Project Botticelli

New BI Content on (October 2012)

Learn MDX & DAX With Us!

When you registered on, you asked to be notified about new content. This is our irregular email newsletter, sent every month or two, that summarises the newest BI content.

Summary of New Content:


Technitrain Logo

I am happy to announce that Chris Webb, one of the world's most respected SQL Server Analysis Services experts, and an MDX geek, has kindly agreed to record a series of videos focused on Multidimensional Expressions. We have just published his very first video, and it is free to watch! Chris works for Crossjoin Consulting, and he offers excellent, public, in-person MDX training courses through Technitrain. I understand that he still has a place available for his London-based class: 5–7 December: Introduction to MDX.

I am preparing to speak at the SharePoint Conference, held this year in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. I will be delivering a full-day BI pre-conference seminar (almost sold out) and a breakout session, Attractive Business Intelligence. Last year my session attracted 1500 attendees, and since some couldn't get in, Microsoft are reserving a room for 3200 people. While that puts a bit of pressure on me, I plan on having ample breathing space in that auditorium. I feel this will be my only chance in life to claim the fame of having delivered a true Vegas-style performance...

I am also in the midst of building the new, 2013, Microsoft Business Analytics Roadshow. The schedule is almost finished, and I will publicise it soon. I hope to meet some of you on the road, around the world, as I travel to 14 countries next year.

New Content in Detail 

MDX Basic Concepts by Chris Webb

MDX, or Multidimensional Expressions, has the reputation of being a difficult language, but this reputation is undeserved, even if the concepts it uses are different from those of relational databases. MDX Basic Concepts is a free, 29-minute video, and the founding module of our new series on MDX. Chris Webb introduces three basic concepts in this tutorial: the use of unique names to refer to objects, tuples and how they are used to return values from a cube, and sets, which are ordered lists. Understanding these ideas will give you the theoretical foundation you need to write your own MDX calculations, and queries, for SSAS, and even for PowerPivot.

DAX Evaluation Context by Marco Russo

DAX Evaluation Context sees Marco Russo explain this fundamental Data Analysis Expressions concept. In particular, Marco focuses on: row and filter contexts, their propagation through relationships, and manipulation using: FILTER, ALL, EARLIER, VALUES, RELATED, and RELATEDTABLE functions in this 50-minute video that contains 8 detailed demos. Learning these concepts will enable you to write correctly functioning formulas, and it will prepare you to fully understand CALCULATE, the most important function in Data Analysis Expressions, as well as the upcoming modules of our DAX video series.

If you are planning on following any of Alberto and Marco's demos, you may want to download the just-published DAX AW Sample Dataset, that contains the necessary Excel PowerPivot data. This sample is available as a free bonus for Full Access Members.

We have another DAX video in post-production, and I hope it will be ready in November. I will be focusing on recording content related to the upcoming release of SQL Server 2012 SP1 as well as SharePoint and Office 2013, whilst still working on the next module in my Data Mining series.

Membership Price Changes

As I mentioned in the last newsletter, our introductory prices will be revised shortly, this weekend. On, or just after 5 November, we will be increasing the price of the Individual 1-Month Full Access Membership to US$39 (currently $29), the 3-Month Individual membership will go up to $89 (currently $79). We will be also updating the Group 1-Month and Group 3-Month prices in line with those changes, for example a group pack of 20 1-month memberships will cost $699 (currently $519). On the other hand, the Annual Individual (just $290) and Group Annual prices will remain at their current level, until the next price review. Please consider renewing your membership, or signing up now, to take advantage of the lower prices, but hurry, there are only 6 days left!


Some of you will receive a short survey in the next few days. I would be very grateful for your feedback, as it will be fundamental in shaping the future of our site and service. Any comments, however, are always welcome, at any time—just hit "Reply".

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy your membership,

Rafal Lukawiecki, Strategic Consultant and Director, Project Botticelli Ltd

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