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Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services: The BISM Tabular Model (Developer Reference)
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services: The BISM Tabular Model (Developer Reference)
by Marco Russo
Edition: Paperback
Price: $41.54
71 used & new from $30.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent SSAS 2012 BISM Tabular Book, November 13, 2012
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I will start off by saying, whenever I see the names Marco Russo, Alberto Ferrari and Chris Webb on a SQL Server Analysis Services book....I know it will good. This book is no exception! I can say with 100% honesty that this is one of the best technical books I've read.

I work with SQL Server 2012 and am eager to learn more about the tabular model. When I saw this book on Amazon, I bought it immediately and am so grateful that I did. I have many technical books that sit on shelves collecting dust; this book is definitely not one of them. After only a few weeks the book is already showing wear from use and I haven't put it on the shelf yet. I have read it cover-to-cover and plan to do so again - it is truly that good.

There are so many great aspects to this book I don't know where to begin. I can say that it does an excellent job not only covering the basics but also many advanced topics as well.

A few of my favorite topics/chapters are listed below:
◾The chapters on DAX are especially helpful, they provide an excellent overview of the language including advanced topics that I haven't found in other sources. The book also contains a chapter on DAX time intelligence functions which I found quite useful.
◾The `Building Hierarchies' chapter is excellent as well. It goes beyond the basics, covering more complex scenarios such as parent/child hierarchies and unary operators.
◾The chapter `Data Modeling in Tabular' provides a very thorough overview of common dimensional modeling topics (Type 1 and Type 2 SCDs, degenerate dimensions, junk dimensions and snapshot fact tables) and implementation best practices in the tabular model.
◾`Using Advanced Tabular Relationships' is my favorite chapter. This chapter provides examples using the DAX language to implement more complex scenarios/relationships. A few topics covered are Multicolumn Relationships (in a tabular cube a relationship can be set with one column only, but the authors provide examples that work around this limitation), Banding (grouping attribute values), Many-to-Many relationships, Basket Analysis and Currency Conversion.
◾The chapters on Security and Deployment/Processing are also well-written and very thorough. They cover many scenarios in detail.

The authors do a great job comparing the Multidimensional and Tabular technologies; They discuss the pros and cons of both models as well as reasons you may choose one over the other. In addition, the authors often demonstrate multiple ways to solve a given problem and discuss the advantages/disadvantages of each implementation. They provide excellent overviews of performance analysis and troubleshooting and warn the readers of things to avoid.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of the SQL Server Analysis Services 2012 tabular model. This book will not disappoint. It is a worthwhile addition to any MS Business Intelligence practitioners library.

How To Deliver A TED Talk: Secrets Of The World's Most Inspiring Presentations
How To Deliver A TED Talk: Secrets Of The World's Most Inspiring Presentations

256 of 259 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read for any Presenter, October 7, 2012
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I was recently looking for some shorter length books to read on my Kindle and while browsing options on Amazon, I stumbled across a series of TED e-books. It may be more accurate to describe them as white papers or articles instead of books, since they are all roughly 50-100 pages in length. Since I am a fan of TED and am interested in improving my own presentation skills, I thought I'd start by reading the book `How to Deliver a TED Talk' by Jeremey Donovan.

I was very impressed with the content and format of this book. Although short in length, it is full of helpful presentation advise. The following is a (partial) list of topics covered:

1. Selecting a Topic: Identify a central idea and work backwards to establish an audience focused narrative that includes stories and facts. Connect with the audience by focusing on people's inner needs for belonging, self-interest, self-actualization or hope.

2. Crafting a `Catchphrase': Turn the central idea of the presentation into a memorable phrase that is implanted in the audience's mind. An ideal catchphrase should be short (3-10 words) and action oriented. A catchphrase should be repeated several times during the presentation.

3. Opening a Talk: The first ten or twenty seconds of a speech is the peak of the audience's engagement. Capitalize on this engagement by starting your speech with a compelling opening. Personal stories, shocking/startling statements and powerful questions are all effective ways to open a presentation. As a follow-up to the opening of your presentation, deliver a post-opening that informs the audience of the benefits they will gain from the presentation.

4. Building a Speech Body and Transitions: The body of a presentation should ideally consist of three sections. Segmenting a speech into three sections helps the presenter stay focused and helps the audience remember the message. Several narrative styles may be utilized; three effective styles are the situation-complication-resolution framework, the chronological narrative and the idea-concepts description. Transitions between sections of the speech should reinforce the key message of the prior section while teasing the audience with benefits of the upcoming section.

5. Concluding a Talk: The conclusion of a speech is the final opportunity to inspire the audience or call them to action with an easy next step. Use language that makes it clear the speech is ending. A few possible conclusions to a speech are a call back to a personal story told earlier in the speech, a shocking statistic or compelling question.

6. Mastering Verbal Delivery: When delivering a speech adopt a conversationalist tone and use everyday language in short sentence structures. Avoid filler words by speaking in bursts followed by pauses. Make liberal use of the word `you' to appeal to the audience.

7. Adding Humor to a Talk: Humor should be embedded throughout the speech, strive for one joke every few minutes. Utilize self-deprecation, exaggerated reality and challenges to authority to add humor. Effective speakers `riff' on humorous themes in clusters of three.

8. Managing Your Physical Delivery: When delivering a speech stand comfortably with hands down at your sides. Gestures should be contained to the area above your waist and below your neck. Maintain eye contact with individuals in the audience for three to five seconds. If you are presenting to a large group, engage sections for one to three minutes.

9. Creating Visuals That Inspire: Use as few slides as possible or no slides at all. If you are using slides, keep them simple with short text and images.

This is just a brief overview of the content covered in this book. Every section is full of good examples that support the key ideas of effective presentations.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in improving their public speaking skills or wants to learn more about the format of a TED talk.
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