SQL Server Machine Learning Services – Part 2: Python Data Frames

SQL Server Machine Learning Services provides the ability to run Python scripts directly against data in SQL Server. To do so, you must understand how to work with the data frame object. Robert Sheldon explains how to get started using the data frame object, how to pass data from SQL Server to it, and how to manipulate it with Python and pandas commands. … Read more

SQL Server R Services: Working with Multiple Data Sets

Although it is easy to use SQL Server R Services to create R scripts that incorporate SQL Server data by passing in a T-SQL query as an argument when calling the sp_execute_external_script stored procedure, you are limited to that one query, unless you pass additional data directly between R and SQL Server via CSV files. It is simple to do, and opens up many additional opportunities for data analysis. Robert Sheldon explains how.… Read more

SQL Server R Services: Working with Data Frames

Although you can get started with R in SQL Server without understanding data frames, they are a key structure of the R language that are the equivalent of SQL Server table variables. They give you many ways of manipulating and analyzing data and passing it between R and SQL Server. For a database professional, they provide a clear and familiar concept when getting to grips with integrating R into the database.… Read more

Thoughts about submitting a new Power BI Quick Measure

‘Quick Measures’ is a feature included in Power BI Desktop April update. It’s still in preview, so you need to enable this feature in order to use it. Inside Power BI Desktop, click ‘File’->‘Options and Settings’->‘Settings’->‘Preview Features’ and check the box beside ‘Quick Measures’, as illustrated in the image below.   Microsoft created an online gallery … Read more

SQL Server R Services: Working with ggplot2 Statistical Graphics

It is when you use R in SQL Server with one of the huge range of packages that comes with it that you can begin to appreciate the power of the system. With a package such as ggplot there are many 'knobs one can twiddle' in order to get spectacular and informative visualisations. Rob Sheldon continues his beginners series for R in SQL Server by showing how to refine the output to get it as you need it.… Read more

Pseudonymization and the Inference Attack

It is surprising that so much can be identified by deduction from data. You may assume that you can safely distribute partially masked data for reporting, development or testing when the original data contains personal information. Without this sort of information, much medical or scientific research would be vastly more difficult. However, the more useful the data is, the easier it is to mount an inference attack on it to identify personal information. Phil Factor explains.… Read more

The Best of Both Worlds: Using Excel and Power BI Together

Excel and Power BI work well together. This allows you to use the two tools together to provide for many types of business workflow and BI practices. You can publish an Excel file to Power BI to share with others, analyse a Power BI dataset in Excel or import either an Excel workbook or Excel data to Power BI. You can gain the workgroup power and business-orientation of Power BI without losing the ease and versatility of Excel. Saurabh shows how.… Read more

SQL Server R Services: Digging into the R Language

It is not just the analytic power of R that you get from using SQL Server R Services, but also the great range of packages that can be run in R that provide a daunting range of graphing and plotting facilities. Robert Sheldon shows how you can take data held in SQL Server and, via SQL Server R Services, use an R package called ggPlot that offers a powerful graphics language for creating elegant and complex plots.… Read more

SQL Server R Services: The Basics

It is possible to do a great deal with R within SQL Server, but it is best to start by doing analysis in R on numeric data from SQL Server and returning the results to SQL Server. There is great value to be gained even with this basic foundation. Robert Sheldon is on hand to give you a kick start with the first in his series on beginning with R in SQL Server.… Read more

Filtering Errors in PowerBI

I just faced this problem when trying to analyze some information from google analytics in PowerBI. In my specific situation, I was trying to extract a number from some URL querystrings and filter the rows without the number. When I set the data type of the column to decimal, the rows without a number receive … Read more

Deploying, Securing, and Updating Power BI Reports

Before Excel and other data-linked spreadsheets, business reports needed to be hand-crafted by IT experts, and changes were arbitrated slowly via change control. Power BI was designed to take the liberation that Excel pioneered to the max, by allowing 'power' users to not only to create Power BI desktop reports, graphics and visualisations in Power BI App, but then link and publish these to the Power BI app. These in turn can be given row level security and have their underlying data kept up-to-date so that users can log in and see the relevant and appropriate data in a browser. Saurabh Desai shows how.… Read more