Edit: November 2019
I love books. Even in this world of the Internet I still like to buy a good book of structured “curated content” that takes the reader on a journey. There are quite a few books out there about the various Microsoft BI products. I plan to keep this page updated over time with a list of the books that I think are the best of the best. My focus is on books that help Excel users, but that is not to say that these books wont help someone from a SQL Server background.
These are the books that I currently recommend to anyone that wants to learn DAX.
1. Supercharge Power BI – Matt Allington
My book Supercharge Power BI: Power BI is Better When you Learn to Write DAX gives you the required hands-on practice using Power BI Desktop and writing DAX.
Learning DAX makes you a Data Modeller. Data modelling is essential to derive the data insights from your raw data so as to enable decision making by the users of your reports. With this book you can rather quickly learn the required DAX skills and put the new skills in use.
Supercharge Power BI covers the same learning experience as covered in my book Supercharge Excel and hence it can be considered a sister book. These two books use the same content, teaching, and practice format but with different software versions, as indicated in the titles.
2. Supercharge Excel – Matt Allington
Supercharge Excel: When You Learn to Write DAX for Power Pivot is the second edition of the book Learn to Write DAX that was written using Excel 2013.
Supercharge Excel covers the same learning experience as covered in my first book Learn to Write DAX but using Excel 2016.
Power Pivot and DAX are very different to traditional Excel and as a result you really need to get some hands on practice if you want to be good enough to use this great new tool. I have trained lots of Excel users in how to write DAX in my live training sessions, and I have used my 30 years of Excel experience and my teaching experience and used it to write this book in a way that every Excel user will understand. There are plenty of practice exercises in this book and you are actively encouraged to complete each one. Supercharge Excel gives you the required hands-on practice using Power Pivot for Excel and writing DAX and also provides a guided path to migrate those skills to Power BI. When you are done with this book, you will be well on the way to becoming a DAX expert.
Learn to Write DAX was first released in December 2015 when Power BI was just a fledgling product. Learn to Write DAX teaches readers how to use Power Pivot using Excel 2013 and also provides a guided path to migrate those skills to Power BI.
If you are using Excel 2013, and prefer this version of the book, purchase Supercharge Excel and mention your preference in the order notes. You will be shipped a copy of this book.
3. Power Pivot and Power BI – Rob Collie, Avichal Singh
This book is available for purchase here as an eBook and here as a Paperback (Australia Only). This book is now in its 2nd Edition with a new ISBN and includes DAX, Power Query, Power BI Desktop, PowerBI.com. Covers Excel 2010 through Excel 2016.
I sell the eBook to all customers and the physical book (ships to Australia only) at my online shop. When you buy from my shop, you get a DRM free eBook copy for immediate download.
4. Building Data Models with PowerPivot – Ferrari and Russo
This is another great book and was written by Alberto Ferrari and Marco Russo (affectionately named “The Italians” originally by Rob Collie). These 2 guys know almost everything there is to know about Power Pivot and DAX, and they are also very generous in their free sharing of high value information over the Internet (see links below). Now personally I find this book to be more technical in nature, but still well within the reach of a competent Excel user. I recommend users first read my book and then read this book when you are yearning for more. You can buy the book from Amazon.
5. The Definitive Guide to DAX
And when you are done with the above books, it is time to step up a level and read The Definitive Guide to DAX, also by Ferrari and Russo. This is a deep detailed book and is not for the novice. But if you ever want to be something other than a casual user, you really should read this book at some point after you have done your apprenticeship reading and learning. It is also a good book as a reference guide. You can buy the book from Amazon.
Power Query Books
There are a few great Power Query books I recommend.
M is for Data Monkey
This is the first Power Query book that I recommend – written by Ken Puls and Miguel Escobar. This book is 220+ pages of Power Query information that covers the length and breadth of what you need to know to use this great Excel tool from Microsoft. Ken and Miguel have structured the chapters in a way that builds from the simple introductory topics up to some of the more advanced (but still easily learnable) techniques that can only be accessed when you get into the M programming language (also called the Power Query Formula Language).
Master your Data with Excel and Power BI
This is the new book from Ken Puls and Miguel Escobar – it should be available in April, 2020 but can be pre-ordered from Amazon. It is the second edition of Ken and Miguel’s earlier offering, “M is for Data Monkey”.
Power Query for Power BI and Excel
Chris Webb has written this book in a thoughtful manner. He starts with the basics and then layers concepts one on one until he culminates with a chapter of real world examples of easy to understand use cases. These use cases leverage the skills learnt in the book and give you something meaningful to work on to absorb how the concepts are used in real life. I have written a specific review of Chris’s book that you can read here. You can buy this book from Amazon.
Collect, Combine and Transform Data Using Power Query in Excel and Power BI
Gil Raviv has written this Power Query book late in 2018. The book uses examples from real world problems that can be solved using Power Query via the UI. The examples are supported by sample workbooks that you can download and work through yourself. This book does a great job at explaining how the language works and how you can modify the code generated by the UI to extend the UI driven capabilities of Power Query. It can be read initially as a teaching guide and they used later as a reference guide.
I have written a specific review of Gil Raviv’s book that you can read here.
You can purchase the book Collect, Combine and Transform Data Using Power Query in Excel and Power BI from Amazon.
OK, so I started out by saying I love books – and I do. But I also love Blogs. This is where an author is able to share smaller “bite sized” pieces of information on a particular topic with people who are interested. Unlike a book, a blog is more timely in nature and normally more targeted at a particular sub topic.
There are quite a few blogs out there written by people that are passionate about Power Pivot and Power Query. Here is a list of the best ones I know. You should go to these blogs and sign up to be notified of new posts – that way you will get small snippets of information over time that will help you build your knowledge.
My Blog of course https://exceleratorbi.com.au/blog/
Rob Collie http://powerpivotpro.com
Scott Senkeresty http://tinylizard.com
Ken Puls http://www.excelguru.ca/blog/
Alberto Ferrari/Macro Russo http://sqlbi.com
Chris Webb http://blog.crossjoin.co.uk/