The holy grail these days seems to be to get all the data into a unifying database – with relational and NoSQL camps each trying to come out the winner. Meanwhile, you’ve got data to gather, manage, and analyze, and that typically means you’ve got to use different types of storage. To get the most of the presentation layer tools in the Microsoft BI stack when data sources include cubes, PowerPivot workbooks, and data mining models, you can’t rely solely on your T-SQL skills. To produce high-performing reports and analytical tools, you’ll need to use other query languages like MDX, DAX, or DMX.

It can be a bit daunting to get started with these other languages, especially when your T-SQL mindset keeps getting in the way. Never fear. I’m here to help! There’s still time to register for my SQLSaturday #220 Preconference Workshop, Languages of BI, this week in Atlanta on Friday, May 17.

In my workshop, you’ll learn which languages each presentation layer tool supports and the basic syntax used by each language. You’ll also learn how take advantage of query builder tools to help you produce queries until you’ve developed the proficiency to create more complex queries on your own. In addition, you’ll learn how to work with expressions to add calculations to cubes and PowerPivot workbook, and how to use expressions to customize the appearance of reports, scorecards, and dashboards.

And if you come out to the workshop, you might as well stay for SQLSaturday, too. This will be my second year for this event in Atlanta, and I’m looking forward to seeing longtime friends in the SQL community and making some new ones. There are a whopping 11 tracks on the schedule, with 3 devoted to BI topics. I’ll be presenting Troubleshooting MDX Query Performance, which is a nice complement to the Friday workshop. Hope to see you there!