Articles tagged BI

28 May 2015
28 May 2015

How to Get SQL Server Dates and Times Horribly Wrong

One of the times that you need things to go right is when you are doing analysis and reporting. This is generally based on time and date. A sure-fire way of getting managers upset is to get the figures horribly wrong by messing up the way that you handle datetime values in SQL Server. In the interests of peace, harmony and a long career in BI, Robert Sheldon outlines some of the worst mistakes you can make when using SQL Server dates.… Read more
08 May 2015
08 May 2015

Optimizing Batch Process in SQL Server

SQL Server batch processes are usually run from SQL Agent in background. They can take significant time and resources, especially if they are ETL tasks. Quite often, the responsibility for creating these tasks belongs entirely to the developer. Dennes demonstrates that DBAs can advise and assist with this type of batch job by bringing their expertise to bear on the problem of reducing their impact on the working system to a minimum.… Read more
28 April 2015
28 April 2015

Making Data Analytics Simpler: SQL Server and R

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R and SQL Server are a match made in heaven. You don't need anything special to get started beyond the basic instructions. Once you have jumped the hurdle of reliably and quickly transferring data between R and SQL Server you are ready to discover the power of a relational database when when combined with statistical computing and graphics.… Read more
15 April 2015
15 April 2015

Mobile BI with SQL Server Reporting Services

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For users to get the information they need from mobile reports, we frequently have to tailor the way we design those reports to the characteristics of the target device. Adam Aspin demonstrates some of the ways that we can deliver easy-to-use Business Intelligence to tablets and smartphones using Reporting Services. … Read more
09 April 2015
09 April 2015

Swizec Teller : Geek of the Week

Why do programmers work best at night? Is this related to the idea that drinking alcohol improves cognitive ability? Is programming a young person's game? How do you tackle spaghetti code and avoid job-burnout? Swizek Teller has achieved fame in providing a wry commentary on these questions, and the way that computers have come to dominate our lives.… Read more
09 April 2015
09 April 2015

Schema-Based Access Control for SQL Server Databases

Access-control within the database is important for the security of data, but it should be simple to implement. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the jargon of principals, securables, owners, schemas, roles, users and permissions, but beneath the apparent complexity, there is a schema-based system that, in combination with database roles and ownership-chaining, provides a relatively simple working solution.… Read more
01 April 2015
01 April 2015

How DBAs Can Adopt the Craftsman Mindset

The job of a DBA requires a fusion of skill and knowledge. To acquire this requires a craftsman mindset. Craftsmen find that the better they get at the work, the more enjoyable the work gets, and the more successful they become. Deliberate practice, Specialization and an appetite for overcoming difficulty are good habits to deliberately adopt to successfully grow those craftsmanlike skills to the point that you become "so good they can't ignore you".… Read more
18 March 2015
18 March 2015

Premature Scalability and the Root of All Evil

When you're designing an application, there is a temptation to build it to a super-scalable future-proof architecture, even when the immediate requirements can be met by a simple single-tier application that can exploit the pure power of IIS and SQL Server. Dino recounts the painful story of what happened when the gurus got their way.… Read more
18 March 2015
18 March 2015

Never Ignore a Sort Warning in SQL Server

It is always bad news if your SQL queries are having to use the SORT operator. It is worse news if you get a warning that sort operations are spilling onto TempDB. If you have a busy, slow TempDB, then the effect on performance can be awful. You should check your query plans to try to eliminate SORTs and never leave a SORT warning unheeded. Fabiano Amorim shows the range of ways of getting information on what is going on with a query that is doing a SORT and when requests are made for memory.… Read more
10 March 2015
10 March 2015

The Internet of Things: A New World Order?

Was the marketing hook 'The Internet of Things' conjured up before the technical definition? Are we being persuaded to spend money on fending off yet another fantasy tsunami of data? Already, we have televisions that listen to, and report, your conversations; so are we facing the Science Fiction future of gadgets that report where you go, who you visit and what medications you take? As Robert Sheldon says; "It's big, almost too big to get your arms around"… Read more
28 February 2015
28 February 2015

RWD, Mobile-first, JavaScript and Performance

The easiest way to make a responsive web application perform well is to minimize requests and the amount of data that is downloaded. The most dramatic way of doing this, for mobile applications particularly, is to download just the data you need to use. There are additional ways of doing this, such as 'Mobile first', Prioritized content, Intelligent markup and Compression, but the most important task is to minimize the data-download requirements.… Read more
04 February 2015
04 February 2015

Quick and Dirty Web Data-Binding

Sometimes, the sheer byzantine complexity of the typical JavaScript frameworks underlying a typical web application can give you pause for thought. If all you need is a simple way of creating a mobile-first application that involves creating simple markup templates, loading them into a DOM fragment and dynamically populating them with JSON data, then maybe a lean micro-framework like Mustache.JS would provide a better, leaner approach.… Read more
04 February 2015
04 February 2015

The Importance of Caching

Performance tuning and optimization definitely have their place in minimizing SQL Server Licensing costs - by helping keep CPU utilization low. But it's important to remember that the fastest and most efficient query possible is the one that you never execute against your SQL Server. That might sound trite, but it's at the heart of caching - which is key to helping organizations save significant money on SQL Server licensing costs while simultaneously enabling better application performance and increased scalability. … Read more
26 January 2015
26 January 2015

Bowled Over by SQL Window Functions

What better way to learn how to construct complex CHECK CONSTRAINTs, use the SQL 2012 window frame capability of the OVER clause and LEAD analytic function, as well as how to pivot rows into columns using a crosstab query? Create the SQL code to score Ten-pin Bowling, of course. Dwain Camps explains the how, what and why.… Read more
09 January 2015
09 January 2015

How to get ETL Horribly Wrong

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ETL ( Extract, transform, load) doesn't have to be like a spell on hell. To make a success of ETL systems, you need the freedom and ability to make graceful U-turns when you detect a mistake in architecture or configuration: to fix the root problem rather than to merely tackle the symptoms. Feodor lists the eight most common root causes of failure in ETL systems, and how to fix them.… Read more
06 January 2015
06 January 2015

SQL Server Reporting Services Basics: Deploying Reports

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Having designed and tested our reports, it's time to deploy them to the Report Server, so that our users can access them. Kathi Kellenberger demonstrates how to configure reports for native-mode deployment using Report Manager, and then deploy them from within SSDT-BI. She also explains how to use the Report Builder to provide "self-service" reporting to end users, allowing them to build custom reports based on report parts and shared datasets.… Read more
18 November 2014
18 November 2014

Bitwise Operations in T-SQL

How can you, in T-SQL, get a list of columns that have changed within a trigger? How can you see what bits are set within a varbinary or integer? How would you pass a bitmap parameter to a system stored procedure? Phil Factor shows how, introduces the bitwise operations, illustrates ways of peeking at bit-level operations, and explains the concepts behind the coding of integer datatypes.… Read more