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Working with dates

I am new to Qlikview so looking for some "best practice" approaches around date handling.

I have a single database that is a dump of our operational data with very little data modeling going on. We do not have a date table within there.

I would like to bring in operational data and associate it with dates and I'm wondering whether it would be best to maintain a date table within the database or whether I could handle it in Qlikview effectively.

I can see how I can easily create a calendar dimension in Qlikview and map data that has a date stamp on it, but a lot of my data has what I would call effective dates.

So a simple example might be:

a table in the database has employee history information. One of the columns is employment date.

What if I wanted to show a monthly trend over a number of years, showing how many employees were employed for the selected month (effectively a headcount at that point in time)?

One way would be to manage it in the database, but if I created a calendar "dimension" in Qlikview directly is there an effective way to map my data to it?

Thanks for any advice