Dan English's BI Blog

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

Archive for November, 2013

Minnesota Microsoft BI User Group 2013 Q4 Meeting–Dec 3

Posted by denglishbi on November 26, 2013

The next MN Microsoft Business Intelligence User Group is coming up on Tuesday, December 3. This meeting we will have two presentations starting out with a presentation on BI in the Cloud with Azure Iaas and Power BI in Office 365 and then I will be presenting on Microsoft Power View. Please register so that we can have your name badge pre-printed.image

MN Microsoft BI User Group 2013 Q4 Meeting

Sponsored by:


Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2013image

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 : Extend BI to the Cloud with Azure and Office 365
  • 4:15-4:30 : Break
  • 4:30-5:30 : Visualizing Your Data with Microsoft Power View
  • 5:30-6:00 : Social and Networking


Session 1: Extend BI to the Cloud with Azure and Office 365

As mobile, social media, and data growth continue to fundamentally alter how companies operate, business leaders are beginning to look to the Cloud in order to achieve optimal performance while reducing costs. This presentation will show how you can extend and scale your BI infrastructure with simple set-ups and minimal maintenance using Microsoft Azure and Office 365. Demonstrations will include Azure IaaS, SharePoint and SQL Server; as well as the capabilities of Power BI with Office 365.


Chaitanya Khaladkar is a Solutions Architect with GNet Group. He has in-depth experience in developing architectures, and leading business productivity projects that span the entire Microsoft Business Productivity and Business Intelligence platform. Chaitanya has worked on several successful solution development projects to build rich web and collaborative applications on SharePoint since 2005.

Session 2: Visualizing Your Data with Microsoft Power View

This session will cover how Power View can be used to provide highly interactive reporting solutions. We will go over the requirements; the layout of the new report authoring and data exploration tool; cover the basics of report authoring, filtering, and slicing; and the more advanced charting options with scatter, maps, and drill down. Who knew analyzing data could be so fun! Come and find out more and see how it all works.


Dan English is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP and is the BI Practice Manager at SCS. He has been developing with Microsoft technologies since 1996, with a focus on data warehousing and business intelligence for the past eight years. Dan has screencasts and videos on Vimeo, is an avid blogger and regularly posts on Twitter. Dan is currently on the leadership team for the MN Microsoft BI user group. He is also coauthor of the book “Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View.”

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Book Review: MDX with SSAS 2012 Cookbook

Posted by denglishbi on November 25, 2013

A couple of years back I reviewed a new book on the market related to MDX and Analysis Services, Book Review: MDX with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Services Cookbook, and the book has now been updated to 2012.  The book was written by Microsoft SQL Server MVP Tomislav Piasevoli and Sherry Li. MDX with SSAS 2012 CookbookThe cookbook style of book is an outstanding reference book.  The book is full of solutions that tell you “how to do it”, “how it works”, and wait, “there’s more” (great value add and insights).

The book has been updated for the 2012 edition of SSAS and the examples have also been updated against the 2012 version of Adventure Works database.  The other difference from the 2008 R2 release of the book is that some of content has been broken up into a a couple of new chapters.

  • Chapter 1: Elementary MDX Techniques
  • Chapter 2: Working with Sets
  • Chapter 3: Working with Time
  • Chapter 4: Concise Reporting
  • Chapter 5: Navigation
  • Chapter 6: Business Analytics
  • Chapter 7: When MDX is Not Enough
  • Chapter 8: Advanced MDX Topics
  • Chapter 9: On the Edge

Book link – MDX with SSAS 2012 Cookbook. Amazon reviews link – Amazon Customer Reviews.

I would definitely rate this a must have for anyone doing multidimensional SSAS development and give it 5 out of 5 stars – image.

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TDWI Minneapolis Chapter Event: Intro to Hadoop and NoSQL – Dec 10

Posted by denglishbi on November 18, 2013

The next TDWI Minneapolis Chapter meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, December 10 and it will take place at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. The meeting will feature Dr. Brad Rubin  and r. Saeed Rahimi and they will be talking about Hadoop as well as NoSQL.

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

Here are all of the details:

When: Tuesday, December 10, 2013, 8:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Where:  St. Thomas University

McNeely Great Room – MCH100
University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota 55105

Click here to register for the next upcoming event


8:00 – 8:30 a.m. – Networking and Registration
8:30 – 8:45 a.m. – Introduction and Chapter Business
8:45 – 9:30 a.m. – Introduction to Hadoop, Dr. Brad Rubin
9:30 – 10:00 a.m. – Break and Networking
10:00 – 11:00 a.m. – NoSQL: how Pig, Hive, and HBase integrate to perform Analytics, Dr. Saeed Rahimi
11:00 – 11:30 p.m. – Q&A – Discussion
11:30 – 12:45 p.m. – Closing Comments & Wrap-Up

Click here to register for the next upcoming event


"Hadoop & NoSQL"

Dr. Rubin and Dr. Rahimi will talk about these two technologies and several others that have gained traction in the industry to deal with the increasingly massive amounts of data and the desire to efficiently analyze them and turn them into information.  The technologies provide alternatives to traditional SQL-based relational databases and are better optimized for the fast-growing amount of unstructured and semi-structured data.

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PASSMN November 2013 Meeting

Posted by denglishbi on November 15, 2013

The next Minnesota SQL Server User Group meeting is on Tuesday, November 19. This month Mark Vaillancourt will be doing a presentation on the art of presenting.

Be sure to register so that your name badge will be available for you at the Microsoft Technology Center when you arrive.Minnesota SQL Server Users Group

The sponsor for this month’s meeting is Digineer.

Location: 3601 West 76th Street, Suite 600 Edina, MN 55437


  • 4:00-4:30 : Registration / Networking / Announcements
  • 4:30-4:45 : DANGER: The Art and Science of Presenting by Mark Vaillancourt
  • 6:45-7:00 : Prizes / Giveaways

Please click here for meeting details and to RSVP for the event


DANGER: The Art and Science of Presenting

Abstract: Is there a great difference in the brain chemistry of someone fleeing a hungry mountain lion and someone presenting to a group of colleagues in a corporate board room? The answer is: NO. Over the past decade, a lot has been learned about the chemistry of the brain and why humans react the way we do to events in our environment. The concept of EQ (Emotional Intelligence) is a compelling and growing concept that applies this knowledge in a set of learnable, improvable skills for leading human beings. While EQ is often applied to corporate leadership, the parallels to presenting are fantastic. This session will explain the basics of EQ and demonstrate how you can apply it to make your presentations better in the following areas: * Crafting better slide decks * Preparing yourself for presenting * Delivering your content * Dealing with the unexpected Understanding and practicing the concepts of EQ can make your presentations a better experience for everyone in the room–including you

About Mark: Mark Vaillancourt is an Information Management consultant for Digineer, a Microsoft partner based in Plymouth, MN. He has been working with SQL Server for 5 years 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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