Walk-through Steps: I’m New to BI, Where to Start? – Part 2: Modelling with BISM

Posted by on Apr 21, 2015 in Business Intelligence | 5 Comments


You’ve learned about first steps for getting into BI field in previous post. In this post I’ll continue with explaining some other components of Microsoft BI and resources to learn it. Previous post was about the overall picture of BI, Data Warehouse Design, Dimensional Modelling, ETL and SSIS. In this post I’ll explore components such as SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) Tabular and Multi-Dimensional.

 4- BISM: Business Intelligence Symantec Model

Data Warehouse designed to speed up the queries, faster data analysis, and integrated reports. However there are still some problems that cannot be easily solved with Data Warehouse. Speed is one of the issues; Data Warehouse designed to be fast, and with star-schema design it will be much faster rather than transactional databases. However database still has some constraints, it might be stored on disk, there are not enough measures for combinations of values for dimension attributes.

SQL Server Analysis Services is a service of Microsoft SQL Server which can be used for building BISM layer. Business Intelligence Symantec Model is the middle layer between data warehouse and reporting layer. BISM can be created with two different technologies; SSAS Tabular, and SSAS Multi-Dimensional.


SSAS Multi-Dimensional

This is the mature OLAP technology of Microsoft, and there are heaps of useful resources for it, such as books, videos, and blog posts. I would like to mention couple of books that I highly recommend for learning this technology.

Book: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services Step by Step


I know you might say this is not on SSAS 2012, but believe me that there are not that much changes between SSAS multi-Dimensional 2008 and 2012. So I strongly recommend starting with this book which gives you an overall understanding of this technology, with many beginner’s wizards. afterwards you can read about new changes in SSAS 2012 multi-dimensional from blob posts like this one from Chris.

Book: Expert Cube Development with SSAS Multidimensional Models


This is an advanced level book that I recommend highly for everyone working with SSAS multi-dimensional. There are many tips and tricks, and best practices for implementations. The book written with three professionals in this field with many years experiences: Chris Webb, Alberto Ferrari, and Marco Russo.

Book: Practical MDX Queries for Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services 2008


It is almost impossible to learn SSAS multi-dimensional without learning MDX. Multi Dimensional eXpression (MDX) is the language to query SSAS cubes, this book has many examples from beginner to advanced level.


SSAS Tabular

Tabular is the new technology introduced in SQL Server 2012, this technology is an In-Memory Tabular technology based on xVelocity engine. This model is super fast compared with SSAS multi-dimensional. Fortunately there are good resources for this new technology. as an example I would like to mention this book which was one of the very first books in the market for it.

Book: Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services The BISM Tabular Model




Related Posts:

Walk-through Steps: I’m New to BI, Where to Start? – Part 0: Prerequisites

Walk-through Steps: I’m New to BI, Where to Start? – Part 1: Fundamentals, Data Warehouse and ETL

Walk-through Steps: I’m New to BI, Where to Start? – Part 2: Modelling with BISM

Walk-through Steps: I’m New to BI, Where to Start? – Part 3: Data Governance

Walk-through Steps: I’m New to BI, Where to Start? – Part 4: Data Visualization

Walk-through Steps: I’m New to BI, Where to Start? – Part 5: Power BI

Walk-through Steps: I’m New to BI, Where to Start? – Part 6: Data Mining

Walk-through Steps: I’m New to BI, Where to Start? – Part 7: Azure



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Reza Rad
Trainer, Consultant, Mentor
Reza Rad is a Microsoft Regional Director, an Author, Trainer, Speaker and Consultant. He has a BSc in Computer engineering; he has more than 20 years’ experience in data analysis, BI, databases, programming, and development mostly on Microsoft technologies. He is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP for eight continuous years (from 2011 till now) for his dedication in Microsoft BI. Reza is an active blogger and co-founder of RADACAD. Reza is also co-founder and co-organizer of Difinity conference in New Zealand.
His articles on different aspects of technologies, especially on MS BI, can be found on his blog: https://radacad.com/blog.
He wrote some books on MS SQL BI and also is writing some others, He was also an active member on online technical forums such as MSDN and Experts-Exchange, and was a moderator of MSDN SQL Server forums, and is an MCP, MCSE, and MCITP of BI. He is the leader of the New Zealand Business Intelligence users group. He is also the author of very popular book Power BI from Rookie to Rock Star, which is free with more than 1700 pages of content and the Power BI Pro Architecture published by Apress.
He is an International Speaker in Microsoft Ignite, Microsoft Business Applications Summit, Data Insight Summit, PASS Summit, SQL Saturday and SQL user groups. And He is a Microsoft Certified Trainer.
Reza’s passion is to help you find the best data solution, he is Data enthusiast.