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Andrea Vincenzi (Arezzo, Italy)
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The Kimball Group Reader: Relentlessly Practical Tools for Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence
The Kimball Group Reader: Relentlessly Practical Tools for Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence
by Ralph Kimball
Edition: Paperback
Price: 27.19

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book from the Kimball Group, 17 Mar 2010
This book is based on articles that had already appeared, in print or on the web, but it's much more than a collection. Even if I already had 90% of these articles in electronic form, having them all put together in a book, revised and organized by topic, is a great advantage.

In my personal opinion, this book creates an even greater gap between the two main Data Warehouse approaches. I'm not going to mention the other approach since everyone who knows about BI also knows what I'm talking about, but this is an infinitely useful collection of practical tips that is completely lacking in the other approach.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 22, 2010 11:05 PM BST


OLAP Solutions 2E w/WS: Building Multidimensional Information Systems (Computer Science)
OLAP Solutions 2E w/WS: Building Multidimensional Information Systems (Computer Science)
by Erik Thomsen
Edition: Paperback
Price: 33.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Fundamental Olap principles, 28 Dec 2007
I was impressed by the quality of this book; this is probably the most complete book on OLAP theory and is a fundamental reading for professionals involved in the design of olap systems. In most cases it gives all the details and information needed to master this technology. It also contains some practical examples that are very useful to see how the theory can be applied in the real world.
I didn't read the first edition, but the second edition contains new sections and many updates, like a description of SQL-99 OLAP extensions.
The author chose to be vendor-independent, so all practical examples are based on a multidimensional language that he created, called Located Contents (LC). However, when I read it I had already used a couple of OLAP tools (Microsoft Analysis Services and Microstrategy), and I think that this helped me understand many of the concepts contained in the book.


Data Warehouse Design Solutions
Data Warehouse Design Solutions
by Christopher Adamson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 44.16

4.0 out of 5 stars A very good complement to Ralph Kimball books, 28 Dec 2007
I highly recommend this book and I think that it's a very good complement to Ralph Kimball books. It's based on the same principles and theory, and expands the number of practical examples based on real industry implementation, so if you are lucky you can find many tips and data models that can be immediately applied in your projects.
You need to read the Kimball books first in order to fully understand this one, and of course some of the example are based on US companies, but most of the material can be immediately applied to other markets and Countries as well (like Italy where I work).
I think that the last chapters (13/14/15) which deal with topics like presenting information and the process to build a DW are a little less interesting, but they still contain some useful tips.


Business Intelligence Roadmap: The Complete Project Lifecycle for Decision-Support Applications (Addison-Wesley Information Technology Series)
Business Intelligence Roadmap: The Complete Project Lifecycle for Decision-Support Applications (Addison-Wesley Information Technology Series)
by Larissa T. Moss
Edition: Paperback
Price: 44.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful, but not for developers, 28 Dec 2007
This isn't a technical book that talks in detail about how to solve design problems. It's a book that tries to explain what a BI project is and why it is so complex.
Even if it isn't a book for developers, the target audience is very broad and includes dw architects, project managers and executives.
The book structure is well designed: each chapter covers a different stage of BI projects using the same structure which includes useful practical things like project flow charts, project roles and risks.
It is essentially a methodology with some technical details, but don't look in it for complete, in-depth technical discussions, or for innovative contents.
For example, dimensional modelling only takes two short paragraphs that are absolutely insufficient to teach a designer how to use it in practical situations.
Even with these limitations this is a good and useful book, and it's clear that the two authors (Shaku Atre e Larissa T. Moss) have a lot of experience and a good understanding of BI projects.


Building the Data Warehouse
Building the Data Warehouse
by W. H. Inmon
Edition: Paperback
Price: 34.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The (im)practical approach to DW design, 28 Dec 2007
If you work for a large corporation which has millions of $ to spend on DW projects, maybe you should look at this book and even consider some of the ideas that it contains.
But if you need to develop a data warehouse using limited resources and within a certain timeframe, your time will better used reading other books, because following the Inmon approach will lead you to an unnecessary complicated and expensive design.
I found that the arguments used by Inmon to demonstrate the limits of the dimensional approach are not convincing at all. For example, at page 142 he says "Because there is a different data structure for each data mart, making any data mart into a data warehouse doesn't make sense."
Having personally implemented several data warehouses using the "conformed dimensions" approach, I can guarantee that it worked and produced a very elegant and clean data model.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 4, 2011 5:38 PM GMT


Business Intelligence for the Enterprise (IBM DB2 Certification Guides)
Business Intelligence for the Enterprise (IBM DB2 Certification Guides)
by Mike Biere
Edition: Paperback
Price: 28.70

3.0 out of 5 stars Good for managers, too generic to be used by DW developers, 28 Dec 2007
The author is an IBM veteran who spent more than 20 years in the sales and product support divisions, except for a short period in a company specialized in Data Warehousing, so he naturally puts in this book a lot of his experiences and he also describes the history of BI in terms of architectures and technologies.

I had the impression that the target audience is mainly made by managers involved in BI projects, on either sides (vendors, consulting companies, customers).

One obvious comment from an Italian like me is that, like with many other books written in the US, the average size of the projects described in this book is rather large compared to what we are used to, and could only be applied to a handful of companies here in Italy.

The best feature of the book is the large number of real life examples that it contains. This can be a real help for a manager of a company who doesn't know the risks connected with BI projects and wants to learn from the many (and sometimes very costly) errors made by other people and companies in similar situations.

Under this aspect the book contains a lot of common sense and is a good reading, but don't look in it for innovative contents or for clear explanations of key technologies, buzzwords and project methodologies.

In most cases the book is limited to describe different situations (usually problematic), and to give some advise, without really delving into technical details.

Often I saw the author asking himself several questions about the typical problems that are encountered in a BI project, but then I couldn't find the answers.

Although there are no references to specific products, in more than one occasion it seems that the fact that the author comes from IBM comes to the surface, like when he prefers the "single provider" approach versus the "best of breed" (Chap. 4), or when he talks about the qualities of the mainframe as opposed to distributed environments (chap 7).

In conclusion, is this book worth reading? I have to say that whenever I read a book about BI and Data Warehousing I can't avoid comparing it with the books from Mr Kimball, which I consider the absolute reference in the field. This might not be fair, but it makes sense, since our time is limited, to read only those books that add something new to what we already know.

In this case the answer is yes, but only for a specific target, i.e. managers of companies who are about to start their first BI project. The rest of the project team would probably find most of the information in this book not very useful.


Mastering Data Warehouse Aggregates: Solutions for Star Schema Performance
Mastering Data Warehouse Aggregates: Solutions for Star Schema Performance
by Christopher Adamson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 42.50

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful, focused and clear, 28 Dec 2007
I must confess that I was skeptic before reading the book, because I thought that it could not add very much to Kimball's books. However, I was wrong: this turned out to be a very useful book. Not only it contains the most detailed explanation of DW aggregates available, but it also contains a very good discussion of the loading process for various types of dimensions and facts, which forms the bulk of data warehouse "back room processing".
One more final plus: the author completely adopts the Kimball approach to Data Warehousing, so this book fits very nicely with other books from Wiley's describing Kimball methodology.
A must have for all DW designers!


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