Revisiting PASS Summit 2015

PASS SUMMIT 2015: THE AGE OF THE DATA PROFESSIONAL IS NOW The PASS Summit 2015, the largest conference in the Microsoft SQL Server world, was held in October in Seattle, WA. The event provided a look at key initiatives that Microsoft's SQL Server group has been working on and a glimpse of what's ahead for the future. READ MORE... Originally Posted November 09, 2015 … [Read more...]

Don’t Miss the Biggest Annual SQL Server Conference, PASS Summit

I'm thrilled to be presenting once again at this year's PASS Summit, coming up in October in Seattle. I've got two regular sessions, one technical and one profession, as well as two community sessions. I hope you can join me. In case you don't know, the PASS Summit connects you with industry experts and THOUSANDS of global data professionals in a unique learning environment that empowers you with the practical knowledge you need to excel in your career. If you've never been before I strongly encourage you to consider attending. It can be a career-altering (and improving) experience! In … [Read more...]

New Releases for the Microsoft Data Platform

NEW RELEASES FOR THE MICROSOFT DATA PLATFORM The Microsoft data platform team is on fire! It is delivering more updates and features faster and more thoroughly than ever before. If you're a data professional and you're using the Microsoft stack, this is a really exciting time to be involved. Here's a look at the top new capabilities in SQL Server 2016 Public Preview, SSIS Feature Packs For Azure, and Azure SQL Data Warehouse. READ MORE... Originally Posted July 08, 2015 … [Read more...]

DBTA – PowerBI: The Self-Service BI App That Can Change Your Life

Here’s a real-world story: Data collection and analysis is, ironically, for a data management profession, one of the toughest parts of my job. I regularly pull data from our various databases and packaged application reporting systems for CRM, licensing, and user information. If you’ve ever worked with a packaged product, such as a CRM system, that includes reporting and querying features, then you know how inflexible they are. It can be infuriatingly difficult to get data out of these systems, systems for which you paid big money, without losing sleep, hair, and peace of mind. Working with … [Read more...]

DBTA – Big Data and Microsoft SQL Server HDInsight

  It’s time to follow up with a discussion of Microsoft’s cloud-centric approach to big data using HDInsight. MICROSOFT SQL SERVER AND BIG DATA IN THE CLOUD HDInsight is a 100% Apache Hadoop service, currently at v2.2, available through Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud offerings. HDInsight makes all of the standard features you’d expect from a Hadoop implementation—the HDFS/MapReduce software framework and related projects such as Pig and Hive—available in a simple, scalable, and fairly cheap cloud environment. Behind the scenes, HDInsight uses Windows Azure Blob storage to manage and … [Read more...]

DBTA – Microsoft SQL Server and the Big Data Play

  When it comes to implementing a big data strategy in a Microsoft SQL Server shop, you’re generally going to consider one of three strategies. In the first strategy, which I won’t be addressing today, you might choose to tackle your big data architecture by pushing your relational database to its scalability limits, perhaps by making greater use of special features such as SQL Server’s columnstore indexes and special optimizations for BI applications. Read the rest of this article … [Read more...]

Interested in Self-Service Analytics at the PASS Business Analytics Conference?

I don’t know if you’re planning to attend the PASS Business Analytics Conference. But you'll be missing a ton of great content especially for data, analytics, and business intelligence professionals. There's still plenty of time to register and, if you use my discount code – BABS2B – you'll get $150 off the conference registration fee.  There will be more than 60 sessions at the event by BA/BI experts from Intuit, Microsoft, SurveyMonkey, Wells Fargo, and more. Last year’s inaugural event was quite the shindig, bringing in around 900 business analysts, data scientists, architects, and BI and … [Read more...]

What’s the Data Modeling Standard for Business Intelligence Systems?

I had the good fortune to overhear some of my good friends and fellow MVPs discussing the process of data modeling for business intelligence systems.  So what are the industry standard approaches for modeling dimensional data modelling? The short answer is that Kimball's dimensional modeling is the most widely adopted standard for any sort of data warehouse. Inmon is also well respected. But the consensus is to stick with Kimball, especially if you're looking for something an enterprise standards team is going to recognize as "standard". The book on my shelf and which I most … [Read more...]

PASS Business Analytics Conference (BAC) Recap

The PASS Business Analytics Conference (PASS BAC) is PASS' first foray into an event that is dedicated to business intelligence, big data, data visualization, and business analytics.  And it totally makes sense for PASS to move in this direction, over and above the flagship community work centered on database management and application development.  Why?  Because business analytics is all about how to apply the data being collected and managed by all of those developers and DBAs.  And, at the end of the day, how we use and apply our data is really the nexus of its value.  That's what matters … [Read more...]