Analysis Services (SSAS) Training Courses
If you need to know more about SQL Server Analysis Services, this is the page for you! We've also included some information on PowerPivot for Excel, since there's a big overlap between SSAS tabular and PowerPivot.
SSAS classroom training
We run Analysis Services classroom courses using either legacy multidimensional models or the new tabular models:
Which is the right SSAS course for you?
Everything was simple in the Analysis Services world before SQL Server 2012 came out. When you installed SQL Server, you got:
|SSRS (Reporting Services)||Create reports|
|SSIS (Integration Services)||Extract, transform and load data|
|SSAS (Analysis Services)||Create cubes to show information from data warehouses|
From SQL Server 2012, Analysis Services split into two parts:
|Version of SSAS||Language used for calculations|
What's important to realise is that the two versions are completely incompatible. When you install SQL Server, you'll be asked which SSAS version you want to instal.
So which should you learn? You may not have a choice: if your organisation has been using SSAS since before 2012 or so, and is full of geeky people who go round muttering about cubes and dimensions, it's likely you're heavily committed to using the older multi-dimensional version of SSAS.
However, if you have a free choice (perhaps because you're evaluating or setting up SSAS for the first time), we'd recommend you choose the newer tabular model of Analysis Services. Here are some reasons why:
|Leveraging existing skills||It's likely that you'll be familiar with relational databases, which will stand you in good stead when you come to create a data model in SSAS Tabular. By contrast it's likely that you're NOT used to thinking in multi-dimensional terms, so you'll find creating a cube quite a foreign idea.|
|Ease of use||SSAS Multi-dimensional shows its age. It includes concepts like attribute hierarchies which are hard to understand and explain, whereas SSAS Tabular was written more recently, and (it appears) by programmers who also got out a bit and spoke to other humans!|
|Future-proofing||Microsoft aren't developing SSAS Multi-dimensional these days, whereas SSAS Tabular receives major updates in every new version of SQL Server.|
|DAX / MDX||DAX is slightly easier to learn than MDX (these are the two underlying languages used in SSAS for creating something called measures).|
|PowerPivot||SSAS Tabular is basically an adult's version of PowerPivot, so if you're familiar with Power BI Desktop or PowerPivot you'll have a head start (you can even import PowerPivot data models into SSAS Tabular).|
Against all of these advantages, it's worth mentioning that the multi-dimensional version of SSAS is more powerful than the tabular version, although even here the difference is being eroded over the years (for example, the latest tabular model of SSAS now includes parent-child hierarchies).
If you want more detail about the differences between the two versions of Analysis Services, have a read through this blog - or have a look at more help on choosing between our Analysis Services courses.
10 things our SSAS courses include
Each of our scheduled courses (whether classroom or online) includes:
- Small course sizes - we have a maximum of 5 people on each classroom or online course.
- A trainer! And not just anyone - our courses are only ever given by full-time Wise Owls.
- Full colour courseware and exercises of oustanding quality.
- A no cancellation guarantee (once you've booked and confirmed your training course, it will run).
- A one gigabyte USB stick, containing course files, answers to exercises and (by the end of the course) your answers too, together with a Sheaffer biro.
- Unofficial help after the course (although we don't have a dedicated post-course support line, in practice trainers will be happy to answer the odd ad hoc question after a course has taken place).
- A certificate sent out digitally or in paper form (your choice) after each course, together with (for tailored courses) the trainer's thoughts on how the course went.
In addition, our classroom courses also include:
- A computer for each delegate (obviously).
- Lunch out each day at a local restaurant (chosen on the day of the course, after discussion!).
- Unlimited refreshments during the day, including Tassimo or Nespresso coffee and a range of biscuits and snacks to keep you going through those dark afternoon hours.
Still not convinced? You can read hundreds of testimonials to the quality of our training (all attributed and added in the last 3 years.
About our SSAS training
Wise Owl don't have a data warehouse (we don't have enough data!), but if we did we'd store it using Analysis Services (Tabular), and use Integration Services to load data into it each night.
On our two-day SSAS courses we'll do our best to show you not just how to use the software, but why we're recommending particular modelling decisions. There are at most 6 people on any of our scheduled (public) courses, so there should be plenty of time for you to ask questions specific to your organisation too!
Other Analysis Services training resources
There are so many ways in which we can help you learn SSAS, as the impressive list below shows.
Try our SSAS exercises
Blogs on SSAS
SSAS courseware manuals
To help you choose the right Analysis Services course, we've published a sample courseware chapter for you to download.