Want to learn Analysis Services and not sure where to start? Here’s a helping hand!

Recently, someone asked me for a list of good books, sites and other resources for learning SSAS. Here are my thoughts!

  • You’re an absolute beginner. What do you do?
  • What in-person events can you attend?
  • So you’ve done all these, and want more Analysis Services. What next?  
  • My favourite SSAS sites! 

You’re an absolute beginner. What do you do?

Start with the Technet Tutorial. Follow it step-by-step. When you’re done, then do it again – but this time, don’t look at the site to do it! This will help you to see what areas didn’t ‘stick’ the first time.

Take a look at the Microsoft Free e-book collection. Yes, free! Go and take a look! See if anything there will help you.

Try the TechEd webinars. Here is a range of the top ones, from Dandy Weyn  

I’d recommend the Analysis Services team blog for a regular read. 

I’d also spend time on the Professional Association of SQL Server  (SQLPASS) website. If you’re not a member, it’s free to join, and you can access a wealth of material, from beginners to advanced, delivered by SQL Server experts around the globe – for FREE! How awesome is that?
For example, take a look at their Business Intelligence Virtual Chapter for webinars, downloads and more. Well worth a look!
If you can, I’d think about purchasing the DVDs from the SQLPass Summit. I have had some much value from these DVDs. In fact, I still listen to 2010 Summit sessions, as well as 2011. Therefore, I’ve had massive value from the Summit DVDs, making it a great investment. 

What in-person events can you attend?

Attend a local SQL Server User Group. These are usually organised by SQLPass volunteers, and you can probably find one near you!   

If you are in Europe, attend SQLBits. No excuses. It has to be done! The UK has a great SQL Server community and this is the longest-standing, largest free European SQL Server community conference. I love this conference – great people, great learning, great community spirit!

If you are in the US – or can travel to the US – go to SQLPass Summit. This is the pinnacle of SQL Server community events in the US, and I regard it as a huge honour to be picked to speak. Like SQLBits,  I love this conference – great people, great learning, great community spirit! Once you attend for your first time, you’ll go home and book up for your second visit next year. Seriously. It is *that* good. I’m travelling 5000 miles to attend – there’s dedication for you!

If you can’t afford to attend SQLPass Summit, but still want free (or nearly free!) in-person training, take a look at the SQLSaturday events that occur across the globe.  Most events are free, but some ask for a contribution towards lunch. In my opinion, this is a great investment of your time.

If you can make Orlando in December, think about attending SQL Live 360. This looks set to be an awesome conference. There are different streams, including SharePoint and Visual Studio. You can register here! 

So you’ve done all these, and want more Analysis Services. What next? 

Expert Cube Development with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services

This book is by Chris Webb, Marco Russo and Alberto Ferrari. It’s very well written, and it is a great reference and guide from very experienced authors, who will help you to take your SSAS to a deeper level. It is full of practical advice, and will help you to deliver your SSAS cube more professionally.

This book is very detailed, and I’d put this at more the ‘expert’ level rather than the beginner. It’s a great reference for nuggets of information
My favourite SSAS sites:

Chris Webb‘s blog

Marco Russo and Alberto Ferrari blog

 I hope that helps!





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