Category Archives: Free Training

Intro to MDX at SQL Saturday #130 – Jacksonville, FL

This weekend is SQL Saturday #130 in Jacksonville, FL. On Friday, April 27th, is a great pre-con session by SQL Server MVP, Kevin Kline on Performance Tuning SQL Server 2008 R2. Go here to get registered for this phenomenal opportunity to learn from an unquestioned expert.

Also, I’ll be presenting a session on MDX called MDX 101: An Introduction to MDX. I’m going to be giving an introduction into the multidimensional expression language used to query SSAS cubes. In this session, we’ will learn the basic MDX query syntax, how to navigate a hierarchy, how to create dynamic time calculations, and more.

Head here to get registered for this massive event! There are already 500 people registered for this awesome event so if you’re thinking about going you better sign up now before they lock down registrations!

What #SQLFamily Means to Me

If you haven’t heard about some of the great things my company, Pragmatic Works, is doing to give back to our veterans integrating back into civilian life, check out what Microsoft is doing to get involved with this. In light of this, Microsoft wants to hear more about #SQLFamily and other amazing instances where someone in the SQL community has lent a helping hand. Microsoft has pledged to donate $50 for the first 400 stories submitted illustrating #SQLFamily. I thought it’d be appropriate, therefore, for me to share what #SQLFamily means to me. But first let me share how I ended up as a business intelligence consultant.

In 2008 I was loading trucks at UPS and had been for the previous six years as I progressed through college. I wasn’t happy there but it had great benefits so I was content to stick out and try and make something happen. I’ve always believed that a person can make anything happen if that person has the desire, the drive, and the determination, so I kept my head down and worked hard while hoping that some kind of management position would open up and give me the break I’d been looking for.

Then in August that year I learned through a buddy from high school, Devin Knight (blog | twitter), that his brother, Brian Knight (blog | twitter), was offering free training in something called “SQL”. Devin gave me a preview of the language and it seemed straight forward enough. I told Devin I was interested.

Devin put me in touch with Brian, whom I’d met a couple times before and we scheduled some time for me to start my training learning SQL and SQL Server Reporting Services. I went through three days of training with Brian and Mike Davis (blog | twitter) and learned about Select statements, data sources, reports, and tablixes. It was a lot to take in in just three days time, but I did my best. Brian and Mike were patient with me and answered the many questions I had.

Then one day I was driving home from work and Brian called me up. He was offering me a job as a Junior Business Intelligence Consultant. He said he saw a lot of upside in me. Brian wanted to take me in, mentor me, and train me. And as they say, the rest is history.

Since that day my life has never been the same. I won’t ever be able to thank Brian enough for giving me my shot. Because of Brian’s generosity, optimism, and faith in me, my life has changed for the better. And it’s because of Brian’s tremendous example that you can find me speaking at SQL Saturday and Code Camp events or answering questions on my blogs or the forums of If I can have a fraction of the impact on someone else that Brian had in my life, then maybe in that way I can say thanks.

So that’s what #SQLFamily means to me. It means helping others because someone somewhere at some point gave you a helping hand. Whether it was a coworker who answered a question for you or someone who proofread your resume, take the time to say thanks and pay it forward to someone else who just needs a little faith, optimism, and a helping hand.

SQL Saturday #86 Aftermath

Thanks to everyone who attended my session “Reporting on a Cube with SSRS 2008.” I had a great time at the event and I hope those who attended enjoyed the great sessions and maybe even learned a couple things.

If you’re interested, here is the link to download my slide deck and examples I used during the session. In my example, I used the Adventure Works 2008 R2 cube, so head over to Codeplex to pick up the materials.

Also, here is the link to Mosha Pasumansky’s MDX Studio Online tool that will format your MDX for you. It’s a very cool tool and very helpful. Thanks to Pam Shaw for providing this link!

SQL Saturday #86: BI Edition in Tampa, FL – Reporting on a Cube w/ SSRS 2008

Next month on November 5th is SQL Saturday #86 in Tampa, Florida. But this is no ordinary SQL Saturday. This is SQL Saturday: BI Edition! Which means this SQL Saturday is going to be even more amazing, hard core, and in your face than usual! If you’ve never been to a SQL Saturday event, let me just say that you are missing out. And if you have been to one before, then you know exactly how awesome these events are. Whether you show up for the incredible FREE training from qualified industry pro’s, the networking with fellow SQL Server fiends, or the great lunch and snacks, you’re sure to have a good time.

So before you waste anymore time, head on over to their site and get registered. Check out the extensive list of sessions and speakers and plan your day.

Yours truly will be giving a session covering Reporting on a Cube w/ SSRS 2008 at 10 a.m.  I’ll be covering some of the advantages the cube presents as a data source and how you can leverage the power of the cube with SQL Server Reporting Services 2008. So head on over to and get registered before it’s completely full! We’re going to have a blast!

Recording Available for Reporting on a Cube with SSRS 2008 Webinar

Thanks to all of the attendees that showed up for my webinar yesterday. I had a great time speaking and I hope everyone enjoyed the webinar and maybe even learned something.

If you missed the webinar, Reporting on a Cube with SSRS 2008, have no fear! There is a recording available for you to watch. Just head over to the Pragmatic Works CMS site and create a free account. Not only will you be able to watch my webinar from yesterday, you’ll also be able to check out tons of other great webinars from some really sharp speakers. So head over to the Pragmatic Works CMS site, create a free account, and watch my webinar here.

Free Webinar Tomorrow (7/21) @ 11 am EST: Reporting on a Cube with SSRS 2008

Tomorrow (7/21) I’ll be speaking on reporting on an SSAS cube with SSRS 2008 at 11 a.m. EST. It’s a completely free event hosted by Pragmatic Works.

In this session I’ll give you an introduction to reporting on a cube with SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). You’ll learn about some of the advantages of using your cube as a source for your SSRS reports, how to build reports based on your cube with minimal knowledge of MDX, as well as a few tricks you can use to increase the usability of your reports.

It’s completely free to attend and you can do it during your lunch break. I’ll also be taking questions so don’t forget to get registered!

Help Me Help You With Free SSIS/SSRS Training

As you may have noticed, Pragmatic Works is once again running another promotion. This promotion is a little different though in that it’s probably the best deal we’ve ever had on our software/training bundle.

If your company purchases at least a single, lonely license to any of our incredible software, inlcluding Task Factory, BI Documenter, BI xPress, and/or DTS xChange, and you get a free seat in either our SSIS or SSRS class. The really great thing about these classes is that you can attend the class remotely via GoToMeeting. The classes are about 4 hours a day for 4 days which allows you to perform your daily duties and still attend the training class.

My personal favorite bundle is the BI xPress/SSIS Training Class bundle. If you’re interesting in learning SSIS, this would be the perfect combo to get you ramped up well past beginner level and headed towards an advanced level. Our SSIS Training Class starts out at a beginner level and progresses all the way through some advanced SSIS concepts. This plays right along with the strengths of BI xPress. Once you take our SSIS Training Class and learn to use BI xPress, you’ll be developing and implimenting SSIS packages at an incredible pace.

I’d highly suggest any of you at least consider this deal before it expires at the end of this month! Help me help you! To get more information, contact You won’t regret it!