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  • Blog Post: SQL Server Advent Calendar 14 – Integration Services Lookups

    Day 14 of my virtual advent calendar, about stuff I like in SQL Server 2008.. If it aint broke don’t fix it, is probably best aimed at Integration Services in SQL Server 2008. So what was ‘fixed’?  The most important thing was the performance of lookups, both in terms of speed and memory usage. ...
  • Blog Post: Slowly Changing Dimensions and Surrogate Keys

    You would expect there to be a record and hopefully only one record for each sales person in a typical sales system and another record in another table for each of the customers. But what happens when a one of these sales people gets assigned to a different territory or is promoted to be a regional sales...
  • Blog Post: Dimensional Modelling

    This simple design, popped up in my inbox today asking for advice… What you need to understand about this diagram is that there is a concatenated key (keys are in BOLD ) on each of the orange dimension tables, with one part of that key being CompanyID. The exception is dCompany which is just keyed...
  • Blog Post: Data Warehousing from the Experts.

    If you glance to the side of this post you will see that one of the few books on my bookshelf is the Microsoft Data Warehouse Toolkit , and so I am annoyed that I can’t make the course of the book, presented by the authors, Joy Mundy and Warren Thornthwaite . For those not familiar with these two eminent...
  • 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: Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, and Data Marts

    The terms Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, and Data Marts are used interchangeably by many people so I thought it would be good to explain the differences. The data warehouse is the repository for all the data to be analysed and reported on without the means to do so. A good analogy would be...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: The Dimensional Model

    What's different about a data warehouse is that all of the information from the line of business or source systems gets rearranged into two types of information: Dimensions contains a group of descriptive attributes. An example is a product where we have its colour, size, description, product group,...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 Merge and Integration Services

    The new Merge T-SQL command has great potential in a data warehouse scenario and Integration Services is the tool in SQL Server to load the data warehouse so how do they fit together in SQL Server 2008? The answer is not really and I am not sure they should, so let me explain why. Integration Services...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Advent Calendar 1 – Dates

    There is no possible connection between databases and Christmas, so I simply wanted to share 24 my favourite bits and bobs that are in SQL Server 2008…. The new date data types in SQL server crack a problem I have had since I started BI as there is (nearly) always a time dimension in every data warehouse...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server Advent Calendar 2 – Time

    Day 2 of my virtual advent calendar, about stuff I like in SQL Server 2008.. Following on from my previous post, in some data warehouses there is a separate dimension for time of day, so that demand through a day can be modelled. Storing time in SQL server 2005 was a bit of a cludge typically involving...
  • Blog Post: 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...