Data Warehousing and Data Science

17 August 2012

The Trio Maestro’s SSAS 2012 Tabular Book

Filed under: Analysis Services — Vincent Rainardi @ 6:08 pm

There are a lot of Microsoft BI developers in the world. There are also many SQL Server DBAs who have been trying to get their hands in Microsoft BI. If in 2005 when SSAS 2005 came out you spent a month familiarising yourself with the new SSAS and MDX, you would get a comfortable position between 2005 and 2012 in terms of your career. In London this means we can get £50k/year as perm, or £500/day for contract. Have a look at for the numbers. I believe in other countries the pay is good too.

This year, 2012, SSAS has a dramatic change again. It is shifting from multidimensional cube to Tabular ala PowerPivot. Well, not “shifting” exactly, but opening a whole new ground. This is the time to invest a month of your time to learn about Tabular, and to grab that evolving new market. Tabular and DAX are Microsoft’s answer to Spotfire and Qlikview. Self Service BI is a new growing market and the skills are lacking. We can expect Tabular pay rate to be as high as Qlikview and Spotfire. Qlikview is £50k/year perm, £450/day contract and Spotfire is £55k/£525 (again have a look at itjobswatch and jobserv!), but it would be more difficult for an MS BI developer to get into them. It is easier to get into SSAS Tabular. This is your opportunity, my fellow MS BI developer, to grab a book, sit down every night for a month and label yourself as SSAS Tabular.

SSAS is 10 times more popular than Qlikview, and 35 times more popular than Spotfire (see itjobwatch) and yet the pay level is almost the same. So this is why, you need to grab the trio’s Tabular book. Chris, Marco & Alberto are the top guys in SSAS. And they dedicate their time, putting pen to paper* for months to write this book. They layout the foundation bit-by-bit so brilliantly, guiding you step-by-step into Tabular world. And they did it very systematically (I can see the editor’s work here).

*well, “get stuck into their laptops” is probably a better expression. Who use pen and paper these days to write books? IT books?

And they really put their knowledge into it. I said earlier when they wrote their first book, it’s a steal! When people like them write a book about SSAS, don’t even think twice: just grab the book and start reading from cover to cover. I don’t care whether you pick Teo’s book or the trio’s book, but if you are now in MS BI and don’t get into Tabular, then you will miss a big wave.  I’ve read the trio’s book, they gave me a copy for review, but judging from his previous books which I’ve read, I’m sure Teo’s Tabular book is also brilliant, see “Who’s who in SSAS” that I wrote 2 years ago.

So folks, here are the links to their books:
Chris, Marco, Alberto’s Tabular book: US CA UK FR DE IT ES JP CN
Teo Lachev’s Tabular book: US CA UK FR DE IT ES JP CN
(choose your country, gosh there are so many!)

One more thing about this trio: they are all SSAS Maestro. For those of you who don’t know what SSAS Maestro is, it’s suffice to say that
a) it means they are the world’s top guys in SSAS,
b) it’s very difficult to get, much more difficult than MCTS. You need to get invited and only the experts are invited (for the training, followed by the exam). Read Marco’s story about it here. And Vidas’ experience here. Look at the list of books and material that he used to prepare for it! And the passing rate is only 10%! This is list of those 11 maestros on the first wave. And these 3 authors are there on that list! They are all SSAS Maestro! Need I say more to convince you to buy their book?

Think about it. It’s a brand new world. Even your interviewers wouldn’t know about Tabular. You could pass the interviews easily! This is the time to get into SSAS. Not as the old world know it (multidimensional cubes) but the new way: Tabular. In the EU, London, Dublin and Zurich are the primary markets. The international HQs in these cities would be the first users.

For those of us who are already in SSAS, we need to get into Tabular too! No, not “need”; we HAVE to get into Tabular. If we don’t we will only know half of SSAS, and that’s not good for our career. Not good at all! Any MDX expert out there, any AS cube expert, need to learn DAX and Tabular. This is the way the market is going. This is the demand of the job. They won’t advertise like this: “Required: multidimensional AS developer. Note: we don’t need the Tabular side” Any company advertising for SSAS developer will require both sides. Therefore, we have to learn Tabular. It’s a brand new world.

Vincent Rainardi, 17/8/2012


  1. I agree with you Vincent tabular is going to be used more and more. I have SQL 2012 installed but I will install AS in tabular mode right now.
    Marco and Alberto had a good introduction to tabular on TechEd. It is worth to check those presentations too.
    Thanks for mentioning Hungary in first place 🙂

    Comment by Levi — 17 August 2012 @ 7:44 pm | Reply

  2. In Finland one would be pretty well off with MDX + DAX skills without even entering the “primary markets”… ;-))

    Comment by Longjohn — 28 August 2012 @ 8:04 am | Reply

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