Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View Paperback – 1 Jul 2012
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About the Author
Brian Larson, MCITP, MCDBA, served as a member of the Reporting Services development team on a contract basis, and has contributed to the code base. He is the Vice President of Technology for Superior Consulting Services (SCS), a Microsoft Certified Partner. Brian has been invited to speak on Reporting Services at several conferences including SQL Server Magazine Connections, has been interviewed as a subject matter expert by Microsoft TechNet, .NET Rocks, and others, and has written articles for SQL Server Magazine.
Mark Davis, MCITP, is Business Intelligence Practice Manager with Superior Consulting Services in Minneapolis. He has created BI solutions for clients across a wide spectrum of industries, including health care, finance, manufacturing, insurance, and numerous others.
Dan English, MVP, MCITP, is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP, a MCITP Business Intelligence Developer for Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and 2008, and an MCTS for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 – Configuring. Dan is a Principal BI consultant at Superior Consulting Services. He currently helps to lead the Minnesota Business Intelligence User Group and is an avid blogger (http://denglishbi.wordpress.com), Microsoft forums helper, and tweeter (@denglishbi).
Paul Purington, MCITP, is a partner and member of the management team at Superior Consulting Services. As a BI consultant, Paul has experience with both large and small-scale business intelligence environments.
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Top Customer Reviews
With PowerView and PowerPivot in Excel (it comes with Office 2013 for example, and you can download it for 2010) you can do nearly everything in the book without the addition of SQL Server and SharePoint and the other tools laid out in this book. So I think it might have been better to structure the book differently. I'd have liked it to start with an Excel only version and then say how to graduate to the enterprise version to take advantage of scalability, enterprise data sources, and the (very) few extra features. Having said that, sticking to Excel, I could do the translations and find the equivalent functions easily enough. Maybe the book is in need of an upgrade? It will do soon anyway as Microsoft is going at quite a pace in this area.
Second, Learn by Doing is a great way to explain in a way that leaves no opportunity for misunderstanding of how to do something, and this book is almost pedantic, certainly methodical, in its approach to that. But if you are looking for a conceptual background, Learn by Doing won't fully give you one. It is a great first step on the road, but you will need more if you don't have a grasp of business intelligence architectures and concepts already. Maybe it's not fair to criticise a book for not doing what it doesn't set out to do? But hey.
All in all though this is a clear, well set out, logical teach yourself book on PowerView and a bit of DAX too, and it's great value as well.
In particular, there are a set of videos about installing PowerView. This is more complicated than you might expect. Power View requires SharePoint and SQL Server. SharePoint in turn requires a Windows 2008 server as a domain manager. For many, their IT department will have already set this up. However, Power View is a self-service BI tool so there may be a few people like me who need to set it up themselves. The videos take you through the installations step-by-step - I would not have been able to achieve this without such meticulous videos.
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So much so that I have adopted it as one of the text books for the open enrollment training course I am teaching on Microsoft Self-Service BI, at SharePoint Solutions in Nashville.
One of the things that is different about this book than so many other technical books on the market is that the authors worked hard to make it suitable to teach a course from. It has "Learn by Doing" sections in each chapter that can be used as lab exercises. The sample data comes with the DVD and it is good, usable data and all of the Learn by Doing exercises work like they are supposed to. That, in itself, is a rare find in most technical books.
Microsoft offers a demo hyper-v VHD that you can download from their site that has SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition and SharePoint 2010 installed and configured. It times out after 60 days or so, but that is enough time to use the VM along with this book to learn all about Power View.
SQL Server 2012 has been an exciting release for techno geeks like me, and Power View has been one of the star attractions. Being a reporting enthusiast, I spared no pains in getting my laptop upgraded so that I could get to the bare minimums for testing out Power View. From the little time I spent with Power View, I found it to be really simple and easy to understand. Hence when I heard that there was a new book on Power View coming to the stands, my first question was - How on earth could there be enough matter to fill a whole book on Power View? I was pleasantly surprised when I received my copy of "Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View".
The authors (Brian Larson, Mark Davis, Dan English and Paul Purington) have done a splendid job of explaining all the features of Power View in an easily understandable format. Even though the target audience for this book are Power View beginners which includes non-technical business users, it also gives professionals who are acquainted with the tool (like me) an opportunity to review all the functionalities and fix the gaps in learning. Let me summarize the contents in a nutshell -the initial chapter takes the reader through an introduction of Power View and chapters 2, 3 and 4 concentrate on the different visualizations available in Power View. Chapter 5 builds up on the previous chapters and discusses the interactive features of Power View (this is the chapter where my favourite feature of Power View is being explained - the Play axis). Chapter 6 gives a fitting end to the Power View part by explaining how to save, secure, print and export Power View reports. Apart from the above 6 chapters, there are another 5 chapters on how to create a BI Semantic Model (BISM). This is important as Power View requires this layer called BISM between the report and the data. As the author rightly says in the video, this layer might already be built for the users by the IT team. But there is nothing to fear even if this is not the case as the chapters give a good introduction on BISM. This is not intended for the readers who are trying to get advanced knowledge in BISM and there are other books in the market for that. But if your main intention is to create Power View reports and you would like to learn the basics of BISM for the said purpose, there is no better book than this at the moment. The book also has an accompanying DVD with more than 4 hours of video demonstrations for people who like to learn visually. The appendix section gives instructions on how to setup a virtual learning environment as well as configuring the sample data. With all that said, I can say this book is a must have for anyone interested in using Power View reports or looking to expand their knowledge on Power View.
It really helped me a lot to understand power view, and how it is related to power pivot. and more over, it introduced the new tabular analysis services semantic model
All of the above was really confusing to me, and I didn't know from where to start, I felt I'm lost. After reading this book, I feel I'm in control back again
The thing I liked most about the book is the "Learn by Doing" sections, and the videos associated with them. Specially the ones related to preparing the environment
And worse, I tried to install hyper-V so that I could have a virtual environment. Somehow I wound up with the wrong version of hyper-V, which was installed as an o/s instead of an app. I had to use a rescue disc to recover my operating system and lost a couple of days in the effort.