Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View (Review)


This book is a must ready for anyone who is interested in using Power View or anyone who wants to make their analysis and reports interactive with Power View (well that was straight to the point, now lets get into some detail).

A current trend in the business intelligence landscape is a shift in focus from an IT user to the business user. That is, the person asking questions needs to interact with the data rather than specify report requirements to a technical user. Power View is Microsoft’s offering in this area and empowers the end user through an interactive environment for visualising data (whether it is creation, alteration or manipulation). In-fact, many organisations can take advantage of this product without cost. “Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View” is a step by step guide which not only shows the end user how to use the Power View product but also get the most benefit out of their visualizations.

Written for the Business User

“Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View” is well targeted at the business user and written in a context that does not alienate a non-technical user. The structure of the book builds on prior learning and reinforces sound business scenarios with practical examples. Every scenario has a “Learn by Doing” exercise which gives a practical, easy to follow example of how to apply the discussed content. The examples are applicable, easy to follow and relevant.

Included Data and Additional Media

In addition to the book content, there is a range of downloadable content (or installable if the book is purchased as a hardcopy) which includes videos (over 4 hours) and the data that is used in the examples. The videos reinforce the lessons, highlighting applicable areas of the screen and the commands used. The appendices go into the steps required to install the data in your own environment.

Book Structure

Discarding the appendixes, the book is broken down into two parts (the chapter outlines for the book are below). Part I deals with Power View and how to use it in an existing environment. If you were only interested in creating, viewing and using visualizations, Part I would be enough (say for example, managers and sales people). Part II extends the offering by diving into model creation (the data that Power View uses). This is more applicable to a savvy business user, power user (and so on). Notwithstanding the likely audience for Part II, it is very easy to follow with plenty of practical examples and exercises.

Chapter Outlines

The structure of the book is outlined as;

Part I – Power View
• Chapter 1 – Getting Started
• Chapter 2 – The Table Visualization
• Chapter 3 – Additional Visualizations
• Chapter 4 – Charting
• Chapter 5 – Bringing Your Data to Life
• Chapter 6 – Sharing Reports

Part II – Creating a BI Semantic Model (BISM)
• Chapter 7 – BISM: Getting Started
• Chapter 8 – Basic BI Semantic Model Design
• Chapter 9 – BI Semantic Model: Additional Model Features
• Chapter 10 – Using DAX Expressions
• Chapter 11 – Deploying Tabular BI Semantic Models

Part III – Appendixes
• Appendix A – Installing and Configuring the Sample Data
• Appendix B – Creating a Virtual Learning Environment

You can get “Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View” at http://mhprofessional.com/product.php?isbn=0071780823

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