Winding down on the authoring process of my latest book, Building Integrated Business Intelligence Solutions with SQL Server 2008 R2 & Office 2010, I decided to look at my calendar to see what I should work on next, and saw that I have a lot of presentations to prepare! Here’s a list of events planned through November (with placeholders for details that aren’t yet publicly available – to be updated soon). Maybe you can join me for one or more?

Building a Data Mart with Integration Services (Free Webcast)

September 8, 2010 @ 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT

Understanding current trends in business conditions often requires asking a lot of questions, but allowing users to run query after query against your operations databases causes more problems than it solves. By creating a data mart, you can maintain a separate data store that can withstand the heavy query load that business analysis demands. In this webcast, you’ll learn why you need a dimensional data model for your data mart, how to quickly build a dimensional model, and how to use control flow and data flow components in Integration Services to build simple packages that populate the dimensional model with data.

Intro to MDX – 24 Hours of Pass (Free Webcast)

September 15, 2010 @ 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

“Everyone” says MDX is hard-so what’s the point of learning it? Quite simply, some answers are easier to get from your data by using multidimensional queries instead of relational queries. Sure, it’s possible to write pages of T-SQL code to do things like period-over-period analysis, cumulative results such as month-to-date and year-to-date comparisons, or trending calculations for Key Performance Indicators. But in this session, you’ll learn how much easier you can perform these calculations by using MDX (after you put your data into a cube, of course!), not to mention how much faster MDX queries execute compared to their relational counterparts.

To help you get started with MDX, I’ll explain how to think about multidimensional space, how to create basic queries, which functions to learn first, and how to construct simple, but useful, calculations. In my PASS Summit 2010 session, “Demystifying MDX in Reporting Services,” I’ll then show you how to apply these concepts to queries in Reporting Services and how to adapt queries that return multidimensional results to the two-dimensional dataset structure required by Reporting Services.

Strategies to Fast Track Your BI Implementation (Free Webcast)

September 23, 2010 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

One of the secrets to a successful BI implementation is quick delivery of a solution that delivers valuable information to your business users. Quick delivery does not require you to take shortcuts to reduce the length of the project, but instead demands that you implement strategies that enable you to leverage technology, people, and process effectively. Before you can begin implementing these strategies, you must have a clear understanding of the opportunity areas for information delivery and assess both the level of complexity and value of information for each opportunity. Rather than build a comprehensive solution, you can manage each opportunity as a separate project while keeping the big picture in mind. Then by following a simple set of strategies while remaining mindful of critical success factors for each project, you can progressively deliver an integrated and flexible solution that meets the needs of business users sooner rather than later.

Attend this webinar and learn:

  • How to quickly deliver a BI solution without taking shortcuts that sacrifice vital components
  • Critical success factors for managing a new BI implementation
  • How to deliver a scalable BI solution in manageable stages

Advanced SQL Server Reporting Services (Online training – details to come)

September 28-29-30, 2010 @ 12:00 – 1:30 PM and 2:00 – 3:30 PM EDT

Accelerating Answers with Analysis Services (Free Webcast – details to come)

October 12, 2010 @ 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT

A relational data mart is a great way to improve query performance for business analysis, but having that data available in an Analysis Services cube can provide an even better experience. A cube can not only deliver queries faster, but can simplify the queries needed to compare one time period to another or to work with cumulative values, like month-to-date and quarter-to-date. Join us for this webcast to learn how a cube can deliver high-performance queries, how to build a basic cube, and how to share the cube with your user community.

BI Immersion Event (Event details and link to registration w/early bird rate for registrations by September 17)

October 25 – 29, 2010 M-Th 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM, Fri 9:00 – 3:30 PM in Bellevue, WA

Even with little to no knowledge of BI, this course will provide you with immediately-usable, production-level knowledge of BI. The course has been designed to take you from installation to configuration to application and integration – for all facets of the BI stack (SSIS, SSAS, SSRS, PowerPivot, and SharePoint) – it is meant for anyone who wants to get involved in BI. Our first thought was to create a class for DBAs who want to better understand their environment, but the course content is just as valuable whether you’re new to BI or ready to expand your skills. This class might be the perfect way to advance your career and dig deeper into topics that don’t typically get covered in most BI classes.

Maybe you accomplish quite a bit with Excel – but how do you get the data there? Quite a few folks use cut-and-paste, or import from a CSV – but of course there’s a much better, and much more scalable and robust way using SSIS! Relational data warehousing – with lots of aggregate tables – helps you keep your data organized for Excel or any other type of reporting or analysis tool that you might want to use, but some types of business questions are answered more easily when you move your data from the data warehouse into SSAS cubes. Whether you store data in tables or cubes, you have a variety of options in the BI stack to access and analyze the data, but which is best? Learn how to choose the right tool for the task and how to manage a secure and scalable environment for reporting and analysis.

The course starts out in the 100-200 range on Day 1 but moves into the 200-300 range for the remainder of the week. For each technology in the BI stack, you’ll learn basic usage and design principles, followed by more coverage of configuration, performance tuning, and other management tasks than you’ll find in most BI end-to-end classes. The course will not only bridge the gap in your BI knowledge, but will continue on to take you a lot further. If you’ve always wanted to immerse yourself into BI, figure out the end-to-end story, and go behind-the-scenes to learn how to install, configure, and deploy BI solutions, this is the place to be!

PASS Summit 2010 (Conference details)

November 8 – 11, 2010, Seattle, WA

Real World Analysis Services Stored Procedures Analysis Services stored procedures (ASSP) are nothing like the stored procedures you create for your SQL Server databases. Not much is written about this feature, so you might wonder whether you need to bother with them at all. Put simply, you can simplify your MDX queries, combine cube data with relational data, or personalize calculations for specific users-just to name a few possibilities with a little C# (or VB) code and MDX. Come to this session to learn some practical ways you can take advantage of Analysis Services stored procedures.

Demystifying MDX in Reporting Services As an enterprise reporting solution, Reporting Services can consume many different types of data sources, including Analysis Services cubes and PowerPivot workbooks. You can build simple reports using a graphical design interface in Reporting Services without learning the Multidimensional Expressions (MDX) language, but to fully leverage multidimensional data in your reports, you should develop a solid understanding of this language and how to structure your query to facilitate the report design process. In this session, we’ll review how the graphic designer constructs an MDX query, explore ways that you might want to change the generated query, and demonstrate how to work with parameterized MDX queries. We’ll also explore how to use T-SQL stored procedures to call MDX queries.

Recruiting, Retaining & Advancing Women in Technology: Why does it matter? WIT Luncheon and Panel Discussion at PASS

November 10, 2010 – 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Increasing the role of women in technology has a direct impact on the women working in hi-tech, but the effects can go far beyond that. How do female tech workers influence innovation and product development? How do men benefit from having more women working in technology? Can the presence of women in tech affect a company’s bottom line? What does it mean for women and their families when they have access to hi-tech jobs?

Delivering Information with Reporting Services (Free Webcast – details to come)

November 17, 2010 @ 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT

Whether your data source is an operations database, a data mart, or an Analysis Services cube, you can use Reporting Services to deliver information on demand or on a scheduled basis in a variety of formats. With Reporting Services in place, report developers can quickly produce static or interactive reports, system administrators can effectively manage security and performance, and decision makers can easily find, use, and share information. If you’re never used Reporting Services, join us for this webcast to learn about the report controls available to satisfy a variety of reporting requirements, the reporting features that create an interactive user experience, and the steps to publish, secure, and manage content on the report server.