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Impossible Data Warehouse Situations: Solutions from the Experts (Information Technology) Paperback – 1 Oct 2002

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 01 edition (1 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201760339
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201760330
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,286,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Back Cover

A functional data warehouse is vital to an organization's success, but building and maintaining any data warehouse is fraught with managerial and technical pitfalls. Impossible Data Warehouse Situations introduces possible solutions to ninety-one common crises that confront companies of all types, sizes, and structures. Nine leading data warehousing experts provide the thoughtful and detailed guidance corporate executives, IT managers and staff, and end-users need to prevent and survive seemingly impossible situations.

This book serves as a quick reference for resolving specific data warehouse problems and as a practical introduction to the realities of data warehousing not covered in basic texts. Part I addresses management issues, including weak organizational support, unrealistic schedules, and personnel problems. Part II focuses on technical challenges, such as security, integration, and performance. In both sections, Sid Adelman and his coauthors provide multiple perspectives and solutions illustrated by practical examples. Also included are recommendations for further reading and glossaries covering technical terminology and acronyms as well as colloquial English.

Drawing upon their combined 142 years of experience with data warehouse implementations, Sid Adelman, Joyce Bischoff, Jill Dyche, Douglas Hackney, Sean Ivoghli, Chuck Kelley, David Marco, Larissa Moss, and Clay Rehm offer invaluable advice on:

  • Management issues
  • Changing objectives and requirements
  • Budget
  • Organization and staffing
  • User and team issues
  • Product planning and schedules
  • Data warehousing standards
  • Tools and vendors
  • Security
  • Data quality
  • Integration
  • Data warehousing architecture
  • Performance

Readers gain access to data warehousing's top minds and learn how to thrive in seemingly impossible situations.


About the Author

Sid Adelman is founder of Sid Adelman & Associates, an organization specializing in planning and implementing data warehouses. He presents regularly at data warehouse conferences and conducts a Data Warehouse Project Management seminar. Sid is also a founding member of the BIAlliance. He jointly developed a methodology that provides a master plan for implementing data warehouses. He wrote Data Warehouse Project Management (Addison-Wesley, 2000) with Larissa Moss.

Joyce Bischoff, president of Bischoff Consulting, Inc., is an internationally recognized consultant, writer, and lecturer specializing in all aspects of data warehousing, database design, and design methodologies. She has been involved in planning, designing, implementing, and performing design reviews of data warehouses in more than 50 companies in the credit card, chemical, pharmaceutical, insurance, financial, oil refining, publishing, and hospital industries. She is the lead author of the book Data Warehouse: Practical Advice from the Experts 1997, which brings together opinions from 20 contributing authors, and a member of the expert panel for the monthly column "Ask the Experts" at She is the author of numerous articles and frequently presents at data warehousing conferences all over the world. She may be reached at

Jill Dyché is a partner with Baseline Consulting Group, a specialty consulting firm focusing on the delivery of business intelligence solutions across industries. Since 1985 she has been working with Fortune 1000 companies worldwide to help align strategic technology initiatives with corporate business objectives. Jill is a frequent speaker at technology and marketing conferences, and her articles have been featured in a variety of publications: Information Week, Oracle magazine, Teradata Review, Telephony Magazine, The Washington Times, and The Chicago Tribune.

Douglas Hackney is President of Enterprise Group, Ltd. and is a monthly columnist for Data Management Review. He has contributed to Computer World and speaks regularly at industry events, including DCI's Data Warehousing Conference, Bill Inmon's Data Warehousing Conference, and the Data Warehouse Institute.

Sean Ivoghli is the founder and president of Digital Symmetry, Inc., formerly the Data Warehouse Consulting Group, a consulting firm that specializes in providing end-to-end data warehousing, business intelligence, and data/application integration solutions. He has over 12 years of experience in full life-cycle data warehouse and information systems development, and he provides expert consulting services in data warehouse design, development, project management, and information management strategies. Mr. Ivoghli is the coauthor of Compass, a comprehensive data warehousing methodology that offers multiple tracks for developing scalable, flexible, and high-performance data warehousing and data mart solutions in a cost-effective manner. He can be reached at and at

Chuck Kelley is an internationally known expert in database technology. He has over 25 years of experience in designing and implementing operational/production systems and data warehouses. Mr. Kelley has worked in some facet of the implementation process of over 45 data warehouses. Mr. Kelley teaches seminars on SQL, Database Internals, Implementing the Data Warehouse, Designing and Implementing the Star Schema from Your Operational System, and other database and data warehousing topics. He has been a speaker at Database World, Client/Server World, UniForum, COMDEX, Rdb Conference, DECUS Symposia, and many data warehouse conferences. He coauthored a book with W. H. Inmon 1994 on data warehouses and is a member of the panel on the "Ask the Experts" column at Mr. Kelley has been published in many trade magazines on database technology, data warehousing, and enterprise data strategies. He can be reached at or at his Web site at

David Marco is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of data warehousing, e-business, XML, and business intelligence, and he is the world's foremost authority on meta data. He authored the book Building and Managing the Meta Data Repository 2000b. Mr. Marco also serves as the editor of Real-World Decision Support, an electronic newsletter focusing on business intelligence and e-business topics ( Mr. Marco has published over 80 articles and is a columnist for Application Development Trends, Database Trends, and DM Review magazines. Mr. Marco has been selected as a judge for the 1998-2002 DM Review World-Class Solutions, 2002 TDWI Pioneering Solutions, and 1999-2002 Microsoft Industry Solutions awards. In addition, Mr. Marco was a finalist for the 2000 DAMA Individual IT Achievement award.

Mr. Marco has presented over 70 keynote addresses and courses at all the major data warehousing and meta data repository conferences throughout the world. He also cosponsors with Pennsylvania State University a certified series of courses on data warehousing and business intelligence, and he teaches data warehousing at the University of Chicago. Mr. Marco is the founder and President of the Chicago-headquartered Enterprise Warehousing Solutions, Inc. (EWS), a strategic partner and systems integrator dedicated to providing clients with best-in-class business intelligence solutions using data warehousing and meta data repository technologies. EWS provides strategic consulting services and full life-cycle implementation services for Global 2000 corporations and government institutions and has been awarded a government GSA Schedule. In addition, EWS presents the Marco Master's Series, which is the industry's first and only certified meta data training course. Visit for more information about EWS and the Marco Master's Series. Mr. Marco may be reached at

Larissa Moss is founder and president of Method Focus, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in business intelligence and data warehousing. She is a frequent lecturer and speaker at conferences in the United States, Europe, and Asia on data warehousing, project management, development methodologies, and organizational and cultural issues. Her articles on these topics are regularly published in magazines such as DM Review and Journal of Data Warehousing. She is coauthor of Data Warehouse Project Management (Addison-Wesley, 2000) and Impossible Data Warehouse Situations (Addison-Wesley, 2003). She is a senior consultant at the Cutter Consortium and one of the authors of their Business Intelligence Executive Reports.

Clay Rehm, CCP, PMP, is president of Rehm Technology (, a consulting firm specializing in data integration solutions. He provides hands-on expertise in project leadership and management, assessments, methodologies, data modeling, database design, meta data and systems analysis, design, and development. He has worked in multiple platforms, and his experience spans operational and data warehouse environments. He is a technical book editor and author, instructor, and speaker. He serves on the panel of the DM Review "Ask the Experts" Web site ( and on the Carroll College Business Advisory Council.

With a passion for data architecture, he is well versed in DB2, SQL Server, and Access. He is Access 2000 Microsoft Office User Specialist (MOUS) Certified, a Certified Computing Professional (CCP), and a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). He holds a bachelor's of science degree in computer science from Carroll College and is currently working on his master's degree in software engineering.

He is a member of the Data Management Association (DAMA), the Professional Society of SQL Server (PASS), and the Project Management Institute (PMI). He can be reached at


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Each of the co-authors comments in a few sentences on each of the problems presented. I would have preferred some more in-depth articles on each of the challenges. Most of the "impossible situations" I recognize in my day-to-day work, but the expert solutions are usually much too general and high-level.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dilbert on steroids for the BI professional. 5 Dec. 2008
By Redneck - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree with the other reviewers, but I really come at this book from another angle. I see it as a comedy book. Having lived the Data Warehousing/Business Intelligence Architect life since, well, since before general industry acceptance of the term "BI", I have seen some pretty ludicrous situations. This book lets me know I'm not alone, it's not just my company, stupidity and politics is rampant everywhere. OK, OK, some of the situations in here are not that other-worldly, but those that are can be quite funny (assuming you're not the one faces with the problem). And it actually *can* be professionally useful to see the different approaches the panel of respected DW/BI pros advise to tackle the issues presented in this book. Some approaches you'll agree with, some you wont, but they should all make you think about how to best approach your unique situation.

If you're a BI professional, especially if you have management or project management responsibilities, buy this book. It might give you some ideas to deal with goofy political or business realities that threaten DW/BI implementations. If not, you'll at least find more than a few humorous situations that would resemble Dilbert cartoons if Scott Adams transferred Dilbert & crew to the BI Dept.

5.0 out of 5 stars thanks I received the book 3 Mar. 2014
By cfrench - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a great resource for my project. I looking forward to review other books on your list in the near future.
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 91 data warehouse situations 6 Oct. 2004
By Gary Sprandel - Published on
Format: Paperback
More than anything this book helps you realize that you are not alone in your problems. I recognized (too) many problems in our warehouse project and the advice offered was helpful. The book is evenly divided into "impossible management situations" and "impossible technical situations". Ninety-one problems are presented, with common themes including tension between operational data and the warehouse, lack of clear business sponsor and clear requirements, use of consultants, lack of sharing of data and stovepipes, and quality issues in both the warehouse and the source operational data. Each problem is asked of the nine experts and the answers have a lot of redundancy, and occasionally interesting disagreements. In some cases I would have preferred the editor either integrating the answers or allowing a dialogue between the experts. This book does not present an introduction to data warehousing, and is most geared toward the data warehouse project manager.
4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeded my expectations! 1 Dec. 2002
By Larry R. Mintun - Published on
Format: Paperback
I love the format. This format is very powerful because I can go right to the problems that are relavent to my company and review the suggested solutions. The suggested solutions are based on a lot of experience in the Data Warehouse field from a number of experts, not just one person. You can glean many good ideas from this book.
I have found this Sid Adelman book to be just as useful as his first book,"Data Warehouse Project Management", written with Lorissa Moss.
1 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How difficult to reach the top ... 13 Sept. 2005
By Massimiliano Celaschi - Published on
Format: Paperback
The increasing difficulties in achieving original results or, more likely, in developing non repetitive hints become quite clear in this textbook.

An averagely expert professional has happened to meet most impossibilities quoted in the book, and experienced how integration issues are often the synthesis of sociological, psychological, technical and economical facets. Unfortunately, the wider the scope an essay aims to, the more vagueness it risks.

Good writing, proper references and sound solutions are not enough to stand out against the equally good tens of publications available about the subject. Like as many of them, it becomes a very elegant source for material to speak ABOUT the work in data warehouse environment (a treasure for slide shows!), or that can be very useful to present the whole of it to a beginner, but carrying out an actual development is a different matter.
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