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on 15 December 2010
I know a data modelling trainer who has given hundreds of copies of the first edition of this book to those attending his courses. He did this because it was a great supplement to the material he covered on his training course. Is this second edition a worthy successor?

The author has expanded and restructured the book for this edition; it has grown considerably in size, from 134 to 360 pages. Additional topics have been added, partly based upon the presentations the author makes at seminars and conferences. Some of this additional material has been provided by experts in the respective fields - Bill Inmon, Michael Blaha and Graeme Simsion. This extra material doesn't come for free - the list price has increased two-fold.

This book is a well-scoped and well-written introduction to data modelling and related topics. The author's friendly presentation style really comes across in the text, avoiding the temptation to use geek-speak to impress the reader.

There is no CD included, but there is interaction of a kind, provided by 15 exercises to test your understanding.

I think all the material is great, but I have one minor gripe. In the first edition, there's a separate chapter on the importance of good defiinitions, describing the characteristics of good definitions (clarity, completeness and accuracy). While it is covered in the new book (page 102), it doesn't have the same punch as the original version. Getting people to put the effort into creating good definitions is one of the key challenges with data modelling, so I'd prefer more emphasis.

Should you buy this book?
* If you already have the 1st edition, then you buy the second edition for the extra material; don't throw away the first edition, use it as part of your internal marketing process, by giving it to someone who wants to know what data modelling is about. They'll thank you for it.
* If you're a business or IT person and need to understand more about 'doing' data modelling, buy this book. The first 100 or so pages should be compulsory reading for anyone who has to deal with data models or data modellers.
* If you want to understand more about data modelling without getting into details of 'doing it', consider Data Modeling for the Business: A Handbook for Aligning the Business with IT Using High-Level Data Models (Take It With You), which Steve Hoberman co-authored.
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on 9 September 2014
I highly recommend reading this book to anyone who wants to learn about Data Modeling - whether you are a student just wanting a high score on your exam or a practioner in the real-world.

Steve Hoberman as the author of this book has taught about Data Modeling to over 10,000 people and I think it is because of his extensive teaching experience, it made it very easy for me to learn about Data Modeling using this book. The examples provided are particularly useful especially when you are new to Data Modeling.

If you are a Business Analyst I think you will find this book really useful, because it will give you the ability to create Data Models which are a great addition to business process models. If you are working on a heavy data-focused project, then the technical audience will really appreciate seeing your Data Model.

Something I had not seen before was the Data Model Scorecard. This was created by the author himself and has also been explained in a separate chapter. The Data Model Scorecard is a great way to make sure that you have not just put a tick in the box for creating a data model, but that it is a high-quality, accurate Data Model - a great way to distinguish the quality of your deliverable from others especially if you are a consultant.

I am not sure how much Steve's Data Modeling training courses cost, but for $45/~£35 this book is an absolute bargain.
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on 17 March 2013
For the most part, this book totally succeeds. It manages to stay relevant, fun and extremely accessible. The book is concise and follows two main examples through to illustrate the points made. 4 stars because on occasion Steve can't help but revert to techno-babble mode, although at least he has the realisation of this....I mean 'factless fact tables'?! The chapters from industry experts are varied. UML I found dull, whilst managing people I found to be an exceptional overview. Overall a great read for anyone interested in how data can be modelled.
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on 23 February 2017
Felt quite disappointed in this book! I felt that the examples were not real, nor did it have a feeling that the author has recently carried out modelling in the real world. Seemed like a regurgitation of basic material from decades ago, with more and more embellishment to make it seem worthy and comprehensive. What was lost in 'gilding the lily' was the clarity of creating logical denormalised data models which sadly was the bit I was after ....
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on 22 July 2016
Bought this for the ISEB Data Analysis Professional certification exam as it's one of the recommended books. This book is a an overview of Conceptual, Logical and Physical data modelling and is not suitable for the exam as it doesnt not cover the syllabus. Not sure why it is one of the recommended books for the certification. Anyway despite that it's an ok overview.
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on 9 September 2016
A a systems analyst with only a small amount of prior knowledge about data, I found this very readable, comprehensive and interesting. I got through it in less than a week.
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