How to use this book

Let's be honest. This is not a book to read cover to cover in the bath with a glass of wine.

It's a guidebook and a technical guide that you will want to dip in and out of.

It's meant more as a companion that you can come back to over time to develop your thinking and approach.

If you're brand new to modelling, I'd recommend going through it in order. If you're already experienced, you may want to be more selective about the bits that look interesting to you.

Regardless of how experienced you are, I recommend coming at this with a beginners' mindset; learning new skills sometimes requires us to let go of old ways of working.

Part 2 covers model design. If you're brand new to modelling, it's worth reading. If you're already quite experienced, you'll likely know or have figured out most of this already.

Part 3 covers modelling workflow. There are a small number of core skills that will combine to make up your modelling workflow.  If you're new to modelling, try to go through each skill and understand what it's about. You'll get plenty of opportunities to practice in the model section that follows.

In Part 4 we bring it all together with a step by step model build based on a case study. This is so that you can see Parts 2 and 3 in action; how the structure impacts the workflow and vice versa. Again, if you're new to modelling, go through this and try to replicate it in your own model.

In each step of the model build, I reference the skills we're using from Part 3. This is your chance to go back to those skills, understand them more deeply, and critically practice them. At first, you may find yourself skipping back and forward between Parts 3 and 4 until you become familiar with the skills. The best way to learn them is in the context of what you're trying to achieve in your modelling.

Each section in Part 4 builds on the previous parts as we walk through building a complete model from start to finish. You can, if you want, dip into a section that catches your interest. I've included start and end of section models for each step so that you can jump into the section that interests you most. This will also help you use this as a reference book later when you get stuck on a particular topic in your model.


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