Over the past few years we did not hear anything from Microsoft about SQL Server on-premises business intelligence enhancements. The extended cricket-chirping silence left us speculating about the future of Reporting Services, Analysis Services and other key technologies that are being used today to power critical decision making solutions. Good news, the waiting and wondering is over. Microsoft recently announced significant SQL Server on-premises upgrades for business intelligence in numerous presentations at both //build and Ignite conferences.
Microsoft has positioned Power BI to be the industry-leading tool for simple self-service desktop data mashups but it has great heritage of serious business analytics. I’ve had numerous conversations lately with new consulting clients; both business leaders and technical professionals, who recognize the promise of Power BI and are anxious to put it to work solving real data problems. Are you ready to use Power BI to tackle your data challenges? On the 27th of August, I’ll lead an online virtual workshop “Building Business Intelligence Solutions...More
July 24th marked the General Availability release of major updates to Power BI Service and Power BI Desktop, Microsoft's cloud-based analytics and data visualization platform. Today's updates replace the previous "Power BI for Office 365" version and Power BI service that required either a subscription to Office 365 or Sharepoint Online for access.
Power BI Desktop...More
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:...More
Recently, I needed to optimize a nightly batch process for a SQL Server data warehouse that involved loading over 250,000 flat files. With a bit of experimentation and research, I was able to decrease the overall load time from 14 hours to under 15 minutes. To do so, I used:
something old - the T-SQL BULK INSERT command,
something new - Memory-Optimized tables in SQL Server 2014, and...More
As summer nears, the Power BI Preview is making bigger waves with every weekly release. Popular data sources and a plethora of Power BI Designer enhancements are being released at light speed pace. Check out the highlights on what has been released and what we might see next....More
Over the past few years we did not hear anything from Microsoft about SQL Server on-premises business intelligence enhancements. The extended cricket-chirping silence left us speculating about the future of Reporting Services, Analysis Services and other key technologies that are being used today to power critical decision making solutions. Good news, the waiting and wondering is over. Microsoft recently announced significant SQL Server on-premises upgrades for business intelligence in numerous presentations at both //build and Ignite conferences....More
Microsoft Datazen is a robust, enterprise-scale server-hosted mobile dashboard platform that works on every mobile platform – the iPad and iPhone, Windows desktop, tablet and phone, Android devices and HTML5 with full fidelity. To use Datazen, you don’t need SharePoint, a cloud subscription, Office or any other software....More
In this article, second in the series, we setup the Datazen server in preparation for designing basic dashboards in Part 3. Later on, we’ll explore advanced designs and dashboard interactions using parameters and drill-through navigation. If you haven’t already, read the first article to understand the server components and tools you’ll need to get started....More
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....More
This is the third article in the four part series about designing SSAS Tabular models. In this article you will learn how to manage and secure a deployed model on the server.
Part 1 - Getting Started with SSAS Tabular...More
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
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
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