I’m sometimes asked by people who want to learn data warehousing to recommend a book for them. Some of them are database administrators/data architects and some are developers. They know how to write SQL. They know how to create tables. They know how to query data. They are looking for a basic data warehousing book, which is practical and aimed for beginners. A book that can be used by new starters to build their first data warehouse, and the BI on top of it. A book that contains all the essential topics such as methodology, architecture, data modelling, ETL, data quality, reports, cubes and BI. A book that contains examples and illustrations from real projects which are easy to understand.
There are many DWBI book in the market, but they usually only cover a specific topic such as data modelling, ETL, OLAP, BI, project management, etc so and therefore a beginner would need to buy 5 or 6 books to understand the complete spectrum of data warehousing and BI. Some books cover multiple aspects, but they are not as practical as they need to be. They don’t contain practical examples. The friends who asked me about the DWBI book want something practical. They want a book that can be used to build their first data warehouse, and the BI on top of it. A book that contains practical examples from real DWBI projects which are easy to understand.
Because of this gap I wrote a data warehousing book: Building a Data Warehouse: with Examples on SQL Server.
It contains all the essential topics in data warehousing. In order for this book to be able to be used to build the reader’s first data warehouse, and the BI on top of it, I need to give a case study. A case study that contain examples which span across all those chapters. From designing the architecture, to building the cubes and reports. For this purpose I had to choose a platform. I chose SQL Server as the platform. Not only it has an excellent database engine, it also comes with the ETL, reports, OLAP cubes and data mining tool built-in. SQL Server 2005/2008 is a complete end-to-end data warehousing solution. So in chapter 6 I use SQL Server database server to create the databases. In chapter 7 & 8 I use SSIS for data extraction and data loading (ETL). In chapter 10 I use SQL Server database for metadata. In chapter 11 I use SSRS for reports. In chapter 12 I use SSAS for OLAP cubes. And in chapter 13 I use SSAS for data mining. I hope this book will serve its purpose in providing a basic data warehousing book, which is practical and aimed for beginners.
It has 17 chapters:
- Chapter 1 is about what a data warehouse is
- Chapter 2 is about data warehouse architecture
- Chapter 3 is about methodology / project management
- Chapter 4 is about gathering requirements
- Chapter 5 is about designing the data model, both dimensional and normalised
- Chapter 6 is about the system architecture/servers and configuring the databases
- Chapter 7 is about ETL (extracting data from source systems)
- Chapter 8 is also about ETL (loading data into the warehouse)
- Chapter 9 is about data quality
- Chapter 10 is about metadata
- Chapter 11 is about reports
- Chapter 12 is about OLAP cubes
- Chapter 13 is about BI (Business Intelligence)
- Chapter 14 is about using a data warehouse for CRM
- Chapter 15 is about unstructured data and data warehousing search
- Chapter 16 is about testing
- Chapter 17 is about operation and administration