Dan English's BI Blog

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

PASS Business Analytics Virtual Chapter February Meeting – Crime Analytics & Predictions System

Posted by denglishbi on February 24, 2015

The next PASS Business Analytics Virtual Chapter meeting is coming up this week on Thursday, February 26.  This month we welcome Third Eye founder Dj Das.

February 26 – Crime Analytics & Predictions SystemBAVCLogo (1)

Abstract -

Committing Crime is the final frontier – where a human starts to degenerate into a renegade, a social waste and capable of causing huge personal and financial loss to individuals, businesses and the government. Thus, battling crime, reducing the number of occurrences, preventing and predicting crime has become a huge commitment for police forces around the world.
This webinar along with a live demo will showcase how police departments can leverage predictive analytics on Big Data to understand the various factors that affect crime and develop comprehensive strategies for countering them.

The Big Data Analytics Demo will slice & dice, analyze & visualize crime data (Open Data) made publicly available by the City of Chicago.

In this one-hour webinar, we will showcase & discuss the following Microsoft products:

- HDInsight
- SQL Azure

Power BI:
- Power Q&A, Power View, Power Pivot, Power Query, Power Map

Technical & Management leaders.

Bio – Dj Das is a senior-level consulting services & product executive with a deep technology bend and global operations background. He has a visionary entrepreneurial spirit, and proven track record as creator of commercially successful enterprise and consumer web applications. He has delivered many new products to markets for both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. He is a results oriented, decisive leader who combines an entrepreneurial spirit with corporate-refined execution in product marketing, business strategy and planning, user experience, delivery management and revenue optimization. He is an adept strategic partnerships builder across global businesses. Dj founded Third Eye in 2009 with a single vision – to provide consulting services & solutions around Big Data, even when Big Data was not such a buzz word. He brings in strategy, execution & operational values to Third Eye. Dj is an avid Big Data evangelist, runs & operates a meetup group named “Big Data Cloud” which is a not-for-profit organization for evangelizing and training around Big Data & Cloud technologies. The group has 3400+ members and has monthly meetups and annual events. Dj is also the founder & managing partner of Das Capital, LLC. through which he makes indirect & passive private equity investments. His previous investments are NeoTeris (acquired by NetScreen), Indivos (acquired by PayByTouch), YouSendIt (private exit), Efficient Frontier (acquired by Adobe Systems), Kosmix (acquired by WalMart), Aster Data Systems (acquired by Teradata), theFind.com, Mobissimo Travel, Jasper Design Automation and Xora among others. Prior to Third Eye, Dj served as the VP of Business Development for LG CNS America where he developed and executed strategies to launch LG CNS’s consulting services on American soil. He opened up initial marquee accounts and brought the first dollar in. Previously, he worked in numerous engineering roles at Microsoft, Siebel Systems among others. Dj received his Bachelor’s degree in Electronics & Communications from National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India.


Just a reminder if you want to stay in touch with the PASS BA Virtual Chapter here are some ways:




If you are interested in speaking we are always looking for speakers, please leave a comment or send me an email at denglishbi@gmail.com

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MN PASS BI User Group Q1 2015 Meeting – March 3

Posted by denglishbi on February 12, 2015

The first meeting of the 2015 year is coming up in a couple of weeks on Tuesday, March 3 for the MN Microsoft BI User Group.  This meeting will have two presentations, the first one is a healthcare case study and the second one is on Power Query.  Please register so that we can have your name badge pre-printed.


MN Microsoft BI User Group 2015 Q1 Meeting

Sponsored by:


Date: Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Check In: 2:45 PM Event Time: 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Location: Microsoft Technology Center – 3601 76th St W, Suite 600 Edina MN 55435 (in LOW 1, 2, and 3)

Please Register Now (Please register so that we can have your name badge pre-printed)


  • 2:45-3:00 : Registration
  • 3:00-3:15 : Microsoft BI User Group Updates & Announcements
  • 3:15-4:15 : Healthcare Case Study: DW and BI
  • 4:15-4:30 : Break
  • 4:30-5:30 : Power Query: Data Chemistry for the Masses
  • 5:30-6:00 : Eval Collection, Prizes, Networking, and Pizza


Session 1: Healthcare Case Study: DW and BI

Implementing and enhancing a vendor supplied Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence solution in Healthcare is a significant undertaking. Join Ann Warner and Ross McNeely as they discuss the benefits of launching a vendor supplied solution, and the challenges in expanding the data model to meet the needs at HealthEast Care System. As an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) HealthEast required a new platform to support new analytics across current and legacy systems. We will breakdown how dashboards were developed to help drive down duplicate patient records using Microsoft’s MDS and Power BI. Analyzing health systems and payers will give hospitals and clinics insight into care quality, cost accountability, and patient loyalty.

Speaker: Ann Warner and Ross McNeely

Ann Warner is the Data Engineering and Application Manager at HealthEast Care System.  As the Manager of the Data Engineering team, Ann is responsible for building and managing the team for Data Governance, Operational Data Store, and Epic’s Cogito Data Warehouse.  Ann has experience creating and staffing data warehouse development efforts for higher education, finance, banking, credit card risk, manufacturing, logistics, sales, and marketing.

Ross McNeely is a Principle Consultant and the BI Practice Manager at Tail Wind. Ross has presented at DAMA-MN, SQLSaturday, PASSMN, Microsoft BI User Group MN, and ERworld 2012. Ross adds real-world examples from various industries in his presentations. Regardless if you have a beginner, intermediate, or advanced skill set, Ross will provide a solid foundation for each topic he presents.

Session 2: Power Query: Data Chemistry for the Masses

ETL Developers have being doing chemistry with data for years in tools like SQL Server Integration Services. These tools require training, experience, and time that few business users have. But in the age of self-service BI, those business users need a way to shape data to support their analysis.
This session will show how Power Query can be easily used to take advantage of data’s properties to drive the change we need to support our goals.
We will discuss/demonstrate:

  • The simple process of accessing a wide variety of data sources
  • The ease with which simple transformations can be achieved using the Power Query Ribbon
  • Power Query’s fantastic ability to travel through time to see every step taken with the data
  • The foundations of the Power Query Formula Language, informally known as "M"
  • Using "M" to take Power Query WAY beyond what the Ribbon has to offer.

Come learn about what may well be the most exciting member of the Power BI family.

Speaker: Mark Vaillancourt

Mark Vaillancourt is a SQL Server MVP and a Business Intelligence Enterprise Consultant for Digineer, a Microsoft partner based in Plymouth, MN. He has been working with SQL Server since 2007 and holds the MCITP – Business Intelligence Developer 2008 certification. With a background in Theater and Improvised Comedy, Mark makes sure that his presentations are both informative and fun.

PASS Business Analytics Conference 2015 Discount Code – save $150 – USMO03

Save $150 on your registration to PASS Business Analytics Conference, April 21-22 in Santa Clara, CA, using our chapter’s discount code: USMO03. Feel free to share this discount code with friends or colleagues!

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Free Business Analytics webinar marathon tomorrow, Tue. Feb 3!

Posted by denglishbi on February 2, 2015

Don’t miss out tomorrow on Tuesday, February 3 for the free Business Analytics Webinar Marathon. You’ll get a taste of what’s to come at the BA Conference in April and skills to enhance your organization’s analytics potential the same day!

Here are the six back to back sessions scheduled for BA marathon:

Session Title – Date/Time

Introducing the Reimagined Power BI Platform (Jen Underwood) – 03 Feb 2015, 14:00 GMT

Unlocking Big Data: The Power of Cognitive Computing (James Kobielus) – 03 Feb 2015, 15:00 GMT

What’s next for Business Analytics in the 21st Century? (Hyoun Park) – 03 Feb 2015, 16:00 GMT

Visualization Tools for Data Discovery (Lynn Langit) – 03 Feb 2015, 17:00 GMT

An Overview of Predictive Analytics for Practitioners (Dean Abbott) – 03 Feb 2015, 18:00 GMT

Productivity Revolution in Excel (Avi Singh) – 03 Feb 2015, 19:00 GMT


Click here to register for BA MARATHON!

Also, if you are planning on attending the PASS BA Conference you can use the following discount code and save $150 off registration!

Discount code: PASSBAVC

Hope that you are able to join one of the sessions tomorrow, I will be hosting the 4th session done by Lynn Langit!


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Windows 10 Technical Preview Install Experience

Posted by denglishbi on January 29, 2015

Updated (2/2/2015): Included 6 more pictures of doing the upgrade through the Windows Insider site and going through the Windows Update process.  I had to rebuild my ASUS this past weekend, so grabbed a few more pictures to complete the process.  I had to rebuild because I tried into install the Chrome browser and it installed some malware on my device:S

This past weekend I decided to take the leap and install the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview after the big Windows 10 Online Streaming event last week.  You can check out the news and the recording is available on-demand to watch here – Windows 10 Story.  Before I get started the highlights that I saw in the event coming were the following:

  • Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 8.1, Windows 7, and Windows Phone 8.1 users within the first year of release
  • Ability to stream Xbox One games to Windows 10 devices
  • New browser coming to Windows 10, project Spartan – Cortana coming to browser, ability to annotate web pages, save pages to offline reading list, and reading mode
  • Tablet mode for better touch experience and new revamped start menu (integration of start screen into start menu)
  • Cortana is now on the desktop (hello personal assistant!)
  • Windows HoloLens and Windows Holographic and Studio – augmented reality, holograms in your everyday life

If you want to check out a couple of quick videos to get an overview of some of the new features check out these:

Okay, now on to my install experience.  I decided I would test out the new OS on an actual device instead of setting it up on a virtual machine.  I wanted to get the full experience.  Before I took the plunge though I did a couple of things with my ASUS Transformer Book (64GB model) – created a USB recovery drive and also created a backup image (done with PowerShell).  Once I felt confident I had some recovery options if things went terribly wrong I proceeded forward with the upgrade.

First thing I decided to do was download the latest ISO image and try performing the upgrade by mounting that and installing Windows 10.  I took a few pictures of that process (sorry for the quality, was trying to do with my phone as the process was going on):




As you can possibly see I went through the process and it tried to setup my ASUS device with the upgrade, but it did not succeed.  The very cool thing about this process though was that upon the blue screens (it did this twice and rebooted each time) the process then went ahead and recovered my device with my previous version of Windows, very cool, thanks!

Since that process did not work I thought I was pretty much out of luck and needed to find a different test device, but then I thought, well maybe I will simply go to the Windows Insider site and try the upgrade from the web site directly.  Sounds like a logical next step, and maybe I should have gone that direction to start with, I have typically done my upgrades (with the exception of going from Windows 8 to 8.1 through the Windows Store) from an ISO image file.

So after going back to the Windows Insider site and starting the upgrade through this process it had me download an executable that I ran that then proceeded me through the Windows Update process to download and install the Windows 10 Technical Preview.  Here is a walkthrough of this process:








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The process did take a bit to do the complete configuration and setting up my device, quite a longer process than my first attempt, so I had a pretty good feeling this time it was going to work and it did!

For the first time I am sharing a picture of my family, that is my lock screen and my picture password screen is of Butterball and Buddy our pet sugar gliders (father and son)!

After testing out the new merger of the start menu and start screen (okay, still could use a little work) I then kicked the tires on Cortana (really no different than having her on my phone, just now we can continue our chats on the tablet / laptop and she has a few new moves with being able to send emails).

First thing Cortana wanted to know was what to call me

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Then I asked her a few questions such as “what’s the weather”, “tell me a joke”, “do an impression”, “what was the score of the Timberwolves game”, and “who’s going to win the Super Bowl”.

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Not bad weather here in MN this time of the year, practically t-shirt and shorts temperatures!  Poor MN Timberwolves, very young team.

I was a tad surprised that Microsoft didn’t have Cortana pick the Seahawks, but maybe I will ask her again as we get closer to game time and see if there is a new answer.

That is it for now, Windows 10, I like it so far, looking forward to checking out new features and providing feedback as this journey continues this year until the official release!

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PASS Business Analytics Virtual Chapter January Meeting – Data Analytics Explained for Business Leaders

Posted by denglishbi on January 13, 2015

The next PASS Business Analytics Virtual Chapter meeting is coming up this week on Thursday, January 15.  This month we welcome Predictive Analytics Architect Alex Jones.

January 15 – Data Analytics Explained for Business LeadersBAVCLogo (1)

Abstract - The world is becoming more efficient. Today, seventy percent of the companies that graced the Fortune 1000 list a mere decade ago have vanished. Agility and survival are function of innovation, culture, and the ability to predict the future. To that end, data analytics offers a lifeline, a means of survival that will drive productivity and continue to disrupt and redefine business. However, the resources available to today’s business leaders sit on two vastly different ends of the spectrum. On the one hand, highly technical academic resources and on the other largely fluffy overviews of value propositions and potentials. The state of the industry shouldn’t be surprising. The same dynamics played out in early years of the internet. Software providers, technical leaders, and consulting firms greatly benefit from mystifying the world of data analytics into something that is incomprehensible. That lack of conceptual understanding is incredibly risky and propels the cost of analytics initiatives upwards. This webcast aims to bridge that gap between the technical data scientists and business leaders. Ultimately, this understanding will help to: – Connect the strategic goals of business leaders with the capabilities of technical advisers – Focus investments and initiatives within analytics and technology – Distill immensely complex subject matter into comprehensible examples – Accelerate the path to value and increase the ROI of analytics initiatives

Bio – Alex Jones is a Predictive Analytics Architect in the Oil and Gas industry with a passion for distilling complexity into insights and evangelizing data science. His work has been featured on KDNuggets and he was recognized by DataScienceCentral as a top 180 blogger in 2014.


Just a reminder if you want to stay in touch with the PASS BA Virtual Chapter here are some ways:




If you are interested in speaking we are always looking for speakers, please leave a comment or send me an email at denglishbi@gmail.com

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Installing Power BI Designer Preview Experience

Posted by denglishbi on December 18, 2014

Today Microsoft announced the new Power BI features including the new Power BI Designer tool that provides a separate downloadable standalone application that can be used for Power BI features such as Power Query and Power View!  This is completely separate from Excel – now users can connect to data, relate data, create reports, and also import them to Power BI dashboards to share!








So in this example I was able to connect to an existing Excel file I had with some preloaded data (Customer and Geography tables), relate the data (queries) together, create a report (as you can see there are new visualizations available such as treemap, gauge, filled map, funnel, combo chart, etc.), and save the file locally (pibx file extension).

Now that I have a Power BI file with a report I can go to the Power BI Dashboard site and upload this file to share the content.



Once you get the report loaded you can then continue your design experience, pin items to a dashboard, and share (within your own organization for now)!  All of this is done in HTML5, so no worries about Silverlight.

Quite a few of the new visualizations are not supported to be pinned yet, but at some point they will, so hold on.



Very cool, a whole new user and sharing experience!

There is also a ton of great help and support documentation, videos, and walkthroughs available as well


Enjoy and thanks to the Power BI team!

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Minnesota Microsoft BI User Group 2014 Q4 Meeting–Dec 2

Posted by denglishbi on November 25, 2014

The fourth quarter and final meeting of the year is coming up next week for the MN Microsoft BI User Group.  This meeting will have two presentations, the first one on Azure Machine Learning and the second one is a case study on monitoring Analysis Services usage.  Please register so that we can have your name badge pre-printed.


MN Microsoft BI User Group 2014 Q4 Meeting

Sponsored by:


Date: Tuesday, December 2, 2014image

Check In: 2:30 PM Event Time: 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Location: Microsoft Technology Center – 3601 76th St W, Suite 600 Edina MN 55435 (in LOW 1, 2, and 3)

Please Register Now (Please register so that we can have your name badge pre-printed)


  • 2:30-3:00 : Registration
  • 3:00-3:15 : Microsoft BI User Group Updates & Announcements
  • 3:15-4:15 : Predictive Analytics for the Masses: Azure ML
  • 4:15-4:30 : Break
  • 4:30-5:30 : Case Study: Monitoring SSAS Usage with Extended Events
  • 5:30-6:00 : Happy Hour at Pinstripes – Meeting will adjourn with a special networking opportunity hosted by Slalom Consulting. Join everyone at Pinstripes Edina at 3849 Gallagher Drive for refreshments, fun and networking.


Session 1: Predictive Analytics for the Masses: Azure ML

Predictive Analytics generally has the strongest ROI attached to it, but is unfortunately usually one of the last analytical capabilities on the modern enterprise’s Analytical Roadmap. Part of this is due to the fact that predicting the future generally requires some foundational data pieces and tools to be in place. The advent of the Cloud has disrupted many commonly held historical approaches as it can greatly reduce the time to market for the foundational pieces.

The Machine Learning product will be reviewed and a demonstration of the ML set-up and “how to” model 1-3 scenarios will also be covered.

Speaker: Joe Berg and Matthew Lawrence

Joe Berg is a Managing Director with Slalom Consulting and is responsible for the National Information Management & Analytics (IM&A). Joe has spent over 8 years working on business intelligence and data warehouse platforms as a consultant for Microsoft. In addition to his implementation and leadership roles on these projects, Joe has led a variety of successful engagements helping some of the worlds largest organizations develop a world-class Business Intelligence and Analytics capability.

Matthew Lawrence is an accomplished analytics professional with vast experience across many Fortune 500 companies using predictive and descriptive modeling skills in a variety of technical environments to solve a host of business problems. He has led successful analytics engagements from vision to implementation across technology platforms in a variety of data environments. He is skilled at asking the questions to get to the heart of the matter to uncover relationships that lead to actionable insight.

Session 2: Case Study: Monitoring SSAS Usage with Extended Events

How do you measure the success of a Self Service Business Intelligence initiative? While the answer to that question has several components, a vital one is Adoption. Are people using the assets created for that initiative? Since Business Intelligence is using data to make better decisions, why not use data to help answer this question? At Capella University, we did just that.

This case study will describe how we used Analysis Services Extended Events to track the usage of Tabular Models that Capella built for Self Service BI users. We will demonstrate the following:

  • The business case for capturing asset usage
  • The particular goals Capella had in this case
  • How easy it is to get started with SSAS Extended Events (far easier than it looks)
  • The end-to-end solution created: from the event trace itself thru to the Power Pivot model created for analysis
  • Lessons learned (some learned the hard way)

We hope you will come away from this presentation with less trepidation around SSAS Extended Events as well as a foundation you can use for your own solution.

Speakers: Prashant Tolia and Mark Vaillancourt

Prashant Tolia is the Senior Technical Architect for the Information Delivery department at Capella University. He has over 16 years of experience in IT and a passion for Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing. Prashant earned his MBA form Capella and holds certifications as an Oracle DBA and in Cognos BI suite. In his current role, Prashant ensures that all technical solutions are cost effective, appropriate, and adhere to Capella standards and best practices.

Mark Vaillancourt is a SQL Server MVP and a Business Intelligence Enterprise Consultant for Digineer, a Microsoft partner based in Plymouth, MN. He has been working with SQL Server since 2007 and holds the MCITP – Business Intelligence Developer 2008 certification. With a background in Theater and Improvised Comedy, Mark makes sure that his presentations are both informative and fun.

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PASS Summit 2014 Follow Up & Pictures

Posted by denglishbi on November 19, 2014

This month I headed out to the PASS Summit 2014 Conference which is the largest gathering of SQL Server and BI Professionals.  I was fortunate enough to be able to attend this year because the Microsoft MVP Summit was also held that same week.  So it had been a few years since I had attended the PASS Summit and I was excited to go back.  I really appreciated the coordination of the two events and the fact that Microsoft was able to adjust the schedule for the SQL Server MVPs up one day to be able to attend, it was quite remarkable to partake in both events.  I also have to thank my company, Superior Consulting Services, for providing me the opportunity to attend as well.image

The first major event that I participated in at the conference was the #sqllongrun.  Adam Machanic (b|t) organized an 11 or 14 mile run event this year in Seattle.  It has been a goal of mine to run a 1/2 marathon, so I decided that this was going to be it!  Unfortunately with my schedule I didn’t get to train as much as I probably should have, but I pushed myself the week prior to the event and I was quite impressed with my results.  It turns out that not only did I run a 1/2 marathon, but I went a couple of miles more because apparently I didn’t start my watch at the start, sorry Reeves Smith (b|t), but I greatly appreciate your support and running the extra mile at the end with me when I thought I had only ran 12 miles!


What a great event and looking forward to my next 1/2 marathon now that I have a benchmark, thanks to Adam for organizing, SQL Sentry for sponsoring, and everyone that participate for your support and encouragement!

Now on to the main event, but not until we do a few more runs, right? I ended up running each morning with some of the other #SQLFamily members such as Ted Krueger (b|t) and Tim Radney (b|t). Each day I ran a 5k with the exception of Thursday (took one day off for rest).  I also took part in the #sqlrun organized by Jes Borland (b|t) and thanks SQL Sentry for sponsoring.

So the main event, the PASS Summit.


Day 1

On Wednesday we found out from the PASS President Thomas LaRock (b|t) that there were 50 countries, 2000 companies, and around 5900 attendees at the conference, simply amazing!  Currently there are 285 PASS Chapters, 27 Virtual Chapters, and there were 86 SQLSaturday events this year, over 1.3 million hours of training provided by the community, awesome!!!  I was really looking forward to the Day 1 keynote to hear each of the three core leaders of the Microsoft Data Platform talk – T.K. “Ranga” Rengarajan, James Phillips, and Joseph Sirosh.

Ranga was up first and he covers the Capture + Manage side of the image below.  He came to Microsoft from SAP. In the Pier 1 Imports demos during his portion we saw Azure Search (34:37), Azure DocumentDB (along with elastic scaling) (37:59), and Azure SQL Database Geo Replication (in just a few clicks! 44:18). They also showed a video of Dell.com with SQL 2014 use of in-memory OLTP to increase performance and remove blocking(53:00). In addition there was a technology sneak peek at an in-memory columnstore nonclustered index on an in-memory table(1:02:00)! It didn’t stop there, Ranga and his team continued on with the demos showing how to stretch an on-premise SQL database table to Azure (1:04:00)!

Joseph was up next and he covers the Transform + Analyze portions.  He actually came to Microsoft from Amazon. He talked about Azure Data Factory (like SSIS in the cloud), Azure Stream Analytics, and Azure Machine Learning (this is now free for anyone to try with a Microsoft account, no subscription or credit card information required – https://studio.azureml.net). They showed demos with Pier 1 Imports again doing a demo of in-store analytics using Kinect as a senor to gather data where shoppers are spending their time and what products they are looking at, pretty cool (1:16:50)! Using this data they used Azure Data Factory to pull it in using a pipeline to orchestrate the data(1:18:45). On top of that they used Azure Stream Analytics to analyze the top 5 products in realtime (from the Kinect sensors)(1:21:00). Then it was off to the future using Azure Machine Learning to be able to recommend products for next purchase (1:24:00). The last part of the demo was using the Pier 1 Imports mobile app using voice and Cortana recommended products based on your profile and used Azure Machine Learning to do the recommendations and then asked where to find the products in the store (even displaying an in-store map!)(1:25:53).

James was up last and he covers Visualize + Decide. He came to Microsoft from one of his startups Couchbase. He pre-announced being able to connect from Power BI back to on-premise SSAS data. Live Power BI Dashboards were demoed – see below (1:36:30). The dashboards have built-in Q&A and through the dashboards you can connect to data and pull information in to create more datasets, reports, and items to pin to create dashboards.  The results of Q&A questions could also be pinned as well. More visualizations have been added included combo charts, tree maps, sunburst, filled map, and gauges.  All of the dashboarding was done in HTML5!

Microsoft Data PlatformPower BI Dashboard

The day did not stop there, I checked out the community zone, some great sessions, and got special seating up front because of my PASS Outstanding Volunteer recognition. I even attended the PASS Virtual Chapter meeting and met my Paras Doshi (b|t) who is the other chapter leader for the PASS Business Analytics VC with me! Paras is awesome to have on the team, simply amazing, can’t say enough, great asset to have and really looking forward to next year to see what we can do next!

WP_20141105_001WP_20141106_08_29_24_ProDan & Paras

Day 2

My friend Adam Jorgensen (b|t) the PASS Executive Vice President of Finance kicked off the keynote on day 2 and discussed plans and revenue, incredible that the PASS Summit brings in $5.9M.  Denise McInerney (b|t) the PASS VP of Marketing also talked and went her personal growth story going from attending a local event up to where she is today, amazing! They announced the PASSion Award winner, Andrey Korshikov (b|t), congrats! Then Rimma Nehme gave the big talk on Cloud Databases 101 (21:55). Her humor and slides were outstanding and made the content easy to relate to and enjoyable, thanks! Who can’t understand the cloud services when you compare it to PIZZA (see image below)! Now DBAs that are learning and using the cloud based services can update their titles to Cloud DBA, time to soak it in and make the most out of this opportunity while it is really kicking in high gear now with the hybrid solutions.


While I was out there I also noticed a couple of great books in the bookstore that I was able to contribute to


I wish I could have stayed around for Day 3, lots of more great sessions that I had to miss out on, I had to get home to my family, it had been a long and exciting week with the MVP and PASS Summit events.

Let the countdown begin, PASS Summit 2015 will be October 27-30 next year!  Register now and the rate is only $1195 (over 1/2 off until January 11)!



Posted in Personal Comments, Training | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

PASS Business Analytics Virtual Chapter November Meeting – 13 Excel features that Database developers should know about

Posted by denglishbi on November 12, 2014

The next PASS Business Analytics Virtual Chapter meeting is coming up and in fact it is tomorrow!  This month we welcome Microsoft SQL Server MVP Kevin Goff who is going to go over the baker’s dozen Excel features that database developers should know about.

November 13 – The 13 Excel Features that Database Developers should know aboutBAVCLogo (1)

Abstract - In the beginning, SQL Developers viewed Excel as the enemy – vowing to take every data entry spreadsheet and turn it into a beautiful relational database application with validations. But times have changed, and Excel has come back around, but in a different light. Business users rely on Excel for analytics out of the data we provide them (and even for data where we can’t give them a clean version). Even if developers don’t use Excel themselves, they owe it to themselves and their companies/clients to be aware of the many Excel features for “slicing and dicing” data. In this presentation, I’ll show 13 different features in Excel where knowledge will help developers to speak the same language as their users – everything from Power Pivot, Power View, Power Query and Power Map features to advanced Excel formulas and Excel “what-if” functionality. And who knows – maybe a few developers will walk away with some ideas for using Excel for some of their personal development projects!

Bio – Kevin S. Goff (http://www.kevinsgoff.net) is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP Database architect/developer/speaker/author Regular columnist for CoDe Magazine on .NET, SQL Server, and Business Intelligence topics Frequent speaker at community events in the Mid-Atlantic region. Host of BDBI Radio (http://www.bdbiradio.com), a weekly webcast on SQL/BI topics.


Just a reminder if you want to stay in touch with the PASS BA Virtual Chapter here are some ways:




If you are interested in speaking we are always looking for speakers, please leave a comment or send me an email at denglishbi@gmail.com

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PASS Business Analytics Virtual Chapter October Meeting–Incorporate “Big Data” in Analysis Services

Posted by denglishbi on October 14, 2014

The next PASS BA Virtual Chapter meeting is coming up this Thursday at 11 a.m. EDT (10 a.m. CDT).  This month the topic is covering how to incorporate unstructured data into Analysis Services.

October 16 – How to incorporate “Big Data” in Analysis Services cubes?BAVCLogo (1)

Abstract - Free form text is estimated to make up 70% to 80% of a company’s data assets and is considered significantly underutilized from an analytical perspective. There are numerous sources for this growing pool of unstructured data such as customer email, call center notes, chat logs, satisfaction surveys or claim forms to name a few. Is your company leveraging all of its data assets? Historically, it has been very difficult to analyze text records for trends or patterns due to the free-form nature of this data.

Recent advances in text mining have helped to distill and expose their content. The key to realizing the business value of text mining isn’t found in the sophistication of the clustering algorithms, but rather in the way those clusters are combined with structured data and then presented to the business analyst. Text clustering involves the logical grouping of text records based on the similarity of important terms in the documents. While some insights will likely surface through the examination of the text clusters themselves, the most significant value will occur when the text clusters are analyzed in combination with related structured data. Important facts reflected in thousands or millions of documents can be analyze along with structured data elements such as time, location or products to turn new business insights into a sustainable competitive advantage

Bio – Reid Karabush is President of Decision Systems Inc., based in Northbrook, IL. His expertise includes over twenty years specializing in the field of business performance management and analytics, and is recognized nationwide as an expert in these field. His experience includes architecting and designing systems for various organizations including ArcelorMittal, American Pharmaceutical Partners, APAC, AT&T, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Chamberlain Group, Corning Inc., Fleet Bank, GMR Marketing, HSBC Bank, IPEX, J.D. Power & Assoc. and The Major League Baseball Players Association. Reid has published various articles related to business analytics and business performance management and has mentored and trained a number of software vendors including Hyperion, Pillar and Applix. His background includes working within the software product management groups of Comshare and Wang Laboratories, where he focused on multi-dimensional database, analytics, and executive information systems.


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