Are you Ready to Use Power BI?

Are you Ready to Use Power BI?

What! NO? Get with it, my friend.  Power BI is for everyone.  All the kids are doing it… not to mention the business owners, marketers, sales campaign planners and scientists, IT Pros and common folk.  Power BI is all the rage and can be used to analyze everything under the sun – oh, and that … Continue reading

Datazen Visual Control Categories

Datazen Visual Control Categories

Choosing the right visualization control for a set of data can sometimes be challenging.  I find some aspects of designing dashboard solutions in Datazen on the surface to be very simple but it’s easy to get stuck in the details and fine points.  The purpose of this guide to help simplify and categorize visual control … Continue reading

Learn How to Use Datazen this Week

Learn How to Use Datazen this Week

SQL Server Pro Magazine is hosting my 3-part series, Designing a Mobile Dashboard Solution with Microsoft DataZen on Thursday.  The first one hour session begins at 11 AM Pacific, 3 PM Eastern Time.  There are three sessions in the series which include: Session 1: Introducing DataZen and Building a Server – 11am EDT Session 2: … Continue reading

SSAS Tabular Modeling Article Series on SQL Server Pro Magazine

I’ve just finished a series of four articles for SQL Server Pro Magazine, along with sample projects and hands-on exercises. The series will take you through SSAS Tabular model design from start to finish, using the Adventure Works sample data in SQL Server 2012 or 2014.  Follow these links to each article in the series:

Part 1 – Getting Started with SSAS Tabular
Part 2 – Easy DAX – Getting Started with Data Analysis Expressions
Part 3 – Tabular Model Administration
Part 4 – Deep Dive DAX – Solving Complex Business Problems with Data Analysis Expressions

Download the sample projects here:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Some Thoughts About Microsoft’s Cloud Platform Roadmap

There have been a lot of changes in and around Microsoft in the past few months.  Under the leadership of Satya Nadella, the push toward “cloud first” and “mobile first” services, things are stirred-up a bit right now.  I have to admit that having worked with consulting clients who can’t, aren’t ready or just don’t want to move to the cloud; I’ve gotten a little caught up asking why it’s all necessary.  The short answer is that cloud services are a reality.  Just about everyone does business on the Internet in some way and, for technology product and service providers like Microsoft, it’s faster and more efficient to deliver to the cloud before shrink-wrapping boxes of software to be installed on traditional servers and desktop computers. (more…)

Power BI Workshop Videos

I’ve created a series of five tutorial videos for a set of workshops I’ll be doing at several events this year.  The workshop is available from an hour-long quick demo to a full-day, hands-on workshop with a hosted lab environment in the cloud.  The series teaches how to create a complete business intelligence solution using the components of Power BI in Excel 2013.  These video tutorials, although complete, are a subset of the entire workshop.  Each tutorial is about 10 minutes long. (more…)

New Power BI Preview and Pricing

Some exciting announcements were made today about the new Power BI cloud-based business analytics service.  Today Power BI is an add-on service for Office 365 that requires an enterprise-level license – about $50 per user per month.  Data transformation queries, data models and dashboard visualizations are all created using add-in tools for Excel 2013.  All of the content is managed in SharePoint Online.  The new Power BI designer and hosted dashboard elements won’t require any Excel add-ins and use a streamlined cloud service with a list of mobile options.  The best part is that the price also went way down – about $10/month for designers and it’s free for anyone who just runs reports and dashboards.  Yea… free! (more…)