Foreword by Howard Dresner

howard dresner, a world-renowned analyst, has written the foreward to super charge your data warehouse, my new data vault technical modeling book.  i’m proud to release the forward here for you to peruse through.  if you are thinking about the data vault modeling concepts, then there’s no better time to become informed than now.  you can buy a copy of the e-book (with a lot of other goodies) at

i’m happy to announce a foreword to my new book that howard dresner has written for me.  along with the quote from scott ambler, this is turning in to quite a good resource for bi practitioners.  here’s the foreword that i am in the process of adding to the electronic copy (e-book):

data warehousing has long been a discipline shrouded in complexity, misunderstanding and consternation. however, like the construction of a building, which may collapse without a solid foundation, a data warehouse is fundamental to the viability of any business intelligence solution. and, if done properly, a data warehouse should serve as an important business differentiator – enabling users to more quickly discern critical events and trends which directly impact the success of the organization.

due to inexperience and trial and error, many organizations have endeavored to build their data warehouse only to learn painful lessons. they overspend budgets, have little to show after extended periods of time and alienate users who want something quickly and lack an understanding of the difficulty and complexity surrounding the preparation of the underlying data. in fact, there are organizations that completely eschew data warehousing due to this taint of project failure. yet, without a well-conceived, architected and maintained data warehouse, the business intelligence solution will inevitably fail.

these issues have been exacerbated by several factors. with the advent of erp systems, pre-packaged data marts and warehouses have come to the fore, offering functionally and vertically specific offerings – with the promise of rapid “time to action”. although certainly appealing, customers are confronted with either accepting the vendor’s “standard” view of the business through preconceived metadata, schemata and reports or face substantial systems integration costs to create and maintain a customized environment. the other factor is an increased focus upon end user environments and tools with the disintermediation of it-based solutions in favor of vendor solutions which cater to users. these solutions may ignore data warehousing entirely as it rarely helps to sell end user software tools. as a result, end users have virtually no appreciation for the need or complexity surrounding data warehousing.

the only way to counter these phenomena and get organizations refocused on business intelligence success is through a two-pronged approach. first, organizations need to take advantage of decades of knowledge and know-how surrounding the conception and design of data warehousing. second, a meaningful dialogue needs to be established between those responsible for the data warehouse and the end user consumers.

dan’s latest book (and his others as well) can help on both counts.  first, he provides data warehousing professionals with useful methods and process tools for the construction of more well-conceived, flexible and extensible data warehouse architecture. this enables organizations to take control of their data warehousing destiny, supporting better and more relevant data warehouses in less time than before. but, perhaps even more importantly, dan’s work is straightforward and highly understandable. when read by end users, it can form the basis of a common understanding, vocabulary and dialogue with data warehouse professionals.

i applaud dan’s contribution to the body of business intelligence and data warehousing knowledge and recommend this book be read by both data professionals and end users – who have a common stake in the success of the organization and the information needed to support it.

howard dresner

author of profiles in performance, business intelligence journeys and the roadmap for change (2009 – john wiley & sons) and the performance management revolution, business results through insight and action (2007 – john wiley & sons)

it is really a wonderful feeling to have such great people endorse the book along the way.  if you have read the book, and have comments, or would like to offer a quote for the book cover, please, file it as a comment here.

thank-you kindly,

dan linstedt

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