Ultimate Business Intelligence Guide

Here’s a useful website if you are interested in the more general area of BI.

This is a comprehensive site. Of particular interest to me are the following articles:

BI software: A comprehensive look at various BI software offerings

Certification : Various pages discussing BI certification paths available from Microsoft, Oracle, Business Objects and SAS

Books: The book list is quite extensive covering Data Warehousing, BOBJ, Microsoft, Oracle and Data Visualisation.

Solutions: A detailled look at the whole gamut of BI technologies.

I’ve added this to my list of bookmarks.

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My Top Five Data Warehouse Books

There is always something new to learn in Data Warehousing. I have several years experience working with data warehouses, and I can’t help by being surprised at the new things I keep picking up. Add to this the new features being introduced by recent releases of Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle, and you see why it is really important to keep up to date with what is available.

This is all good and well. However, what if you are new to the whole area of Data Warehousing and want to pick up the subject in your own time? Well I own, have used, and can recommend five books.

In reverse order these are:

5. Data Warehousing: Using the Wal-Mart Model (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems).

This is an interesting book written by one of the architects of the Wal-Mart Data Warehouse. He describes his initial design and it’s subsequent phenomenal growth. A real eye opener and a useful guide in implementing warehouses.

4. The Microsoft Data Warehouse Toolkit: With SQL Server 2005 and the Microsoft Business Intelligence Toolset. A useful book, particularly if you are working with or implementing solutions using SQL Server and Microsoft BI tools.

3. Mastering Data Warehouse Design: Relational and Dimensional Techniques.

This book provides a thorough grounding in Data Warehouse design. Slightly different principles to the Kimball design, but useful nonetheless.

2. The Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit.

An excellent book written by Kimball et. al. Ideally suited to those that need to plan and manage a data warehouse project.

And finally, the grand-daddy of all Data Warehouse books, and a must for every Data Warehouse professional’s bookshelf:

1. The Data Warehouse Toolkit: The Complete Guide to Dimensional Modeling (Second Edition).

An excellent reference guide, particularly more so as scenarios are played out in various contexts – retail, insurance, etc. I have used this book several times and have found it incredibly useful. No surprise that I see this book on the desk at several client sites.

So there you have it. My Top 5 list of Data Warehouse books. Do you have a recommendation for a book? If so, let me know!

Good BI/DW websites/blogs

A list of good BI/DW websites and blogs. Worth bookmarking and regularly revisiting.

  1. Business Objects forum. Quite simply, the definitive source of answers and solutions to all your Business Objects problems.
  2. B-Eye-Network. Packed with news and articles relating to Business Intelligence.
  3. The Data Warehouse InstituteNews and reviews relating to data warehousing.
  4. DM ReviewNews and reviews relating to data warehousing.
  5. Intelligent EnterpriseNews and reviews relating to data warehousing.
  6. Ralph Kimball. Ralph also sends out a monthly newsletter with DW tips.
  7. The OLAP report. Mainly subscriber based, but there are a few free sections that may be of interest.
  8. Mark Rittman. Comprehensive postings regarding the Oracle BI suite.
  9. BI Blogs. A blog aggregator. Contains many useful articles from BI related blogs. Always something interesting to read everyday.
  10. Open Source BI. A useful site for all that is Open Source BI
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