By Rushabh Mehta

Last night, I got an IM from Bill Graziano asking me to come up with a good list of sessions at PASS Summit for the BI newbie, similar to the list he published in Sessions for New DBAs at PASS. So I looked through all the PASS Summit 2009 sessions for BI to see which ones would benefit someone who is new to BI and wants to get acquainted with a technology that they haven’t worked with before.

I found a number of great sessions from some outstanding speakers that would help the BI beginner and those who want to know what to expect with the release of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 next year (check out my article in TDAN for an overview of R2’s managed self-service BI features). Many of these sessions give you a deep understanding of BI tools and best practices while grounding you in the basics.

First, here’s a list of 12 sessions from the BI Platform Architecture, Development and Administration (BIA) track that I would strongly recommend for anyone new to BI who wants to learn about the Microsoft BI Platform.


Data Profiling and Cleansing with Integration Services 2008
Erik Veerman (Solid Quality Mentors)

Kimball Approach Dimensional Modeling Across SQL Server and SSAS
Warren Thornthwaite (Kimball Group)

Creating Data-Driven Subscriptions in SSRS
Joe Webb (WebbTech Solutions, LLC)

The DW/BI System Lifecycle Overview the Kimball Approach
Warren Thornthwaite (Kimball Group)

Understanding Master Data Management and the Benefits
William McKnight (McKnight Consulting Group)

What All Microsoft BI Developers Need to Know About MDX so that They Can Create Required Business Calculations
Tim Peterson (Solid Quality Mentors) & Nathan Peterson (SDG Computing, Inc.)

Introducing Master Data Services
John Mcallister (Microsoft Corp.)

Microsoft Business Intelligence in 2010
Michael Tejedor (Microsoft Corp.)

Overview of Business Intelligence Capabilities in SQL Server 2008 & R2
Herain Oberoi (Microsoft Corp.)

An End-to-End Introduction to SQL Server Reporting Services
Sabrena McBride (Microsoft Corp.)

BI Power Hour
Pej Javaheri (Microsoft Corp.)

If you are new to BI, I would also encourage you to attend the pre-conference seminar Building a Microsoft Data Warehousing Platform by SQL Server MVP and BI expert and author Brian Knight. (For a preview of what Brian is covering in his seminar, check out his PASS Summit Q&A “Delivering Value with Agile Data Warehouse Development” and his 24 Hours of PASS Session Recording.

In addition, don’t miss Erik Veerman’s Friday post-con seminar Jump-start to Data Warehouse Data Modeling and Architecture. You can get a preview of Erik’s seminar by watching his 24 Hours of PASS Session Recording.

And if you’re interested in learning about delivering BI to end users, make sure these 6 sessions are on your agenda:

Business Intelligence with Excel 2010 and Project Gemini
Albert Chew (Microsoft Corp.) & Julie Strauss (Microsoft Corp.)

Overview of BI Features in Microsoft Office SharePoint 2010
Pej Javaheri (Microsoft Corp.)

Introducing Project Gemini
T.K. Anand (Microsoft Corporation) & Julie Strauss (Microsoft Corp.)

Introducing Reporting Services 2008 R2: Report Builder 3.0 and the New Visualization Capabilities (Maps, Sparkline, Indicators)
Bob Meyers (Microsoft Corp.) & Sean Boon (Microsoft Corp.)

What's New in PerformancePoint Services 2010
Tim Kashani (IT Mentors) & Ola Ekdahl (IT Mentors)

Enabling Analysis with Excel Services
Stacia Misner (Data Inspirations)

As your pre-con seminar around BI delivery, don’t miss Peter Myers’ Delivering Business Intelligence to the Masses. For a sneak peek of Peter’s seminar, see his Speaker Q&A, “BI Within Reach,” and his 24 Hours of PASS Session Recording.