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Posted April 19, 2011
Excellent Book to Understand Business Intelligence, Using SQL Server 2008 R2.
It is always a joy reading books from APRESS mostly because the authors are subject matter experts and offer hands-on expertise. The content is helpful and well laid out from ground up for anyone who needs to know about SQL Server 2008 R2 from a BI perspective. The first five chapters lay framework to an understanding of schemas, dimensions and modeling theory. The book offers thorough insight of star, snow flake schemas, Slow Changing (SCD) Dimensions, Rapid Changing (RCD) Dimensions, KPIs, Calculated and Derived Measures. The authors do a good job with listing examples using the AdventureWorks database which is accessible to everyone with ample screen shots to make it a step-by-step guide.
The middle section of this book talks in detail about designing and deploying SSIS, SSAS packages to support enterprise ETL processes, types of data transformation techniques along with pros and cons of each storage model. SSIS has been covered in detail spanning three chapters with everything needed to implement it including industry's state of the art logging and security standards.
Lastly, the book delves into data mining, reporting (SSRS) services concepts and using MDX/DMX to query cube information that's created based on the principles laid out in earlier chapters and illustrates use of traditional pivot tables and new "Power Pivot" feature within Microsoft Excel 2010 available as a free plug-in and offers tight integration with SQL Server 2008 R2 data mining capabilities.
I will highly recommend it to anyone looking to get up and running quickly or exploring BI offering from Microsoft having read most of the "SQL Server Online Books" as it's one of the good "foundation" books available in market I have run into that blends field experience in an easy to digest format.
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