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Monthly Archives: April 2015

Microsoft Acquires Datazen

Exciting news in the Microsoft Analytics space. On 14th April 2015 Microsoft announced they are acquiring Datazen – what does this mean, and is it a good or a bad thing?

For all of PowerView’s good points, it’s still a very immature product. I’ve still not had a single customer take it seriously, aside from a few proof of concept implementations. It’s a good ‘personal analytics’ tool, but in my opinion it doesn’t yet hit the mark when it comes to an enterprise grade analytics front end.

PerformancePoint is still the only MS tool that offers a traditional dashboarding interface, and quite frankly it’s well past its best before date. With almost zero development in recent years it has been left behind as a clunky relic of days gone by. Although one that is still in surprisingly widespread use through no reason other than lack of alternative MS options.

With great 3rd party tools like Pyramid Analytics and Tableau out there, Microsoft have really dropped the ball on this. We’ve all been waiting for PowerView to mature and grow, but now Microsoft has announced that they’re acquiring Datazen, which could be a game changer.

I’ve not used the tool before, but I’ll be downloading it asap and will report back with findings in due course. It ticks a number of boxes; multiple data sources including OLAP, SQL, etc, mobile friendly (apparently), interactivity, KPIs, maps, etc.

The key question for me is how will Microsoft approach SSAS cube development with Datazen. Will they maintain and develop full support for multidimensional cubes, or will they prioritise tabular cube functionality. Time will tell.

New Azure User Group in Birmingham

AzureBhamLogoWe’re launching a new Azure user group in Birmingham, UK! The first session is on Thursday 16th April, 6.30pm at the MAC (Midlands Art Centre) next to Edgbaston Cricket Ground.

The first session will feature two of the most prominent Azure MVPs in the UK; Richard Conway (Blog | Twitter) and Andy Cross (Blog | Twitter).

With Cloud based solutions becoming ever more prevalent, focusing on providing free Azure training and information for the local technical community is critical to the growth and skill base in the area.

It will run alongside the existing SQL Server User Group, and will follow a similar format; casual and informal, with two x 1 hour presentations from technical experts, and a light snack and time for networking in the middle.

The SQL Server User Group will run in odd months, with the Azure group running in Even months.

A huge thank you to Richard and Andy, for not only speaking at our first event, but also for helping get the group up and running.

For further details, or to register, check out:

Birmingham Azure User Group

Birmingham SQL Server User Group

 

The Frog Blog

I'm Alex Whittles.

I specialise in designing and implementing SQL Server business intelligence solutions, and this is my blog! Just a collection of thoughts, techniques and ramblings on SQL Server, Cubes, Data Warehouses, MDX, DAX and whatever else comes to mind.

Data Platform MVP

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