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!


Business Objects books

A few people have asked if I can recommend a good Business Objects XI book.

Unlike many other applications, there seems to be a distinct lack of third party reading material for Business Objects products. This isn’t specific to XI, but has been the case for all previous versions. Not sure why this is.

While it is true that Business Objects provide comprehensive support guides in PDF format, it is handy to have a book on your desk to look things up as and when required.

It depends on what you are after really. If you are using XI, you can’t really go wrong with the following book: BusinessObjects XI (Release 2): The Complete Reference: Release 2 (Complete Reference). If you need a book which deals with pre-XI releases, consider Cindi’s Business Objects: The Complete Reference (Osborne Complete Reference).

Both books are written by Cindi Howson. Cindi runs her own company specialisign in the BI arena and has written a number of articles.

If you are an XI administrator, you might expect more detail in the CMC area, as this is a radical departure from the pre-XI way of setting up and administering Business Objects.

It is also worth noting that there is no accompanying CD with the XI book. So if you want to read it on the train, you are going to have to lug it around.

Having said that, the best source of Business Objects information simply has to the Business Objects Forum – BOB. Quite simply, this is the definitive destination for answers to your Business Objects problems.

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