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...]

IT Pro Events & Free Stuff for the Central USA – Jan 2015

Central USA IT Pro Community News – Jan 2015 There are lots of free, in-person and virtual events happening in the central USA over the next few weeks. Don't miss out on training, ebooks, and other goodies! Upcoming Events Jan 10th – Kansas City – SharePoint Saturday Jan 14th – Online – A lap around Azure Websites Jan 15th – Detroit – BDPA Tech Meetup Jan 17th - Nashville - SQLSaturday #363 I'll be presenting two sessions at this event, along with many of the industry's leading experts. Come join us! Jan 19 – Detroit – Microsoft Web Camp Jan 19 – Chicago – Microsoft … [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 : Business Intelligence Enhancements in SQL Server 2014

  Microsoft has been pouring R&D resourcesinto building out its business intelligence (BI) feature set and the upcoming SQL Server 2014 (SQL2014) release will continue that trend. The new release includes enhancements to make data exploration easier, improvements in BI semantic modeling, new offerings to help build and support massive databases and data warehouses, and tools to ensure the quality and consistency of data. Here’s what SQL2014 will do for you with regards to business intelligence: 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...]

Now Playing on SSWUG TV!

Hi friends, I know a lot of you regularly read my blog either on my home page at KevinEKline.com, on SQLBlog.com, or one of the locations where it's syndicated. And you may also regularly take in my content on SQLSentry.TV or my monthly column on Database Trends & Applications magazine.   Click the image to see my new weekly video series on SSWUG.org! Now I'm adding a new video format to the mix, in partnership with my friend Steven Wynkoop and SSWUG.org.  I've been a frequent speaker in the SSWUG virtual conferences over the past several years and, we thought, why not … [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...]

SQL Server Data Tools – Business Intelligence for Visual Studio 2012 Released!

SSDTBI for Visual Studio 2012 enables customers to use the Analysis Services, Integration Services, and Reporting Services project templates within the Visual Studio 2012 shell.  The components are delivered as a web download on the Microsoft Download center and will be available through Web Platform Installer.   This release is the equivalent functionality to SSDTBI (BIDS) for Visual Studio 2010 that shipped in the SQL Server 2012 box.  The team adapted the UI to meet the new Visual Studio 2012 UI design.   This release delivers on the SQL commitment to provide BI Project Templates supporting … [Read more...]

Business Intelligence Careers SearchSQLServer.com Interview

I had a very interesting conversation recently with a good friend of mine.  She's at the top of her game as a first class enterprise DBA in a major medical institution.  She was interested in my career advice because she'd recently received an unsolicited invitation for a higher paying job in the business intelligence (BI) field.  While I won't talk much more about the specifics of that conversation, it's not a unique conversation.  In fact, I gave an interview to SearchSQLServer.com a while back about how DBA career paths are more and more leading into an even better paying career in business … [Read more...]