The Definitive Guide to DAX

The Definitive Guide to DAX (Business intelligence with Microsoft Excel, SQL Server Analysis Services, and Power BI) is the most comprehensive and authoritative guide to Microsoft’s DAX language for business intelligence and analytics. While other books cover only the basics, this guide offers expert guidance on everything intermediate-to-advanced Excel users and BI professionals need to know, from the basics to innovative high-performance techniques.

Two leading Microsoft BI consultants and mentors introduce DAX through realistic and useful examples, presenting common calculations that empower users to get results immediately. Alberto Ferrari and Marco Russo demystify complex topics, showing readers exactly what happens under the DAX engine’s “hood” when they run a DAX expression. Ferrari and Russo carefully walk through common scenarios where DAX may not be easy to grasp; show how to optimize data models so DAX expressions will run quickly; demonstrate how to write fast, robust DAX code; and guide you in clearing bottlenecks from existing code. Throughout, they demonstrate DAX at work in both SQL Server and Microsoft Excel environments, empowering you no matter which Microsoft BI or analytics platform you prefer.

Book content:

  1. What is DAX?
  2. Introducing DAX
  3. Using basic table functions
  4. Understanding evaluation contexts
  6. DAX examples
  7. Time intelligence calculations
  8. Statistical functions
  9. Advanced table functions
  10. Advanced evaluation context
  11. Handling hierarchies
  12. Advanced relationships
  13. The VertiPaq engine
  14. Optimizing data models
  15. Analyzing DAX query plans
  16. Optimizing DAX
Written by -
Get the book      Sample Chapters      Companion Content

I cannot recommend this book enough

An Amazon Customer (Dec 30, 2016):

For those who serve in a business intelligence development/analysis context, I cannot recommend this book enough. The title truly fits its content.

I work a lot in Microsoft Power BI as a Data Analyst for an energy company and for freelance. This book has provided so much help to me in properly writing DAX formulae…and fixing incorrect formulae. The chapter on evaluation context, though challenging, is certainly the most important aspect of properly understanding and utilizing DAX. Every page of this book is packed with thorough instruction, explanation, and examples. Don’t just use this as a reference. Read it left to right so as to gain a good understanding of the breadth and depth of DAX, then continually use it as a reference as you find yourself struggling with various formulaic circumstances.

Learn from the DAX Masters!!!

John M. Mcnally (Oct 19, 2016):

The Definitive Guide to DAX is the BEST, most in-depth treatment of the DAX language and DAX engine (VertiPaq). It is best suited for someone who already is familiar with the DAX language. Every aspect of the DAX language is introduced in a logical progression, including Evaluation Contexts, Time Intelligence, and Relationships. The insight and low-level details that Marco and Alberto provide are unique to this book.

Later chapters describe the Vertipaq engine, and how to optimize both the data model and DAX queries. There’s also plenty of examples on using DAX Studio (this is something I couldn’t find in any other books). If you are looking to REALLY learn DAX, then this book is for you. It takes time and effort to get through all of this material, but it is well worth it. Marco and Alberto are the DAX Masters! Their DAX Workshop video is based upon the content in this book, and is excellent. Highly recommended.

In-depth explanations of DAX and the Vertipaq / xVelocity engine

tahoedenizen (Jun 17, 2016):

This is certainly the definitive guide to the DAX language, which is growing in popularity since it can be used in Excel, Power BI, SQL Server Analysis Services, and other Microsoft tools.

Truly the definitive guide, I highly recommend

Matthew Brice (Apr 29, 2016):

If you really want to know and understand how Dax works, then this is the book you want. It is definitely not for beginners but rather delivered a tremendous amount of both breadth and depth about Power Pivot and more specifically Dax. Having read and viewed the whitepapers, blogs and presentations from the authors the book was exactly what I was expecting and wanting.

This book is a must have

Jen Underwood (Mar 20, 2016):

This book is a must have within arms reach if you are working on a real-world Power BI project. Consultants, don’t forget to pack this one when traveling. Marco and Alberto are truly the best of the best when it comes to DAX and DAX design patterns.

A DAX book aimed at taking people from intermediate to expert

Austin K Senseman (Nov 24, 2015):

Wow! I make a good part of my living off of Power Pivot and DAX and it’s people like Alberto and Marco that have helped me all along the way – with their blog posts, conference sessions, and books. This book really stands out though. It’s a very complete treatment of DAX which is the core language of all the “new” analytical tools that Microsoft has released over the past three years.

I have to admit, it felt like this book was written specifically for me

Scott Senkeresty (Nov 9, 2015):

I have been really looking forward to reading The Definitive Guide to DAX by the fine folks we lovingly refer to as “The Italians”, Marco Russo and Alberto Ferrari. At over 500 pages, I still jammed through it in about one week… and now I am hear to let you know if it was worth my time. Spoiler: It was bad ass.
I’m not going to go into a ton of detail about the contents of the book, as you can go look at the table of contents on Amazon. I will say that the contents of the book were exactly what I expected – a deeply technical book on DAX dealing with the nitty gritty details over filter context, context transitions, details of the xVelocity (aka Vertipaq) engine, performance tuning, and general 400+ level topics, This ain’t no sippin’ tea! (I have no idea what I meant by that, just go with it).

The best DAX resource, I have been waiting for a long

Tamas Polner (Nov 9, 2015):

I have been looking forward for this book to be available for shipment. Alberto and Marco’s previous books were my 101’s into self service BI, but after finishing them, the only resource to go deeper were only available in different online sources. I think this book is definitely a must have for all BI professionals. They are great in explaining even the most difficult concepts, and the material in this book is very much up-to-date with the new Power BI Service and Power BI Desktop.

Get the book

North America United States
South America Brazil
Europe United Kingdom
The Netherlands
Asia China
Oceania Australia
Other countries

 Enclose code in comments with <PRE></PRE> to preserve indentation.