Bring your laptop and let’s build a real business intelligence (BI) solution using Power BI! In this deep-dive session, we build a complete solution. You will need the Power BI Designer (available for free at powerbi.com). You will learn how to cleanse and transform data from multiple sources with Power Query, model data for reporting with Power Pivot, and explore the model and build interactive dashboards with Power View. You’ll leave with a working BI solution.
SQL Server Upgrade Preconference Session: October 26
I will also be co-presenting a full-day preconference session on upgrading SQL Server, along with Tim Chapman, Jim Miller, Richard Waymire & Ron Talmage from SolidQ. We will cover upgrading the entire SQL Server feature set from every version since 2005 to newer versions (2012, 2014 & 2016). I be talking about upgrading SSRS, BI design tool and implementing SSAS Tabular.
In an amazing application of visualization techniques, this production is a depiction of the casualties and affects of war. Starting with World War II, Neil Halloran uses animated charts to measure the number of soldier and civilian deaths and then pivots and refactors these numbers in an impressive and impactful presentation that helped me better appreciate what really happened in history. He goes on to perform deeper analysis; comparing these numbers to other wars in history, and to make adjustments for population and other comparison factors. Really well-done.
This is an 18 minute presentation worth giving your undivided attention to fully appreciate the message. The use of common BI graphics and charting techniques is quite impressive – clustered columns, stacked columns and time-series charts, icons and cloud clusters – with music, narrative & a few pictures, all contribute to a truly enveloping presentation. At one point, you can pause the Flash player and interact with the chart to see more information (if you go to the site choose the Interactive option). View the interactive presentation at: http://www.fallen.io/ww2/
No doubt, this production took a lot of time and energy, and the author provides the option to support his work financially using Amazon; which is a well-deserved donation.
This post is really a collection of field notes and some lessons learned from recent project experience. I’ve done plenty of SSAS Tabular projects over the past few years – usually starting with a Visual Studio project rather than Power Pivot. I’ve also done a bit of Power Pivot work for clients. These projects were either delivered to an analyst using Excel on their desktop or some business users through SharePoint. But, authoring in Excel Power Pivot and deploying to a server-hosted Tabular model has been mainly theoretical up to this point so I thought I’d share my experience. Continue reading →
I’m pleased to share the first two articles in a series for SQL Server Pro Magazine. Here’s a short excerpt from each with a link to the full article:
Getting Started with Datazen, Microsoft’s New Mobile Dashboard Platform (Part 1)
Microsoft Datazen is a new tool from Microsoft built on a mature and time-tested foundation of enterprise services and visualization components from Component Art. Interactive, touch-friendly, analytic dashboards created by data professionals are available to users on desktops and practically all modern mobile device platforms.
Getting Started with Datazen
The story you are about to read is going to sound too good to be true but it is true and it’s awesome.
About two years ago, I was helping a big consulting client evaluate mobile BI dashboard options for their Microsoft BI solution. A friend on the BI platform team at Microsoft asked for my thoughts about a new mobile dashboard tool called Datazen. My initial impression was that the product needed to mature to meet my client’s needs but the interactivity and visual experience was stunning. Half joking (in a Freudian sort of way), I told him that Microsoft should buy the company and finish integrating it with their BI platform. Imagine my delight when I learned last month that it actually happened.
Last month Microsoft announced that they had acquired the DataZen mobile BI platform and were adding it to their enterprise BI product suite. This is very exciting news that rounds out the Microsoft BI capabilities of their entire product portfolio. What’s more, is that they plan to make if free for SQL Server Enterprise customers who have Software Assurance agreements.
I presented a session at the PASS Global Summit in 2013 showcasing DataZen called “New York, London, Paris Munich; Everybody’s Talking About Mobile BI”. A product team leader in the Microsoft BI Visualization team had introduced me to DataZen and recommended I take a look. This led me to recommend that we evaluate the product for one of our enterprise BI clients and to talk about my experience in the conference session. My response to the Microsoft team was to recommend that they acquire DataZen. Whether I actually had anything to do with this product acquisition or not, it does give me a sense of satisfaction to know that it is now part of the Microsoft family.
So, what, exactly is DataZen and what are its capabilities and challenges? Continue reading →
It was a great honor to be asked to join my associates from SolidQ at the Microsoft Virtual Academy Studios in Redmond and talk about how to upgrade to SQL Server 2012 and 2014. These recordings, which are also on my YouTube Channel, include the material I covered in these sessions. The entire series of studio presentations are hosted on Channel 9 and here at the MVA with accompanying assessment surveys and resources.
In these studio sessions, I am joined by my fellow authors of the 429 page SQL Server 2014 Upgrade Technical Guide; Richard Waymire, Ron Talmage and Jim Miller from SolidQ. Jim and I were responsible for the Business Intelligence content. In our sessions Jim covered SSIS and SSAS Multidimensional, and I covered SSAS Tabular, BI tools and SSRS. In this edited portion of the SSAS session, Jim begins with a brief summary of multidimensional upgrade options and I continue to discuss opportunities to implement SSAS Tabular solutions. BI topics apply equally to SQL Server 2012 and 2014 upgrades. Continue reading →
I’ve created a series of five tutorial videos for a set of workshops I’ll be doing at several events this year. The workshop is available from an hour-long quick demo to a full-day, hands-on workshop with a hosted lab environment in the cloud. The series teaches how to create a complete business intelligence solution using the components of Power BI in Excel 2013. These video tutorials, although complete, are a subset of the entire workshop. Each tutorial is about 10 minutes long.