Posted: September 1st, 2011 | Author: ulerich | Filed under: Data Warehouse Books | Tags: best bi books, best data warehouse books, best data warehousing books, dimensional modeling books, inmon books, kimball books | No Comments »
The Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit
What’s in it: everything you ever wanted to know about enterprise data warehousing
One of the many books by the Kimball group. The Kimball school of data warehousing has a huge following amongst data warehouse practitioners. In this book Ralph Kimball et al. guide us through best practices to manage the life cycle of a data warehouse program. This includes data warehouse project management, requirements gathering, technical architecture, a tutorial on dimensional modelling, ETL development and much more.
Who is it for: beginners and advanced data warehouse practitioners
This primarily a beginner’s book for data warehousing. However, seasoned data warehouse practitioners will also find valuable information in it. For more advanced users it will serve as a reference book. I have a copy of it on my desk in work and at home.
The book is written for both technical and non-technical people in a data warehouse: project managers, dimensional modelers, and architects. All aspects of the data warehouse are covered both conceptually and from a practical point of view.
What do I think: If you buy one book about data warehousing it has to be this
If you are new to data warehousing then the lifecylce is an indespensable guide to successfully implement an enterprise data warehouse. The covers data warehousing from a conceptual point of view but also gives hands on tips and tools to succeed.
Building the Data Warehouse
What’s in it: Conceptual data warehouse design
As a data warehouse practitioner you need to be familiar with both the Kimball and Inmon style of Enterprise Data Warehousing. Building the Data Warehouse introduces you to Bill Inmon’s architecture for the data warehouse. This book covers the data warehouse topic from the angle of information architecture and as such is much wider in scope than the Kimball books. It also offers less hands on advice and is more conceptual in nature. It also introduces you to the challenges of dealing with unstructured data in the data warehouse.
Who is it for: Information and data architects
This book is mainly for an advanced audience and primarily targets information and data architects. It mainly aims at the enterprise data architect.
What do I think: Absolute must have data warehouse book
The Kimball and Inmon styles of data warehousing to some extent are complimentary in nature. Most of the data warehouse vendors have adapted the Inmon architecture as their reference architecture. Another must have read for any serious data warehouse practitioner.
Don’t be put off by some of the bad reviews on Amazon. They have mostly been written by Kimball evangelists. As a data warehouse architect you need to have a balanced view on architecture to decide when to use which style of data warehouse design.
Mastering Data Warehouse Design: Relational and Dimensional Techniques
What’s in it: modeling the enterprise data warehouse
This one is particularly useful If you follow the Inmon style of data warehousing. While Bill’s books tend to be very conceptual in nature this book by Claudia Imhoff et al. adds meat to the bones in terms of practical advice. The focus of the book is on relationally modeling the enterprise data warehouse. It also includes some advice on dimensional models but this aspect is covered way better by the Kimball camp.
Who is it for: enterprise data warehouse data modelers and architects
The target audience for this book are mainly data modelers, data modelers, and data warehouse consultants.
What do I think: Great data warehousebook
Even if you exclusively follow the Kimball design methodology you will benefit from reading this book as it gives a good overview on the differences in style of architecture and outlines some of the weaknesses of the Kimball architecture. Once again do not be put off by some of the bad reviews on Amazon. These are quite biased and subjective. Another indispensable book for all you data warehouse guys.
Star Schema: The Complete Reference
What’s in it: Every detail you can imagine about dimensional modeling
This is an indispensable reference guide to dimensional modeling. It covers everything you have ever wanted to know about star schemas and dimensional models. In some areas it is more detailed than Kimball’s dimensional modeling books. It takes some of Kimball’s ideas a step further, gives detailed implementation examples, and outlines any gotchas you may come across.
Who is it for: Dimensional modelers – advanced and beginners
Both beginners and advanced dimensional modelers will benefit from this book. Data architects should benefit as well as the book also contains some conceptual stuff. I keep a copy on my desk at work and home.
What do I think: indispensable reference guide for dimensional modelers
In combination with Kimball’s lifecycle and dimensional modeling book Star Schema the Complete Reference is another great resource for all you dimensional modelers out there.
A Manager’s Guide to Data Warehousing
What’s in it: data warehouse for beginners and project managers
As the title already suggests this book is aimed at the project or program manager of a data warehouse. It offers a very good high level overview and gives best practice advice around a successful data warehouse implementation.
Who is it for: executives, managers, beginners in the game of data warehousing
This book is aimed less so at the techies, but rather deals with best practices for the manager of a data warehouse program. One chapter is exclusively dedicated to executives. The book is aimed at absolute beginners in the data warehousing field. Very advanced users will benefit little from this book.
What do I think: great if you are a data warehouse newbie
This book is ideal for managers of a data warehouse and non-technical staff. If you are an absolute beginner in the field of data warehousing this book is also of interest to you.
Posted: February 12th, 2012 | Author: ulerich | Filed under: Business Intelligence Books | No Comments »
Business Intelligence for Dummies
Normally I am not a big fan of the Dummies series, but we have a solid introduction with this one.
Makes business intelligence understandable by taking you step by step through various technologies, so that you will be able to choose the correct technology for you and implement an effective BI environment. It will teach you how to understand the principles and practical elements of business intelligence, how to determine your business needs, and how to develop and enact your own BI plan. It also details how to compare various BI approaches, how to relate BI date to e-commerce and warehousing, and how to analyze emerging trends to see what may be helpful in the near future.
The book reveals how technologies and applications work in conjunction to analyze and present data that you can use to make better decisions about your customers and competitors.
Great for those just introducing themselves to BI or for those who are already involved with BI and need a good reference. It covers most of the basics needed to understand BI, in a format that is both easy to read and humurous. It accurately emphasizes the importance of quality analytics and gives good insights into requirements elicitation. However, if you are looking for formal education in the field of business inteligence this book probably won’t do the trick.
Business Intelligence (2nd Edition)
Provides a managerial approach to understanding business inteligence systems. Focuses on data mining, text and web mining, and implementation, as well as emerging technologies. Provides a good foundation of business intelligence that is backed up with hands on practice. It’s main focus is providing managers with the knowledge to use and understand analytics.
Explains BI accurately and in a way that is fun to read. It effectively and concisely depicts what BI could do for you and your business. As a bonus, it gives several resource URLs. However, it does not give an in depth look at BI, only looking at the subject from a managerial perspective, as it advertises.
Successful Business Intelligence: Secrets to Making BI a Killer App
This is a classic by BI guru Cindi Howson. It delves into how to get the most value of your BI investments. It utilizes survey data and real world case studies of BI success stories at several large corporations. It details how few employees are making good use of the business intelligence already available to them, and reveals how technology is only part of a successful BI strategy. Some of the main facets it focuses on are: organizing BI teams for success, choosing the best BI tools to meet your particular needs, finding the relevance of BI for all employees, and improving data quality so that decision makers feel comfortable trusting the BI solution. This book also goes beyond business intelligence technology and gives advice on organzation, strategy and culture, as well as how to measure success in more ways than one.
Excellent book to have on hand for reference regarding BI, due to the fact that it defines BI and details its best practices and instructs on how to set up an effective BI strategy. Perfect for those in BI management looking for a good project overview. It is ideal for those that have been in the BI industry for years, due to the fact that it brings new trends to light. It is also pertinent to those just starting their BI education, due to the fact that they can skip right to real business issues and avoid dwelling on technical details. However, if you are looking for detailed case studies and technical examples, there is probably a book that’s better suited for your needs.
Posted: December 13th, 2011 | Author: ulerich | Filed under: Data Visualisation Books | Tags: dashboard books, data visualisation books, scorecard books | No Comments »
Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Design
Teaches the visual design skills you will need to effectively to create and utilize dashboards which aptly communicate. It also details the process of creating a visually appealing experience.
Very well written and visually pleasing. Provides very good examples of how to optimize dashboard technology by paring it with aesthetics, and gives instances of mistakes to avoid when designing your dashboard. Also, the layout and content is put forth in a way that is not difficult for non-designers to understand. However, this book can be verbose at times. The author’s word usage is not as precise and sparse as the designs he suggests to utilize. In addition, it may be too basic for some.
Visualize This: The Flowing Data Guide to Design, Visualization, and Statistics
Offers tutorials and tips for creating stories with data. Aims to explain how to gather and format data in order to design quality graphics. Details how to explain date aesthetically, therefore giving you the ability to present your idea in a way that’s appealing.
This book is ideal for beginners, as it doesn’t require any prior extensive experience in programming or statistics to fully grasp the content. The author is apt in using fresh, conversational wording and gives a variety of examples. The downside to this book is the fact that every example in the book uses Adobe Illustrator, making it difficult for those who don’t already own the program. Also, a bit more statistical information would have been useful.
Performance Dashboards: Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Your Business
Details what dashboards are, why they are imperative to measuring performance, and where they can be utilized. Aims to optimize performance via dashboard technology.
Great for Project Managers and IT Professionals. Provides a good reference tool when it comes t o designing project management databases, planning data analysis and customizing reports. It effectively explains the IT aspect of dashboards without delving too deeply, thus making it easy to understand for those who aren’t extremely tech savvy. The book details the three different types of dashboards (strategic, operational, and tactical) and discusses how to effectively implement each of these for your business. The main downside to this book is that it can seem a little dry throughout. However, overall, it does a good job of providing an overview of dashboards, as well as detailing case studies to give real world examples.
Posted: December 3rd, 2011 | Author: ulerich | Filed under: Data Warehouse Books, SQL Server DW Books | Tags: SQL Server 2008 BI Books, SQL Server 2008 Data Warehouse Books, SQL Server DW Books | No Comments »
In the IT field, learning how to create a data warehouse is quickly becoming one of the most important things that a professional can know. Those who are not quite accustomed to using the new SQL Server tech need to get aquainted, and fast. Luckily, there are three books which have received rave reviews from computer professionals around the world. These three books are a must-have for the IT pro who loves to improve his abilities.
The Microsoft Data Warehouse Toolkit: With SQL Server 2008 R2 and the Microsoft Business Intelligence Toolset
Consistently ranked as one of the most in-depth books on Microsoft data warehousing, the Microsoft Data Warehouse Toolkit is the book that both absolute beginners and more advanced IT professionals rely on in order to improve their data warehousing abilities. Everything is explained in a step-by-step guide, and specific example cases are included with just about every aspect of the Toolkit.
The newest version comes with updated information on both Microsoft BI and the newest additions to the SQL Server 2008 R2 program. The Microsoft Data Warehouse Toolkit also has special sections totally devoted to Microsoft PowerPivot, SQL Server Analysis, Master Data Services, and more on Microsoft Office. The Microsoft Data Warehouse Toolkit is one of the most extensive data warehousing books on the market, covering everything from the very beginnings of a data warehouse, to maintenance, management, and growth.
Building A Data Warehouse: With Examples In SQL Server
If you need to build a data warehouse without any help from a more advanced program, then you should check out this book. Building A Data Warehouse is a book that shows you how to design the architecture of a data warehouse, quickly implement the SQL Server code, and also gives the basics on common data warehousing applications. This is a book that also walks IT professionals through the steps of adding data to the warehouse, and coming up with ways to present the information in easy-to-read reports for clients. For those who are working in an environment where reports will make or break an IT career, Building A Data Warehouse is a priceless handbook. Best of all, it comes with very detailed examples in SQL server, which is perfect for those who learn by example.
This is an excellent book for Microsoft data warehouse intermediates, and it has been used by 3 specific groups of IT professionals with great success. Those who are going to be implementing the code, or adding to the warehouse will love this book. Database admins, as well as users, also find Building A Data Warehouse to be useful, since there are several chapters devoted to using a database warehouse to its full potential. Lastly, those who are going into the field of database management should pick up this book. People who have used it say that Building A Data Warehouse is priceless when it comes to managing a large database.
Delivering Business Intelligence With Microsoft SQL Server 2008
For those who want to use Microsoft BI, Delivering Business Intelligence With Microsoft SQL Server 2008 is a godsend. Unlike the other two books, which offer information on a variety of different data warehousing topics, this book is completely devoted to working with Microsoft BI, and making your SQL Server data warehouse a perfect tool for insight into your company that would otherwise be unseen.
This book tells you how to make OLAP cubes, how to analyze your data using a variety of scripts, how to discover patterns in your data, and how to create interactive reports that will impress the boss. If you are a database manager, a Microsoft BI user, or one of the database architects for a major company, you will need to learn how to optimize the data that you have at your fingertips. Because of this, it’s a very good idea to buy Delivering Business Intelligence With Microsoft SQL Server 2008.
As a whole, if you work in IT, or if you are curious about making a database warehouse for your company, these three books will tell you just about everything you need to know about Microsoft data warehousing, SQL Server 2008, and Microsoft BI. You will thank yourself once you finish reading all three!
Posted: October 11th, 2011 | Author: ulerich | Filed under: Data Quality Books | Tags: data cleansing, data quality, data rules, data scrubbing | 1 Comment »
Data Quality Assessment
There are a good few data quality books out there. However, my favourite data quality book is Data Quality Assessment by Arkady Maydanchik. It got only five star ratings on Amazon. Out of all the data quality books that I have reviewed this is the one that offers the most relevant practical advice rather than a lot of theoretical background and Six Sigma stuff.
What does the book cover:
- It covers the various data quality disciplines such as data profiling, data cleansing etc.
- It shows you how to set up and organise a data quality team
- Explains in detail the different types of data quality rules such as domain constraints, relational integrity violations, rules for historical data, rules for state dependent objects, attribute dependency rules
- It outlines how to catalogue data quality rules
- The book explains how you can catalogue errors
- How can you measure and improve data quality
- Best practice to load your data quality metadata into your data warehouse and report on it
A must have book for any data warehouse architect.