Margy Ross and Bob Becker wrote the following articles and Kimball Design Tips. Additional Design Tips written by our Kimball Group colleagues are available on the Kimball Group website; the complete library of Kimball Group articles and Design Tips is available in the latest Kimball Group Reader, Second Edition – Remastered Collection (Kimball/Ross, Wiley 2016).

The Kimball Group has always stressed the importance of keeping a keen eye on the business requirements when designing dimensional data models for the data warehouse/business intelligence (DW/BI) environment. Gathering business requirements is typically undertaken just prior to beginning the dimensional data model design process. Design Tip #110 is a reminder of requirements gathering do’s […]

Many organizations are embracing agile development techniques for their DW/BI implementations. While we strongly concur with agile’s focus on business collaboration to deliver value via incremental initiatives, we’ve also witnessed agile’s “dark side.” Some teams get myopically focused on a narrowly-defined set of business requirements. They extract a limited amount of source data to develop […]

Keeping tight control over the scope of your data warehouse/business intelligence (DW/BI) program is an important ingredient for success. Surprisingly, in some organizations it’s equally important to ensure that the program doesn’t suffer the theft of its scope after an otherwise good plan has been developed. It’s nearly impossible to tackle everything at once in […]

Ralph introduced the concept of slowly changing dimension (SCD) attributes in 1996. Dimensional modelers, in conjunction with the business’s data governance representatives, must specify the data warehouse’s response to operational attribute value changes. Most Kimball readers are familiar with the core SCD approaches: type 1 (overwrite), type 2 (add a row), and type 3 (add […]

Some organizations have adopted a data warehouse architecture that includes an atomic third normal form (3NF) relational data warehouse. This architecture, often called the hub-and-spoke or Corporate Information Factory (CIF), includes a data acquisition ETL process to gather, clean and integrate data from various sources. Atomic data is loaded into third normal form data structures, […]

If you subscribe to the Kimball Design Tips, you’re likely already well aware of Ralph Kimball’s contributions to the field of data warehousing and business intelligence. However, many of you may not know about Ralph’s contributions and accomplishments prior to turning his attention to our industry. Ralph’s not someone who seeks the limelight or frequently […]

Most organizations implementing a new data warehouse/business intelligence (DW/BI) environment are replacing or “sunsetting” a legacy analytic/reporting system. This environment may be an older data warehouse, a single or series of departmental data marts, or a collection of analytic/reporting environments cobbled together using tools such as Access and Excel. Some may be officially sanctioned platforms; […]

After years of dormancy, there have been renewed rumblings in the DW/BI industry about the Kimball versus Inmon approaches. When I mentioned the resurrected debate to a former colleague who’s been away from our industry for nearly 15 years, she replied, “Again?!” I’m experiencing a serious case of déjà vu. In fact, we’ve been contacted […]

The logical dimensional model should be developed jointly by representatives from all interested groups: business users, reporting teams, and the DW/BI project team. It is important that the appropriate individuals are represented on the dimensional data model design team as described in Design Tip #103 in order to achieve an effective design. The best dimensional […]

Some clients and students lament that while they want to deliver and share consistently-defined master conformed dimensions in their data warehouse/business intelligence (DW/BI) environments, it’s “just not feasible.” They explain that they would if they could, but with senior management focused on using agile development techniques to deliver DW/BI solutions, it’s “impossible” to take the […]