CHAPTER1Introduction

If you see can see more of the whole, you are moving closer towards the truth.

Why Is There a Need for This Book?

On many data modeling consulting engagements, clients have asked the same question: “Where can we find a book showing a standard way to model this structure? Surely, we are not the first company to model company and address information.”

Many organizations develop their data models or data warehouse designs with very few outside reference materials. A large cost is associated with either hiring experienced consultants or using internal staff to develop this critical component of the system design. Often there is no objective reference material that the company can use to validate its data models or data warehouse designs or to seek alternate options for database structures.

Based on numerous experiences of using template or “universal data models” and customizing them for various enterprises, we have concluded that usually more than 50 percent of the data model (corporate or logical) consists of common constructs that are applicable to most organizations, another 25 percent of the model is industry specific (these models are covered in The Data Model Resource Book, Volume 2), and, on average, about 25 percent of the enterprise's data model is specific to that organization. This means that most data modeling efforts are recreating data modeling constructs that have already been created many times before in other organizations.

With this in mind, ...

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