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The Definitive Guide to DAX: Business intelligence with Microsoft Excel, SQL Server Analysis Services, and Power BI (Business Skills) 1st Edition
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There is a newer edition of this item:
This title will be released on February 3, 2019.
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About the Author
Marco Russo and Alberto Ferrari cofounded sqlbi.com, where they regularly publish articles about Microsoft PowerPivot, DAX, Power BI, and SQL Server Analysis Services. They also speak regularly at major international conferences, such as TechEd, Ignite, PASS Summit, and SQLBits. Both consult and mentor on business intelligence (BI) and Microsoft BI technologies, having worked with them since 1999. Their books include Microsoft Excel 2013 Building Data Models with PowerPivot, Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services: The BISM Tabular Model, and Microsoft PowerPivot for Excel 2010: Give Your Data Meaning.
Top customer reviews
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This book does many things well.
1) After reading it, I'm confident that when I write a calculation, it’s preforming as expected. It's really quite easy to write an expression with correct syntax that you think functions properly, but actually doesn't. I don't worry about that anymore, because, at the end of the day, this book really explains DAX well - quirks and all.
2) The companion files that go along with this book are also beautifully put together. You get Power BI, Excel, and DAX Studio files, each with all the tables clearly defined, and all the relationships already made. Obviously, time was taken to make sure you can easily follow through with examples, and you can't say that about many books of this nature.
My main problem with this book is how it's written. I wasn't an English major. I don't know all the rules about where a comma goes and why. Also, it's a computer book - I'm not expecting great prose. I'm use to reading programming books that read like dictionaries than anything else. But...
1) This book is full of run-on sentences and commas that are clearly in the wrong place. While a sentence's meaning is correct, you'll sometimes end up spending an extra minute or two re-reading it and trying to phrase it so that it makes sense. There are sentences that span four or five lines. Seriously?! They couldn't break it up a little bit?
2) In an effort to make the book easier to follow, the author tries to use a conversational style (unsuccessfully, see above). The book tries really hard to read like there's a knowledge person sitting in front of you trying to explain things. But he does this thing where he'll spend two pages explaining something and working through an example, you turn the page again, and the second sentence is "you may have noticed that my explanation is not quite right". !*($(*!@#%*!!!!! ...... infuriating, annoying, unacceptable.
If this book only did an average job of explaining DAX, I'd give it one or two stars, but the information inside is actually quite good. It's just that the style makes an already difficult topic harder to follow. Buy it. There's not really a better option. I haven't found a book that does a better job of explaining DAX, but be prepared to spend a good amount of time with a pencil and highlighter trying to cut through sloppy writing.
Later chapters describe the Vertipaq engine, and how to optimize both the data model and DAX queries. There's also plenty of examples on using DAX Studio (this is something I couldn't find in any other books). If you are looking to REALLY learn DAX, then this book is for you. It takes time and effort to get through all of this material, but it is well worth it. Marco and Alberto are the DAX Masters! Their DAX Workshop video is based upon the content in this book, and is excellent. Highly recommended.