Dan English's BI Blog

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

Archive for February, 2008

Free Miscrosoft Software for College Students

Posted by denglishbi on February 19, 2008

Microsoft has free software for College/Graduate Students. Software available: Visual Studio 2008 Pro (and 2005 Pro), Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition, SQL Server 2005 Express (free for anyone), Expression Studio, Game Studio 2.0 and more.

Not a bad deal if you are a college student.

UPDATE (1/18/2009): I have an updated posting about this here – Free Microsoft Software for College Students Update.


Posted in Downloads | Leave a Comment »

Microsoft Enterprise Cube Video

Posted by denglishbi on February 9, 2008

Just got done watching the Revenue Management video outlining the the new turnkey solution from Microsoft.  From watching the video and reviewing a presentation from the Australian BI Summit Conference in November in regards to the Microsoft Enterprise Cube (MEC) this is a pre-built solution that will sit on top of an existing data warehouse.  I had first heard about the MEC in a blog posting by Dan Meyers last year and Chris Webb has talked about it as well.

It doesn’t appear that this will be an available product, it will most likely be a service from Microsoft’s consulting services.  From reviewing the slides there will be four packaged solutions: Customer Segmentation, Revenue Management, Profitability Management, and Churn Analysis.  It also states that this can be up-and-running in 16 weeks and that a mobile version of accessing the MEC will eventually be available.

I think this is a great idea to get some sort of a normalized data warehouse, if at all possible, for viewing the data.  The only issue that I can see is that every customer has different data and different requirements, so there is always going to be some additional modifications needed.  Plus this would produce a second data warehouse in the environment for reporting and analysis, so where did the ‘single version of the truth’ go now?  Now the customer is going to have to be reporting from two different environments and hopefully the data is in synch.

The architecture for this solution is going to utilize an ETL process (SSIS) to extract the data from the existing data warehouse into the new pre-defined MEC and this will sit on top of PerformancePoint Server (not sure if this is a requirement, but assuming that it is).  It sounds like there will be built-in workflows and dashboards that will be available to effectively analyze the data and make informed business decisions.

I tried to checkout the link to the MEC site, but it apparently does not exist yet.

Posted in Business Intelligence | Leave a Comment »