Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence

Who’s Who in DW

Who’s Who in Data Warehousing

After I wrote Who’s Who in Analysis Services, some people asked me how about Who’s Who in Data Warehousing. So here it is. I realise it is very difficult to write about people, so if you find something incorrect or missing please let me know and I will correct it.

Ralph Kimball

One can’t be in data warehousing arena without coming across his name. Ralph Kimball is widely credited for inventing dimensional data warehousing, both the dimensional modelling and the techniques for loading data/ETL (into a dimensional DW). And also for the development methodology (with Warren Thornthwhaite). Many people in data warehousing, including myself, owe him a lot by reading his data warehousing articles and his books. As you can see in the previous link, Ralph has written many data warehousing articles since 1995. They were first published on DBMS magazine, and from October 1998 on Intelligent Enterprise (now Information Week). The best way to catch up with all these articles is Kimball Group Reader, a book that was recently published containing more than 200 articles that members of Kimball Group have written over the last 15 years.

William H. Inmon

Widely credited as the father of data warehousing, Bill Inmon was the one who came up with the definition of a data warehouse in 1990. There are other definitions but Bill’s was, by far, the most widely accepted one: subject oriented, non volatile, integrated, time variant collection of data in support of management’s decisions. He has written 50 books and 650 articles, which is an amazing amount of work. His most influential book in data warehousing, “Building The Data Warehouse“, was published in 1991. Bill’s data warehousing method is known as Corporate Information Factory, which he wrote with Claudia Imhoff and Ryan Sausa 1998. In April 2006, Bill introduced a new the concept of data warehousing called DW 2.0. He wrote a book about DW 2.0 in 2008.

Barry Devlin

Within the DW sector, in terms of DW architecture, some people say that there’s Kimball approach, there’s Inmon approach, and there’s Devlin approach. This is probably because in 1985Barry Devlin was involved in the design of a data warehouse for IBM (source: Devlin, Data Warehouse from Architecture to Implementation, Addison Wesley, 1996, page 14), and in 1988, he and Paul Murphy wrote an article about the data warehouse architecture in IBM System Journal vol 27 no 1, titled “An Architecture For A Business and Information System”. In this article, Barry and Paul proposed a logically single data store, called the Business Data Warehouse, modelled at the enterprise level as the consistent and integrated source of all information for decision making. In 1996 he wrote the above data warehousing book. In 2008, Barry founded 9sight consulting, specialising in moving businesses beyond BI towards insights. Barry has been working for IBM for over 20 years. He is a regular contributor on B-eye-Network. Barry proposes a way forward from DW/BI, by treating all business information as a conceptually single, integrated, modelled resource with minimal duplication of data. He called this resource as “Business Information Resource” (BIR). His white paper, titled Business Integrated Insight, explains this new model.

Margy Ross

Margy Ross wrote The Data Warehouse Toolkit: The Complete Guide To Dimensional Modelling in 1995-1996 with Ralph Kimball. She also wrote The Lifecycle Toolkit with Warren Thornthwaite, Ralph Kimball and Laura Reeves. In 1994 she founded DecisionWorks Consulting, with Bob Baker and Nancy Rinn. Before that she worked for Metaphor and Accenture. Margy is now the President of the Kimball Group. I first came across Margy’s name in (of course) the DW Toolkit book. But it wasn’t until I read her article “Slowly Changing Dimension Is Not Always As Easy As 123” that I realised her influence in dimensional modelling. I consider Margy, after 15 years of consulting, teaching and writing about dimensional modelling, is the 2nd most influential person in dimensional modelling (the 3rd one being Christopher Adamson). Margy Ross teaches the Kimball University’s dimensional modelling class, with Ralph Kimball, which people say is a superb course. She also writes regularly in the Kimball column (was on Intelligent Enterprise, now part of Information Week group). Margy Ross was interviewed by Mark Rittmann in 2009, transcript here.

Claudia Imhoff

I first noticed Claudia’s name in the famous purple ODS book that I bought, which she wrote with Bill Inmon and Greg Battas in 1995. The second time was on the Inmon’s CIF book. I then noticed her name again when I bought her Mastering DW Design book, which she wrote with Nicholas Galemmo and Jonathan Geiger in 2003. Some of the people on this list are in Wikipedia, including Claudia. Her Wikipedia page is here. In data warehousing world Claudia Imhoff, PhD is most famous for her works in CIF and analytical CRM, and ODS too. She is the president and founder of Intelligent Solutions, a DWBI consultancy firm. She wrote 5 books and many articles. In recent years she is well known through her blog on b-eye-network. She’s a popular speaker. She’s also the founder of Boulder BI Brain Trust, a consortium of analysts & consultants dedicating to progress BI. She was on DAMA’s board of advisors, advisor for TDWI, and advisor to Daniels School of Business at the University of Denver.

Bob Becker

I first read Bob’s name on one of the Kimball Group’s Intelligent Enterprise column. I think it was about fact table primary key. Bob teaches the ETL class in Kimball University, along with Ralph Kimball. The best source of information about him is probably this Kimball Group page, which says that Bob has been in data warehousing since 1990. Bob co-authored the Toolkit Lifecycle book (2nd edition) and obviously The Kimball Group Reader book.

Joy Mundy

I first heard about Joy Mundy from her famous Microsoft DWBI book (with Warren Thornthwaite and Ralph Kimball). This is a great book (one of my top favourite book ever in DW), because it is a Kimball Toolkit book and it’s an MS BI book, which is a very unique position. Joy has been in DWBI since 1992. She was a member of Microsoft SQL Server BI product development team (2000-2004). She started her career in banking and finance as a business analyst. She is one of the owner of Infodynamics (DW consultancy). She has an MS in Engineering Economics Systems from Stanford and a BA in Economics from Tufts. Joy is a member of the Kimball Group. Her LinkedIn profile is here. She teaches Microsoft DW courses with Warren Thornthwaite (Boston 14-17 Nov and London 5-8 Dec 2011). Joy lives in San Francisco, USA.

Dan Linstedt

Dan Linstedt is widely recognised as the creator of Data Vault, a new method for designing a data warehouse. This year (2011) I heard people saying more and more of this: in data warehousing there was Kimball and Inmon method, now there is a 3rd one: Data Vault. Particularly from people from the Netherland. Dan Linstedt is DW2.0 Certified Architect (this is Inmon’s latest methodology) and CBIP Certified Master (this is from TDWI). Dan is the owner of Empowered Holdings, a DWBI consultancy. He taught Informatica courses for more than 15 years. Dan is multi skilled in DWBI: Ab Initio, Teradata (has written for Teradata Magazine), Netezza, Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, Sybase ASE, MySQL, Data Stage (now Infosphere), BODI, Talend, Pentaho, Jasper, BO, Brio, Cognos, Microstrategy as well as CMM level 5. His LinkedIn page is here. His blog is here. His Data Vault site is here. His bio is here. Dan lives in Burlington, Vermont, USA.

Tom Coffing

I came across Tom Coffing’s name when I was working for Group (now part of Sabre Group). I was working with Teradata and everybody works with Teradata must come across Tom’s name. Yes he’s that popular. Tom Coffing authored about 10 Teradata books, from SQL, Physical Implementation, Database Design, Utilities, Administration, to Application Development. The books are known as Tera-Tom series. Tom’s Teradata books are probably 90% of all Teradata books there is. He also wrote a Netezza book. Tom Coffing has trained more than 8,000 Teradata students, and has more than 10 years of experience in Teradata. He owns Coffing Data Warehousing, a company which provides DW training & consulting. His company web site is here. His Linked In profile is here. His bio is here. Tom lives in Cincinnati, USA.

Stephen Brobst

I met Stephen Brobst in the Science Museum in London in 2007, when he was speaking at the Teradata user group event. He is energetic, inspirational, intelligent and passionate about data warehousing. In DWBI, Stephen is known as the CTO of Teradata. He is a widely regarded as an excellent speaker (in seminar, conference, training). Stephen teaches at Boston Uni and MIT, both MBA and Computer Science. He has a PhD and master on parallel computing from MIT, and an MBA from Harvard/MIT Sloan (joint course). He has been with Teradata since 1999. Stephen is a keen writer in DW. He writes on Intelligent Enterprise, Journal of DW, Enterprise Systems Journal, International Journal of High Speed Computing, etc. His bio is here. His latest interview (Feb 2011) is here.

Joe Caserta

Joe Caserta is the president of Caserta Concepts, a data warehousing consulting and training company based in New York. Joe is famous as being the author of Data Warehouse ETL Toolkit book (with Ralph Kimball) in 2004. He graduated from Columbia University in New York, studying Database Application Development and Design. He is an expert in DW and BI (who in this page is not?) as well as Big Data. His LinkedIn page is here. Thank you to Jeff Roth for reminding me about Joe Caserta.

Warren Thornthwaite

Warren Thornthwaite is famous for being the author of 2 great DW books: Microsoft Data Warehouse Toolkit (with Joy Mundy) and Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit (with Kimball, Ross and Mundy). He is also well known for being a member of the Kimball Group, teaching 2 Kimball University classes: DW Lifecycle in Depth (with Margy Ross) and Microsoft DW in Depth (with Joy Mundy). He wrote a lot of DW articles for Kimball Group, and therefore an author of the Kimball Group Reader book. Warren has the experience of building data warehouses since 1980. He was the Program Director for Data Warehousing course in Standford University. He worked for Metaphor for 8 years, from 184 to 1991. He was the BI Manager for Microsoft Web TV for 5 years (1997-2002). Warren is the owner of InfoDynamics, which has now joined the Kimball Group. His LinkedIn profile is here. His Kimball Group profile is here. His Amazon profile is here.

Jill Dyché, David Dewitt, Jim Gray, Christopher Adamson, Nicholas Galemmo, Jonathan Geiger, Mark Whitehorn, Wayne Eckerson (TDWI), Ralph Hughes, Mark Rittman & Jon Mead (Oracle), Kalman Toth (SQL Server), William McKnight, Sid Adelman, Jim Harris (DQ), Derek Strauss


  1. What about Joe Caserta?

    Comment by Jeff Roth — 6 May 2012 @ 11:06 pm | Reply

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