Bill Inmon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

William H. Inmon (born 1945) is an American computer scientist, recognized by many as the father of the data warehouse.[1][2] Bill Inmon wrote the first book, held the first conference (with Arnie Barnett), wrote the first column in a magazine and was the first to offer classes in data warehousing. Bill Inmon created the accepted definition of what a data warehouse is - a subject oriented, nonvolatile, integrated, time variant collection of data in support of management's decisions. Compared with the approach of the other pioneering architect of data warehousing, Ralph Kimball, Inmon's approach is often characterized as a top-down approach.


W. H. Inmon was born July 20, 1945 in San Diego, California. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Yale University, and his Master of Science degree in Computer Science from New Mexico State University.

He has worked for American Management Systems and Coopers & Lybrand before 1991, when he founded the company Prism Solutions, which he took public. In 1995 he founded Pine Cone Systems, which was renamed Ambeo later on. In 1999, he created the Corporate Information Factory Web site to educate professionals and decision makers about data warehousing and the Corporate Information Factory.[3]

Further Bill Inmon was the creator of the Government Information Factory, as well as Data Warehousing 2.0. Mr. Inmon is a prolific author on the building, usage, and maintenance of the data warehouse and the Corporate Information Factory. His books include "Building the Data Warehouse" (1992, with later editions) and "DW 2.0: The Architecture for the Next Generation of Data Warehousing" (2008).

In July 2007 Bill was named by Computerworld as one of the ten people that most influenced the first 40 years of the computer industry.[4]

Bill Inmon's association with data warehousing stems from the fact that he wrote the first[citation needed] book on data warehousing he held the first conference on data warehousing (with Arnie Barnett), he wrote the first column in a magazine on data warehousing, he has written over 1,000 articles on data warehousing in journals and newsletters, he created the first fold out wall chart for data warehousing and he conducted the first classes on data warehousing. The term "Business Data Warehouse" was coined by Barry A. Devlin in an paper for IBM titled An architecture for a business information system[5] in 1988, but Inmon used a similar term in the 1970's [6]

Recent advances by Bill include the creation of DW 2.0 - the definition of the next generation of data warehousing. In addition Bill was the creator of the corporate information factory (the "cif") which describes the larger information architecture into which warehousing fits. More recently Bill has developed the technology for including unstructured textual data into the data warehouse - the world's first "textual ETL".

In 2012 Bill developed and made public technology known as "textual disambiguation". Textual disambiguation applies context to raw text and reformats the raw text and context into a standard data base format. Once raw text is passed through textual disambiguation, it can easily and efficiently be accessed and analyzed by standard business intelligence technology. Textual disambiguation is accomplished through the execution of textual ETL. Textual disambiguation is useful wherever raw text is found, such as in documents, Hadoop, email, and so forth.


Bill Inmon has published more than 40 books and 1,000 articles on data warehousing and data management. A selection:

  • 1981. Effective Data Base Design. Prentice Hall, 1981
  • 1986. Information systems architecture : a system developer's primer. Prentice-Hall.
  • 1986. The dynamics of data base. With Thomas J. Bird, Jr. Prentice-Hall.
  • 1988. Information engineering for the practitioner : putting theory into practice. Prentice Hall.
  • 1992. Rdb/VMS: Developing the Data Warehouse. With Chuck Kelley, QED, 19921321abhish
  • 1992. Building the Data Warehouse. 1st Edition. Wiley and Sons
  • 1998. Corporate Information Factory. With Claudia Imhoff and Ryan Sousa. John Wiley and Sons
  • 2000. Exploration Warehousing: Turning Business Information into Business Opportunity. With R. H. Terdeman, John Wiley and Sons
  • 2007. Business Metadata. With Bonnie Oneil and Lowell Fryman. Elsevier Press 2007
  • 2007. Tapping Into Unstructured Data. With Tony Nesavich. Prentice Hall, 2007
  • 2008. DW 2.0 - Architecture for the Next Generation of Data Warehousing. With Derek Strauss and Genia Neushloss, Elsevier Press, 2008
  • 2014. Data Architecture: A Primer for the Data Scientist. With Dan Linstedt, Elsevier Kaufman, 2014

- 2015. Preventing Litigation: An early warning system to get big value out of big data. Business Expert Press, 2015


  1. ^ Jill Dyché (2000). e-Data: turning data into information with data warehousing. Addison-Wesley. p.323.
  2. ^ Alexander Factor (2001). Analyzing Application Service Providers. Prentice Hall PTR. p.290.
  3. ^ About Bill : William H. Inmon, "The Father of Data Warehousing". Inmon Consulting Services 2007.
  4. ^ Computer World Magazine's July 2007 issue.
  5. ^ Devlin, Barry A.; Murphy, P.T. (1988). "An architecture for a business and information system". Volume:27 Issue:1. IBM Systems Journal. pp. 60 – 80. doi:10.1147/sj.271.0060. ISSN 0018-8670. Archived from the original on 2014-09-13. Retrieved 2015-12-11. 
  6. ^ Kempe, Shannon Kempe / August 23, 2012 (2012-08-23). "A Short History of Data Warehousing". Archived from the original on 2015-12-11. Retrieved 2015-12-11. But the practice known today as Data Warehousing really saw its genesis in the late 1980s. An IBM Systems Journal article published in 1988, An architecture for a business information system, coined the term “business data warehouse,” although a future progenitor of the practice, Bill Inmon, used a similar term in the 1970s. 

External links[edit]