INTRODUCTION

The data warehousing industry certainly has matured since Ralph Kimball published the first edition of The Data Warehouse Toolkit (Wiley) in 1996. Although large corporate early adopters paved the way, since then, data warehousing has been embraced by organizations of all sizes. The industry has constructed thousands of data warehouses. The volume of data continues to grow as we populate our warehouses with increasingly atomic data and update them with greater frequency. Vendors continue to blanket the market with an everexpanding set of tools to help us with data warehouse design, development, and usage. Most important, armed with access to our data warehouses, business professionals are making better decisions and generating payback on their data warehouse investments.

Since the first edition of The Data Warehouse Toolkit was published, dimensional modeling has been broadly accepted as the dominant technique for data warehouse presentation. Data warehouse practitioners and pundits alike have recognized that the data warehouse presentation must be grounded in simplicity if it stands any chance of success. Simplicity is the fundamental key that allows users to understand databases easily and software to navigate databases efficiently. In many ways, dimensional modeling amounts to holding the fort against assaults on simplicity. By consistently returning to a business-driven perspective and by refusing to compromise on the goals of user understandability and query performance, ...

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