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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 18

Dimensional Modeling Process and Tasks

We've described countless dimensional modeling patterns in Chapters 11 through 16 of this book. Now it's time to turn your attention to the tasks and tactics of the dimensional modeling process.

This chapter, condensed from content in The Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit, Second Edition (Wiley, 2008), begins with a practical discussion of preliminary preparation activities, such as identifying the participants (including business representatives) and arranging logistics. The modeling team develops an initial high-level model diagram, followed by iterative detailed model development, review, and validation. Throughout the process, you are reconfirming your understanding of the business's requirements.

Chapter 18 reviews the following concepts:

  • Overview of the dimensional modeling process
  • Tactical recommendations for the modeling tasks
  • Key modeling deliverables

Modeling Process Overview

Before launching into the dimensional modeling design effort, you must involve the right players. Most notably, we strongly encourage the participation of business representatives during the modeling sessions. Their involvement and collaboration strongly increases the likelihood that the resultant model addresses the business's needs. Likewise, the organization's business data stewards should participate, especially when you're discussing the data they're responsible for governing.

Creating a dimensional model is a highly iterative and dynamic process. ...

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