Data Visualisation with SQL Server 2012 Tabular Models, Power View and Excel

21st September 2012 – 1 day course

Who is it for?

This course is designed for BI professionals and report writers who use Excel and Power View and who want to learn how to create effective data visualisations.

What you will learn

The course agenda is as follows:

9:30   Welcome and Introduction   

9:45   What is data visualisation? Here, we will talk about data visualisation, what is it not, and why is it important? How is it supported in the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Business Intelligence stack? How does it fit into the latest paradigm shift towards self-service Business Intelligence?  

10:00    Finding patterns in the data. You will learn about the cognitive psychology process involved in finding patterns in the data, looking at some of the more well-known data visualisation examples in order to understand the rationale behind designing and creating a data visualisation. We will have an overview of Power View, and some new features in Excel 2010. We will look at the purpose of Power View – and what it isn’t designed to do. This section is intended to provoke discussion with topics such as (a) should a data visualisation be beautiful as well as informative? (b) to 3D, or not to 3D? (c) are pies just for dessert, or can we use them in charts too? (d) data journalism – can it mislead as well as inform? Although this section concentrates on the psychology and human perceptual processes of data visualisation, understanding the ‘why’ of data visualisation will ultimately mean that we become stronger ‘datavizzers’.  

11:00     Break  

11:15   Getting to Know your Data using Excel and Power View. An essential part of analysis is to know and understand the data. Both applications can be used to explore tabular models. In this session, we will look at how they can be used to explore your data, and when each application is best suited. We will also look at key features of understanding data, such as searching for dirty data, anomalies or inconsistencies.  

12:30  Lunch  

13:30  Data Visualisations. Using Power View, you will learn about query design and presentation layout in order to create visualisations in Power View. This includes various visualisations such as sparklines, motion charts (as in Hans Rosling’s BBC4 programme, ‘The Joy of Stats’), parallel co-ordinates.  

14:45 Break  

15:00 Power View in Depth. In this section, we will cover the complexities of displaying multivariate data, and how Power View can help. Here, we look at ways of displaying multivariate data such as parallel co-ordinates and crosstab arrangements of Tufte’s ‘small multiples’. We will also talk about Power View ‘under the hood’ by tracing its behaviour, and how it initially obtains its schema and metadata information from the source.  

16:00 Break  

16:15 Dashboards  Putting it all together. Dashboards are more than simply placing a few reports on a page. We will look at the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ of implementing Dashboards, KPIs and other visualisations in Excel and Power View.  

17:30 Close

Key benefits

This course will enable you to create data visualisations that will help you and your colleagues interpret you data more effectively in Excel and Power View.

Jen Stirrup is a co-owner of Copper Blue Consulting ( Jen is best-known for her work in Business Intelligence and Data Visualisation. Jen’s interests also extend to cloud computing, and she has recently written an article on mobile business intelligence on Microsoft SQL Azure. She has delivered Business Intelligence projects in the UK and in Europe for a range of clients from very small organisations right through to global household names. Jen’s focus is on integrating technologies in order to deliver seamless data visualisations, regardless of source or underlying technology. 

In her own time, Jen is also a very active member of the SQL Server community in the UK, Europe and in the States. She has recently presented at the Professional SQL Server Summit in Seattle, and has recently presented in Sweden, Belgium and the UK. This year also promises to be another busy year where Jen will be presenting community talks on Data Visualisation in Ireland, the UK, Sweden and in Poland. In addition, Jen is part of the team who run the UK Tableau User Group and has also presented at the European Tableau User Conference.

Cost: €335

For details, see 


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