Project Botticelli

New BI Content (Sept 2013)

Time Intelligence, Excel BI

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Enterprise Excel BI

Carmel shows how to build an enterprise BI dashboard in Excel in less than 30 minutes

Are you really good with Pivot Tables in Excel? Would you like to know How to Make Enterprise Dashboards in Excel in under 30 minutes? Did you know that by combining a little bit of Excel 2013 and SharePoint 2013 your dashboard can work and look great on iPads, iPhones, Androids, and Surface? Or perhaps someone you know needs to brush up on measures, dimensions, attributes and hierarchies—patiently explained in a simple language, with easy-to-follow demos, from the perspective of a BI user—and now covered in our newest Excel BI: Basic Concepts video.

Key BI Terminology: Measures, Attributes, Dimensions, Hierarchies

To help us with all of that, I am delighted to welcome Carmel Gunn from Prodata SQL Centre of Excellence in Dublin, company well-known in Ireland, and around the world in the SQL community for its BI expertise. Carmel works with large enterprises as a Data Management Specialist. Yesterday, she joined us as our newest author, and she has kindly agreed to record Excel BI for Enterprises online video training, focusing on the neglected aspect of corporate BI: the user. If you are building great corporate BI data sources, using cubes, MDX, or tabular models with DAX, you really want your users to be on your side. Tell them, please, about our Excel BI training, and they will become better at using the BI you are creating for them.

Time Intelligence

Alberto explains TOTALYTD

Time Intelligence is one of the most important subjects in BI—and it sounds cool too! I am very pleased that Alberto Ferrari, best-selling DAX book author, and a respected authority on Analysis Services from, guys who run those great in-person DAX courses (and can make a mean tiramisu), has kindly recorded two new videos for our growing learning series on Data Analysis Expressions:

What is Time Intelligence? is a short, 2-min introduction to the subject, and is free for everyone to watch, while DAX Time Intelligence, is an in-depth, 1-hour video tutorial, containing 5 detailed demos, that will teach you not just about TOTALYTD or TOTALMTD, but also about handling week numbers (including ISO weeks), semi-additive measures (like balances), creating calendar tables, and solving complex date and time scenarios with the CALCULATE function using predefined and custom filters. We can’t quite promise you will learn how to build a TARDIS, but you will most certainly know how to make calculations over complex time periods: the essence of Time Intelligence.

Creating semi-additive measures in DAX

News: Power BI, Excel 2013 Power Pivot, and Advanced Analytics

You may have already heard the news about Power BI (preview registration started yesterday!), the upcoming set of Microsoft BI technologies, all related to Office 365 and SharePoint, centred around Power Query for data discovery and transformation, Power Pivot for modelling and analysis, and Power Map for geospatial visualisation. You may remember when I wrote, at the beginning of the year, about the secret Microsoft project for processing BI requests presented in a natural language (textual BI "Siri")—well, that is also part of Power BI, I am happy to say, under the name of Q&A. Well, I cannot tell you too much yet, but there is another, pretty massive BI thing being developed in Redmond at the moment, and I hope we will hear more about it in the next 3 months, but suffice to say it has something to do with my main area of speciality. I hope to be able to tell you all about it as soon as it has been announced in more detail, but in the meantime, I am working on training and content so you are ready as soon as possible. Stay tuned!

In another piece of really good news, Microsoft have changed their mind, and announced that Power Pivot will be now available in all versions of Excel 2013, so it no longer will be necessary to buy a volume license or an enterprise Office 365 plan. This is good news and it will help keep the community engaged.

Promotion: 15% Off!

To celebrate Carmel's arrival, we are happy to share with our readers a rarely offered 15% discount, good for all memberships! If you are not a Full Access Member, or if you would like to extend your existing membership, simply use code:


for a 15% discount, redeemable just until 30 Sept, so hurry. It is even valid for Group Memberships, great for a team of users who need to learn those Excel BI skills from Carmel. 

I will be taking my annual break tomorrow, doing the other thing I love doing. Thanks for reading, thank you, very much, for being our online member, and see you later.

Rafal Lukawiecki, Strategic Consultant and Director, Project Botticelli Ltd

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