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

Archive for June, 2011

PerformancePoint 2010 Cascading & Apply Filters – SP1 Features

Posted by denglishbi on June 29, 2011

I downloaded and installed SharePoint 2010 SP1 so I could check out the new additions the PerformancePoint.  Typically you would only see hotfixes included in a service pack, but in this one we get a few new features like cascading filters and a new apply filters button (with saving defaults filter) options.  Let’s take a quick tour of these new features to see how you use them and what they do to your dashboard pages.

Cascading Filters

This is not a new concept, but for PerformancePoint it is.  In Reporting Services you have always had the ability to setup parameters so that the selection in one parameter list would be able to filter the available values in another parameter list.  Well now this has been added to PerformancePoint and it is available with the Multidimensional Filter types – Member Selection, MDX Query, and Named Set filter types.  When you go to create a new filter of one of these types you will see a new setting in them.  This new option is to select a measure (metric) that will be used to pass a query to the other filter to return the list of available values that satisfy that query.

Member Selection

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The new selection is the ‘Filter measure:’ option and the informational dialog box states the following:

Select the measure used to determine which values to display when this filter is driven by another filter.

This is the measure (metric) that will be used in combination with the filter member values passed to this filter to display the available list of values to the end-user to select from. So if I had a filter that was for Product Category and passed that to another filter that was Product Subcategory and the Product Subcategory was configured with ‘Sales Amount’ measure then the Product Subcategory filter would display a list of items that had ‘Sales Amount’ for the Product Category items that were selected.  A tad bit confusing perhaps, but this is how it works.

MDX Query

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Named Set

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This option is not available with the other filter types, just the ones displayed above – Member Selection, MDX Query, and the Named Set.

Ok, so now that you have a tour of that new option lets setup a dashboard with a couple of filters and a report.

Create Filters

Member Selection – Product Category

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Member Selection – Product Subcategory

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Create Analytical Grid Report

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In this report I used the Product hierarchy and chose only the Product Name descendants of All, picked the Calendar Year hierarchy, and placed the Sales Amount measure in the background. I also used the filter option to remove blank rows and columns.

Create Dashboard and Connect the Items

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For the connections I connected the two filters together and then connected the Product Subcategory to the Product Sales report.

Connection to the Product Subcategory filter

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Connection to the Product Sales Analytical Grid Report – uses a connection formula as well

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In this example I am leveraging a Connection Formula.  The reason I am doing this is because the hierarchies that are involved in this example.  I am not referencing the same hierarchy in each item and I want to be able to display the product names in the report instead of the subcategory values.  So I am taking the display name in the subcategory filter and using that in a formula to return the children (product names) in the report.

Deployed Dashboard in SharePoint

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You can see that the subcategory filter is filtered by the category filter and only the ‘Tv and Video’ subcategory members are being listed.  The subcategory filter selection is also filtering the report which is displaying all of the product names that are associated with the ‘Television’ subcategory.

If we make another selection in the category list we will see everything get updated again.

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Pretty slick.

Ok, now on to the other new feature that was added into the service pack 1 – Apply Filters Button.

Apply Filters Button

When you setup a dashboard now you will see a new selection in the Details pane in the Filters section called ‘Apply Filters Button’.

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So what is this for?  Hmmm, is this something similar to Reporting Services perhaps?  Answer – Yes, with an added bonus.

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If you drag and drop this onto the dashboard page and go into the edit settings for this new item you will get some options you can configure.  The first one is the text that you would like to be displayed on the dashboard page for the button.  And the next one is whether or not you would like to provide a checkbox for the end users to be able to save their selections for this dashboard page – this will be stored as their default values for these filters.  This means that when they come back to this page at a later time these filter selections will automatically be selected for them.  In the past the last selection of items from the filters was always saved and stored for the users, but now they have the control to determine which values get saved (if you want them to – optional).

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The other thing about this new feature is that when you make selections from the filters the items in the dashboard (with the exception of linked filters) will not be filtered.  In order to get the other items to filter on the dashboard you need to click the button.  Once you do this your scorecards and reports will refresh and display the data based on the selections in the filters (assuming they are connected of course).

I was hoping that this feature might somehow allow you to retain your default member selection settings in the initial filter setup, but that does not appear to be the case.  The application still retains the last selection by the user unless you provide them the ability to save their own defaults with the new ‘Apply Filters Button’ option.

Anyway, these are just a couple of the new features along with hotfixes that are available in service pack 1.

Check out more information here:

Enjoy!

By the way, after I upgraded to SP1 the build version of Dashboard Designer was the following:

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14.0.6016.1000

Prior to the upgrade it was:

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14.0.4750.1000

I had installed a hotfix prior to doing the service pack 1 install.  I wanted to check out some other fixes before this release – PerformancePoint Services 2010 (PPS) Hotfixes.

Posted in PerformancePoint | Tagged: , , | 42 Comments »

PDF Download Option for Walkthrough Postings

Posted by denglishbi on June 28, 2011

Last week I went ahead and decided to make a new PDF download option available for some of my more length step-by-step postings.  I also modified the postings to only include two columns in the table layout instead of three.  This was because with certain resolutions the table was being cutoff and I am assuming going forward with the mobile devices this will become more of a common problem.  So, what I decided was to put together an option that the reader could download and view offline if needed and to use with eReader type devices as well.

So far I have just done this for four of my more commonly read postings in regards to Using PerformancePoint with Excel Services, Reporting Services, and PowerPivot along with using SharePoint List data source in SSRS for parameter source.  Going forward I will make sure that I include this option for this type of a posting.

If you scroll to the bottom of these postings you will see the new option which includes a link to the PDF document that I have placed in my SkyDrive.

Example (just an image):

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I have also enabled some more options on the posts to be able to tweet them, print them (not the greatest output though, go with the PDF option if available), and to email them (creates a intro to the post with a link to read the full article).

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This Tweet option is made available with a plug-in for Live Writer for WordPress.com blogs – http://plugins.live.com/writer/detail/tweetmeme-for-wordpresscom-plugin.  This is available from the home page and you do not need to click on the blog title to get at this Tweet option (only available on new blog posts or once that I repost through Live Writer).

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This functionality is made available in Settings –> Sharing options in Administration settings for the WordPress.com blog account settings.  There are more options available, I only picked these three and there seemed to be an issue with the LinkedIn option.  In order to see these options you have to click on a blog posting and it will be available at the bottom of the posting.

The Email option will send you a snapshot of the posting like the following:

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If there is a particular blog posting that you would like to see in a PDF format feel free to leave a comment and I can add this option.  I just picked a few of the more recent and commonly viewed postings to start with.  Going forward though I will make sure that I have this available.

Posted in Downloads, Personal Comments | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Free SQL Server Community July 2011 Training

Posted by denglishbi on June 24, 2011

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

  • July 5, Devin Knight – Common Analysis Services Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them 
  • July 7, Jorge Segarra – Automating Web Application Deployment with SSIS 
  • July 14, Kyle Walker – SSRS Subscriptions 
  • July 19, Brian Knight – What’s New in BI Denali 
  • July 21, Dustin Ryan – Reporting on a Cube with SQL Server Reporting Services 2008 
  • July 26, Ben Evans – Introduction to MVC 3 
  • July 28, Adam Jorgensen – Introduction to PowerPivot

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 August 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 PWFreeTraining twitter account as well.

Enjoy!

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

Minneapolis Tableau User Group July 28, 2011

Posted by denglishbi on June 18, 2011

The next Minneapolis Tableau user group meeting is coming up hosted by Alan Wernke.  If you are interested in Data Visualizations then this will be a user group you will want to check out. 

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Date: July 28th – 3:00pm CST

Duration: 2 hours

Location

MCAD

2501 Stevens Avenue

Minneapolis, MN 55404

United States Bing Maps

Tableau 6.1: See Your Data Like Never Before

 

Tableau’s gone mobile and is making stops at user groups across the country to give customers a first-hand look at Tableau 6.1.

Join us at the Minneapolis User Group as we raffle off an iPad in 6.1 celebration fun!

Agenda:

  • 3:30 – 4:00 – Registration and Networking
  • 4:00 – 5:00 – 6.1 Launch Demo and Q&A – Lead by Tableau
  • 5:00 – 5:30 – Interactive Activity – Lead by Tableau
  • 5:30 – Networking and Celebration

A minor release? Think again, come and see all we’ve rolled into the latest release of Tableau.

  • Mobile Business Intelligence - Tableau’s new touch-enabled visualizations and native iPad app let you get business intelligence anywhere you need it.
  • Localization and Maps - French and German versions of Tableau Desktop and Server and more map options mean that asking “where?” yields richer answers.
  • Fresh, Fast Data – It’s even easier to be up-to-the-minute and secure with all your data.

Who should attend? Tableau User groups are open to any Tableau customers and enthusiasts.

 

If you are interested in visualizing your data and dashboard solutions then you will want to check out this event – Register Here.

Take a look at this Case Study about Nice Ride Minnesota which is a non-profit bike-share program for the metropolitan Twin Cities.

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

PASSMN June 21, 2011 Meeting

Posted by denglishbi on June 13, 2011

The next Minnesota SQL Server User Group (PASSMN) meeting is coming up next week.  The content has been posted and the registration information is now available.

Minnesota SQL Server Users Group

Agenda:

  • 2:45-3:00 : Registration / hospitality / networking
  • 3:00-3:15 : Announcements etc.
  • 3:15-3:45 : ‘11 pages that Changed the World’ (relational DB’s) – Mark Knutson
  • 3:45-4:45 : NoSQL – Dan McCreary 
  • 4:45-5:00 : Closing comments/prize giveaways

Presentations:

11 Pages that Changed the World (Mark Knutson, Hennepin Faculty Associates) – In 1970, the widely implemented database products were based either on a network or an inverted tree structure. E. F. Codd, an IBM research mathematician, presented a paper to the Association of Computing Machinery proposing a database management system based on mathematical objects called relations.

I will briefly review the topical coverage of the paper, including the formal definition of a relation. I will also place the paper in historical context and review how IBM’s response to it shaped the DBMS product landscape that we see today.

NoSQL (Dan McCreary, Consultant) – This presentation will discuss the “NoSQL movement”, a new set of data solutions that leverage non-relational data stores. These data stores are frequently designed to leverage thousands of commodity processors, are “schema free”, use simple key-value stores or document stores and are often associated with web-scale “BigData” challenges.  This presentation will cover the key business factors and technology issues driving this movement.

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

 
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