Free Data Modeling Course

In any industry there is a small set of luminaries – people who everyone knows by name and by reputation. They’ve been around for years and decades. They started off doing amazing work, and they’ve only gotten better over time.

In the world of Microsoft business intelligence, Marco Russo and Alberto Ferrari are two of these luminaries[1]. I’ve been doing this data thing for a while now, and they know more about data and BI than I will ever forget. Or something like that.

In any event, they have just released a free introductory data modeling course, and you should complete it. I know I will.

For context, there are three big reasons why I’m going to complete an online introductory data modeling course even though I’ve been working as a data professional for over 20 years:

  1. Marco and Alberto are experienced trainers and presenters who know how to communicate complex topics in ways that make them easy to understand and apply. Even if I know a given topic already, I will learn details I did not previously know, or will learn new ways to think about the topic.
  2. There’s a lot I need to learn. My background heavily emphasizes ETL and data warehousing, which was a fine place to specialize when I was part of a multi-disciplinary team and someone else was responsible for the analytics model. When working in Power BI as a self-service user, I frequently run into gaps in my knowledge. Although I know where to look to find answers, focusing on proactive learning will make me more efficient every day I work in Power BI.
  3. Data modeling is a topic of vital importance for enterprise Power BI customers. In my day job[2] I see lots of problems that would not have existed if people had started with a well designed data model.
  4. I’m not getting any younger, so if I’m ever going to start a modeling career, it had better be soon.

I hope you’ll take advantage of Marco and Alberto’s generous offer and complete this course. When you do, let me know what you think.


[1] They are not, as the post title and their names might suggest, elite fashion designers.

[2] Although the dataflows-centric subject matter of this blog may lead you to believe otherwise, most of what I do on a daily basis is help large customers succeed with Power BI… I blog about dataflows just because I love them so much.

My slides from SQL Saturday Victoria

Last weekend I had the pleasure of presenting at SQL Saturday in Victoria, BC. I delivered an introductory session on Power BI dataflows, and included an unplanned impromptu musical[1] performance.

This week at the Microsoft MVP Summit in Redmond I have been talking to a lot of MVPs and I realized that I had yet to make any of my presentation resources available. The slide deck below (click on the image or the link below it) is my standard dataflows slide deck, with the SQL Saturday template applied.

Slide deck

SQLSatVictoria – Introduction to Power BI Dataflows

This deck includes more content than is appropriate for a single session, but it has resources that you can use if you want to present on dataflows at a conference or user group meeting. Please feel free to take what’s there and to use the parts that are valuable. Please also feel free to ping me on Twitter if you have any questions or feedback on the content or the content flow.

If you have any critical feedback to share related to my musical performance, please include a link to your Power BI themed sings as reference.


[1] For a given value of “musical”.