Maybe I Jumped The Gun On Gemini

I am shocked that I would be a victim of marketting (Who Me (??)) but it looks like I might have been on Microsoft’s new Gemini product.

After my “epistle” on the exciting prospects of the Gemini being promoted by Microsoft (Google/Bing  “Gemini and Microsoft” and see what you find) I have only been able to confirm that Gemini provides the ability to assemble large data sets from multiple data sources, relate them as any Relational report generator can, and use the results as the source for an Excel Pivot Table.

I have TRIED to get some answers on how this amounts to “BI” or even “OLAP” as many of the documents out there refer to Gemini.  Either they need to do a better job of explaining to people like me WHY this is BI or I am going to conclude that this is simply an MS Query replacement.

Until further notice I retract my excitement about the Gemini product.


p.s. Special thanx to Sam for saying this against my earlier Gemini Love-Fest:

Play with the tool and if you find something that the tool can do that Excel already cant… the that would be interesting…I am still searching…

About Biggus Dickus

Dick is a consultant in London, ON Canada who specializes in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Office Development.
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8 Responses to Maybe I Jumped The Gun On Gemini

  1. Harlan Grove says:

    You can do anything on a computer using Assembler. Therefore, Assembler is a BI tool.

  2. Dick Moffat says:

    Very funny !! And very cynical !! I like that!!

    To me the operative word in BI is “Intelligence”. To me that means not only drawing in the data required to analyze a business, it also (and more importantly) means being able to lay business rules and logic over top of that data in such a way that it guarantees the validity of the numbers as one moves up and down the various relationships within the data (i.e. Day, Week, Month, Quarter, Year or City, State, Region, Country, Area) etc.

    Without the ability to define these relationships then it isn’t BI, it’s just data being aggregated in ways that not only requires the user to know more than they possibly can about the structure of their business, but also allows for quick and safe realignments of business models and rules.

    I had my first experience with BI in a Sybase Server for a major worldwide bank back in 1994. I used an OCX to use SPs to query the Server and then laid the data out inside Excel Worksheets with Drill-Down capabilty within Excel requesting the subordinate data and laying it out in a new Worksheet again. It was VERY cool (and I got paid well). Unfortunately the bank merged with an Insurance company and everyone I worked with got let go as well as my app – this has been a pattern throughout my career by the way 😦 ).

    I have now waited for 15 years for BI to start to become understood and I despair every time something like Gemini gets thrown out there as BI when it really isn’t.

    BI is serious stuff and the misuse of the term makes me sick.

  3. Amir Netz says:

    Hi Dick,

    DAX (Data Analysis Expressions) is the way to express BI logic. DAX is a combination of Excel expressions enriched with BI extensions.

    Admitedly, CTP2 shiped with a very partial implementation of DAX so I can understand the sentiment here.

    But as CTP3 is looming, I suggest you stay tuned to the added capabilities of DAX. I think you’ll find it pretty powerful for task of expressing BI business logic.

    Amir, from the Gemini team.

  4. Dick Moffat says:


    So you’re saying that maybe I “jumped the gun” on whether I “jumped the gun” on Gemini ???

    Thank you very much for the clarification. I was having a heck of a time getting answers on this and I appreciate your jumping in to fill me in. Where can WE get documentation (or at least specs) and the use of DAX on CTP3? When will CTP3 be available? Where can we just get MORE info on Gemini wit regards to detailed funcionality (as opposed to pretty pictures 😉 ) …

    Are you then telling me that Gemini will be a true BI product on its own as I defined BI? If so you will have a few people here very interested …

    Thanx again.

  5. Amir Netz says:

    Well, Gemini is indeed designed as a BI tool. But it is a different kind of BI tool than the run-of-the-mill ones. I think you already realized that we put the emphasis on speed, scale, simplicity and Excel consistency rather than on an exotic feature set.

    Still, the core of Gemini it is based on the Analysis Services engine and believe me, we take BI very seriously in this team. Gemini is no toy.

    The exact release date of CTP3 is not set yet, but it is not too far… All the features are in and we are now polishing the code to make sure that you have a high quality experience with it.

    There are many new goodies in the CTP3 release, but there is no doubt that the full DAX is the biggest of them. A very large portion of the team worked on DAX for CTP3 and the code just got integrated on Friday.

    The full DAX documentation will be available for CTP3. We may have some blog entries and demos ahead of time illustrating the power of DAX. But I think we have a few more weeks to go before we are ready to disclose the breadth of the language.

    If you are going to the SharePoint conference in LV you’ll have a chance to see DAX in action on stage. We have a full session in which DAX will star and you’ll get to see the CTP3 in action.

    Amir (still on the Gemini team)

  6. Dick Moffat says:

    Thanx again Amir … that’s great news !!

    Unfortunately I personally will be speaking at another conference in Holland that week but maybe others will be there.


  7. Jon Peltier says:

    Amir –

    “we put the emphasis on speed, scale, simplicity and Excel consistency rather than on an exotic feature set”

    If this means you’ve suppressed crappy 3D shading and moronic dials and gauges, then it’s a big step in the right direction.

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