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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the gold standard for dimensional modeling, 6 stars out of 5, 24 Jun 2012
This review is from: Agile Data Warehouse Design: Collaborative Dimensional Modeling, from Whiteboard to Star Schema (Paperback)
Corr and Stagnitto have delivered a masterpiece. It's chockfull of dimensional modeling best practices from people who have been there in the trenches, solving the most challenging data modeling problems.

A "model" should make reality look more simple. This holds for data models, or any other model, for that matter. But what does an Entity Relation model typically do? It alienates business people, the stakeholders you need so desperately for a business intelligence project to succeed.

The power of Corr & Stagnitto's BEAM methodology is twofold. First of all, it revolves around language and interactions that business people can relate to: stories and examples. This makes BEAM a truly Agile data modeling approach. And besides enabling a genuinely collaborative and data-driven approach, the output of "Modelstorming" (a pun on brainstorming) is concise, efficient, and can be then be translated to working SQL code with no additional effort. Lean and mean. To this end, Corr has developed a "Modelstormer" Excel template that he has made freely available. By executing the code, you can quickly perform data validation checks on the modeling suggestions from your business partners. It doesn't get any better, or more Agile!

Besides the BEAM methodology, the book goes into considerable detail on how to deal with some particularly tricky dimensional modeling challenges. Ragged hierarchies, recursive relationships, hybrid SCD's, and several design patterns that are notoriously difficult and interesting to optimize, form the last chapters of the book.

This book should be mandatory reading for any serious (dimensional) data modeler and information analyst in the BI space!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last Agile BI that works, 11 Mar 2012
By 
A. Harrington "ballroom blitz" (London England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Agile Data Warehouse Design: Collaborative Dimensional Modeling, from Whiteboard to Star Schema (Paperback)
For any experienced BI and Agile BI practitioners the constant challenge is how to get sensible, meaningful and deliverable requirements from business users quickly and easily. Having tried this approach a couple of times BEAM has the answer! BEAM is an excellent way of breaking down the requirements into simple, realistic tasks that do not over-tax the brain-cells of users. BEAM is well suited to an Agile approach that adheres to the Kimball design methodology.

At last, a book that knows what it is talking about, not just a lot of regurgitated BI flummery. This tool neatly avoids the dread catch-all requirement cliches of the "busy user". i.e.
- no more "just rebuild all my reports",
- no more "I don't know what I want, show me something and I will tell you what's wrong"
- no more "300 page requirement specs to review.

Bliss! Try it, it works.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book !!, 12 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Agile Data Warehouse Design: Collaborative Dimensional Modeling, from Whiteboard to Star Schema (Paperback)
I bought this book when I noticed the high number of 5 star ratings. I have read it cover to cover and YES it does deserve all 5 stars. The first half of the book provides a simple framework for requirements gathering and modeling a data warehouse with business users. The book really gets technically interesting in the second half when the author explains each dimension type in detail with it's typical business intelligence problems and gives detailed design pattern solutions for modelling them. I really liked the techniques on optimizing large FACT tables. It is very well written, and also provides hints on actual SQL for building and using the dimensional models. I find it very close to actual business scenarios rather than a high-level strategy book about data warehousing. It is always on my desk and I keep referring to it at my work place. The only suggestion I can give the author is to provide an e-book version soon for quick anytime access. Money well spent!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Collaborative Dimensional Modelling, 18 Nov 2012
This review is from: Agile Data Warehouse Design: Collaborative Dimensional Modeling, from Whiteboard to Star Schema (Paperback)
This is the guide/handbook for the BEAM methodology in which Lawrence lays out a truly collaborative and agile approach to the design of Data Warehouse Dimensional Models.

Whilst agile approaches have been successfully applied to the delivery (ETL/coding) phases of Data Warehouse projects a methodology to enable agile design has long been needed, BEAM delivers this.

The book begins at first principles however a decent knowledge of database and Dimensional Modelling design techniques will certainly ease your learning curve. The methodology then provides a comprehensive framework to enable the interactive and collaborative design of dimensionally modelled Star Schemas and also includes a number of very useful common design patterns.

All in all, highly recommended reading for anyone in the Dimensional Modelling Data Warehouse design space.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars World Class Dimensional Modeling Techniques, 9 Feb 2012
This review is from: Agile Data Warehouse Design: Collaborative Dimensional Modeling, from Whiteboard to Star Schema (Paperback)
Agile Data Warehouse Design: Collaborative Dimensional Modeling, from Whiteboard to Star Schema is an excellent book, very well written and very clear. The book describes how to use a modeling technique known as BEAM and it can be thought of as a book of two halves. The first half of the book concerns the 'BEA' standing for Business Event Analysis, and the second part of the book is the 'M' standing for Modeling. These two halves make up BEAM. In the Business Event Analysis part you will learn how to interview business users to gain valuable understanding of Events, Dimensions, Processes, and start Star Schema thinking. In the Modeling part you will learn how to translate your findings into Dimensional Model patterns. The book is highly pragmatic and full of know how, tips, and useful tools such as the BEAM table template. With this method you can achieve in days what historically took weeks, and business users enjoy the interview process too. Thoroughly recommended and money well spent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Data Warehouse Design Reading, 6 Feb 2012
This review is from: Agile Data Warehouse Design: Collaborative Dimensional Modeling, from Whiteboard to Star Schema (Paperback)
A superb book that presents a powerful, and yet easy to use, approach to capturing business requirements for data warehousing.

The BEAM* method (business event analysis and modelling) beautifully updates the discipline of analytical data modelling using contemporary agile principles, and does so in an easy manner which I found to be a stark contrats from the somewhat dry text I have read on the subject to date. It is clear from chapter one that the authors have a vast experience and understanding of the field of data modelling includes OLTP as well as OLAP systems.

I have worked in the BI & Data Warehousing space for over 10 years and found answers to a number of situations, such as how to handle a column whose SCD type varies according to changes in other dimension columns, which were not easily forthcoming even during my time working for one of the top global data management and analytical software companies.

This book is simply a must for modellers, ETL developers, and importantly business persons, who are involved in the process of requirements capture and model generation. The approach accurately captures the current needs, in a timely manner, that can be easily understood by both business and IT professionals alike. This is the solid foundation which should lead to the production of a highly useful data warehouse that genuinely meets organisational needs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable Agile Methods & Techniques, 1 Dec 2011
By 
Stephen P Colton (Nottingham, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Agile Data Warehouse Design: Collaborative Dimensional Modeling, from Whiteboard to Star Schema (Paperback)
An excellent book which gives practical agile techniques and tools for analysis and design of Business Questions.

Having worked on many data warehousing projects over the last 15 years, a recurring and time consuming challenge is producing a dimensional model and star schema from the Business Questions.

This book describes how to carry out the analysis and design in a collaborative and agile way.

Highly recommended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The essential read for any Business Intelligence / Data Warehouse practitioner's bookshelf, 14 May 2014
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This review is from: Agile Data Warehouse Design: Collaborative Dimensional Modeling, from Whiteboard to Star Schema (Paperback)
The Agile Data Warehouse Design book is a great read; the content is clear, concise and informative with a format that facilitates quick reading and diving into relevant areas of interest which is perfect for reference. Being an experienced BI / DW consultant I practice many of the concepts already but still found the book engaging to read. I will particularly benefit from BEAM as this technique fills a gap in my portfolio of skills by providing a structured approach to capturing business questions and user stories which are aligned to the business process. I am keen to put my new knowledge into practice with some modelstorming and to continue my reading list with some of your recommendations for visual thinking, collaboration and facilitation, and business modelling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 8 April 2014
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This review is from: Agile Data Warehouse Design: Collaborative Dimensional Modeling, from Whiteboard to Star Schema (Paperback)
It provide all you really need to know about the agile system for any business intelligence or data warehouse projects, direct and to the point
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent distillation of what works, 6 Mar 2014
This review is from: Agile Data Warehouse Design: Collaborative Dimensional Modeling, from Whiteboard to Star Schema (Paperback)
It's obvious this book crystallizes a wealth of real life data modelling experience. It provides templates and clear explanations for decisions that the long-time data professional makes instinctively and adds some great new ideas for how to structure discussions with stakeholders so that you don't alienate them or miss anything crucial. Well organized as a reference book and some great cheat sheets at the back.
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