Guide to Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence
A conformed dimension is a set of data attributes that have been physically implemented in multiple database tables using the same structure, attributes, domain values, definitions and concepts in each implementation.
Unlike in operational systems where data redundancy is normally avoided, data replication is expected in the Data Warehouse world.
To provide fast access and intuitive "drill down" capabilities of data originating from multiple operational systems, it is often necessary to replicate dimensional data in Data Warehouses and in Data Marts.
Un-conformed dimensions imply the existence of logical and/or physical inconsistencies that should be avoided.