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Just starting first job - SSIS & SSAS


Just starting first job - SSIS & SSAS

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hogpen
hogpen
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I graduated recently from college and will by starting my first job in Business Intelligence in October.

I'm currently going through orientation to learn more general information about the company and all of the different business groups.

I have very little experience in database work, I only took an Accounting Information Systems class that involved basic stuff with Access.

I emailed my manager asking if there was anything I could do to get a head start. She said they use the Microsoft BI stack (SSAS for cube development and SSIS for ETL).

What's the best way for me to get started in those areas? Any books or online tutorials you would recommend?



Thanks in advance.
TomThomson
TomThomson
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With no previous database experience you should maybe expect your employer to provide some training.

However, there are some reasonable tutorials available online. But learning to handle BI related products from online tutorials when you don't have significant experience in the area is a rather heavy task unless your employer is going to provide someone to spend quite a lot of time acting as your mentor and helping you to learn.

A good place to start looking is the Microsoft on-line documentation, which includes on;ine tutorials. For SSAS you could start from http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh231701, for SSIS from http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms167031%28v=sql.105%29.aspx and also from http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa337424 and from http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb522859.aspx, but these do require some basic knowledge of SQL Server and MS's various development studios, plus access to a computer with the software you are learning about installed. The underlying database system on which SSAS, SSIS, and SSRS (you can't do really BI without SSRS) are founded has some tutorials starting from http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj590844.aspx and you may find that you have to look at some of this in order to understand the stuff I mentioned before.

The references I've given above are mostly for the 2012 versions - and I see you've posted in the 2008 forum; they pages referenced contain links to earlier versions, so you can follow those links and get the version you need.

Tom

GSquared
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Do you learn most easily from books, from hands-on, or from mentoring through examples? Different people learn differently, so that will matter. (Some can mix-and-match, too, of course.)

If books, I recommend going to a good bookstore or library. Before you go, write a list of questions you actually find you need answers to on the subject. Grab a stack of books, and try to find answers to your questions in each book. What you'll probably find is that one or two of the books will "resonate" best for you. The writing style, examples, narrative-sequence, etc., will allow you to get the most out of them. Then pick those.

If hands-on, get a copy of SQL Developer Edition, install it on your computer at work. The employer should provide it, not you. Then start building proof-of-concept work in it. Try something practical but easy. Perhaps the online tutorials, perhaps something more personal or more closely related to your employer's needs.

If mentoring, and there isn't someone in-person at work, then you'll probably spend a lot of time on SQL forums (like this one).

But the first thing to do is think back to your education, and experiences in other fields than just DBAing, and work out your best learning pattern. That's where you should start from.

Does that help?

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hogpen
hogpen
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Thank you both, that's very helpful information. My manager mentioned that she will set up some training when I first start but I'd still like to learn some basics.

I definitely learn best through hands-on work so the tutorials sound like a great idea.


Thanks again!
Alan.B
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Read, read, read: books online, a web page or blog...

Practice, practice, practice...

Microsoft E-learning, plenty of free stuff there. Go to products > SQL Server. There's tons of free stuff (intro to 2008, What's new in 2012, BI Blah-blah...)

Install SQL Server Express, it's free (on a computer you don't care about while you're learning). Play around with adventure works. Make a new DB. Back it up, export a table, create a view, etc..

Want a real headstart?!?! - Begin a code library. This really helped me - you get some practice and can use it... Start with TSQL, make some notes, etc..

-- string functions

--REPLICATE
DECLARE @str varchar(50) = 'xyz '
SELECT REPLICATE(@str, 2)

-- LEN (length)
SELECT LEN(@str)
SELECT LEN(REPLICATE(@str, 2))
SELECT LEN(NULL) .....

-- aggregate functions
SELECT COUNT(*) FROM sys.databases
SELECT SUM(a) FROM...

--useful system views
SElECT TOP 10 * FROM sys.all_views
SELECT TOP 10 * FROM sys.syslogins ...


... next go do one with MDX or whatever...

-- Alan Burstein



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MWise
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Try http://www.msbiacademy.com/ and http://pragmaticworks.com/. But I just have to ask, how in the world do you get a job in BI with no database experience?!?

MWise



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Hey, good luck with the job. I got my start as a Data Analyst right after I graduated. I didn't have much database experience(one DB class and 3 months as an intern, both not very in depth in SQL) but they were a smaller company and willing to train and have me learn on the job.

Anyways, I did the SSIS stairway(Look on the links on the left for Stairways) here on SQLServerCentral and I thought it was a pretty good intro. There's a Stairway to MDX that I haven't done that may be useful.
hogpen
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Mhlewis (8/16/2012)
Try http://www.msbiacademy.com/ and http://pragmaticworks.com/. But I just have to ask, how in the world do you get a job in BI with no database experience?!?

MWise



Good question, I'm not sure. I'm scared out of my mind about it though. I made good grades in college and in the interview they asked me my interests and one thing I mentioned was database stuff so I guess that's why they put me in BI. We'll see if I can handle it. Sad



Thanks for the info everyone.
Koen Verbeeck
Koen Verbeeck
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will.byrne (8/16/2012)
Mhlewis (8/16/2012)
...But I just have to ask, how in the world do you get a job in BI with no database experience?!?


Good question, I'm not sure. I'm scared out of my mind about it though. I made good grades in college and in the interview they asked me my interests and one thing I mentioned was database stuff so I guess that's why they put me in BI. We'll see if I can handle it. Sad


Don't be scared. I started out in the BI field 3 years ago without any relevant experience and I couldn't write a decent SQL statement at the time. My new employer saw some opportunities in me and invested quite well in some SQL Server trainings. Then they put me on a project with some more senior colleagues, who mentored me in my first steps. And look where I am now: giving sessions about SQL Server BI at national conferences (Belgium that is, it's not a big country :-)) and I'm in the top 20 of SQLServerCentral (as if that's any reference :-D)

My point is that you don't have to be scared. As long as your employer is willing to support you with training, mentoring et cetera, you shall be fine. You already show a good attitude by trying to tackle things upfront.



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