An Introduction to Data Modeling

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Presenter: Ethan Durda, Ascension Business Intelligence, LLC.

Intended Audience:

This beginner level course is for business intelligence professionals who are interested in learning more about the how’s and what’s regarding data warehouse design.  Extensive knowledge in reporting systems is not required, but understanding of SQL and reporting/dashboarding concepts will be helpful.


Basic SQL and database concepts.  This is not a hands on course but an understanding of these items will assist in understanding the concepts described.


This session will be a review and walk-through of the major steps and processes of data modeling.  The general theoretical model will be a Kimball/Inman approach with an overall case study walking through the process of reshaping a transactional data model to a star schema.

Major Topics Include:

  • Define and explain the language of data modeling.
  • Review the theoretical underpinnings and reasons and purpose of various models.
  • Understand best practices and limitations of different data models and their practical application.
  • Review techniques and examples of what and how to move from a transactional model to a star schema.
  • Explore the SQL challenges that a transactional system presents and how to develop solutions to them.
  • Explain and explore key concepts of data modeling including slowly changing dimensions, row level security models, dimensional modeling (conforming dimensions), fact granularity and fact table types.
  • A high level review of tools and methodologies for implementing a new data model.


This session will be delivered in a seminar format.


  1. mark smith says

    Will this session use PowerDesigner to design a data model and then create a Business Objects Universe directly from the Model?

    • Hi Mark, thank you for your question. The following response is from Ethan Durda whom will be leading this session:
      “Thanks for asking and although we will talk about tools during the class it will be primarily agnostic from a technology perspective and will not be a “demo and design” type class. We will primarily focus on what problems data modeling solves and on what a good data model looks like. I appreciate the suggestion though and perhaps we can set up a demo or other presentation for you.”

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