5 Things to Consider when using Datazen with a SQL Server Database

Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Datazen has brought it to the forefront of the conversation about data visualization, particularly with their plans to integrate Datazen with SQL Server 2016. Datazen is a data visualization platform that presents data integrated from multiple sources including Excel, SQL Server databases, OLAP, SharePoint, Web Services, ODBC, and others.…

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Quirky Queries: How to Avoid a De-Duplication Nightmare

I came across this query the other day, and it led to quite a bit of head scratching. The goal of the query was to de-duplicate data using a row ranking algorithm, however, every time I ran it it returned random and unpredictable results! Needless to say, I couldn’t keep running a faulty query, so I had to get to the bottom of it.…

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PowerShell and SSIS

I’ve been trying to learn more and more about PowerShell and how I can use it to be a better DBA.  This morning I came across the function Get-Filehash that came out with PowerShell version 4.0 and computes the hash value for a file by using a specified hash algorithm.  I wondered if this could have helped me with a problem I had at a prior client where a network problem was sporadically...

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The Pitfalls of Big Data Analysis

The Power of Correlation Models One of the main reasons we model data is to better understand the relationship between variables. With the advent of Big Data, analysts gained access to a large pool of raw, historical, data, unlike anything they’ve had before. Modeling used to require some sort of hypothesis, followed by data collection, but Big Data has paved the way for correlation...

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Tableau: Beyond the Buzzword – Part 1

Tableau: Beyond the Buzzword – Part 1

Tableau Software has created a lot of buzz within many mid-to-large-size organizations.  These companies are looking to make the most of their ever-increasing data, knowing that gaining insights into their business is crucial to their ongoing success. These goals often bring attention to data visualization tools like Tableau. Although it has been around since early 2003, many companies still...

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Tips on supercharging your ETL

We live in the era of big data explosion with data volumes growing at exponential pace.  At the same time data driven organizations increasingly demand more real time data availability. Given these trends, ETL performance is quickly gaining business importance. Let’s look at a few approaches that could be considered to maximize performance of data processing.…

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Manipulating SSRS Parameter Functionality

When it comes to report development it is difficult to accomplish perfection. In any development cycle, there are constant change requests and minor bugs to fix months after deployment and new visualizations and numbers that people would like to see. The good news, however, is that these changes almost always require relatively simple solutions and, if not, someone out there will almost always...

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Next Generation: Voice of the Customer

Firms have an unprecedented ability to listen to and understand changing customer needs. Advanced technologies turn unstructured social media posts or contact center transcripts into meaningful and actionable insights. Predictive analytics hone the noise of billions of interactions into signals that can help firms avoid scaling costly mistakes and tap into emerging opportunities.…

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10 Best Practices for High Performance ETL Processing

Every database administrator deals with this ETL headache at some point in their career. As data volumes grow, ETL processes start to take longer to complete. Cue the complaints from business users: “Why do our data loads take so long to run?” “Why can’t we get our reports out earlier?” “I get to the office early and need to be able to see results by the...

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With the First Pick of the NFL Draft… Irrational Economic Behavior

Earlier this month the NFL held their 2015 Draft in Grant Park, Chicago, about one mile from our West Monroe headquarters. With the first pick, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected quarterback and 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston. Immediately thereafter, 2014 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota was drafted as the second pick to the Tennessee Titans.…

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Upcoming SQL Server 2016 Security Upgrades

Earlier this week Microsoft released the first public preview of SQL Server 2016 (CTP2).  There were a few new features that jumped out at me because I keep getting the same questions from healthcare clients around security and SQL Server and these features could solve some of the pain points they encounter (you can see the full list of new features in SQL Server 2016 in the SQL Server 2016...

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