Insufficient data from Andrew Fryer
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Insufficient data from Andrew Fryer
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SQL Bits 11 - Notes & Queries
If you didn’t manage to fight your fight your way through the Everton & Liverpool fans to SQL Bits I thought you might like to see some of the random questions I got asked.. How do I manage SQL Azure? I think the key thing about developing for the cloud is to ensure that your application can handle...
3 Oct 2011
Installing Denali ctp3–how hard can it be
l forget sometimes that installing SQL Server isn’t that straightforward, in part because it is now so much more than the database engine, that was SQL Server 7 when I started. I also think its important that you understand the choices you are making when installing it although many of these can...
18 Aug 2011
the BI Sematic Model in SQL Server Denali ctp3
Some sort of semantic model is needed in every BI solution but what is it and why do I need one? It’s a view of the data store(s) you want to work on for business intelligence which adds additional information that can be stored in the individual tables themselves. For example how are the...
25 Jul 2011
Analysis Services cubed in SQL Server Denali ctp3
I have now managed to install analysis services (SSAS) in SQL Server Denali ctp3 three times to reflect the three installation options that now exist .. The top instance is the table based installation that’s completely new for SQL Server Denali Then I have olap based SSAS instance that I have deliberately...
21 Jul 2011
I saw a discussion the other having a go about the fact that it is possible to create KPIs in a number of Microsoft tools and how confusing that can be and I thought it would be good to understand why there is a choice at all. Firstly the term KPI mans key performance indicator, I mention this...
1 Apr 2011
A worked example of using spatial and olap data in Reporting Services part 2
Following on from my my post on Monday I wanted to show you how to link reports together using the mapping control in Report Builder 3. This is actually pretty easy to do as any polygon or point on a map can have an action associated with it and one of the available action types allows you to call...
24 Sep 2010
A worked example of using spatial and olap data in Reporting Services
In my last post I went through a possible approach for showing spatial and olap data that the RSPB are planning to evaluate, now I want to show you how this might look in an example. First of all an apology, I am not going to pay the £1500 to license UK postcodes as this is just a demo, rather I am going...
20 Sep 2010
Spatial and OLAP data in Reporting Services
I spent a very interesting afternoon last week with the IT team at the RSPB to explore what they could do to combine their mapping data with the olap cubes they have in analysis services. The only out of the box solution in SQL Server for spatial data is the map control in reporting Services (in SQL...
17 Sep 2010
ROLAP dead but not forgotten
With a catchy name like Relational On Line Analytical Processing, is it any wonder that this technology hasn’t really entered mainstream use. Firstly what is it? OLAP (On Line Analytical Processing) is a data store organised for ad hoc query and analysis, a good way to think about this is as a...
24 Aug 2010
The most important thing about PowerPivot is the ability to share users analysis into SharePoint so that these other users can slice and data form within a browser. As I’ve said before this uses SQL Server analysis services behind the scenes, albeit as part of a special install option. I...
22 Jan 2010
PowerPivot is Analysis Services, sort of
PowerPivot is essentially a way of making an analysis services cube using excel as the design tool. When you use the PowerPivot for Excel add-in, then there no backend dependency, but if you want to save a PowerPivot to SharePoint 2010, there has to be a special installation of SQL Server 2008 R2 analysis...
21 Jan 2010
PowerPivot is Integration Services sort of
One of the key problems in BI is getting your data together and cleaning it, and one of the best tools for doing this at scale would be integration services in SQL Server. However integration services is too complicated for the average business user but these users do need something to load and prepare...
19 Jan 2010
Making MDX interesting
Chris Webb MVP can, to quote a friend of mine can, “Make MDX sound interesting”. I have to say when I first when on a course on MDX the tutor went for the “Make MDX confusing and boring” approach. Chris has recently coauthored a book on Expert Cube Development with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis...
7 Aug 2009
Excel add ins for Analysis Services
Excel and analysis services are pretty open technologies so it’s very easier for anyone to grow their own stuff in for a richer experience, and even Microsoft provide things like the data mining add-ins which follow this principle. These add-ins are not confined to Microsoft and they are not always free...
30 Jun 2009
Compared to T-SQL and the database engine , MDX and analysis services is a somewhat poor relation and is usually catching up. There’s no resource governor in SQL Server 2008 or intellisense for MDX in management studio. I expect this is because while T-SQL is used by far more people than those...
11 Jun 2009
MetaData in the Microsoft BI stack
Metadata is “data about data” and in the BI world this means two things: Definitions of terms, particularly calculations so that business users can understand what they are looking whether on screen or on paper. Lineage to understand where and how the data in a report was derived. There are a number...
20 Apr 2009
Five Minutes of Fame
Speaking at SQL Bits is a cool thing to do but may terrify many of you. Part of this is that you are on stage for an hour and that means a lot of preparation, both content and rehearsal. So one of the organisers, Martin Bell has come up with a competition to gradually introduce the idea of...
19 Mar 2009
Virtualising Analysis Services
Microsoft reckon that 7% of workloads are virtualised, so there’s still a lot of consolidation work to be done, but how high up the list should SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) be? In order to answer this it’s important to understand what SSAS is there to do, which is to provide a high performance...
16 Mar 2009
Licensing and Scaling up SQL Server BI
Both Standard and Enterprise editions of SQL Server come with a lot more than just a database engine, there’s also a suite of BI tools: Integration Services (SSIS) Reporting Services (SSRS) Analysis Services (SSAS) which you are also licensed to use on the same server as the database engine. That...
3 Feb 2009
SQL Server Advent Calendar 8 – Analysis Services Named Sets
Day 8 of my virtual advent calendar, about stuff I like in SQL Server 2008.. Analysis Services allows you to create a set of things you are interested in and persist this in the cube. MDX is used to define the set e.g. CREATE SET CURRENTCUBE.[Top 10 Resellers] AS TopCount([Reseller].[Reseller]...
8 Dec 2008
SQL Server Advent Calendar 5 – Analysis Services Performance
Day 5 of my virtual advent calendar, about stuff I like in SQL Server 2008.. Over 80% of the budget on improvements to Analysis Services in SQL Server 2008 went on improving performance. The answer was called block space computation and to understand this you should be aware that Cubes are often quite...
5 Dec 2008
SQL Server Advent Calendar 3 – Analysis Services Backup
Day 3 of my virtual advent calendar, about stuff I like in SQL Server 2008.. Backing up of analysis services in SQL Server 2005 ran out for steam for databases of about 20Gb, and so you have to follow a different route to back them up (see this technet article ). The time taken to back up a database...
3 Dec 2008
Business Intelligence for Small Business – Analysis
If you have been following this blog over the last few days, then we are at the stage we know what we want to measure to get the pulse of our business and we have all of that on a scorecard. However just because we are measuring performance doesn’t mean our work is done. What do we do when we notice...
9 Sep 2008
SQL Server Databases and Cubes on one Server
I have put Business Intelligence into a number of small businesses and these guys typically have one server set a side for BI, so how do you cram the database and the cubes into one box to get the best performance? SQL Server databases and Analysis Services (SSAS) both love memory, and even windows server...
22 Aug 2008
Dimension Jumping in Analysis Services
Every now and then I see an internal mail with a query and I think “What were they thinking?” In this case a customer was trying to build a hierarchy that is built from attributes that are in different dimensions. My immediate reaction to this arises because if attributes (Say A,B & C) that make...
21 Aug 2008
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