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Data Warehouse Toolkit: Practical Techniques for Building Dimensional Data Warehouses [Paperback]

Ralph Kimball
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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The Data Warehouse Toolkit: The Definitive Guide to Dimensional Modeling The Data Warehouse Toolkit: The Definitive Guide to Dimensional Modeling 4.0 out of 5 stars (7)
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Book Description

21 Mar 1996
". . . one of the definitive books of our industry. If you take the time to read only one professional book, make it this book." –W. H. Inmon

One of the most dramatic new developments in database design, the dimensional data warehouse is a powerful database model that.significantly enhances managers′ ability to quickly analyze large, multidimensional data sets. Written by the leading proponent of this revolutionary new approach, this valuable book/CD toolkit outfits you with all the nuts–and–bolts information you need to design, build, manage, and use dimensional data warehouses for virtually any type of business application, as well as software for querying dimensional data warehouses.

Employing many real–life case studies of data warehouses, Ralph Kimball provides clear–cut guidelines on how to model data and design data warehouses to support advanced multidimensional decision support systems. Beginning with the relatively simple example of a data warehouse for a grocery store, he progresses, step–by–step, through an increasingly complex array of business applications in retail, manufacturing, banking, insurance, subscriptions, and airline reservations. By the end of the book, you will have mastered the full range of powerful techniques for creating, controlling, and navigating dimensional business databases that are easy to understand and navigate.

On the CD–ROM you′ll find:
∗ Software for querying dimensional data warehouses.
∗ Working models of all the databases described in the book.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; Pap/Cdr edition (21 Mar 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471153370
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471153375
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 19.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,123,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

Ralph Kimball's The Data Warehouse Toolkit translates the author's extensive real-world design experience into a truly useful guide to building data warehouses for today's corporations. Written in a no-nonsense manner, the author gives developers and managers the basics of designing, building and running data warehouses that are effective and useful to upper management.

The book begins with the fundamentals of what data warehouses are and how they differ from traditional databases used in Online Transaction Processing (OLTP). (Basically, data warehouses look at trends in millions of database records drawn from across organisations.) Once the author establishes this foundation, he solidly introduces the issues of data-warehouse design, using samples drawn from a wide variety of industries, including grocery stores, inventory warehouses, shipping, financial services, cable TV subscriptions, insurance and travel. The author succinctly describes the relevant "dimensions" of each industry. (These are the values or features that management will most likely want to track for each industry. The data warehouse must be prepared to answer these "questions".)

The last section of the book covers the process of actually designing a data warehouse, from conducting user interviews to planning for the hardware needed to run a data warehouse (where databases easily run in gigabytes and include millions of records). This text also includes a discussion of how to create effective front-ends for users (which will report the results of data-warehouse queries).

For its scope and intelligence, The Data Warehouse Toolkit is required reading for any developer or manager who wants to get a perspective on data warehouses before building one. --Richard Dragan


"Ralph Kimball provides clear–cut guidelines on how to model data and design data warehouses to support advanced multidimensional decision support systems. With Kimball′s step–by–step instructions, readers will have mastered the full range of powerful techniques for creating, controlling and navigating dimensional business databases that are easy to understand and navigate." (;, 9/01)

"...provides clear–cut guidelines on how to model data and design data warehouses to support advanced multidimensional decision support systems." (;, 9/01)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Before we can develop the perspectives and techniques necessary for designing a data warehouse, we have to face an important issue. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good book - poor Kindle presentation 19 Jun 2012
By Nonni
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The content of this book is very good and clearly explains the basics, building up using examples of different industries. I found it a good foundation to understanding the basics behind an Analytics warehouse.

However, the poor rating is due to the Kindle edition of this book being poorly formatted from the printed version. There are numerous typos which give it messy grammar or in worse cases, change the meaning of the sentence. Bulletpoints appear as large 1/4 page filling icons, without the text beside them. The book still advertises the free CD, despite this not being in the Kindle edition, (or even adapted for it). Despite all this, the Kindle book still commands a higher price than the printed versions.

Until they properly proof-read and format this book for the Kindle, I suggest you buy the paper copy.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, essential and short ! 6 Oct 1999
By A Customer
Even when one has been told repeatedly how good this book is, it's still a surprise just how good it is. The content is illuminating, the author's background is clearly extensive and the presentation is such that any developer can actually sit down and read the entire book in the middle of a hectic project. If only all similar textbooks could be so informative and concise, yet readable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An execllent book on Dimensional Data Warehouse Modeling 23 Aug 1998
By Bipin Divakaran( - Published on
Kimball has done an excellent job by writing this book. You don't require any mentionable knowledge about data warehousing or dimensional modeling to completely comprehend this book. He has explained all of the concepts of Dimensional Data Warehouse with the help of real-life examples. Perhaps that makes this book so unique and pragmatic.It is easy to read and also chapters are well arranged to gain a very systematic progression of the subject. All the concepts are explained and postulated in the context of some examples. So don't plan to skip any chapters. That doesn't work with this book.
I would recommend this book, to anybody who wants to practice DDW, as the first book to be read on the subject to gain most.
Because of its entirely example-based approach, the book may not be of much use in an exclusive conceptual/academic perspective.
The only omission I have noticed in this book is, it doesn't speak much about data extraction complexities. Even though Kimball dedicates a few pages towards the end of the book for this purpose, it is largely insufficient and gives no worthful advice to a practioner of data extraction process. So if you are looking for a solution to your data extract nightmare, this book is of little use.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best choice for beginner 20 Dec 1999
By Andris Rozenbahs - Published on
This book is writen in very good language and very easy to understand. For the beginner it's the best choice, but for the advanced project manager or system analyst i will recommend other one from R. Kimball : The Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit. Thanks to Ralph and to their team - it's one of the best books about DW in the market.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dimensional Modeling Made Simpler 26 Nov 1999
By Martyn Richard Jones - Published on
This book will be helpful for people who are tasked with building Data Marts that could benefit from the use of dimensional modeling and can also be represented as a dimensional models.
Dimensional data models, which have been around for a very long time, have proved quite useful in a number of business decision making scenarios where decsision making power - through an intentionally limited but versatile set of information - can be made available to business users.
This book focuses on the data modelling for decision support in a Data Mart environment, and also where star schemas - intuitive data models - are used to represent business information in a business-people friendly structure and format. In this area - dimensional modeling and sophisticated use of SQL - the author is probably the best around at this moment in time.
So yes, buy this book if you need a rapid learning aide for dimensional modelling and if you want to know more about the general area of Data Warehousing and some of is best principles and practices then also go for a couple of books by Bill Inmon - the father of data warehousing.
Best regards,
Martyn R Jones iniciativa
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Second Time is Charmed 2 Dec 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A good book, but a bit tough reading, especially when you get to the examples and building of fact tables and dimensions. I would suggest reading the content and skipping the examples the first time and the read the entire book. It helped to have that understanding first. A few of my colleagues have put the book aside for lack of wanting to "Plow through" the examples. I managed to read through the book this way in a matter of a few days. It helped to clarify what pieces I was missing ans strengthened what I knew.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very practicle guide 8 Mar 1999
By A Customer - Published on
I have been working in the commercial reporting / data warehousing market for over 5 years. I have read many books on the subject, most of which deal with the higher level conceptuality of data warehousing and implementation. Since reading this book I have designed and implemented a multi-dimensional data warehouse, using most of the techniques laid out in this book, with a European manufacturing company in BD2/400 and SQL datamarts. I found this book outstanding in terms of breaking down the problems of creating a multi-dimensional data warehouse and giving a very practical analysis to implementation model. It is possible within the right company to implement a large data warehouse following the methods in this book. To complement this book I would recommend reading other books that deal with client expectation management and the use of middle ware tools to ease the actual building and management of a multi dimensional design. Also look at other design models, make sure that a multi-dimensional design fit's the client situation, there are other designs...
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