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Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View Paperback – Jun 21 2012
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About the Author
Brian Larson (Arden Hills, MN) served as a contract member of the Reporting Services development team and contributed to the code base. He has contributed to SQL Server Magazine and is the Chief of Technology for Superior Consulting Services. With over 18 years of experience in the computer industry, and 14 years as a software development consultant, Brian is an MCSD as well as an MCDBA, and has authored and delivered training curriculum for SQL Server 2000 and C#.NET as well as numerous custom applications.
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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.
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