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Agile Data Warehouse Design: Collaborative Dimensional Modeling, from Whiteboard to Star Schema Paperback – November 24, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lawrence Corr is a data warehouse designer and educator. As Principal of DecisionOne Consulting, he helps clients to review and simplify their data warehouse designs, and advises vendors on visual data modeling techniques. He regularly teaches agile dimensional modeling courses worldwide and has taught dimensional DW/BI skills to thousands of students.

Jim Stagnitto is a data warehouse and master data management architect specializing in the healthcare, financial services, and information service industries. He is the founder of the data warehousing and data mining consulting firm Llumino.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: DecisionOne Press (November 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956817203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956817204
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As architect of the first commercial data warehouse development methodology ITERATIONS(tm) nearly 20 years ago, I have had the opportunity to read most books written on the topic over the years. Among them are dozens of books on data warehouse design and dimensional modeling. But this book stands alone. It introduces novel concepts such as "modelstorming"--a disciplined unique *collaborative* approach to brainstorm-style business and data modeling, and BEAM (business event analysis and modeling). As well it fuses agile principles, not with development activities as most do, but with business and dimensional data modeling. The book is chalk-full of perfect examples, easy-to-grasp illustrations, handy checklists, valuable templates, and design patterns for particular types of data. Dimensional dilettantes and divas alike will benefit and find that Corr and Stagnitto have left no star schema stone unturned. --Doug Laney, VP Research, Business Analytics, Gartner (@doug_laney)
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Format: Paperback
Lawrence Corr and Jim Stagnitto do a beautiful job explaining how you can use their BEAM* techniques to capture requirements and design databases. "How" is the operative word here, because this is a book about process. It is full of charts, diagrams and suggestions that will make you a more effective BI analyst.

Lawrence and Jim show how dimensional design is tailor made for agile software development, with its emphasis on business value and on getting to results. But don't skip this book just because you think agile is not for you. If you make use of dimensional models, you can make use of their methods.

A solid contribution, both to the world of agile software development, and to the cannon of dimensional modeling. If you've enjoyed any of my books, I am sure you will enjoy this one as well.
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When it comes to dimensional modeling and related data warehouse and business intelligence (DW/BI) topics, until now the "Big Two" authors who provide truly useful books are Ralph Kimball (along with his Kimball Group colleagues) and Christopher Adamson. With the publication of Agile Data Warehouse Design: Collaborative Dimensional Modeling, from Whiteboard to Star Schema (ADWD), Lawrence Corr (along with his co-author Jim Stagnitto) contributes critical new information and techniques to the field - and we now have the "Big Three" dimensional design authors.

Why are these my "Big Three" BI/DW authors, and why does Lawrence Corr deserve to join the list? The numerous Kimball Group books and the three Adamson books all provide a useful blend of theoretical and practical information and techniques to guide the DW/BI professional in creating systems that are affordable, maintainable, accurate, and useful to clients. In his new book, Corr fills in a critical missing component: how to effectively engage business and technical personnel in a dialogue to perform agile design where the emphasis is on content, understandability, rigor, and usefulness, instead of on producing reams of documentation. In short, this book is about agile dimensional design including "why" and the all-important "how to" with supporting templates.

Though many of the book's topics are previously addressed by other authors, Corr expands upon these and presents a large set of fresh ideas and techniques that are robust and adaptable, while incorporating the concepts of the Agile Manifesto. He provides an emphasis on collaboration and flexibility, not just on theoretic agility, while adapting a method called BEAM* (Business Event Analysis & Modeling) for dimensional design.
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Good step-by-step guide for capturing data warehousing requirements and building dimensional models from these requirements through modelstorming (data modeling plus brainstorming) with business intelligence stakeholders. After explaining the difference between online transaction processing and data warehousing, and explaining high-level aspects of the 7Ws framework and the BEAM agile dimensional modeling method in the introductory chapter, the authors discuss modeling business events, business dimensions (the second longest chapter containing about 12% of the text), business processes, and star schemas, followed by design patterns for "who" and "what" (the longest chapter containing about 13% of the text), "when and where", "how many", and "why" and "how", corresponding to the 7Ws.

Unlike some other technical texts, the authors really do walk the reader through the material one step at a time, with no skipping around between topics that many readers complain about elsewhere. Other than the step-by-step aspect of this book, another reason I found this book so well put together are the abundant, well-placed diagrams throughout that greatly add to the material. Although what initially got me interested in this text is the agile process surrounding data warehousing, the chapters on dimensional design patterns for performance, flexibility, and usability compliment well the book that I currently consider the best on the traditional data warehouse star schema, "Star Schema: The Complete Reference" by Christopher Adamson (see my review).
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