Power Tools for Power Work

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As a BI professional, I have a set of tools that I require to have installed on my computer in order to do my work properly. It can be mandatory tools because I work with Microsoft BI stack or others because I feel they are really useful for some specific task while developing, debugging or visualizing data.

Microsoft Tools

Visual Studio: It’s a mandatory tool to develop any BI solution on top of the Microsoft BI Stack. Sometimes runs into some weird bugs or crashes but overall I have a good experience with the tool.

Visual Studio Code: It’s kind of a Swiss Army Knife for a developer. It came as a replacement of Notepad++ for me.

SQL Server Management Studio: Another mandatory tool to develop on top of Microsoft BI Stack.

Power BI Desktop: Tool to have, in my opinion, to develop reports in this new era. Reporting services is still amazing but definitely Power BI will own eventually all kind of visualizations of data on top of Microsoft BI stack.

Microsoft Excel: It’s a mandatory tool for every person that works with data. It’s powerful and flexible which enable me to test a lot of scenarios while developing.

Add-ins for Management Studio

Poor’s Man SQL Formatter: I love it. I love having my code tidy so I can read through it without any complications. It’s simple and very powerful in my opinion.

ApexSQL Complete: Another tool that I can’t live without. Enables me to write faster queries and also provides information about all objects in my databases.

Analysis Services Query Analyzer: Always wanted to have a MDX formatter and after I saw Chris Webb posting about this tool in his blog, I had to try it. It’s a really good tool.

SQL Search from Redgate: Whenever I need to search through all databases about some topic, this is the tool to go.

Add-ins for Excel

OLAP PivotTable Extensions: Very useful add-in. Whenever there is some issue with a pivot table that is querying a cube, I use this add-in to give me the MDX query used by Excel and then I can understand better what can be the issue.

Other Standalone Tools

DAX Studio: Whenever I need to debug some DAX, this is the tool I use. It’s fast and easy to use. Totally recommend it.

MDX Studio: I used to use it way more when I started my career but now I just use it whenever I have to do some performance improvement on MDX queries which is basically never.

SentryOne Plan Explorer: This tool is for when I have to do some analysis on some TSQL queries. Is very useful and a must have to analyze queries.

And that’s it. These are my set of tools that are mandatory in any machine I use. Share in the comment section below about your favourite tools.

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