Help us promote SQL Saturday 174 and get free training in return!

If you intend to attend the SQL Saturday ‘BI’ Edition in Charlotte, NC on October 27, you may be the lucky winner of an *Annual Plus* subscription from PluralSight, a leading developer training company (valued at $499).

How?  Help us promote the event by sending an email to your friends and colleagues encouraging to attend.  Please be sure to cc so we know you are spreading the word (Be sure to direct your contacts to register on our event website @ )

Send the email between now and midnight on Sept. 30th and you will be entered in a drawing to win the free training.  We’ll do the drawing at the SQL Saturday closing remarks.

[your name can only be entered once and you must be present to win]

Thank you and I hope to see you there! 🙂


Book Review: SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services, The BISM Tabular Model

If you are looking to increase your Business Intelligence ‘IQ’, there is a book I want to recommend to you: “SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services, The BISM Tabular Model” by Marco Russo, Alberto Ferrari and Chris Webb (published by Microsoft Press).

It provides the most in-depth training available on the new Tabular framework in SQL Server Analysis Services 2012.  The coverage of features is truly impressive, ranging from data modeling to development and administration.  It is indeed the best and most comprehensive guide on the topic available at the moment.

As a technologist, you must be facing the interesting question of when to use BISM Tabular and how does it compare with Multidimensional cubes. This book will guide you through that decision, comparing both frameworks and pointing out their strengths and weaknesses.

Even after deciding to use BISM Tabular for your project, there is a need to select an option between loading data in-memory (using xVelocity) or relying on DirectQuery to benefit from real time reporting. The book dives deeply into this topic and establishes a comparison of features which will allow you make the right selection when implementing Tabular technology in your organization.

In addition to this, the in-depth coverage of DAX makes it a fantastic reference book when working through complex queries and formulas in order to get the most out of Tabular technology.  A lot of attention is given to DAX’s conceptual underpinnings, from basic to advanced levels, always from the perspective of a BI professional.

To be a seasoned SSAS developer you must have a good understanding of how to best model the data in order to generate a user-friendly and intuitive semantic layer.  With this book you will also gain that understanding, with particular emphasis on how modeling for xVelocity is different from regular data modeling  and how DAX can be used to handle advanced relationships.

All these are great topics, but the book goes even further.  Alternatives and best practices regarding the use of presentation layer features are also covered as well as how a Tabular deployments can benefit from the use of PowerPivot for self-service BI.

Finally, the necessary topics of how to handle security and optimize & administer the environment are explained clearly.

I must say I liked the experience of being part of the peer review team for this book. I particularly enjoyed the collection of useful links it provides.  The authors have mined the best online resources available on Tabular model and they share each of them as they delve into each and every topic.

If you are interested in anything Tabular (SSAS, PowerPivot, DAX, MDX, Power View, AMO and more) I suggest you get a copy of this book. I am certain you will enjoy it!  Here is the link to the book:

Announcing a new BI user group and SQL Saturday in Charlotte!

I am super exited to share the news that a few of my friends from the SQL Server community and I have decided to create a new user group:  the PASS local Chapter for SQL Server Business Intelligence in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Our motto: We want to make it fun to learn new skills while interacting with others.  If you live in Charlotte or are close to the “Queen City”, I want to know about you and invite you to attend!

On top of this, we have decided to organize a SQL Saturday BI edition here in Charlotte!  Find out more information at the SQL Saturday website here:


The Charlotte SQL Server BI group and the Charlotte SQL Saturday are organized by:

Jason Thomas: Blog | LinkedIn | Twitter

Melissa Coates: Blog | LinkedIn | Twitter

Rafael Salas: Blog | LinkedIn | Twitter

and myself! Blog | LinkedIn | Twitter

If you are interested in speaking or volunteering for the event (or the user group) please do let me know! 🙂

Speaking on PowerPivot this weekend at Carolina Code Camp 2012

If you are in the Charlotte, NC area this weekend and are interested in learning about all the exciting features that new release of PowerPivot offers, check out my session at this year’s Carolina Code Camp!!!  I will be available after the session to answer any questions on PowerPivot features, data modeling, DAX calculations, best practices or any other related  feature you may want to talk about.  You know me: I love this stuff!! Smile

Carolina Code Camp

Speaking for PASS Business Intelligence Virtual Chapter

On March 27, I will be speaking for the PASS BI VC on “Transitioning from Self-Service BI to Corporate BI:  PowerPivot & the BISM Tabular model“.

If you are interested in learning more about how to increase the reach and accuracy of Corporate Business Intelligence initiatives by leveraging the data discoveries achieved through self-service analytics then I think you will be enjoy attending my presentation.

To learn more about it, visit the Virtual Chapter website @