Agile Data – Suggested Books

This page lists agile data books, or at least books that support agile data concepts or techniques, that I believe you will find useful.

Books focused on Agile Database Techniques

Choose Your WoW! 2nd EditionThis book describes, in detail, how to refactor a database schema to improve its design. The first section of the book overviews the fundamentals evolutionary database techniques in general and of database refactoring in detail. More importantly it presents strategies for implementing and deploying database refactorings, in the context of both “simple” single application databases and in “complex” multi-application databases. The second section, the majority of the book, is a database refactoring reference catalog. It describes over 60 database refactorings, presenting data models overviewing each refactoring and the code to implement it.  This agile data book was written to describe database refactoring in detail.

Choose Your WoW! 2nd Edition


This book describes the philosophies and skills required for developers and database administrators to work together effectively on teams following evolutionary/agile software processes such as Scrum, Kanban, or SAFE.  This was the first “Agile Data book”.


Choose Your WoW! 2nd Edition

This book provides a set of strategies for modifying the code in database applications to dramatically improve the way they work. Strategies include determining if and where you can expect performance gains; applying quick fixes such as limiting calls to the database in stored functions and procedures; refactor tasks, such as replacing application code by a stored procedure, or replacing iterative, procedural statements with sweeping SQL statements; refactor flow by increasing parallelism and switching business-inducted processing from synchronous to asynchronous; refactor database design using schema extensions, regular views, materialized views, partitioning, and more; and comparing before and after versions of a program to ensure you get the same results once you make modifications.



Choose Your WoW! 2nd Edition

This book shows how to adapt TDD to achieve the same powerful benefits in database design and development. The book first explains why TDD offers so much potential to database practitioners, and how to overcome obstacles such as the lack of conventional “testable classes.” You’ll learn how to use “classes of databases” to manage change more effectively; how to define testable database behaviors; how to maximize long-term maintainability by limiting a database’s current scope; and how to use “emergent design” to simplify future expansion. Building on this foundation, the book guides you through implementing modern TDD processes and database refactoring. He presents practical techniques for improving legacy databases; for deviating from strict TDD when necessary; and for adapting TDD to applications that persist data in file systems, XML, or serialized objects.


Books focused on Agile Data Warehousing

Choose Your WoW! 2nd Edition
Collier introduces platform-agnostic Agile solutions for integrating infrastructures consisting of diverse operational, legacy, and specialty systems that mix commercial and custom code. Using working examples, he shows how to manage analytics development teams with widely diverse skill sets and how to support enormous and fast-growing data volumes. Collier’s techniques offer optimal value whether your initiatives involve “back-end” data management, “front-end” business analysis, or both..


Choose Your WoW! 2nd Edition


This is an introductory book to the Data Vault approach to modeling. This book will teach you what a Data Vault looks like: the components, the basic modeling rules, why it is flexible and scalable.

Choose Your WoW! 2nd Edition

This book describes an update to Ralph Hughes’ agile data warehousing strategy. This step-by-step implementation guide will prepare you to join or even lead a team in visualizing, building, and validating a single component to an enterprise data warehouse. The book provides a thorough grounding on the mechanics of Scrum as well as practical advice on keeping your team on track. It includes strategies for getting accurate and actionable requirements from a team’s business stakeholders. The book covers revolutionary estimating techniques that make forecasting labor far more understandable and accurate and demonstrates a blends of Agile methods to simplify team management and synchronize inputs across IT specialties.

Choose Your WoW! 2nd Edition


Extreme Scoping is rich with advice and guidance for virtually every aspect of BI initiatives from planning and requirements to deployment and from back-end data management to front-end information and analytics services. This book is filled with a lot of common sense and lessons learned through experience.

Choose Your WoW! 2nd EditionThis book describes an agile data warehousing strategy. Agile Data Warehouse Design is a step-by-step guide for capturing data warehousing/business intelligence (DW/BI) requirements and turning them into high performance dimensional models in the most direct way: by modelstorming with BI stakeholders. This book describes BEAM*, an agile approach to dimensional modeling, for improving communication between data warehouse designers, BI stakeholders and the whole DW/BI development team. BEAM? provides tools and techniques that will encourage DW/BI designers and developers to move away from their keyboards and entity relationship based tools and model interactively with their colleagues.

My advice for agile data warehousing.

Recommended Reading

Choose Your WoW! 2nd EditionThis book, Choose Your WoW! A Disciplined Agile Approach to Optimizing Your Way of Working (WoW) – Second Edition, is an indispensable guide for agile coaches and practitioners. It overviews key aspects of the Disciplined Agile® (DA™) tool kit. Hundreds of organizations around the world have already benefited from DA, which is the only comprehensive tool kit available for guidance on building high-performance agile teams and optimizing your WoW. As a hybrid of the leading agile, lean, and traditional approaches, DA provides hundreds of strategies to help you make better decisions within your agile teams, balancing self-organization with the realities and constraints of your unique enterprise context.

I also maintain an agile database books page which overviews many books you will find interesting.