The data warehousing and business intelligence (DW/BI) 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, DW/BI has since been embraced by organizations of all sizes. The industry has built thousands of DW/BI systems. The volume of data continues to grow as warehouses are populated with increasingly atomic data and updated with greater frequency. Over the course of our careers, we have seen databases grow from megabytes to gigabytes to terabytes to petabytes, yet the basic challenge of DW/BI systems has remained remarkably constant. Our job is to marshal an organization's data and bring it to business users for their decision making. Collectively, you've delivered on this objective; business professionals everywhere are making better decisions and generating payback on their DW/BI investments.

Since the first edition of The Data Warehouse Toolkit was published, dimensional modeling has been broadly accepted as the dominant technique for DW/BI presentation. Practitioners and pundits alike have recognized that the presentation of data must be grounded in simplicity if it is to stand any chance of success. Simplicity is the fundamental key that allows users to easily understand databases and software to efficiently navigate databases. In many ways, dimensional modeling amounts to holding the fort against assaults on simplicity. By consistently ...

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