Delivering Business Intelligence with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Book Review
|Get ready to learn, but be ready to work for it. This book is packed full of hands on exercises the author calls "Learn by Doing". Every topic covered is accompanied by a "Learn by Doing" section. If you take the time to go through these while reading the book you will absorb triple the information. It takes a lot of time, but is definitely worth it.|
The author does provide a download of all the databases and projects created throughout the book, so if you do not have time to manually type everything in, you can download and configure them. I did the exercises of the things I had not done before, but used the downloads to explore solutions of concepts I already had a pretty good understanding of.
Although this book is packed full of hands on exercises, it is also packed full of accompanying information. The first part of the book provides a great overview and foundation of Business Intelligence.
The second part of the book is where the hands on exercises begin. You dig deep into creating and populating Data Marts using SSIS. The third part of the book digs deep into creating Cubes and Multidimensional Expressions (MDX) scripting.
Part four covers the Tabular BI Semantic Model and the Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) Language. Part five first gives a really nice introduction to data mining, including covering some of the common algorithms used in data mining. It then covers the Microsoft tools available for mining.
The last part of the book covers the client tools available for delivering business intelligence including Reporting Services, Excel PivotTable and PowerPivot, SharePoint PerformancePoint, and Power View.
I have listed the six parts and their chapters below.
Part I: Business Intelligence
Chapter 1. Equipping the Organization for Effective Decision Making
Chapter 2. Making the Most of What You've Got--Using Business Intelligence
Chapter 3. Seeking the Source--The Source of Business Intelligence
Chapter 4. Two, Two, Two Models in One--The BI Semantic Model
Chapter 5. First Steps--Beginning the Development of Business Intelligence
Part II: Defining Business Intelligence Structures
Chapter 6. Building Foundations--Creating Data Marts
Chapter 7. Transformers--Integration Service Structure and Components
Chapter 8. Fill 'er Up--Using Integration Services for Populating Data Marts
Part III: Working with a Multidimensional BI Semantic Model
Chapter 9. Cubism--Measures and Dimensions
Chapter 10. Bells and Whistles--Special Features of OLAP Cubes
Chapter 11. Writing a New Script--MDX Scripting
Chapter 12. Pulling It Out and Building It Up--MDX Queries
Part IV: Working with a Tabular BI Semantic Model
Chapter 13. Setting the Table--Creating a Tabular BI Semantic Model
Chapter 14. A Fancy Table--Tabular BI Semantic Model Advanced Features
Part V: Mining
Chapter 15. Panning for Gold--Introduction to Data Mining
Chapter 16. Building the Mine--Working with the Data Mining Model
Chapter 17. Spelunking--Exploration Using Data Mining
Part VI: Delivering
Chapter 18. Special Delivery--Microsoft Business Intelligence Client Tools
Chapter 19. Let's Get Together--Integrating Business Intelligence with Your Applications
The downloadable code is very well organized and usable. The databases each have instructions on getting them setup and configured. Like I said above I did the exercises of the things I had not done before, but used the downloads to explore solutions of concepts I already had a pretty good understanding of. All the databases restored without error and all the projects deployed without issue after changing some of the security setting for my local environment.
One topic missing from the book is Master Data Services (MDS), but Microsoft does not include MDS as part of their defined BI solutions either.
Some of my favorite parts of the books included the coverage of Change Data Capture, the complete coverage of the Control Flow items and Data Flow items available in the SSIS Toolbox, the detailed coverage of the BI Semantic Model (BISM), and the coverage of the Data Mining tools.
I honestly do not think you will find a better resource for learning the SQL Server 2012 Business Intelligence Tools.
Delivering Business Intelligence with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 3/E