Blog

18 Mar 2015 Boosting self-service BI: Microsoft Power BI

Susan walks into her office and wants to assign a job to Tom about absenteeism. But ironically it seems he's not at work because he's ill. So she decides to try doing the job herself. She takes her laptop and opens Power BI Designer for the first time. It looks enough like Excel to make her confident about using it. In no time she works through the data that the IT department has prepared, creates a report about employees and absenteeism over time and publishes it to the internal HR portal.

09 Mar 2015 How to create a date table in PowerPivot with one single value

Calculations that make comparisons to previous quarters or to the same period one year ago are very important in all business intelligence tools. DAX, the formula language in PowerPivot, allows you to define such calculations by means of Time Intelligence Functions . However, in order to use these, you need to include a Date dimension table in your PowerPivot model. When you do not have access to a date table in your ICT network, you will be able to create one on the spot after reading this post.

16 Feb 2015 Transfer AdventureWorksDW2014 into a Document DB Collection

The goal of this blogpost is to transfer a dataset from the Adventureworks DB and query it in the same way that you would on your own DWH, but running on a DocumentDB NoSQL database. This blogpost is not intended to compare any RDBMS based data warehousing to Document-based data warehousing. It’s purely to demonstrate that you can actually migrate a dataset from a pure RDBMS data structure and transfer it into a document-based NoSQL Engine and run data warehouse queries.

09 Feb 2015 Checking availability group status using a Central Management Server

Today I want to show you another powerful way to use your Central Management Server. The CMS can also be used to execute OPENROWSET queries over your complete SQL Server Farm. Now I can hear you all say: “Why would you want to do that?” and “OPENROWSET, you know that you shouldn’t implement that for queries that have to run frequently!”. And to be honest, in most of the cases you’d be right. But it can come in extremely useful in some situations.

31 Jan 2015 How to get Google Analytics data in Power Query

Microsoft Power Query is an Excel add-in that helps you gather, transform and analyse data from various sources. It's a very powerful tool and a must have for anyone interested in BI, no matter how experienced. Microsoft also releases frequent updates of this add-in, including new source connections. Google Analytics is a powerful tool for monitoring and analyzing your website traffic. It helps you know who is visiting, what they are looking for and how they are getting there.

10 Dec 2014 How I migrate SQL Server to a new server

While working on various SQL Migrations these are my findings on how to migrate a database between servers with no downtime on the SQL server side.

09 Dec 2014 The dangers of copying script components in SSIS

In this blog post I want to explain something weird that happened in a previous SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) project. A lot of different SSIS packages had to be developed. Often very similar code was used within the same package.

10 Nov 2014 Creating my first data warehouse from scratch: the analysis

It all started about a month ago, I got my first big assignment as a junior. The assignment was quite simple, design and implement a datawarehouse from scratch from a production system of an enterprise. Although the description of my assignment was quite simple, putting this assignment into practice proved to be a lot of work.

29 Oct 2014 Transaction log consequences on rebuilding SQL Server indexes

When I was at one of our customers a few weeks ago, they had some questions about the rebuild index process. On some servers it caused big TLog growths, and on other servers, it didn’t. So I did a quick investigation on the differences in versions and options.

08 Sep 2014 Your first data warehouse model

A data warehouse is a relational database just like any other relational database. However, the database model is designed in a different way. It should facilitate business users querying large amounts of data, but also let them explore the data from different points-of-view by means of BI applications. Six steps will guide you through the design process and address some key fundamentals in data warehouse modeling. Finally, five additional tips will help you save time and money with future enhancements of your data warehouse solution.

07 Aug 2014 Unique identifier as primary key

What is better? Using GUIDs or Integer values? This is been an age long (religious) debate and there are advocates in both camps stressing on the disadvantages of the other. Both implementations have their advantages and disadvantages. In this blogpost, we'll see that the ultimate SQL Server answer is also valid for this debate: it all depends!

11 Jul 2014 Nasty ballooning kills your SQL performance

This post might sound a bit like a game of Cluedo, but it happened on a production SQL Server… The issue showed itself on a hosted production VM with 64GB of Ram, where SQL could allocate memory from 32GB to 55GB. The agreements with the hosting partner clearly mentioned that while the CPU could be overcommitted, memory couldn’t. All my alerts suddenly started to show that the machine was using all the available and became completely unresponsive (I couldn’t even open the Event Viewer to unload the logs). Remote connection with management studio gave me this worrisome error:

25 Jan 2014 How to connect to IBM DB2 from Power Query

SQL Server 2014 has been released since the 1st of April and there are some really cool features that might help you and your organization and can definitely justify an upgrade. In my job as a SQL consultant, I have a lot of different customers and none of them is currently working on SQL Server 2014 or is planning to upgrade to this new version. I find it really hard to convince my clients to upgrade or even install it for a brand new installation. Why is it so hard to convince people to start using SQL Server 2014…? After questioning my customers I figured out these 5 reasons?