We have all been through the Business Intelligence / Data Warehouse development cycle.

Endless theoretical cycles, data mapping exercises, wire-frames for reports. Excel and possibly Visio as the only tools in our armoury. Cheery scrum masters intent on convincing management and users that anything can be refactored in a few hour’s work – even a 20 dimension Terabyte data warehouse and 50 reports that were signed off months ago but that now need “revisiting” given the “new input” from users – who, now that they have finally got their hands on something to play with can begin to imagine what they really want.

Well, perhaps Power BI can help you laugh rather than cry when developing your next data warehouse. Instead of starting out with the industrial-strength tools in the SQL Server toolkit consider:

• Testing data sources and load processes with Power Query.

• Building your initial star schema and aggregations and KPIs with Power Pivot.

• Creating reports based on real data using Power View.

• Delivering proof of concept via the Cloud with Power BI.

Use this toolset to get the feedback that lets you make core adjustments – and potentially discover fundamental issues - sooner rather than later in the development cycle. Then build the solution that you always knew was possible, having scoped and planned more accurately.

This short talk takes you through the Power BI product set and explains how you can get analyse, experiment and iterate during the first stages of data warehouse development using Excel and Power BI.  You will see how to give users an instant feel for the possibilities, make the concepts more intuitive and specify the required outputs, aggregations and KPIs more efficiently.

Presented by Adam Aspin at SQLBits XIV