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Introduction to Power View in SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services Purchase this course

18 April 2012 · 2 comments · 6327 views

Power View Fundamentals: Self-service Data Exploration, Visualizations, and Reporting

Introduction to SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services Power View

This 75-minute video, the third module of our SQL BI training course, introduces the newest addition to the Microsoft Business Intelligence platform: Power View, which is part of SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services, which runs on SharePoint Server 2010. You will hear explanations of the fundamental concepts of Power View, such as Measures, and you will see all of its key features, including visualizations, in 17 hi-def demos, which you can also practice by using the free Microsoft-hosted labs for Power View. As with all our video content, you can use the very responsive “Jump to a chapter links”, allowing you to follow this video tutorial in your own way.

Power View is designed to be a highly intuitive end-user data exploration tool, suitable for creating self-service reports. The implicit nature of the way Power View works makes it possible to get to know it well quite quickly. Relationships are used automatically, so the user does not even need to know what they are, because they are supplied by the underlying Tabular Model. Similarly, filtering is implicit and automatic, allowing the user just to click on a data point to filter the remainder of the view, in addition to being able to use traditional filters. You will see this in the video, as well as you will learn how to source data from any BI Semantic Model: a PowerPivot workbook stored in SharePoint server, or a SSAS Tabular Model.

At the heart of Power View lie its easy-to-create, visually rich, and attractive data visualizations. You will learn how to get the data from columns in the model, and additionally, from implicitly or explicitly created Measures. Users are able to experiment with a variety of visualizations—easily switching between them—such as: Tables, Matrices, Cards, Tiles, Line Charts, Small Multiples, and the crowning glory of this tool, the animated Bubble Charts and Scatter Plots, also shown in this video. To help you further, we focus on the individual aspects of building a Bubble Chart, explaining its fields: Details field, Color field, which is useful for categorising data, bubble Size field, and the most important field for animations, the Play Axis field.

Ease of sharing a newly created report is paramount to users. First, you will see how to save a Power View RDLX file to a SharePoint Server PowerPivot Gallery, which is a great place for them, as it shows a detailed, page-by-page preview of the finished report. However, it is saving to Microsoft PowerPoint that can enable the fastest adoption of Power View in your organisation. PowerPoint is particularly suited for story-telling with data. Each PowerPoint slide is just another View in Power View, presenting yet another chapter in your story, and you will see how to do that in this video.

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joseusul · 19 October 2012

Hi Rafal,

Congratulations! Another great video, again.

Maybe you know the famous data visualization blog of Andrei Pandre.
I usually follow up, eventhough he is not very fan of Microsoft and specially of SharePoint :-)

I comment that because, talking about Power View, I would like to know your opinion about the inclusion of Power View data visualization features within Excel 2013.

Andrei says that “it’s too late”

I disagree with him, but he offers his reasons.

On the other hand, some months ago, Donald Farmer replied to Andrei in another post: Power View: 3rd strike and Microsoft out?

I extract only a paragraph of Donald’s reply:

“So, in context, Microsoft do not need Power View to be a success this year, or next year, or even at all. What they need is to consolidate their platform, to roll functionality (like in-memory-data and better visualizations) into their standard tools like Excel. In 5 years, Excel will be on a very large number of desktops with great data and visualization capabilities. It needs those capabilities to retain its massive market share in the face of threats, not from BI tools, but from online spreadsheets, and its own aging, cumbersome, legacy.”

It would be great to know your point here, as an expert in Microsoft BI technology that you are.
Do you think Excel will become an alternative to Tableau, Qlikview,
What do you think about the strategy of Microsoft regarding Data Visualization “war”?

Kind regards. José.

Rafal Lukawiecki · 14 December 2012

José, first of all, apologies for the delay in responding to your comment—the conferences took me out of circulation for a little while. In general, I agree with what Donald said about the need to consolidate the platform. I clearly see that Excel is becoming the only BI tool that majority of users will require. It never made sense to have multiple interfaces for BI, anyway. Further, there are key requirements to a BI tool, not just a data management area and charting, but above all a full, functional expression formula language, such as DAX, and Excel is a natural place for this to evolve. I am sure that, long-term, Excel will also evolve to be the main reporting tool in the Microsoft world. Thanks to its interactivity it allows the reports to move away from their static legacy and towards the story-telling, context-aware way of consuming reports. Just see how animated bubble charts have started on this path!