Join Ron Davis for an in-depth discussion in this video What you should know before watching this course, part of Microsoft Business Intelligence Stack Fundamentals.
We are all very busy, so you should know what you need to know, or perhaps better put, what questions you should ask yourself before you spend the time watching this video series and then, perhaps, the in-depth video series that follows this one. I mentioned previously that we were using SQL Server 2012 version in the demonstrations that we'll be doing. However, don't let that be a concern. If you are running SQL Server version 2008 or higher, that is 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, or even 2014, you'll be just fine with the information that we're going to communicate and with the demonstrations.
All of those versions of SQL Server work essentially the same for the extract, transform, and load. You have to ask yourself why you are interested in business intelligence? There are number of excellent motivations, including the incredible amount of attention business intelligence is receiving in the business world. Perhaps you're wondering if there's a future for you and a career in this very exciting world, and rapidly expanding world, of business intelligence. Then again, maybe your boss tasked you with finding out what all the buzz is about when they banter about terms such as big data, data mining, predictive analytics, and report visualizations.
It's also beneficial to know what is the state of business intelligence where you work? That is, do they already have a data warehouse? Or a data mart? If so, how are they using it? If not, why not? Finally, think about the buzz terms that I mentioned a few seconds ago in the context of your current job. How would business intelligence affect you personally? Having watched business intelligence grow and evolve for decades, I believe that all companies that are sized medium and above will either expand their existing business intelligence, or if they don't have business intelligence, will add it following one of the three paths that we describe.