Expert to discuss BI modeling

BY THEO BOSHOFF , ITWEB SENIOR JOURNALIST.
[ Johannesburg, 18 May 2009 ] - Ralph Kimball, independent consultant at the Kimball Group, will be in SA courtesy of Sybase to present the group's Dimensional Modeling in Depth master classes from 9 to 12 June.

Kimball, an expert on data warehousing, along with Kimball University CEO Margy Ross, will present classes to South African professionals in the data management space at Emperor's Palace Convention Centre in Johannesburg. They will speak on what dimensional modeling is and how it can increase the efficiency of data management with high-performance access, with the end-user in mind.

“The master classes are based on numerous case studies from various industries connecting in various ways. It is not so much teaching implementations, but using examples to explain the utilization of dimensional modeling as an intuitive framework based on standard approaches to handling modeling situations,” says Kimball.

According to Kimball, the classes will focus on understanding the basic ordering of data into 'facts' and 'dimensions', slowly changing dimensions and conformed dimensions.

“We will also look at the themes of integration and tying data from various silos of the business together, incorporating more operational data and the importance of data quality,” he adds.

Kimball believes dimensional modeling is a much more intuitive approach to data warehousing and data management than entity-relation modeling. Dimensional modeling, he notes, is designed more for handling end-user data queries in a data warehouse, whereas entity-relation modeling is more focused on modeling data elements.

He also says a single view of systems is extremely important for better management, especially when managing various data sources. “Conformed dimensions is the basis of tying together the various incompatible data sources for a single view. We teach the incremental, adaptable way to recognize incompatible descriptions.

“When data warehousing changed its name to business intelligence, the focus changed to a business angle and now end-users are driving the adoption of a more adaptive approach to data management. Our master classes aim to assist in clearing up this approach,” Kimball concludes.