Every time someone asks me about getting into BI or learning about data warehousing I point them to one book: The Data Warehouse Tool Kit first Edition by Ralph Kimball. When it comes to a starting point for Data Warehousing this is the book.
It’s the only book I know of that starts at the beginning and asks the questions of why you would want to embark on a Data warehouse project. Ralph uses plain language to describe star schemas and data warehouse design. Each chapter takes a real world industry example such as telecoms, retail, banking and Insurance and demonstrates star schema design. Each chapter takes on different design problems that you may face when building a star schemas.
The first Edition contains a CD with sample stars populated based on each chapter. The later editions do not come with the CD.
It’s a great book for learning about design and understanding the concepts of data warehouses and star schemas. Even if you are not a developer this book is still for you. It makes the connection between business problems and data warehouse design. The great thing about this book is its technology independent.