Delivering Business Intelligence with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 3/E 3rd Edition

23 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071759380
ISBN-10: 0071759387
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Brian Larson, MCSD, served as a member of the Reporting Services development team and has contributed to the code base. He is the Chief of Technology for Superior Consulting Services (SCS), a Microsoft Certified Partner currently developing a client solution that uses Microsoft Reporting Services for report production and distribution. Brian has been invited to speak on Reporting Services at several conferences, including SQL Server Magazine Connections, and has written articles for SQL Server Magazine.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 832 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media; 3 edition (March 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071759387
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071759380
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #369,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brian Larson is Chief Technology Officer and Partner at Superior Consulting Services in Minneapolis, Minnesota ( He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, with degrees in physics and computer science. Brian has worked in the computer industry since 1985 and has been a consultant creating custom database applications since 1989. Brian is an MCSE: Business Intelligence 2012 and a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA).

Brian served as a member of the original Reporting Services development team as a consultant to Microsoft. In that role, he contributed to the initial code base of Reporting Services.

Brian has presented at national conferences and events, including the SQL Server Magazine Connections Conference, the PASS Community Summit, and the Microsoft Business Intelligence Conference, and has provided training and mentoring on Reporting Services and business intelligence across the country. He has been a contributor and columnist for SQL Server Magazine.

Brian began his writing career collecting rejection letters for some very bad science fiction short stories. Brian got the last laugh on all of those cruel editors by sneaking a bit of science fiction into his Reporting Services books. The sample company used in all of the examples is an intergalactic shipping company staffed by robots and employing faster than the speed of light travel to offer previous day delivery. The company back story may be fanciful; the business examples, however, are all down to earth!

Brian lives with his wife Pam in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota. Pam will tell you that their first date took place at the Luther College computer center. If that doesn't qualify someone to write computer books, then I don't know what does.

Brian can be contacted at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By T. Anderson VINE VOICE on May 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dave S on May 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have to say first off, that this book is extremely helpful in learning not only SQL Server 2012, but Business Intelligence practices as well. The writing is concise, and precise - meaning that it is easy to absorb the tremendous amount of information here quickly. Acronyms are spelled out frequently - usually at the beginning of each chapter, which while a little repetitive, really helps cement them in memory. The book is nicely divided into explanation, or lecture I'd call it, and guided exercises. The two combined really help to completely cover the topics, and it's separated and organized well so that if you're experienced with a certain topic or feature, you can either just read about it, or just do the exercise.

The book is fairly introductory, but moves to advanced topics quickly. You don't need extensive RDBMS experience to dive in, you don't need any programming experience, but if you don't know what a Primary Key and Foreign key are, you may struggle at times...

The only reason I didn't give this five stars is twofold. One is that I purchased the Kindle edition, and the screenshots and figures usually appear about a full page's text after they are referenced. In this time, the topic has usually shifted to something else, another operation, and what might have been a helpful graphic turns into an interruption. Additionally, the images are of such overly compressed and poor quality, you can actually notice the compression in standard view, and text is illegible when the image is enlarged.

The second reason for four stars, and something that may cause many others to also skip over large sections is the extensive coverage of individual windows.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dimitri Shvorob on March 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
The book covers SSAS, SSIS and SSRS, and it's clear that, even with 800 pages (half taken up by screenshots), it cannot be in-depth; instead, the goal is to get one's feet wet in each product, and get to a functional BI "deliverable". This is emphatically not a helicopter tour but a walk, as the approach is very hands-on, and the reader is asked to follow detailed sequences of steps to build a specific BI solution. There are three tentative "cons". First, the book is meant to be a stepping stone, and one can consider going with (three) specialist books on SSAS, SSIS and SSRS from the outset. (The leading candidate for the SSRS reference would be a book by Brian Larson himself, and SSIS could be covered by the book by Sarka, Lah and Jerkic). Second - and here I do dock a star - I think that some "helicopterness" would help. Early on, the book misses an opportunity to survey Microsoft's BI suite - I found this done nicely in "Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services: The BISM Tabular Model" by Russo, Ferrari and Webb, for example. Then the (easy-on-the-author) running-through-the-screenshots commences, and I feel that this could have been made easier on the reader - for starters, by punctuating the more important steps. Finally, one can consider getting the older edition: the downsides of this approach deal with coverage of Tabular model, PerformancePoint and PowerView.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Hokus Pokus on December 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides an end-to-end walk through of creating some data, making it available in a SQL Server data warehouse, and exploring it with Microsoft reporting tools. Like many tutorials, it shows you what to do without really explaining why you should do it. It is helpful to have all the steps documented in a single source, where I can go through it sequentially, but everything in the book is readily accessible online. The author has provided very little additional information in the form of explanations or design considerations. Most of the book is literally screenshots from the applications, with step-by-step instructions for this one example. There are many online, free tutorials available that work the same way, including the ones provided by Microsoft using the AdventureWorks samples.

I plan to look for a different source that provides deeper explanations of the tools as well as design tradeoffs and architectural considerations.
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Delivering Business Intelligence with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 3/E
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