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Building a data warehousing and business intelligence system is a complex business and engineering effort. While there are significant technical challenges to overcome in successfully deploying a data warehouse, the authors find that the most common reason for data warehouse project failure is insufficient focus on the business users and business problems. In an effort to help people gain success, this book takes the proven Business Dimensional Lifecycle approach first described in best selling The Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit and applies it to the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 tool set.
Beginning with a thorough description of how to gather business requirements, the book then works through the details of creating the target dimensional model, setting up the data warehouse infrastructure, creating the relational atomic database, creating the analysis services databases, designing and building the standard report set, implementing security, dealing with metadata, managing ongoing maintenance and growing the DW/BI system. All of these steps tie back to the business requirements. Each chapter describes the practical steps in the context of the SQL Server 2005 platform.
The target audience for this book is the IT department or service provider (consultant) who is:
The book will be directed primarily at the project leader and the warehouse developers, although everyone involved with a data warehouse project will find the book useful. Some of the book’s content will be more technical than the typical project leader will need; other chapters and sections will focus on business issues that are interesting to a database administrator or programmer as guiding information.
The book is focused on the mass market, where the volume of data in a single application or data mart is less than 500 GB of raw data. While the book does discuss issues around handling larger warehouses in the Microsoft environment, it is not exclusively, or even primarily, concerned with the unusual challenges of extremely large datasets.
About the Authors
JOY MUNDY has focused on data warehousing and business intelligence since the early 1990s, specializing in business requirements analysis, dimensional modeling, and business intelligence systems architecture. Joy co-founded InfoDynamics LLC, a data warehouse consulting firm, then joined Microsoft WebTV to develop closed-loop analytic applications and a packaged data warehouse.
Before returning to consulting with the Kimball Group in 2004, Joy worked in Microsoft SQL Server product development, managing a team that developed the best practices for building business intelligence systems on the Microsoft platform. Joy began her career as a business analyst in banking and finance. She graduated from Tufts University with a BA in Economics, and from Stanford with an MS in Engineering Economic Systems.
WARREN THORNTHWAITE has been building data warehousing and business intelligence systems since 1980. Warren worked at Metaphor for eight years, where he managed the consulting organization and implemented many major data warehouse systems. After Metaphor, Warren managed the enterprise-wide data warehouse development at Stanford University. He then co-founded InfoDynamics LLC, a data warehouse consulting firm, with his co-author, Joy Mundy. Warren joined up with WebTV to help build a world class, multi-terabyte customer focused data warehouse before returning to consulting with the Kimball Group. In addition to designing data warehouses for a range of industries, Warren speaks at major industry conferences and for leading vendors, and is a long-time instructor for Kimball University. Warren holds an MBA in Decision Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, and a BA in Communications Studies from the University of Michigan.
RALPH KIMBALL, PH.D., has been a leading visionary in the data warehouse industry since 1982 and is one of today's most internationally well-known authors, speakers, consultants, and teachers on data warehousing. He writes the "Data Warehouse Architect" column for Intelligent Enterprise (formerly DBMS) magazine.
Part One Requirements, Realities, and Architecture.
Chapter 1 Defining Business Requirements.
Chapter 2 Designing the Business Process Dimensional Model.
Chapter 3 The Toolset.
Part Two Developing and Populating the Databases.
Chapter 4 Setup and Physical Design.
Chapter 5 Designing the ETL System.
Chapter 6 Developing the ETL System.
Chapter 7 Designing the Analysis Services OLAP Database.
Part Three Developing the BI Applications.
Chapter 8 Business Intelligence Applications.
Chapter 9 Building the BI Application in Reporting Services.
Chapter 10 Incorporating Data Mining.
Part Four Deploying and Managing the DW/BI System.
Chapter 11 Working with an Existing Data Warehouse.
Chapter 12 Security.
Chapter 13 Metadata Plan.
Chapter 14 Deployment.
Chapter 15 Operations and Maintenance.
Part Five Extending the DW/BI System.
Chapter 16 ManagingGrowth.
Chapter 17 Real-Time Business Intelligence.
Chapter 18 Present Imperatives and Future Outlook.
Posted December 29, 2008
I've enthusiastically referenced Kimball publications for business intelligence projects over the years; everything from how to manage history in slowly changing dimensions to fact-less fact tables to creating an initial data warehouse project plan, always with outstanding results. Mundy, Thornthwaite, and Kimball achieve two key milestones with The Microsoft Data Warehouse Toolkit. First, they successfully apply many years of data warehousing scholarship and expertise to a real-world platform. This is accomplished from a practical perspective with respect to MS SQL Server, as the authors are realistic of both the strengths and weaknesses of the platform and tailor their approach accordingly. Second, this publication is one of the first to recognize modern incarnations of the MS SQL Server as a viable platform for data warehousing. Microsoft has addressed the stability issues that plagued earlier releases of the SQL Server. If you're considering an MS SQL warehouse deployment, I would strongly encourage you and your staff to read this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 28, 2007
I work for 3 years now as a datawarehouse designer and developer using SQL Server 2000 tools. The Microsoft Data Warehouse Toolkit is one of the best books covering IT I have ever come across. It covers everything you want to know, displaying expert knowledge of the writers, and is pleasant and easy to read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 13, 2006
'The Microsoft Datawarehouse ToolKit' is hands on, no-nonsense, well organized step by step guide to Datawarehousing. This 700 page book is divided into five parts and eighteen chapters, in which author has provided wealth of information on all the pertaining topics. This book is illustrated and provides diagram and figures of every step defined during the process. The five main sections are 'Requirements,Realities and Architecture', 'Developing and Populating Databases','Developing the BI applications', 'Deploying and Managing the dw/bi systems' and 'Extending the DW/BI SYSTEM' covers great topics like collecting requirement, planning, designing and developing datawarehouse environment. The ETL system explained in chapter 5 is clear in its fundamentals. The real interesting topic in this book for me is chapter 11. working with an existing Data warehouse and chapter 12 security. I liked Ralph's explanation of Metadata from Chapter 13. The best part of the book is mainly focusing on relating data warehousing to Business Intelligence. I recommend this book to everyone who currently working with Microsoft products to generate the reports.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 9, 2007
Only wish I'd read this book before completing several data warehousing projects! The Kimball folks provide concise and easy to understand instructions for building a dw ala Microsoft. The discussion covers both technical and not so technical issues.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 25, 2008
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