The importance of understanding DAX....
The DAX language is the foundation of self-service Business Intelligence using the Microsoft stack. It is the language used to query and program both Microsoft PowerPivot for Excel 2013 and the new SQL Server Analysis Services Tabular model. Learning the basics of DAX is very simple, but mastering it is a different story because it requires a mindset that requires some study, for both BI Professionals and Information Workers.
The syntax of the DAX formulas are very similar to what Excel uses in formulas, however they defer from Excel Formulas that it works with tables and columns, not ranges to let you do sophisticated lookups to related values and related tables.
DAX formulas are highly optimized for in-memory operations, the xVelocity in-memory engine is second to none. Scanning fact tables and performing leaf-level computation happens in a matter of milliseconds. Nevertheless, as with any other language, you can write good DAX or bad DAX, depending on your understanding of the engine internals.
With DAX being used in the BI Semantic Model and PowerPivot and added functionality in SQL Server 2012, DAX is being used as the primary query / expression language in Business Intelligence allowing you to build out data models used for Power View, Data Explorer and Geoflow visualizations.
To highlight the importance and get you up to speed on DAX we are bringing a series of DAX related sessions to TechEd North America and Europe, including an amazing pre-conference presented by DAX / BI Experts Marco Russo and Alberto Ferrari: From 0 to DAX.
As Data Platform and Business Intelligence content owner for TechEd North America and TechEd Europe, I am delighted and honored to have these guys on our session agenda.
In their full day pre-conference seminar , you'll have a great opportunity to drill down into every single detail of DAX, starting from zero.
Even if you are not attending TechEd, you can register just for this highly rated and ranked pre-conference seminar.
Additional Learning Resources:
Enriching your BI Semantic Model using DAX: https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NorthAmerica/2011/DBI408