I ran into The Italians at the Data Insight Summit and naturally… gave them a very-Scott-like very-awkward group-hug. I don’t actually know these guys super well, but I certainly love them… so they get hugs. Suck it up.
My love comes from a genuine admiration of both their deep technical knowledge/skills and their amazing desire to help people learn these technologies. Hell, if you make a mistake in your blog… Marco is gonna show up to correct you. He is awesome like that. And I legitimately don’t understand how they find the time to teach and travel and consult… and still have time to write books?! Impossible. When I get busy with clients, I don’t even find the time to write blog entries. Do they sleep!?
Their previous book, The Definitive Guide to DAX is not misnamed. It starts off with simple foundational concepts and then… crushes your brain with knowledge. It’s probably about time for me to re-read it… even though there are some paragraphs I read a dozen times.
Their newest book, Analyzing Data with Power BI and Power Pivot for Excel is… once again… required reading.
If I was super glib (and knew if I was using the term “glib” correctly) I would say the book could be summarized with “Look, you rat bastards… if you don’t create a star schema, YOU GONNA DIE!”. But, that would be both a bit excessive and a bit simplistic. The examples are great at reinforcing why other models will create complications and super un-fun DAX… and reinforces this through a series of examples as it related to Calendar tables, snapshot data, currencies, etc. The insights on thinking about and handling mismatched granularities is just excellent.
While I love to give Marco and Alberto a hard time about creating books and lectures that are too technical and a bit hard to read… they get mad props for making this book super accessible. There are a few gnarly DAX expressions… but they are primarily provided to show you how complicated things can get without a proper data model.
A “Great Job!” to The Italians and strong recommendation that you pick up this great book.