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Insufficient data from Andrew Fryer
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Insufficient data from Andrew Fryer
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...
5 Jul 2012
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...
8 May 2012
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...
10 Dec 2011
SQL Server HP Appliances & the modern data centre
There is a lot of advice on whether to virtualise SQL Server and many dbas are under pressure to do this. There’s good advice here from SQL CAT on best practice on hyper-V and if you are in the business of acquiring hardware to run SQL Server virtualised then there are two reference architectures...
17 Oct 2011
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...
5 Oct 2011
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...
3 Mar 2011
BI Masters Degree at Dundee University
Although I am a huge fan of Microsoft BI (which is why I work for Microsoft not because I work for Microsoft) I realise that many of the factors behind a successful BI project are nothing to do with the technology. Of course the technology decisions can make a BI project more effective, more affordable...
23 Feb 2010
SQL Server scalability?
Is SQL Server is only as good as the operating system – discuss The ability of SQL Server to make use of underlying hardware is often held up by the operating system, or to put it another way, pretty much as soon as there is support for some new thing the SQL Server team have a version that uses it. ...
9 Dec 2009
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
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...
21 Jul 2009
SQL Server Advent Calendar 19 – Data Collection
Day 19 of my virtual advent calendar, about stuff I like in SQL Server 2008.. I often get asked how much faster is SQL Server 2008 than SQL Server 2000, what impact will virtualisation have on my performance, and my answer in fine Microsoft tradition is it depends. So how can we begin to answer...
19 Dec 2008
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. ...
14 Dec 2008
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...
1 Dec 2008
Talking about Business Intelligence to your FD part 1
As I have remarked before Business isn’t run by the IT Department it is run by the people who hire and fire the IT department i.e. the Finance Director (FD). Given the current economic climate now would be a perfect time to see what you can do to help, so I have spent the morning listening to my FD ...
17 Nov 2008
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...
6 Oct 2008
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...
2 Sep 2008
64 bit odbc connectivity to SQL Server
Working for Microsoft is strangely like working for the government, yu are essentially trying to please everyone, but there are significant minorities on any given issue who aren’t that satisfied. Let me explain with a real world example.. The lack of 64 bit jet and odbc drivers mean that anyone trying...
27 Aug 2008
Using TinyInt as keys in Analysis Services
Fact tables should be narrow and deep. If you are recording every debit card transaction for every customer across the fifteen retail banks you own, you end up with 15 million rows a day, so to save space they need to be as thin as possible. If one of your dimensions can only ever have a...
30 May 2008
The Unified Dimensional Model (UDM)
It's coming up to London Fashion Week so I thought a post on models for all you dedicated followers would be good. The models in this post are rarely size zero ! So what is one of these? Technorati isn't much help but if you look hard you will find some posts e.g. by one of my predecessors Mat Stephen...
15 Sep 2007
SQL Server 2008 Samples
If like me, you are trying out the new stuff in SQL server 2008 you might need some data to work with. The standard Adventure Works sample databases for OLTP and data warehousing are not in the CTP nor is the the analysis services project. So you'll need to get them from Codeplex which not only has these...
31 Aug 2007
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...
21 Aug 2007
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,...
17 Aug 2007
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...
10 Aug 2007
Business Intelligence - What is it?
In the world of management speak it is common practice to re-brand an essentially old idea with a new name. Many years ago we had EIS (executive information systems), decision support systems and MI (management information) systems. I am sure there are experts out there who will post me precise definitions...
8 Aug 2007
Business Intelligence - or putting the I into IT
As I have mentioned I am the new kid on the blog in Eileen Brown's team. This means that for most of the time I am the trainee and my peers are all light years ahead of me - except that is when it comes to Business Intelligence. Then the conversation goes a bit like this (with apologies to the Cat in...
7 Aug 2007
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