Business Intelligence

  • SQLBits X Video available

    SQLBits X Video Now available The video of my talk at SQLBits X is now available on the SQLBits website here. The talk was focused on presenting the results of my MSc Business Intelligence dissertation, comparing the performance of different methods of using SSIS to load data warehouse dimensions, specifically type 2 SCDs. The talk also covers a comparison of the performance between traditional hard disks and solid state storage systems such as…

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  • Automating T-SQL Merge to load Dimensions (SCD)

    This is the 3rd post in the Frog-Blog series on the awesomeness of T-SQL Merge. Post 1: Introduction to T-SQL merge basics Post 2: Using T-SQL merge to load data warehouse dimensions In this post we’ll be looking at how we can automate the creation of the merge statement to reduce development time and improve reliability and flexibility of the ETL process. I discussed this in the 2nd half of a talk I gave at the UK technical launch of SQL…

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  • Using T-SQL Merge to load Data Warehouse dimensions

    In my last blog post I showed the basic concepts of using the T-SQL Merge statement, available in SQL Server 2008 onwards. In this post we’ll take it a step further and show how we can use it for loading data warehouse dimensions, and managing the SCD (slowly changing dimension) process. Before we start, let’s have a quick catch up on what an SCD is… What is a Slowly Changing Dimension (SCD)? If you want a full explanation of…

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  • PowerPivot Vs QlikView 101 – SQLBits Video

    PowerPivot Vs QlikView 101 – SQLBits Video The video is now available from my PowerPivot and QlikView talk at SQLBits 9 in Liverpool in September 2011. You can download or watch the video here. In this 1 hour session I create interactive dashboards from scratch in both PowerPivot and QlikView, showing how to set up the data model, overcome common pitfalls and build the dashboards. I create almost identical dashboards in both systems and…

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  • SQLBits 9 Session – PowerPivot and QlikView 101

    Thank you to the SQLBits committee, speakers, helpers and attendees, for making SQLBits 9 one of the best yet. What a great example SQLBits is of the power of the SQL Server community coming together to help each other, and enjoy a few beers in the process! I was delighted to have my “PowerPivot & QlikView 101” session chosen by the committee, which I presented on Saturday afternoon. Thank you to all those who attended, great to…

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  • SQL User Groups and SQLBits

    SQLBits 9 It only seems like yesterday since the SQLBits crew put on their awesome 8th conference in Brighton. The next conference has just been announced, SQLBits will move to Liverpool for SQLBits 9 – “Query Across The Mersey” (…Really?!) between September 29th and October 1st. Registration’s not yet open, but you can find out more at www.SQLBits.com I’ve already submitted two sessions to present, “PowerPivot & QlikView…

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  • Video: Automating SSAS OLAP Cube documentation

    Automating OLAP cube documentation – SQLBits presentation For anyone that missed my presentation at SQLBits 8 in April, the video is now available here. In this 1 hour session I present a method of automating the creation of documentation for SSAS OLAP cubes by using DMVs (dynamic management views) and spatial data, querying the metadata of the cube in realtime. The results include the BUS matrix, star schemas, attribute lists, hierarchies…

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  • The Business Intelligence Semantic Model (BISM)

    I’m a happy chap. Why? Because I read a blog post yesterday by T.K. Anand (SSAS Principal Group Program Manager) about the vision and roadmap of Analysis Services. There were slightly concerning questions last November (following the PASS conference) surounding the future of Analysis Services, or more specifically the UDM, the dimensional model that we all know and love in SSAS 2005 & 2008. The arrival of PowerPivot into the Microsoft…

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  • How to add calculations in SSAS cubes

    One of the most useful aspects of a Business Intelligence system is the ability to add calculations to create new measures. This centralises the logic of the calculation into a single place, ensuring consistency and standardisation across the user base. By way of example, a simple calculation for profit (Income – Expenditure) wouldn’t be provided by the source database and historically would be implemented in each and every report. In a data…

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  • Business Intelligence in the Cloud

    The Cloud is pretty much top of the list of the corporate buzzword bingo phrases at the moment. It's clear what the benefits are from a SAAS perspective, but it's been less clear how the Business Intelligence world will start to make use of it.

    Data Warehousing, Management Information, Cubes, Data Mining etc. all involve a lot of data, usually gigabytes or terrabytes even for medium sized organisations. Internet connectivity (speed and…

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