Dan English's BI Blog

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

MN SQL Server 2016 Launch Discovery Day Event – June 13

Posted by denglishbi on May 26, 2016

In conjunction with Microsoft, the PASS organization, PASSMN, and MN Microsoft Power BI User Group, and your local Microsoft Data Platform MVPs there will be a SQL 2016 Launch and Discovery Day event in Minnesota on Monday, June 13.

SQL2016_DiscoveryDay

This is an all day event and in order to attend you MUST register using the Eventbrite link

Register –> SQL Server 2016 Launch Discovery Day – Minnesota

The first half of the day will include presentations on the new features and capabilities of SQL Server 2016 which will be Generally Available on June 1. These presentations and demonstrations of SQL Server 2016 will be done by your local Microsoft Data Platform MVPs – Paul Timmerman, Jason Strate, and Dan English.

In the second half of the day we are going to do something a bit different. We will be providing some data provided by PASS related to registrations and attendee information. We will be having attendees break into teams and work on a data presentation solution using SQL Server and Power BI.  You will need to bring your own laptop and have the required software ready to use, the data will be provided at the event.  There will be prizes for the winning team and the judges will be the morning presenters:)

The seating for this event is limited, so sign up early and if you are not able to attend for some reason, please cancel your registration to allow others to attend.

Thanks and can’t wait for the release of SQL 2016!

 

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MN PASS Microsoft BI User Group Meeting – Apr 25

Posted by denglishbi on April 25, 2016

The next MN Microsoft BI User Group meeting is today Monday, April 25.  We will have two topics, one is a case study for Andersen Corporation and the other is on using R in Power BI!

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

MN Microsoft BI User Group April 2016 Meeting

Sponsored by:

image[12]MSFT_logo_Page

Date: Monday, April 25, 2016

Check In: 12:45 PM Event Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 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)

Agenda:

  • 12:45-1:00 : Check-In
  • 1:00-1:45 : Pizza Lunch
  • 1:45-2:00 : Microsoft BI User Group Updates and Announcements
  • 2:00-3:00 : Andersen Corp’s Journey with Microsoft BI: A Business Perspective
  • 3:00-3:15 : Break
  • 3:15-4:15 : Introduction to and Using R with Power BI
  • 4:15-5:00 : Networking

Presentations:

Session 1: Andersen Corp’s Journey with Microsoft BI: A Business Perspective

Lessons learned, Roll out approach, Real examples of how our sales team and leadership group use Microsoft BI tools at Andersen Corp

Speaker: Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith is the Retail Insight and Sales Support Manager at Andersen Corporation. While in this role she has used Microsoft BI extensively to help expand the team’s analytic and reporting capabilities.

Session 2: Introduction To and Using R with Power BI for Insightful Visualizations with Advanced Analytics

In this presentation we will explain and demonstrate how to use advanced analytics with Power BI and R visualizations to unlock hidden insights. Learn how to get started using R and take Power BI to the next level.

Speaker: Lily Vergara

Lily Vergara is a Business Intelligence Analyst at GNet Group, where she helps customers implement Self Service with Power BI and advanced analytics with R. She has BI and analytics in human resources, manufacturing, and retail.

Planning on attending the PASS Summit?  If so, make sure to associate yourself with our user group and receive a $150 discount on registration!

PASS Summit 2016 – Use the following code to save $150 off registration LC15FML4

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PASS Business Analytics VC April Meeting – Using R Machine Learning Script as a Power BI Desktop Data Source

Posted by denglishbi on April 1, 2016

The next PASS Business Analytics Virtual Chapter meeting is coming up next week on Thursday, April 7.  This month we welcome data scientist Sergei Dumnov who will show us how we can use an R script in Power BI.

–> REGISTER NOW <–PASS_BAVC_Logo_New_201502

April 7 – Using R Machine Learning Script as a Power BI Desktop Data Source

Abstract

You can develop a Power BI Dashboard that uses an R machine learning script as its data source and custom visuals. In this webinar, you will learn how to connect to data sources over the Internet, cleanse, transform and enrich the data through the use analytical datasets returned by the R script, design the dashboard and finally share it.

Bio –Sergei Dumnov

Sergei is a data scientist at Qrious, an Auckland (NZ) based big data analytics company, where he responsible for data wrangling, analysing it and building analytical applications using variety of tools (Greenplum DB, R, PostGIS, QGIS and Tableau). He received his PhD from the Institute of Hydrodymics (Russian Academy of Sciences) developing mathematical models of water flow and transport phenomena in water bodies.

–> REGISTER NOW <–

If you are planning on attending the PASS Business Analytics Conference use the following discount code and save $100

Save $100 right now using discount code BAVCBA

If you are interested in speaking at an upcoming PASS BA Virtual Chapter meeting we are always looking for speakers, please leave a comment or send us an email at PASSBAVC@SQLPASS.ORG

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PASS Business Analytics VC March Meeting–Building Business Systems to Retain Clients (CHURN) with Azure ML

Posted by denglishbi on March 9, 2016

The next PASS Business Analytics Virtual Chapter meeting is coming up on Tuesday, March 15.  This month we welcome back Professor Giuseppe MascarellaPASS_BAVC_Logo_New_201502 from Florida Atlantic University, College of Business.

–> REGISTER NOW <–

March 15 – Building systems to retain valuable clients (CHURN) with Microsoft Azure Machine Learning

Abstract

If you think that acquiring new clients is costly, try to deal with the cost of lost clients. Telecoms know when you will change your provider before you even make that decision and so do many other leading retailers, banks, etc. Microsoft Machine Learning will help build a cost-effective and cutting-edge system. In this session, you will learn how to build one with Azure Machine Learning.

Bio –

Prof. Giuseppe Mascarella is a former Microsoft consulting manager and has won WW awards on leading cloud and business intelligence programs at a global level. He works as an Adjunct Prof. of Social Media Analytics and Data security at FAU and is a Principal at Value Amplify where he works on Machine Learning and IoT solutions.

–> REGISTER NOW <–

If you are planning on attending the PASS Business Analytics Conference use the following discount code and save $100

Save $100 right now using discount code BAVCBA

If you are interested in speaking at an upcoming PASS BA Virtual Chapter meeting we are always looking for speakers, please leave a comment or send us an email at PASSBAVC@SQLPASS.ORG

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Power BI–Marvel vs DC Movie Analysis

Posted by denglishbi on February 24, 2016

Back in January Microsoft held it’s second community Power BI contest for Best Report Contest. After a few weeks of brainstorming and sifting through data I finally came to a conclusion that I wanted to do some analysis on a couple of items that I like, movies and super heroes, so why not take a look at how Marvel and DC movies have faired over the years:)

This is an interactive report comparing the results of Marvel versus DC movie information with regards to the number of movies, adjusted worldwide gross box office earnings, and includes IMDb ratings. You can get a feel for the shift from the 1960’s through the 1990’s as DC dominated the market and then Marvel stepped in and has dominated the box office since.

Will DC regain its focus and dominance that it once had? Batman v Superman could be a start and that is where its roots are from and then later this year with Suicide Squad it can gain some more momentum. Maybe next year with Justice League and Wonder Woman it will find new life and something to compete with Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and X-Men. You will see in the insights that keeping the movie rating at a PG-13 level is key, these movies will average 4x more than an R rated movie will gross.

Sorry Marvel, Deadpool is not looking good for earnings, but you will make up for it with Captain America Civil War which should make 5x as much! (this comment was made on Jan 29, prior to Deadpool opening up at the box office)

image

This report showcases and highlights a bunch of features in Power BI, integrating multiple data sources, calling a web service, cards, charts, drill down, custom visuals, slicers, color definition, back ground images, and more!

Here were some of the insights I discovered while exploring this data:

– From 1960 to 1990 DC dominated making 86% of movies and grossed $4.54B more than Marvel movies

– From 2000+ Marvel has made 80% of the movies and grossed $15B more than DC

– R rated movies average $446M less than PG-13 movies

– Marvel movies average $60 to $90M more than DC movies

– Marvel/DC: stick to Avengers and Justice League characters! They make more money;)

Another insight that I was curious about was why Iron Man 3 was so popular and grossed so much money.  I mentioned this to my wife and she quickly asked, “Well did it come out after the Avengers movie?”  I switched back to my Power BI report…well “Yes it did, that is brilliant!” So follow up the movies with more spinoffs, kind of like DC will do next year with Wonder Woman.

Here is my video showcasing my Power BI Best Report Contest Entry, unfortunately I did not make it into the Top 10 for the voting process.

If you want to check out the Top 10 finalists they are all posted here and I believe at some point they will be adding all of the entries into the public showcase area as well.

And I guess Deadpool is defying the odds and proving everyone wrong, after two weeks in the box office it has already beat out the best X-Men movie here in the US and has grossed nearly $500M globally. Not bad for a movie they spent $58M on to make, plus it was banned in China.  So I guess maybe making the next Wolverine move Rated R might work out okay.

After Less Than Two Weeks, Deadpool Is Already the Biggest X-Men Movie Ever

After Less Than Two Weeks, Deadpool Is Already the Biggest X-Men Movie Ever

As of February 22, Deadpool has grossed almost $236 million in the United States, according to Box Office Mojo. During its entire run, the previous #1 X-film, X-Men: The Last Stand, grossed just over $234 million.

I hope you enjoyed this, now I have to figure out what else to check out with Power BI!

Posted in Power BI | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Minnesota Microsoft Power BI User Group Feb 22 Follow Up

Posted by denglishbi on February 23, 2016

Today we kicked off the 2016 year with two presentations, one on SQL Server 2016 and the other on Power BI.  Will Weber (@WilliamWeber) did the first presentation and I did the one covering the majority of the items that have been released for Power BI since I last spoke to our group last June. Wow, that was quite a daunting task, the Microsoft Power BI team has gone crazy and is doing a phenomenal job.

Here is the content I presented and for the demos I covered some of the key new features, but I think I might have glossed over a few as well as skipped a few that I wanted to cover, just not enough time to try and tackle this in an hour:)

 

The slides do include links, so reference those for more additional information and the complete list of updates, just remember this is not everything, just some of the key items that I selected;)

I also showcased a new Power BI report, Power BI Ideas, that I put together that is based on the Power BI Ideas area.  I thought this would be interesting to show people the items that were completed, that are started, and also being planned for.  That way they could get a good feel to how the User Voice really matters and that people need to use this to submit as well as vote on items, it really does make a difference.

image

(apologize, I am using WordPress.com which does not allow for the embedding of iFrames, so the image will send you to a link to run the live report)

This report above took some time and work to put together. The Ideas forum area does not have the data in a table, it is all in a list. Plus it appears on multiple pages, so a bit of screen scraping had to be performed. Then you realize that that completed and declined ones are not include in the normal pages. So it took some time and work to compile the file. I have thought about moving the source file to OneDrive and then updating that file using Power Update, we will see.

Some other areas that I wanted to mention that I forgot were some of the nice showcase areas available that include live examples you can interact with:

Department Solutions

Industry Solutions

Partner Showcase

Best Report Finalists

Power BI Showcase

We had great attendance too today, the even was sold out and standing room only, with approximately 120 people in attendance, outstanding!

IMG_20160222_1414154_rewind

And “Yes”, that is my work Surface Pro 3 at the bottom right. Are you on team Captain America or team Iron Man?

I can’t wait till May 6!

I also forgot that I had some Power Bars (I thought that was kind of fitting for my Power BI topic…) to give away during my presentation, so I just randomly tossed them out to some attendees afterwards.

IMG_20160222_1424547_rewind

Looking forward to another exciting year of Power BI announcements, the roadmap ahead is looking very good!

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MN PASS Microsoft BI User Group Meeting – Feb 22

Posted by denglishbi on February 9, 2016

The next MN Microsoft BI User Group meeting is coming up in a couple of weeks on Monday, February 22.  We will have two topics, one on the upcoming release of SQL Server 2016 (which CTP 3.3 was just released) and the other on Power BI (all of the new content since I last spoke on it last year – which is a lot of content).

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

MN Microsoft BI User Group Feb 2016 Meeting

Sponsored by:

image[12]MSFT_logo_Page

Date: Monday, February 22, 2016

Check In: 12:45 PM Event Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 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)

Agenda:

  • 12:45-1:00 : Check-In
  • 1:00-1:15 : Microsoft BI User Group Updates and Announcements
  • 1:15-2:15 : SQL Server 2016
  • 2:15-2:30 : Break
  • 2:30-3:30 : Getting the new year started with Microsoft Power BI!
  • 3:30-5:00 : Networking and Pizza

Presentations:

Session 1: SQL Server 2016

Microsoft is continuing to invest heavily in BI and Analytics with SQL Server 2016. Reporting Services and Analysis Services are receiving major enhancements and will deliver modern and mobile reporting as well as powerful modeling capabilities. SQL 2016 also brings new advanced analytic capabilities with R Services and enables hybrid BI scenarios to benefit from existing on-premises investments. In this sessions we’ll go over the new BI features of SQL 2016 and talk about the future of BI in SQL Server.

Speaker: Will Weber

Will Weber is a Data Platform Solution Architect with Microsoft. He’s been an active participant in the SQL community in the Twin Cities for a number of years and looks forward to continuing that work in the future. And if the PowerBall gets back up to $1.5 billion he’ll definitely consider buying a ticket.

Session 2: Getting the new year started with Microsoft Power BI!

In this session we will take a look at the changes that Microsoft has released for the Power BI Service, Power BI Desktop, and Power BI Mobile Apps. Microsoft continues to release updates to Power BI on a weekly and monthly basis. Some of the changes since we last met include items such as Custom Visualizations, Full Screen Mode, Pop-Out for Visualizations, Printing, Export Data, QR Codes, Excel Add-In, Widgets, R Visuals Integration, Improved Image Support, and much, much more. Come and check out all of the latest capabilities of Power BI and be amazed!

Speaker: Dan English

Dan is the Senior Data Warehouse Architect at Constellation, Inc. He is also a Microsoft Data Platform MVP, author, technical editor, and community leader. He has been developing with Microsoft technologies for over 15 years, and over 10 years with Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence. He has been working with SQO Server since version 6.5 through 2014 and is exploring 2016. Dan has videos on Vimeo, is an avid blogger, and tweets. Dan is the chapter leader for the PASS Business Analytics VC and on the executive leadership team for the MN Microsoft BI User Group.

Planning on attending the Data Insights Summit or the PASS BA Conference?  If so, make sure to associate yourself with our user group.

Data Insights Summit – Our 3-digit Power BI User Group (PUG) code is 102.

PASS BA Conference – Use the following code to save $100 off registration USMO03

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PASS Business Analytics VC Feb Meeting–Building Business Recommenders with Azure ML

Posted by denglishbi on February 5, 2016

The next PASS Business Analytics Virtual Chapter meeting is coming up on Thursday, February 11.  This month we welcome Professor Giuseppe MascarellaPASS_BAVC_Logo_New_201502 from Florida Atlantic University, College of Business.

–> REGISTER NOW <–

February 11 – Building Business Recommenders with Microsoft Azure Machine Learning

Abstract

Netflix knows if you are going to like a movie before you watch it, so do many other leading companies in what they sell. How do you build capabilities like this for your business? A cost effective way is by using a Matchbox (Large Scale Bayesian) Recommendations algorithm in Microsoft Azure Machine Learning. In this session we will go step-by-step in what is required to build one for any opportunity you might have.

Bio –

Prof. Giuseppe Mascarella is a former Microsoft consulting manager and has won WW awards on leading cloud and business intelligence programs at a global level. He works as an Adjunct Prof. of Social Media Analytics and Data security at FAU and is a Principal at Value Amplify where he works on Machine Learning and IoT solutions.

–> REGISTER NOW <–

If you are planning on attending the PASS Business Analytics Conference use the following discount code and save $100

Save $100 right now using discount code BAVCBA

If you are interested in speaking at an upcoming PASS BA Virtual Chapter meeting we are always looking for speakers, please leave a comment or send us an email at PASSBAVC@SQLPASS.ORG

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PASS BA Webinar Marathon–Dec 10

Posted by denglishbi on December 4, 2015

Don’t miss out on the upcoming PASS BA Webinar Marathon coming up next week on Dec 10. There are 7 sessions to attend:)

This is to get you excited and ready for the upcoming PASS Business Analytics Conference!

image

And it was just announced that if you register by Dec 23 that you will be entered into a drawing for an XBox.

 

PASS BA Webinar Marathon Register Now!

 

Here are the sessions that are set for next week and I will be hosting the 2nd and 4th sessions:

Chris Webb

Create Amazing 3D Topographic Maps In Excel With Power Query, Power Pivot, and Power Map

Chris Webb | Director, Crossjoin Consulting Limited

15:00 GMT, 07:00 PST

Mark Wilcock

Tools For Exploratory Data Analysis

Mark Wilcock | Business Analytics Consultant, Zomalex Ltd.

16:00 GMT, 08:00 PST

Jordan Goldmeier

Creating Outstanding Spreadsheet Models

Jordan Goldmeier | Dashboards and Data Visualization Expert, Cambia Factor

17:00 GMT, 09:00 PST

Ginger Grant

Implementing Data-Based Decision Making

Ginger Grant | Business Intelligence Consultant, Pragmatic Works

18:00 GMT, 10:00 PST

Ken Raetz

Modular Data Extraction and Integration Patterns

Ken Raetz | Principal, Think Data Insights, LLC

19:00 GMT, 11:00 PST

Matt Allington

Moving From Excel to PowerBI.com, A Business Analyst’s Perspective

Matt Allington | BI Professional , Excelerator BI

20:00 GMT, 12:00 PST

Rick Grantham

Making Informed Decisions: Guidelines for Creating an Effective Dashboard

Rick Grantham | Analytics Expert, EPI-USE America / Excel.TV

21:00 GMT, 13:00 PST

PASS BA Webinar Marathon Register Now!

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MN PASS Microsoft BI User Group Q4 2015 Meeting – Dec 16

Posted by denglishbi on November 25, 2015

We are pleased to announced the next MN Microsoft BI User Group on Wednesday, December 16.  We have two presentations this quarter, one on HDInsight and Power BI and the other on Azure Machine Learning. Please register ahead of time and make sure to bring a photo id to get into the meeting. We are also pleased to announce that we are one of the initial user groups to also be recognized as an official Microsoft Power BI user group!

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

MN Microsoft BI User Group 2015 Q4 Meeting

Sponsored by:

image[12]MSFT_logo_Page

Date: Wednesday, December 16, 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)

Agenda:
  • 2:45-3:00 : Check-In
  • 3:00-3:15 : Microsoft BI User Group Updates and Announcements
  • 3:15-4:15 : Powering Up HDInsight with Power BI
  • 4:15-4:30 : Break
  • 4:30-5:30 : Rise of the Machine (Learning)
  • 5:30-6:00 : Networking and Pizza
Presentations:
Session 1: Powering Up HDInsight with Power BI

Join Steve Hughes as he walks through two techniques for working with data in HDInsight. In the first example, he will use Power Query to interact with the files in HDInsight. In the second example, he will use Power BI Desktop and Hive to work with the same data. Throughout the session, he will highlight some of the features within Power BI that can be used to explore data stored using Hadoop on HDInsight.

Speaker: Steve Hughes

Steve is a Principal Consultant at Pragmatic Works. He is currently responsible for guiding the Principal Consultant team and working with other areas in the organization to build out their data and analytics offerings. His area of expertise is in data and business intelligence architecture on the Microsoft SQL Server platform. He was also the data architect for a SaaS company which delivered a transportation management solution for fleets across the United States. Steve has co-authored three books and delivered many presentations on SQL Server and data architecture over the past six years. He also provides insights from the field on his blog at http://www.dataonwheels.com.

Session 2: Rise of the Machine (Learning) – Azure ML in BI, in Apps, and as a product in Azure Marketplace

Machine Learning no longer requires expensive infrastructures and knowledge of specialized statistical coding languages. Azure ML lowers the barriers of entry for predictive analytics using Machine Learning.

In this session, review the similarities and differences of Machine Learning compared to traditional Predictive Analytics, Data Mining, Data Science, and Artificial Intelligence. Learn how to integrate predictive analytics into your existing analytics and reporting strategy and infrastructure. Greg will demonstrate how a BI solution using only Excel with Power Pivot can connect to an Azure ML Model in the cloud for predictions and perform analysis with Power BI.

Learn how Azure ML can be used to add value to Apps. Also, review ways to turn your Azure ML Model into a source of revenue using Azure Marketplace. Machine Learning is now quietly rising all around us as it integrates with technology, improves processes and workflows, and transforms how data drives business. Empower your organization with new competitive advantages using Azure ML.

Speaker: Greg Beaumont

Greg is currently the Data Science Practice Lead at GNet Group, where he provides consulting services using Microsoft technologies. His industry vertical experience includes healthcare, manufacturing, logistics, retail and public/government data. Greg has been working in Analytics since 2007, and enjoys designing and building specialized solutions using tools and methodologies such as Six Sigma, Healthcare Performance Measures, Price Analytics and Predictive Analytics. He frequently writes blogs on use of analytics and visualizations http://blog.gnetgroup.com

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

 
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