrast, distribution and price are non-additive.  For example, if one upc has 30% distribution and another upc also has 30% distribution, the distribution of the two items combined is not necessarily 60%.   For some non-additive measures (like price), you can calculate an summation correctly by summing the numerator (dollars) and dividing by the sum of the denominator (units).  But for some non-additive measures (like distribution), you don’t have the information you need to do the aggregation.  You would need to know what was happening at the store level to get it right.

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