Dan English's BI Blog

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

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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.


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:)

Event Schedule:

  • 8:45 AM – Registration
  • 9:00 AM – Introduction
  • 9:15 AM – SQL Server 2016 Presentation (Jason Strate)
  • 10:15 AM – SQL Server 2016 Presentation  (Paul Timmerman)
  • 11:15 AM – Break
  • 11:30 AM – SQL Server 2016 Presentation (Dan English)
  • 12:30 AM – Breaking into groups/idea development
  • 12:45 PM – Lunch
  • 1:15 PM – Solution Development
  • 2:30 PM – Break
  • 2:45 PM – Solution Development
  • 4:00 PM – Show & Tell
  • 4:45 PM – Wrapping Up
  • 5:00 PM – Close   

*Schedule is subject to change without notice.


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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Data Security–Superior Spotlight 5 part blog series

Posted by denglishbi on March 25, 2015

This 5 part blog (3rd part was broken out into 3 separate parts) series on Data Security was written by Senior BI Consultant and colleague Rick Bielawski from my BI team. I wanted to share the series and hope you find it interesting and make you think when it comes to the data that you work with and are in responsible for.

Here is an intro from the first part to get a feel for what the series will cover:

This blog is the first in a three-part series describing how to properly assess your data security needs. Like buying any insurance, there is no reason to pay for protection you don’t need. Yet, your business can’t afford to leave significant risk on the table. To get all (and only) useful protection, you must become your own actuary, quantifying and prioritizing potential losses and then developing a plan to mitigate loss cost effectively.

In this series, part one covers sources of risk. Part two gives you an idea of the significant number of attack vectors possible. Part three talks about the mindset needed to design proper protections and how to look at the extent to which various protection types mitigate various risks.

Data Security: Critical Knowledge (part 1)image

Data Security: Mechanisms for Malicious Loss (part 2)

Data Security: Critical Knowledge – Designing Protection (part 3a)

Data Security: Critical Knowledge – Design Approaches (part 3b)

Data Security: Critical Knowledge – Implementations (part 3c)

I hope you find the information useful.

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Power View now available on the Nook!

Posted by denglishbi on July 26, 2012

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This is not a joke, you can now purchase and get the book Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View on the Nook now:Book Cover

Barnes & Noble: Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View by Brian Larson, Mark Davis, Dan English, Paul Purington

The book is also available on the Kindle from Amazon as well (available for free 2-day shipping if you have a Prime membership)

This is a great book to get you going on the new self-service BI reporting feature that is currently available with SQL Server 2012 using Reporting Services in SharePoint 2010 Integrated Mode and is also available now in Excel 2013 which is available for consumer preview:)

Not only does the book cover what is Power View and how to use it, but it provides tons of Learn By Doing exercises, tons of videos, great scenarios on reasons for using, and also covers how to create tabular models to support Power View along with DAX calculations and functions as well!

So what are you waiting for, don’t just take my word about it, listen to what people are saying about it on the Amazon reviews (which by the way is 5 out of 5 starts with 3 reviews currently).  Here are some snippets:


“A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting”

The authors (Brian Larson, Mark Davis, Dan English and Paul Purington) have done a splendid job of explaining all the features of Power View in an easily understandable format. Even though the target audience for this book are Power View beginners which includes non-technical business users, it also gives professionals who are acquainted with the tool (like me) an opportunity to review all the functionalities and fix the gaps in learning.

This is a very cool way to learn Power View. The book contains step by step instructions that show you how to take advantage of all Power View features, and the accompanying DVD contains a video of the instructions being implemented.

There are 4 hours 48 minutes and 56 seconds of video included on the DVD. They show you how to implement the learn by doing sections of the book. Although I have an environment built for implementing the samples, the videos are great for people that don’t have the resources to put one in place.

This book covers everything you need to know to get started with Power View and creating BI Semantic Models. If you buy one book on Power View make it this one.

“Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View” is a step by step guide which not only shows the end user how to use the Power View product but also get the most benefit out of their visualizations.

“Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View” is well targeted at the business user and written in a context that does not alienate a non-technical user.

So what are you waiting for, get a copy, read the book, do the exercises, and most of all leave us feedback or post reviews.  Let us know what you think.  Power View is a fantastic data visualization tool and I am very excited about this new feature that is available for us to use and I hope you all are as well.

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Updated Microsoft Download Center Beta Preview

Posted by denglishbi on December 5, 2007

Just got invited to the beta of the new Microsoft Download Center.  Me download files…crazy.  This is probably why my RSS feed into the existing download site no longer works (no longer getting any updates pulled into RSS Bandit:( ).

It did require me to install Silverlight, but so far it seems okay but I think it is definitely slower.  I would say skip all of the eye candy and keep it simple.  I get very impatient waiting for a site to load.  I just want to see what is new and start downloading.


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