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  • 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: 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: Future Decoded – with Data Science

    If you have been following my posts on Microsoft’s approach to data science with things like Machine Learning you’ll realise that it’s capable of making predictions. However to be honest it’s not going to tell you what devices and career you’ll have in five years time. To do that you need expert humans...
  • 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: Query Across the Mersey

    SQL Bits 9 , Adelphi Hotel Liverpool 29th September to 1 October 2011, what else do you need to know? Well possibly a few things if you are now reading the second line of this post or you haven’t been to them before.. It’s the biggest and best SQL event in Europe, I know this because we get people coming...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: What’s good in SQL Server 2012 Integration Services

    This is a guest post by Allan Mitchell MVP, and one of the top speakers at SQL Bits   The launch of SQL Server 2012 is not too far away and the SQL Server team have been hard at work adding new functionality and also improving upon existing features.  I am lucky enough to have been working...
  • Blog Post: Does “self service BI” mean more or less work for IT?

    Before I answer that question I want to be clear on what exactly self service BI means as you could argue that users have been doing BI for themselves since the spreadsheet was invented. In those early days users would often have to rekey data into whatever analysis tool they were using as the source...
  • Blog Post: Before I get started with SQL Server Denali ctp3

    I have spent the last couple of days setting up a demo environment for SQL Server “Denali”, and I thought it might be useful to share some of my experiences over the next few days. Before I get into that a short post about the environment I have which will comprise of 7 x virtual machines (VMs) running...
  • 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: SQL Relay

    I am in the middle of SQL relay this week, but I just realised that you might like to have a copy of my Denali slide deck, which I have now posted to SkyDrive . You are welcome to have a look at it even if you couldn’t make one of the four venues I am presenting at this week, but there isn’t a lot of...
  • Blog Post: Reporting Alerting in SQL Server Denali ctp3

    The installation experience for SQL Server Denali is very similar to SQL Server 2008 R2 but there are some important differences because of the new services.  I would also add that this is the install of the beta and I daresay I’ll need to do another post when it is released. The options for the...
  • Blog Post: NO SQL Server

    I spent last Thursday at Black Marble’s Architect Forum and my slot was on SQL, NoSQL, some SQL. It went down very well but I used OneNote on my tablet not PowerPoint and like all modern art my drawing needs a bit of explaining.. Databases were originally used to  store transactions which are highly...
  • Blog Post: Getting Started with SharePoint and SQL Server Reporting Services – a guest post by Jess Meats

    One of the capabilities of SQL Server is the ability to create and publish rich reports on your data. One of the capabilities of SharePoint Server is the ability to store, manage and provide a portal to documents. Those documents could be your reports. So you have one system letting you create reports...
  • Blog Post: BI for small business

    When I applied to join Microsoft nearly 4 years ago I had to give  a presentation on olap for small business which now looks a little dated.  So yesterday I got the chance to revisit my thoughts on this over espresso  with BI Guru Rafal Luckaweiki from Project Botticelli who was over to...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Notes & Queries from TechDays 2011

    I have been at TechDays Live all last week and although I did a bit of presenting, I was mainly there to listen and keep the week running smoothly.  I scribbled down a few notes during the various sessions I was in which I thought might be of interest: Easyjet have an amazing set of stories around...
  • Blog Post: War on Cost 2010

    I used to talk to a number of universities about business intelligence, balanced scorecards et al. I could see that lights were coming on and that this basic use of information to drive decision making was both new and a good idea.   This might not seem to be odd until you realise that these...
  • Blog Post: SQL Relay 2012

    Four cities,  in four days makes for one tired evangelist, so why am I doing SQL Relay with the SQL community I hear you ask.  Well that’s your answer really -  I can’t hear you ask anything when I am sat in darkest Surrey blogging away so I am actually doing these events not so much to...
  • Blog Post: 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...