Dan English's BI Blog

Welcome to my random thoughts in regards to Business Intelligence, databases, and other technologies

Archive for May, 2011

Free SQL Server Community June 2011 Training

Posted by denglishbi on May 27, 2011

Head over to Pragmatic Works site and take a look at all of the training that is available in June – free training on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 a.m. EST.  image

  • June 2, Adam Jorgensen – Building Tier 1 SSAS Solutions for Maximum Performance
  • June 7, Brad Schacht – Dynamic SSIS: Configurations, Expressions, and Variables
  • June 9, Mark Stacey – GIS in SQL and SSRS using Statistics SA data
  • June 14, Brian Knight – Introduction to MDX
  • June 16, Ben Evans – Data Driven Website Design
  • June 21, Jorge Segarra – Back that Thang Up!
  • June 23, Shawn Harrison – Using Containers in SSIS
  • June 28, Jamie Thompson – New SSIS Features and Enhancements in Denali
  • June 30, Sherri McDonald – How awesome are my reports!!!

If you miss a session they record them and you can check them out later on-demand in the webinar resource area.

They already have the line up going for July as well, so if you want to plan ahead you are all set.  Just remember the disclaimer that the speakers are subject to change, so always check back to see what is going on.

So what are you waiting for, get registered for one of these spectacular webinars today – Webinar Registration.

Don’t forget, you can stay up-to-date on the training events through the PWFreeTrainingtwitter account as well.

Enjoy!

Posted in SQL Server, Training | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

TDWI Minneapolis Chapter Event: Competing on Analytics – June 14

Posted by denglishbi on May 23, 2011

The next TDWI Minneapolis Chapter event is scheduled and the agenda has been posted.  This month they will be talking about analytical technologies and you will get to hear how Kelley Blue Book has enhanced these capabilities and has transformed their company.

http://tdwichapters.org/Minneapolis (or http://www.tdwimpls.org/)

When: Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Where: The Travelers, 385 Washington St., Saint Paul, MN 55102

Directions please click here

We are pleased that the Travelers will host our June meeting. A special thanks to Sriram Pidaparti.
Preregistration will facilitate your entry to the meeting.

Click here to register for the next upcoming event

Agenda:

  • 7:45 – 8:15 a.m. – Networking and Registration
  • 8:15 – 8:30 a.m. – Introduction and Chapter Business
  • 8:30 – 9:45 a.m. – “Competing on Analytics” by Dan Ingle
  • 9:45 – 10:00 a.m. – Break and Networking
  • 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. – “Competing on Analytics” by Dan Ingle (continued)
  • 11:30 – 11:45 p.m. – Q&A and Collaboration
  • 11:45 – 12:00 p.m. – Closing Comments & Wrap-Up

Click here to register for the next upcoming event

Posted in Business Intelligence, Training | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Minnesota Microsoft BI User Group 2011 Q2 Meeting – June 7

Posted by denglishbi on May 20, 2011

UPDATE (5/27/2011):The “What’s new with BI in SQL Server 2011 Denali” presentation will be postponed until Q3 meeting on September 14.  Details for the updated agenda schedule to be sent out early next week.

UPDATE (5/31/2011): The details for the second session are now available.

UPDATE (6/13/2011): Presentation material available for download from the Q2 2011 meeting – user group presentation slides and both presentations.

The next MN Microsoft Business Intelligence User Group has been scheduled and the agenda is set.  This meeting we will have two sessions and we will talk about getting the most out of your Reporting Services SharePoint Integration and then go over all of the new BI features in the upcoming SQL Server ‘Denali’ release.

MN Microsoft BI User Group 2011 Q2 Meeting

Date:Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Check In: 2:30 PM Event Time:3:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Location:Microsoft Event Center 8300 Norman Center Drive Suite 950 Bloomington, MN 55437

Please Register Now

Agenda:

  • 2:30-3:00 : Registration
  • 3:00-3:15 : Microsoft BI User Group Updates & Announcements
  • 3:15-4:30 : So Happy Together -Tips for Getting the Most from SSRS in SP Integrated Mode (Brian Larson)
  • 4:30-4:45 : Break
  • 4:45-6:00 : Giving wings to BI with PowerPivot: Buffalo Wild Wings success story (Ken Yokanovich) What’s new with BI in SQL Server 2011 ‘Denali’ (Jin Cho and Dan English)
  • 6:00-7:00 : Social and Networking

Presentations:

So Happy Together -Tips for Getting the Most from SSRS in SP Integrated Mode(by Brian Larson, Superior Consulting Services) – Operating Reporting Services in SharePoint integrated mode adds a number of features to the SSRS environment. Learn why your organization should consider running in SP integrated mode or if your organization is already using SP integrated mode, make sure you are getting the most out of this environment.

What’s new with BI in SQL Server 2011 ‘Denali’ (by Jin Cho, Microsoft and Dan English, Superior Consulting Services) – During this session we are going to go over all of the new BI features that have been enhanced and added in SQL Server 2011 (code named ‘Denali’). We will look at new features that have been added into Integration Services, Analysis Services, and Reporting Services. Along with this we will talk about and go over the new report authoring tool ‘Crescent’ showing how this tool will provide you the ability to access, explore, and visualize your data in a whole new way and have fun at the same time.

Giving wings to BI with PowerPivot: Buffalo Wild Wings success story (by Ken Yokanovich, Buffalo Wild Wings) –  Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc continues to be among leaders in the restaurant industry for growth and earnings. Limited budgets spurred the development of proprietary reporting systems with simple mechanisms to allow Buffalo Wild Wings to track basic operational performance. The company’s more sophisticated needs are now starting to exceed the limitations of the legacy reporting systems. Continued high growth, creative sales promotions, and marketing demands have led to large data volumes and increasing demand for more sophisticated reporting.  See how the familiarity of Excel, with the new PowerPivot plugin, helps us introduce Business Intelligence concepts to users otherwise comfortable with their legacy systems. See how a relatively small investment having significant payback by helping the business define its requirements, understand BI potential done right, and look beyond legacy systems. We will present a couple of hands-on working report samples that help users understand the relationships between data, and clarify business requirements. We’ll talk about how these efforts help highlight the business case and garner support for a true Business Intelligence initiative.

Please Register Now

Hope to see you there!

Downloads – Presentation material available for download from the Q2 2011 meeting – user group presentation slides and both presentations.

Posted in Business Intelligence, Training | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

PASS Summit 2011 Sessions – Have you voted?

Posted by denglishbi on May 18, 2011

Just a couple days left to vote on the sessions that you would like to see at the PASS Summit 2011 conference in October – Friday, May 20th is the final day to vote.

I have four sessions that I submitted:image

  • Inside PerformancePoint
  • Leveraging the Microsoft BI Toolset to Monitor Performance
  • Leveraging PowerPivot
  • Case Study: Delivering Collections Information through Microsoft BI

If you would like to see any of these please mark these as preferred – Vote Here.  There were over 600 sessions submitted – PASS 2011 Summit Session Submissions.

So if you have a few spare minutes, and would like to see your favorite presenters or topics that you are interested in at the conference, please vote.

Posted in SQL Server, Training | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Microsoft TechEd North America 2011 Live Keynote

Posted by denglishbi on May 16, 2011

This week is the Microsoft North America TechEd 2011 in Atlanta.  The keynote this morning will be streamed in just a few hours – 9EDT (8CST).  If you are not at the conference imageand want to check out the keynote like myself you can watch it live here – Live Microsoft North America TechEd 2011 Keynote.  There are some major announcements that are coming out this week, particularly around SQL Server ‘Denali’ items that I am very excited about.

If you are not able to check out the content now or want to view more sessions once they are available you can check out the Microsoft North America TechEd 2011 Event Site.  You will be able to check out the majority (if not all) of the session recordings once they have them posted which is typically fairly quickly.  You can check out previous Microsoft TechEd content here – Microsoft TechEd Events.

UPDATE (5/16/2011): The recording is already available to watch of the keynote here. You can check out Amir Netz doing the PowerPivot, SharePoint, and Crescent demos. Simply fast forward to 2:27:50 and watch the 10 minutes where he demos some of the new PowerPivot, BISM, and Crescent features coming in the next release of SQL Server ‘Denali’.  You might need to click on the Keynote tab because other sessions are starting to steam now.

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Microsoft Fuzzy Lookup Add-in for Excel 2010 Walkthrough

Posted by denglishbi on May 15, 2011

I was just out exploring the Microsoft Downloads area this morning to see if there was anything new to check out.  And what do you know, I came across a technology preview developed by Microsoft Research of a new Add-in for Excel 2010 – Fuzzy Lookup Add-In for Excel.  The Add-in provides users to be able to compare two sets of data to do some cleansing and to get at a single representation text value.  The reason that this is needed is to compare sets of data that are possibly coming from two different sources or maybe because of spelling mistakes or because the data is being manually entered in different ways on the front-end into your source system.  Like say my name was entered as Dan English, Daniel English, Mr. Dan English, English Dan, and so on.

Here is the introduction information available in the PDF File ‘Fuzzy Lookup Add-in for Excel’ that is provided in this download.

Introduction

A challenging problem in data management is that the same entity may be represented in multiple ways throughout the dataset. For instance, customer “Andy Hill” might also be present as “Mr. Andrew Hill” or “Hill, Andrew R.”. Variations can result from merging independent data sources, spelling mistakes, inconsistent naming conventions and abbreviations, or records with additional/missing information.

Fuzzy Lookup technology, developed by Microsoft Research, allows you to quickly identify data records which are textually similar. You can identify fuzzy duplicates within a single table or perform a fuzzy join between two different tables. The default configuration works well for a wide variety of data, but the matching may also be customized for specific domains.

image image image
Files that are included in the download Installation wizard welcome page License agreement for the add-in v1 technology preview
image image image
Specify the installation location Confirm that you want to install the add-in Installation will begin and you will be prompted for the UAC prompt as well
image image image
Installation completion page Notice the add-in being loaded when you launch Excel 2010 (I am using x64 version) You will be prompted to complete the add-in install in Excel
image image image
A new tab will be in the Ribbon now for the Fuzzy Lookup This is the sample file that comes with the download to demo The first worksheet includes a stock portfolio along with number of shares
image image image
The second worksheet provides the stock price information along with tickers and company names By clicking on the Fuzzy Lookup button in the Ribbon you will open up the Fuzzy Lookup pane By clicking on the ‘Go’ button the options specified in the Fuzzy Lookup pane will be used and generate the results above.  Here I have also added a column to calculate out the Total Value of each line and get the total portfolio value of

$ 337,275,850.35

Pretty cool.  We have taken two sets of data that contained different names for the same items (in this case the company names) and the add-in has determined the correct matches so that we could come up with the total value of our stock portfolio.

Now there are additional advanced settings that are available in the Fuzzy Lookup pane which you can configure and the sample does provide an additional worksheet called Customization where you can go in and configure additional logic to translate items like say ‘Inc’ to ‘Incorporated’ and ‘USA’ to ‘United States of America’.  This information can then be referenced in the Configure portion of the Fuzzy Lookup pane which is next to the ‘Go’ button.

This functionality is also available in the SQL Server Enterprise Edition (also in Datacenter and Developer Editions) of Integration Services (SSIS).  If you are interested in checking out details on that here  is a link to check out Fuzzy Lookup Transformation.

Posted in Downloads | Tagged: , | 13 Comments »

PASSMN May 17, 2011 Meeting

Posted by denglishbi on May 9, 2011

The next Minnesota SQL Server User Group (PASSMN) meeting is coming up next week.  The topic will be about leveraging SSIS to automate DBA related tasks and SQL Server MVP Ted Krueger will be in town to present.  Prior to Ted’s talk there will also be a brief discussion in regards to how SQL Server Professionals can leverage Twitter.  This month the meeting will be starting at 4 instead of the regular 3 p.m. start time.

Agenda:

  • 4:00-4:15 : Registration / hospitality / networking
  • 4:15-4:30 : Announcements etc.
  • 4:30-5:00 : Andy Lohn: Twitter – a Swiss Army Knife for the SQL Server Professional
  • 5:00-6:00 : Ted Krueger: SSIS: The DBA Multiplier
  • 6:00-6:15 : Closing comments/prize giveaways

Presentations:

Twitter – a Swiss Army Knife for the SQL Server Professional (Andy Lohn, Medtronic) – Andy will be giving an overview of Twitter and will demonstrate multiple ways in which SQL Server Professionals can leverage twitter. The SQL Community is very active on twitter, so don’t miss out on this great resource. Andy’s presentation will give you the twitter basics, how and where to find SQL Server resources, hash tags that help, how to network with and get help from SQL Server MVPs and other tools that maximize the twitter experience.

SSIS: The DBA Multiplier (Ted Krueger, Magenic) – Ever wanted to create clones of yourself to get all your work done faster? I will demonstrate how SSIS can help you perform your DBA tasks as if there were more than one of you. You will leave the session knowing how to use SSIS to automate tasks such as performance monitoring above (and below) the normal health checks and transporting databases from one environment to another. This presentation will not only start ideas on how SSIS can help you daily as a DBA but as a Developer, we’ll see just how SSIS can be controlled conditionally so the outcome becomes much more than static imports and exports. We’re going to take SSIS and make it a standard tool for your administrative tasks and development tools!

Hope to see you there!

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PASS 2011 Summit Session Submissions

Posted by denglishbi on May 6, 2011

Over the last two days I submitted my session topics for this year’s PASS 2011 Summit which is in Seattle, Washington from October 11-14.  This is by far one of the largest SQL Server training events and a fabulous spot for networking.  There will be 5 technical tracks (two business intelligence related) and over 150 sessions to choose from!  The sessions start on Wednesday and go through Friday and the rate to attend the conference is $1,395.  There is a $200 discount if you are going in a group and will have at least 5 people.

The four sessions I submitted are

  • Inside PerformancePoint
  • Leveraging the Microsoft BI Toolset to Monitor Performance
  • Leveraging PowerPivot
  • Case Study: Delivering Collections Information through Microsoft BI

I really need to work on clever session names and creating sweet abstracts; I am trying, work in progress.

Last year I submitted 3 or 4 as well and ended up as an alternate.  I was on the list for the community voting and didn’t make the final cut.  Maybe this is the year.  I have only spoken locally and done webinars, so this would be really exciting (and I am sure a bit nerve wracking) presenting at a national conference.

Well last night I did a little analysis of the session submissions and there were 532 when I headed off to sleep (31% business intelligence related) and now this morning we have 609 total submissions (4 without a speaker name…data quality issue, nah?).

Here is where we sit right now (thanks to…you guessed it…PowerPivot):

image

Doing a little analysis on the title and abstract names (this is really a rough analysis) it appears that after SQL, Reporting Services is a popular topic of discussion (these are the only subjects I searching on and I included variations of them as well; I did focus primarily on business intelligence related topics…go figure):

image

So how many sessions did everyone submit?  Well 6 was the most and 5 people did that.  All together we had 240 different speakers submit (but that mystery speaker that is associated with 4 sessions could actually be four different people).

image

Now we just need to wait until July to see who is going to make the cut.  Of course the price goes up to attend the conference in July by $200, but that is the going rate when you know what you will be able to checkout.  It will all be fantastic content and a great time for everyone in the SQL Community.

Good luck to everyone that submitted and I hope to see you all at the big dance in October.

Posted in SQL Server, Training | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

PerformancePoint Services 2010 (PPS) Hotfixes

Posted by denglishbi on May 5, 2011

Yesterday I decided to take a quick glance at the TechNet Support site to see if there had been any new hotfixes released for the latest version of PerformancePoint.  I know that there was a fix added in SQL Server 2008 R2 CU5, PerformancePoint Services 2010 Analytical Grid Filter Fix, Sort of, but I was wondering if there was anything else.  Well it turns out there has been.  So far I was able to track down 3 hotfixes in addition to the SQL CU and then there has also been a SharePoint CU as well that includes these as well.

Title KB Article Information
SharePoint Server 2010 Cumulative Update Server Hotfix Package (MOSS server-package): March 3, 2011 KB 2475878 Cumulative update of hotfixes for SharePoint Server 2010
PerformancePoint Server 2010 hotfix package (ppsmawfe-x-none.msp, ppsmamui-xx-xx.msp): February 22, 2011 KB 2496951 Query String (URL) filter web part fix with scorecards and decomposition tree
FIX: An analytic grid that is connected to SSAS 2008 R2 returns incorrect data when you apply a filter to the analytic grid in PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer KB 2463203 The fix for this is actually included in CU 5 for SQL Server 2008 R2. Refer to my blog posting above that discusses the issue and shows what has been done. There is a forum thread in regards to this as well – filter value function not working on analytic grid
PerformancePoint Server 2010 hotfix package (ppsmamui-xx-xx.msp, ppsmawfe-x-none.msp): December 14, 2010 KB 2466270 Scorecard fix for dimension names that include a % symbol.
PerformancePoint Server 2010 hotfix package (Ppsmawfe.msp): October 26, 2010 KB 2422440 Fix for Decomposition Tree displaying captions in multiple languages for the MUI

 

So far this is all I have tracked down.  Hopefully now that this is fully baked into the SharePoint product now, for the most part, that the hotfixes and updates will be released a bit more frequently and be easier to track down.  Maybe the PPS team will even blog about them as well?  After all they took a six month break from blogging, so hopefully they have some good stuff built up to share now.

If you are looking for a list of fixes for PerformancePoint 2007 I have one compiled here – PerformancePoint Server 2007 Build List and Hotfix Update.

Posted in PerformancePoint | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

 
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