Brian Larson

Brian
Larson
16

Brian Larson is a technology author and the Chief Technology Officer/Owner at Superior Consulting Services in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has presented at national conferences and events including SQL Server Connections, the PASS Summit, and the Microsoft BI Conference. As a consultant to Microsoft, Larson contributed to the original code base of SQL Server Reporting Services.
 
He has worked in the computer industry since 1985 and has been a consultant creating custom database applications since 1989. Larson is an MCSE: Business Intelligence 2012 and a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA). He is also the author of “Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services: 4th Edition” and “Delivering Business Intelligence with SQL Server 2012: 3rd Edition” as well as co-author of “Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View” all from McGraw-Hill Professional.

Articles
Creating Forward-Looking KPIs

Creating a Forward-Looking KPI

Much of our organizational reporting today looks only at the past. It show us what happened in the past month, most recently completed quarter, or year-to-date. This information has value, but in many cases it would have more value if it would help us look to the future. Often, when decision makers look at past information, they use it to estimate a likely future state.

For example, a CFO looking at the following chart and assume that $2.676M represents ¾ of his total fiscal year sales:

Effective Data Visualization - The Eradication of Ruler Reports

Effective Data Visualization – The Eradication of Ruler Reports

I once had an efficiency consultant tell me that he went into an office looking for a ruler left out on someone’s desk. This was a sure sign that person received one or more reports that were so large and so complex, it was necessary to lay a ruler across the report in order to read it properly. These “ruler reports” were the first candidates to be redesigned and replaced.

Power Tools – Microsoft’s Business Intelligence Toolbox
Which is the right Microsoft Power Tool for your job: Power Query, Power Pivot, Power View, Power Map, Power BI or Power Q&A?
Take Control of Your Reports with ReportViewer, Part 2 1
The ReportViewer control is a powerful tool for integrating reports into Windows and Web form applications. You can make it even more powerful if you're willing to write a few lines of Visual Basic .NET or Visual C# code.
Take Control of Your Reports with ReportViewer
If you need more report functionality than SSRS can offer, Visual Studio 2005's ReportViewer control might be just what you need.
The Case of Locating National's Treasures
A mysterious email message leads B.I. Powers to track down codes on National Manufacturing's reports and teach them how to use meaningful names.
The Case of the Wicked Wrist Rapper
Is foul play behind the excessive number of wrist injuries at a local manufacturing company? Can B.I. Powers convince the company's president to use Analysis Services to secure access to data?
The Case of the All-Inclusive Collection
A fanatical collector demands a report that will let her see everything in her collections. Can B.I. Powers provide the solution by modifying a Reporting Services parameter?
The Case of the Multitudinous Dates 1
A date with a fig lands B.I. Powers in an investigation of a mysterious fruit theft. Can Powers help the nutty culprit create a time dimension?
The Case of the Historical Conundrum
Mysterious security-log entries put B.I. Powers on the trail of a time traveler. Can Reporting Services’ history snapshots save the culprit from performing unnecessary work?
The Case of the Out-of-Date Cube
B.I. Powers turns up an OLAP cube that's dragging a company into the past. Is SQL Server 2005 behind the latency? Can Powers find a simple solution?
The Case of the Possessed Server
When mysterious SQL Server Agent jobs appear on a seemingly isolated server, a DBA engages B.I. Powers to discover the cause. Is dear departed Uncle Wally trying to contact his nephew?
The Case of the Good Data Gone Bad
The intrepid B.I. Powers is engaged to track down missing data. Is the data loss part of an international conspiracy? Or is the solution closer to home?
Developing Familiarity with BI
SQL Server 2005’s BI tools might seem intimidating to relational database developers. But three new tasks offer and easy introduction to automating data analysis and data mining.
The Case of the Missing Link 4
When SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services administrator Greg Parker goes missing for more than a week, B.I Powers, consulting detective, is called in to find the hapless employee.

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From the Blogs
Aug 27, 2015
blog

A Replacement for Maintenance Plan Backups

This blog post is a bit of a ‘repeat’ – since I already covered much of the rationale behind this post in Part 23 of my multi-part series on AlwaysOn Availability Groups and SQL Server Agent Jobs. But, I also figured that this is enough of an important topic to merit its own blog post....More
Aug 19, 2015
blog

Looking forward to Containers

Virtualization has long been a staple when it comes to computing. In essence, virtualization is really just the use of abstraction to make things either easier to manage or more fault-tolerant. Disks, for example, have long been virtualized in the sense that a single, physical, can easily be divided up into multiple logical (or virtual) volumes (or drives) just as easily as a number of discreet physical disks can also be virtualized into a single drive (via RAID) – which can further be partitioned into volumes, LUNs, and so....More
Jul 28, 2015
blog

AlwaysOn Availability Groups and SQL Server Jobs, Part 29: Practical Implementation Tips

My initial goal in writing this series of posts was to outline some of the concerns surrounding Availability Groups (AGs) and SQL Server Agent Jobs – and call out how there is virtually no guidance from Microsoft on this front and then detail some of the pitfalls and options available for tackling this problem domain. I initially expected this series of posts to have between 25 and 30 posts – according to some of the early outlines I created ‘way back when’....More
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