There is a certain niche audience for this book: intermediate to advanced excel users who aren't necessarily BI/datawarehousing types. If you are a fairly basic excel user, this would not be a book to start with. You should already know vlookups, pivot tables, etc. before getting into PowerPivot. And, if you are a grizzled BI professional, this may serve as a good reference, but you can breeze through parts of it.
I guess I'm pretty much the target audience here, then. I'm an all-day excel user, but had not yet gotten PowerPivot as my company was still on excel 2007. Moreover, I only have a passing familiarity with cubes and BI stuff, facts and dimensions and star schemas, oh my!
But I had heard about this PowerPivot fad (kidding!) and have been intrigued.
I recently upgraded to Excel 2013 on my home computer just so I could begin to play around with this new feature. While I don't love the look and feel of excel 2013, it was worth it.
Okay, enough about excel itself. What do I think of this book? Why did I choose this one over one of the many others? How the heck am I reviewing it before it has even been released? Do I like asking questions as a cheap rhetorical device before essentially answering them myself? YES! I also like to refer to myself in the third person, just to sound important.
As for the third question: I subscribe to an online library that, for some reason, already has this available.
Honestly, the main reason I chose this book over many others is that it has a very comprehensive coverage of the subject by authors who's previous book came highly recommended. Some books are more introductory (Jelen's), some focus on DAX alone, some are more for the Sharepoint stuff, this one seemed to have it all.
The authors spend a good bit of time going over database/warehouseing concepts and lingo for those of us who may need a bit of a refresher. As mentioned above, that was something I felt I could benefit from.
There is also coverage of the new PowerView feature, which reminds me a bit of a simplified Tableau for data exploration and dashboarding. It might be nice to see more on this subject. But I think that would be a separate book. And I'm sure we will see some written soon. After all, the title is "Building Data Models," not "Building Dashboards and Reports."
There is extensive coverage of the DAX language, which is something I have no experience with, so, again, good to have most of what we need in one book. Though I know whole books have been written on DAX.
From what I can tell, the Collie book is more readable and "fun." This one is more or less typical of similar technical books. I mean, it's not a suspense/thriller.
I have downloaded the supporting files and they are extensive. So far, all seem to be working correctly and are important to work through as you follow along with the book.
Overall, recommended if you are an excel pro who wants a single source book to learn about PowerPivot, DAX, PowerView, and data modeling in general.