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The place where I page to when my brain is full up of stuff about the Microsoft platform

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  • Blog Post: Azure Data Services for Predictive Analytics

    In my last post I hopefully explained that business intelligence works very well on Azure and with new services like the Azure Data Warehouse and Power BI (Not strictly part of Azure but a Microsoft online service). However while BI is good at showing some trends and how a limited number of factors affect...
  • Blog Post: Azure Data Services for Business Intelligence

    A little known fact the biggest workload on Azure VM’s (aka IaaS) is .. SQL Server. This might seem odd give that there is a SQL Azure service where you can run SQL Server database without worrying about SQL Server itself. So what’s going on here? There are a few possible options: These VMs might be...
  • Blog Post: Azure Data Services–what are they?

    This might be a recurring theme but worth mentioning again - Azure continues to change and expand at an alarming rate. On the one hand this is simply scale, for example we now have access to bigger compute resources like the G class virtual machines, ever cheaper storage, and higher and higher limits...
  • Blog Post: What kind of data person are you?

    I have been working with data in one form or another since 1991, but I wouldn’t describe myself as a DBA, data scientist or a developer so what am I, and am I alone? I spent ten of those years doing business intelligence and most of that was working with databases, designing systems data marts, and analytical...
  • Blog Post: Machine Learning for the Business Intelligence developer

    Amy (the other half of the data duo in our team) and I have been gate crashing the Data Culture series and other events recently to see who’s interested in Azure Machine Learning (MAML) . It turns out that data scientists are pretty comfortable using their own tools and scripts be that in R and Python...
  • Blog Post: Azure Machine Learning – General Availability

    Today Microsoft Azure Machine Learning (MAML)goes from preview to general availability and it’s also undergone quite a few changes on the way. Before I get into what’s new (and there is quite a lot) I do occasionally get feedback that Azure services are evolving too quickly for everyone to keep up. I...
  • Blog Post: TechDays on Line 2015–it gets better

    I have been out in Seattle for the last couple of weeks as a roving reporter for our upcoming TechDays Online 2015 and I have managed to get footage of some of the engineers who write the stuff we all use. I have also been having coffee with some of them to make sure we can share the very latest thinking...
  • Blog Post: IT Camp - Extend your Data Centre with Azure

    I have been on a journey over the last year that some of you may already be embarked on and that is to transition my skills to use cloud services and specifically Azure. For me it’s like going to America, the language is similar, the culture less so and everything over seems to be much bigger such as...
  • Blog Post: How to train your MAML–Redux

    Since I wrote this series we have taken on two computer science graduates in the evangelism team in the UK, Amy Nicholson and Bianca Furtuna. Both studied machine learning as part of their courses so I introduced them to this series on Azure ML to get them up to speed. They have taken this series apart...
  • Blog Post: Lab Ops – Working with Azure VMs

    A couple of months ago I had a very interesting chat with Andy a Data Centre admin at CP Ltd about using PowerShell to manage Azure as Andy is partially sighted, and his team mate Lewis is blind (For more on this please read Andy’s post on the TechNet UK blog ) . I wanted to go into some of the PowerShell...
  • Blog Post: How to train your maml – Publishing your work

    Before I get into my next post you may have noticed that ML has changed compared with a few weeks ago -the main page previews experiments differently, and the visualization of data has also changed.. One other problem hit me and that was some of the parts of my demo experiment didn’t work or ran really...
  • Blog Post: How to train your MAML

    In this fourth post in my Azure Machine Learning series we are actually going to do the training itself. I have tidied up my experiment from last time to get rid of the modules to export data to SQL Azure as that has now served it’s purpose .. Before we get stuck into training there’s still a bit more...
  • Blog Post: How to train your MAML – Looking at the data in SQL Azure

    In my last post we saw how to clean, transform and join datasets. I also mentioned I had trouble doing the join at all and even now it’s not quite right so how can we look at the data and find out what’s going on. The visualisation option only shows a few rows of the 2 million in the dataset and there...
  • Blog Post: How to Train your MAML–Refining the data

    In my last post we looked at how to load data into Microsoft Azure Machine Learning using the browser based ML Studio. We also started to look at the data around predicting delayed flights and identified some problems with it and this post is all about getting the data into the right shape to ensure...
  • Blog Post: How to train your MAML – Importing data

    In my last post I split the process of using Microsoft Azure Machine Learning (MAML) down to four steps: Import the data Refine the data Build a model Put the model into production. Now I want to go deeper into each of these steps so that you can start to explore and evaluate how this might be useful...
  • Blog Post: Learning Machine Learning using a Jet Engine

    In this post I want to try and explain what machine learning is and put into context with what we used to do when analysing and manipulating data. When I started doing all this the hot phrase was Business Intelligence (BI), but this was preceded by EIS (Executive Information Systems) and DSS (Decision...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft, and Hadoop for Big Data

    Despite common misconceptions Microsoft now has extensive interoperability with open source technologies for example you can run a php application on Azure, get support from us to run RedHat, SUSE or CentOs on Hyper-V and manage your applications from System Center. ,  So extending this approach...
  • Blog Post: HD Insight

    Despite common misconceptions Microsoft now has extensive interoperability with open source technologies for example you can run a php application on Azure, get support from us to run RedHat, SUSE or CentOs on Hyper-V and manage your applications from System Center . ,  So extending this approach...
  • Blog Post: Cloud Cookery class

    Cooks would rather not wash up, and the best chefs have someone else do the shopping prepare the vegetables etc. and often end up planning and managing the menus and kitchens. In our IT professional world I would rather not worry about patching, I hate doing all the repetitive boring stuff and would...
  • Blog Post: UK Data in the Cloud

    There is still a lot of inertia in the UK about storing data in the cloud for entirely valid reasons and rather vague uncertainties and doubt. For a few organisations keeping data in the cloud is exactly the right thing to do because those organisations want to actively share their information, the most...
  • Blog Post: Application Platform Knowledge Hub

    Albert Einstein once remarked that you don’t need to remember everything, you just needed to remember where to look.  When it comes to learning about Microsoft products this can sometimes be harder than it ought to be and what resources there are can be fragmented so you do have to remember where...