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Modeling the Agile Data Warehouse with Data Vault (Volume 1) Paperback – November 16, 2012
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
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I am satisfied with this book and it has been very usefull to me (just yesterday I was reaching for the multi-valued satellites explanation again, for it solved one of my problems.)
Now, on the not so nice things: It is not a "kimball-grade" book, with clear and concise prose, elegant pictures and sensible subject separation. It has several language issues (none of them impairs the reading, although) and sometimes I felt it a bit hard to connect the subjects with Data Vault - some are more EDW general concepts than DV-related (to me some were useful, some not.) There are too many chapters and some are quite weird and a bit lost amid the Data Vault subject. The pictures are clear, meaninfull, and help the text in showing the concepts, but they are a bit.. how to say? Amateur? Crude?
Also, there is not any material on the agile development of a Data Vault DW. To make it clear: I expected to find methods on how to gather requisites, how to write the stories, comments about sprints (the tipical size, the ideal size, tipical speed etc.) how to develop the ETL from the model and so on. This was a cold shower. The book has its value (quite a sizeable one) but the name is a bit misleading, worsten with a unlawfull short description, no access to pages etc. It does examine the idea of iterative development and makes a point on some aspects of DV being usefull for Agile Devlopment, but there is no practical knowledge or advice on it - just arguments.
Also not having a Kindle edition is a very irritating thing. I get to drag it allong (bigger and heavier than my Kindle, and no access to it by web), it costed me double the bucks (I am in Brazil and I pay up to 60% of the book value as delivery costs and extra taxes) and most of all, it takes precious space on my (very short) bookshelf. I have emailed the author some time ago asking about the Kindle edition but got no answer ever. As I needed as much DV knowledge I could lay my hands on, and the author is a very respected DV practioner, I took the plunge (no regrets!) No Kindle issue = a big pain in the neck!
Then, the world of "hyper modeling" opened up a few years ago. Now EDW programs can either "hyper normalize" their data models (that is, resort to many more tables than a third/fifth-normal form model would require) or "hyper generalize" (by abstracting everything down to a pair of "things and links" tables). Both work fabulously and have different pros and cons you'll want to think through.
Hans' book is a great introduction to hyper normalizing data warehouse integration layers with the "data vault" technique. He steps the beginner through the concepts required to understand the approach, teaches the step-by-step, and then illustrates many of the tough decisions you'll have to make once you start practicing hyper normalization on projects of your own.
By following the modeling process described in his book, you will arrive at a data integration layer that you can grow one step at a time without having to re-engineer tables you've already loaded. All the tables in the database can also be loaded using a set of only three, "cookie cutter" ETL modules, greatly reducing the programming needed to deliver the warehouse. If changing business requirements eventually force you to re-think an aspect of your DW/BI, you'll be able to update a hyper normalized warehouse by re-structuring and reloading only a small portion of the repository with the re-usable ETL units. Goodbye conversion scripts! A data warehouse you can build and change in small increments as the customer learns more about what they need from BI? That's what I call agile.
I've validated Hans' concepts not only with my own experience but also by interviewing practitioners the world over...Australia, Canada, Netherlands. Hyper normalization works so well for all of us that I've started adding a unit on the technique to the classes I teach every quarter at The Data Warehousing Institute's World Conferences. Many thanks to Hans for providing a clear, cogent introduction to this very useful concept which I believe will be a big part of agile data warehousing in the years ahead.
-- Ralph Hughes, PMP, CSM, chief systems architect for Ceregenics, and author of "Agile Data Warehousing" (2008) and "Agile Data Warehousing Project Management" (2012)
well written, tells a story and is nice to read. All the concepts of datavault modelling are explained in a clear way. This book is an absolute must-have for anyone who is planning to work or works already with datavault.