Newbie to Data Warehousing: How to Convert MySQL to Dimensional Model?

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I am a newbie to Data Warehousing, and am about 2/3 the way through
Ralph Kimball's "The Data Warehouse Lifecycle Toolkit." It's nine years
later, and the book obviously lacks the perspective on MySQL and other
Open Source resources.

I would like to set up a small-scale prototype of a Data Warehouse,
using MySQL and a fictional retail company. I will build the database
and tables later, but I'm wondering if anyone has any insights on how
to convert the relational tables into fact and dimension tables, as
Kimball suggests. I have a "gut feeling" that that's the way to go, so
I can use fast drill-down and business intelligence tools, rather than
investing a lot of time writing complicated SQL to extract the
necessary answers from the relational model.

In one online example (from I don't know where) it showed "building"
fact and dimension tables using SQL. The fact and dimension tables
seemed to me to be nothing more than "revamped" relational tables.

If I get this far, I'm making an assumption that BI tools - such as
Decision Studio Professional ( ) - will
give me a GUI or at least a "smart" interface with which to do the
complex data mining operations I'm looking for.

So any help or insights would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Dan Ford

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