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The Data Warehouse Toolkit: The Definitive Guide to Dimensional Modeling, 3rd Edition by Margy Ross, Ralph Kimball

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Chapter 1

Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence, and Dimensional Modeling Primer

This first chapter lays the groundwork for the following chapters. We begin by considering data warehousing and business intelligence (DW/BI) systems from a high-level perspective. You may be disappointed to learn that we don't start with technology and tools—first and foremost, the DW/BI system must consider the needs of the business. With the business needs firmly in hand, we work backwards through the logical and then physical designs, along with decisions about technology and tools.

We drive stakes in the ground regarding the goals of data warehousing and business intelligence in this chapter, while observing the uncanny similarities between the responsibilities of a DW/BI manager and those of a publisher.

With this big picture perspective, we explore dimensional modeling core concepts and establish fundamental vocabulary. From there, this chapter discusses the major components of the Kimball DW/BI architecture, along with a comparison of alternative architectural approaches; fortunately, there's a role for dimensional modeling regardless of your architectural persuasion. Finally, we review common dimensional modeling myths. By the end of this chapter, you'll have an appreciation for the need to be one-half DBA (database administrator) and one-half MBA (business analyst) as you tackle your DW/BI project.

Chapter 1 discusses the following concepts:

  • Business-driven goals of data warehousing and ...

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