Companies today are drowning under a sea of data, but very rarely have the tools that would allow them to do anything useful with it. In this one day seminar, suitable for DBAs, business analysts and developers, Allan Mitchell and Chris Webb will give you an insight into what's possible with Business Intelligence tools that Microsoft offers. They have implemented BI solutions for companies large and small throughout the world. Let them show you the power of your data!
Over the course of the day Allan and Chris will run through the process of building a complete Business Intelligence solution using all the tools in the Microsoft SQL Server suite. We'll start off by taking raw transactional data and show you how to clean, transform and remodel it, and then load it into reporting and analysis tools that will let your end users gain the maximum business benefit from it. The breakdown of the day will be as follows:
What is BI?
Business Intelligence, or BI for short, is a term bandied around a lot today but what does it actually mean? We'll discuss some possible definitions and the kind of Business Intelligence solutions that companies are really building and using today.
The technique of dimensional modelling is meant to solve the problems that you encounter when trying to perform reporting directly from an OLTP database. In this part of the day we will look at: * What issues dimensional modelling is trying to solve * The theory of dimensional modelling * What structures you see in a dimensional model
ETL with Integration Services
ETL stands for 'Extract, Transform and Load', and it refers to the process of extracting data from your transactional systems, cleaning it, validating it, integrating it and then loading it into your dimensional model. It's probably the most important and the most lengthy part of a project because invariably the data you want to work with has a lot of problems, but if you give junk data to your end users they will not be able to do anything useful with it. In this section we'll take a look at how you can use Integration Services to:
- Extract data from many different sources,
- Clean, transform and conform it,
- Use its advanced functionality to uncover useful information that you might not have known was there, and
- Load it into your dimensional model
Advanced Analysis and Querying with Analysis Services
If you and your users need to be able to query your data easily, perform advanced analysis and calculations and get super-quick performance then you may want to consider using Analysis Services. In this section we'll discuss:
- What Analysis Services is and what advantages it has over a relational database for BI
- How to build cubes
- How the MDX query language allows you to create queries and calculations that would be very difficult in SQL
Reporting with Reporting Services
While some users will want the powerful ad hoc querying that Analysis Services offers, most will just be happy with straightforward reports. Reporting Services allows you to create pixel-perfect reports from a variety of data sources and render them in a number of formats such as over the web, pdf and Excel. In this section we'll show:
- How to build reports using Reporting Services
- How to report from a relational data source
- How to report from an Analysis Services cube
All kinds of patterns and trends are hidden in your data that you may not know about, and they can be found using the data mining functionality in Analysis Services. In the final part of the day we'll show you how to: * How to build data mining models that will allow you discover patterns in and make predictions from your data * Let your end users do this within Excel 2007
Allan Mitchell and Chris Webb are consultants with many years of experience of implementing BI solutions on the Microsoft BI platform and delivering training on this subject. They are both holders of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award.