Insufficient data from Andrew Fryer

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Making MDX interesting

Chris Webb MVP can, to quote a friend of mine can, “Make MDX sound interesting”.  I have to say when I first when on a course on MDX the tutor went for the “Make MDX confusing and boring” approach.

Chris has recently coauthored a book on Expert Cube Development with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services with Marco Russo and Alberto Ferrari who are the experts on many to many fact tables and run SQLBI.  I mention this not because they sent me free copy (but thanks anyway!) but because it fills a huge need for anyone wanting to jump into the fascinating world of the cube. 

What bought this home to me was a conversion with a small developer outfit last week who were trying to get some telemetry together to measure energy efficiency.  They are very competent developers and understood their data well. But they had a brief from the client to provide an excel analysis capability of that data and didn’t really know what how to go about doing this.

I could direct them to the 2 Kimball books on my blog bookshelf, but this new book gives you the practical advice on implementing Kimball (and Immon as well) into real cubes that not only give users the insight they need but are fast and easy to maintain. So my advice to Marcus will now be to splash out on this book.

The only problem I have with the book is that the “Expert” in the title may put off the newbie to BI. In fact I think this book is even better for them as it helps get a BI project get off to a good start which is then developed in the book as it dives into the dark corners of MDX, many to many fact tables, partitions etc.

While I am on the subject of Chris Webb, he’s also one of the organisers and speakers at SQL Bits, so you might want to register for the next event in Newport on 19-21st November.