Recommended Power Reading

Level: Beginners

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.

Power Pivot Books

There are 4 books that I currently recommend to anyone that wants to learn DAX.

1. Learn to Write DAX – Matt Allington

learn to write DAXPower 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.  When you are done with this book, you will be well on the way to becoming a Power Pivot ninja.

Read more about this book and where to purchase it here.

2. Power Pivot and Power BI – Rob Collie, Avichal Singh

PP-and-PBI-cover-367x456Rob’s book is the one that started it all for me – the original version is still 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.

 

Australian Customers

I sell the eBook to all customers and the physical book (ships to Australia only) at my online shop.  There are 2 benefits for Australians to buy the physical book direct from me.

  1. The book normally ships the same day for delivery normally within 1-2 days.  (compared with 10-14 days from Amazon).
  2. When you buy the physical book from me, you also get a bonus DRM free copy of the eBook as well for immediate download.  So you can have the physical book at home and also have access to the eBook for when you need it.  And there no need to wait the 2 days for the physical book to arrive before you start reading – you can download the eBook right away.  The eBook is still copyright material of course and is provided for your personal use.

USA Customers – Mr Excel

If you are in the USA, you can buy the book direct from the publisher – Mr Excel.  When you buy from Mr Excel, you get a DRM free eBook copy and also a free tip card valued at $2.95.

All Customers – Amazon

And of course you can buy the book (physical and Kindle edition) from Amazon.

3. Building Data Models with PowerPivot – Ferrari and Russo

building data models

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 Excel users first read my book and then read this book when you are yearning for more.

Australian Customers

I sell the paper back version of this book directly to the public in Australia.  Click here to go to my online shop.  The book normally ships the same day for delivery normally within 1-2 days.  (compared with 10-14 days from Amazon).

All other Countries – Amazon

To see some of the great free stuff these guys share, take a look at these sites

http://daxpatterns.com

Http://daxformatter.com

http://sqlbi.com

4. The Definitive Guide to DAX

tdgtdAnd 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

M is for Data MonkeyThis 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).

I have written a full book review that you can read here.

Australian Customers

I sell the eBook to all customers and the physical book (ships to Australia only).  Click here to go to my online shop.  There are 2 benefits for Australians to buy the physical book direct from me.

  1. The book normally ships the same day for delivery normally within 1-2 days.  (compared with 10-14 days from Amazon).
  2. When you buy the physical book from me, you also get a bonus DRM free copy of the eBook as well for immediate download.  So you can have the physical book at home and also have access to the eBook for when you need it.  And there no need to wait the 2 days for the physical book to arrive before you start reading – you can download the eBook right away.  The eBook is still copyright material of course and is provided for your personal use.

All Customers – Amazon

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 2018 but can be pre-ordered from Amazon. It is the second edition of Ken and Miguel’s earlier offering, “M is for Data Monkey”.

All Customers – Amazon

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 at the link below.

Power Blogs

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/exceleratorblog

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/

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