I and Alberto Ferrari will speak at SQLBits XI (Nottingham, UK – May 2-4, 2013) and there are many good reasons to join us there, especially if you are interested to DAX!

Here are our sessions:

  • Thursday, 02 May 2013 – Training Day – From 0 to DAX
    • The entire day is dedicated to learning DAX, starting from the syntax and going forward with more complex syntaxes for both expressions and queries in DAX.
    • Technical level: the goal is to be introductive, explaining the important concepts in DAX (such as filter context, row context, context transitions) and covering the usage of the most common DAX functions.
    • Target audience: Information Workers interested in exploiting the many interesting features of PowerPivot for Excel 2013 and BI developers who want to learn the DAX language.
    • In practice: if you started using DAX two years ago and created several projects in Tabular and/or PowerPivot with complex calculations, this is not the workshop for you (read about an Advanced DAX Workshop later in this post). But if you just started your first Tabular or PowerPivot projects and you are still wondering what CALCULATE is all about, then this is definitely the right training for you!
  • Friday, 03 May 2013 – 10:50am – Modern Data Warehousing Strategy
    • How to design a Data Warehouse in 2013? Should we change something considering the introduction of in-memory technologies such as xVelocity? Is Self-Service BI affecting the way we design and implement a Corporate Data Warehouse?
    • This is not a session about a specific feature of a product, but features and products have their effects on the data warehouse design. We’ll stop one hour trying to understand what changes in the big picture, affecting also our day-by-day job.
  • Friday, 03 May 2013 – 2:40pm – Inside xVelocity InMemory Engine (VertiPaq)
    • Do you use PowerPivot and/or Analysis Services Tabular? They use the same engine (xVelocity/VertiPaq) and you should know how it works.
    • This session will show how xVelocity/VertiPaq works, how it compresses and stores data and why it is so fast answering to your queries.
    • Why this is important? Because it is geeky! And because this knowledge will help you optimizing storage and DAX queries.
  • Saturday, 04 May 2013 – 10:50am – DAX Query Engine Internals
    • DAX is amazingly fast. But some query might be not fast enough.
    • Do you want to know how to optimize your DAX query? This session is for you.
    • Knowing the internals of xVelocity InMemory engine is just the first step (see Friday’s session). Then you need to apply this knowledge to DAX and understand why different DAX syntaxes for the same result might have different performance.
    • Understanding cross-filtering is a key to master DAX optimization. The more you know DAX, the more you will appreciate this session!

As I said before, the training day is an introductive course. If you already know DAX and want to improve your skills, there is a 3-day Advanced DAX Workshop I will teach in London on May 13-15, 2013. It could be also a good reason to visit London if you come from other countries!

Now that we are almost done with the PowerPivot for Excel 2013 book, we will write more articles – stay tuned!

Context transition

Evaluates an expression in a context modified by filters.

CALCULATE ( <Expression> [, <Filter> [, <Filter> [, … ] ] ] )