Learn about Dimensional Modeling with Dan Bulos
BI Expert Dan Bulos will speak at the Bay Area Microsoft Business Intelligence User Group on Thursday, February 4, 2016 in San Francisco. We’ll meet at the Microsoft Reactor at 680 Folsom Street.
According to Dan, Dimensional Modeling (DM) is the de facto standard for the design of databases for BI reporting & analytics. Regardless of whether a database is a data warehouse used for
reporting or an OLAP cube or advanced analytics, DM should be the basis for the data model.
Dan will cover the fundamentals of DM along with best practices in designing and implementing the data model. Additionally, he will cover practical situations that require “breaking the rules” of DM and how to implement solutions to these problems.
Speaker Dan Bulos has over 25 years of experience consulting with Fortune 500 companies on using analytical systems and has provided strategic consulting on new product features and directions to leading software vendors. A featured speaker at BI and data warehouse conferences in the US and Europe, Dan is a recognized authority on multidimensional database technology.
Partitioning Basics at the January 2016 Silicon Valley Data Platform User Group
Join us on January 19th for Partitioning Basics when Brandon Leach of SurveyMonkey will show how to make your tables speedier and more manageable.
With partitioning, you can break a table or index down into smaller, more manageable chunks. It can help you perform maintenance on just part of a table or index. You can even move data in and out of tables with quick and easy metadata only operations.
Do you have tables and indexes that have grown really large? Are you moving around a lot more data than you used to? Are your windows for jobs and maintenance getting tighter? If you answered yes to any of these questions, partitioning may be for you!
Brandon will go over basic partitioning concepts and demo some cool tricks around index maintenance and data movement.
- How partitioning works, including the components of table partitioning and how they fit together
- How to make your index maintenance partition aware
- How Partition elimination can help your queries
- How to split different parts of tables over different storage tiers
- How to manage partitions, such as the sliding window technique
- How and when to implement partitioning
Brandon Leach is a Senior DBA at SurveyMonkey.
Real Data Science Series
In the next chapter of our Real Data Science series, Fabian Pascal returns to talk about his favorite topic. According to Fabian, in the early 70’s E. F. Codd provided a very precise, formal definition of a table in its normal form. Any table not so normalized was in violation of the RDM and not considered a R-table. But you are unlikely to have encountered that definition. Instead you probably heard about “repeating groups”, “simple domains” and “atomic values”, neither of which are formal relational concepts. C. J. Date rejected them, but provided a 1NF definition different than Codd’s. And you probably think that the same design principle underlies all normal forms, but 1NF is somewhat distinct.
Please join us at this free meeting of the San Francisco Microsoft Data Platform User Group. We’ll meet on January 13th at 6:30 pm at the Microsoft Reactor on Folsom Street in San Francisco. Learn more and RSVP.
• Normalization vs. further normalization
• Repeating Groups
• Simple domains and atomic values
• SQL and 1NF
Fabian Pascal is an independent author, educator and consultant specializing in data fundamentals and the relational model. He taught and consulted at the business and academic levels and presented extensively at industry events. He published hundreds of articles in the trade media and is working on his fourth book and is working on his fourth book. Clients include IBM, Census Bureau, CIA, Apple, UCSF, Golden Gate University and IRS, among others. Since 2000 he has been founder, editor and publisher of Database Debunkings blog and the Practice Database Foundations series of seminars and papers, dedicated to making data fundamentals accessible to data practitioners without compromising theoretical rigor or losing the audience.
Microsoft Power BI December 2015 Updates Win “Editors Choice” Award from PC Magazine
Since the release of Microsoft Power BI v2 at the end of July, the pace of change has been blistering! At the January 7th meeting of the Bay Area Microsoft BI User Group, Josh Vickery of Microsoft will explain how the Microsoft Power BI December 2015 changes could affect your BI strategy. Josh will walk us through the product topology. He’ll also cover the integration of SQL 2016 with Power BI as a hybrid deployment strategy.
Recently, Power BI added new updates which improve formatting and visualizations in addition to changes and improvements to in the Report Authoring functions. Other new features include a Preview Feature, improved data tables, an optimized Home ribbon layout, new data modeling, more options to control data connectivity. Microsoft is targeting business analysts with the updated features, and says you can “bring your data to life with Power BI and Excel”.
• About Power BI implementation architectures
• How to build a live dashboard
• How to build, deploy, and share interactive dashboards in your organization.
Power BI was originally designed to enable users to explore and analyze data, and then publish charts and graphs on new BI sites, in an effort to democratize business intelligence. It’s an easy self-service business intelligence tool. It’s free for most users, and is continually expanding and adding new features. According to PC Magazine, “what started as primarily an add-in for the Microsoft ecosystem has now developed into a more fully functional package that ranks at the top of the self-service BI space”.
Speaker Joshua Vickery has been with Microsoft for eight years, first as a SQL Premier Field Engineer, and now as a BI Technical Specialist focusing on Visual Analytics. He is based in the Bay Area.
The DesignMind Profisee partnership is official.
“We’re happy to announce the new DesignMind Profisee partnership”, says DesignMind CEO Mark Ginnebaugh. Profisee is a leading master data management software company with enterprise clients including Aflac, Dominos Pizza, and Revlon.
We’re adding Profisee’s Master Data Maestro suite to our data analytics offerings under our Microsoft Solutions portfolio. The partnership was finalized in December 2015 under the direction of Profisee MDM expert John McAllister.
According to Mark Ginnebaugh, “Our goal is to help our clients organize, integrate, and harness their data to uncover valuable insights and make successful decisions. We help our clients solve their most complex and important business challenges. Adding Maestro to our Microsoft-based data management solutions enables us to incorporate best-in-class master data management techniques and tools for transforming raw data into meaningful and useful information.”
The evolution of “Big Data” has made master data management (MDM) tools essential. MDM helps businesses augment traditional transactional and reference data with the broad-ranging intelligence potentially available from external big data sources. The DesignMind Profisee partnership brings together DesignMind’s broad-ranging big data, data science, and business intelligence skillbase with Profisee’s state-of-the-art MDM software solutions. Profisee delivers to enterprise customers worldwide, while DesignMind focuses on clients in California and the Western U.S.
Profisee CMO Jeff Wilson says, “We’re very pleased to announce our partnership with DesignMind. Their proven expertise in providing Microsoft-based big data, business intelligence, and data science solutions to their clients makes them the perfect partner to deliver value-driven Master Data Maestro solutions.”
Profisee is a master data management software company focused on delivering enterprise-grade MDM capabilities through its Master Data Maestro software suite. As a Microsoft Gold Application Development Partner, Profisee has a worldwide reputation for Master Data Management expertise and competence with Microsoft Master Data Services.
What’s New with Big Data Analytics with Revolution R?
Big Data Analytics is the new buzzword throughout the business world. During the last decade, the momentum coming from both academia and industry has lifted the R programming language to become one of the most important tools for computational statistics, visualization and data science. Now, big data analytics with Revolution R Enterprise is opening lot of new doors.
Until now, an open-source R had significant capacity, scalability and performance limitations in working with large datasets. Primarily because R programs are executed in a single thread, and all data used in computations must be stored completely in memory.
Revolution Analytics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft, has addressed these capacity, performance, and scalability challenges with Revolution R Enterprise big data analytics platform. It offers high-performance, scalable, enterprise-capable analytics, and supports a variety of analytical capabilities including exploratory data analysis, model building, and model deployment. Plus, you can build dashboards, create custom reports, and provide analytics results to your operations, financial and marketing teams.
You’ll learn about:
- The architecture of Revolution R Enterprise (RRE)
- RRE’s deployment options: from powerful workstations to clusters and grid
Jarek will also give a live demo of SQL Server 2016 R Services.
Jarek Kazmierczak is a Principal Enterprise Strategist at Microsoft. He recently relocated from the MTC in Toronto to the MTC in Mountain View. Jarek is an accomplished architect with experience in enterprise architecture, technology strategy, solution architecture, enterprise solutions, product management, program management, and software development.
What’s the Scoop on these Database as a Service vendors?
On November 11th in San Francisco, you can learn all about the newest “Database as a Service” products from Amazon and Microsoft Azure. These are the leading SQL Server DBaaS Windows Azure Database as a service vendors, and they have the most complete offerings to date.
DaaS provides developers with reliable, easy-to-scale, low-cost computing platforms “in the cloud.” Companies are attracted to DaaS because they can provide large computing capacity more quickly and more cheaply than building an actual physical server farms. SQL Server DBA Scott McCormick of Pythian will explain the pros and cons of these new services. As you probably know, Amazon, Microsoft, VMWare, and many other companies are opening up their “database as a service” products to the general public. They’re coming and you need to be ready.
Amazon Web Services offers a broad set of global compute, storage, database, analytics, application, and deployment services that help organizations move faster, lower IT costs, and scale applications. These services are power many types of workloads including web and mobile applications, IoT, data processing and warehousing, storage, and archives.
- Current DBaaS flavors and their futureAmazon Web Services Database as a Service
- Use cases for DBaaS instances
- Security Best Practices for a DBaaS environment
- Pros & Cons of Amazon & Microsoft DBaaS
- How to migrate your database
- Migration tool procedures for AWS
- Microsoft’s Azure migration tool in SSMS
Learn how to quickly improve the quality and control of your data
Join us at the Microsoft office in San Francisco to learn about Master Data and Master Data Management. At the November 2015 meeting of the Bay Area Microsoft Business Intelligence User Group, MDM expert John McAllister of Profisee will explain the hazards of working with bad master data and how you can quickly improve the quality and control of critical data assets in your organization.
John will demonstrate Microsoft MDS and Profisee Maestro and also fix incorrect analytic results on the fly. You’ll learn how you can easily cleanse and match customer records, and at the same time launch a stewardship process to continually improve your data quality.
Properly managed master data delivers a 360⁰ view of corporate information for improved operational efficiency, better process performance, greater customer satisfaction, plus better decision-making and regulatory compliance.
- How bad master data (your dimensions, reference data, customer lists, product catalogs, etc.) may be causing errors in your business intelligence results
- How several companies have started Master Data Management practices in a resistant or indifferent organization and some of the best practices to get started
- How to develop and deploy a matching strategy to correct your data
- How data quality operations can improve the ability to manage dimensions and improve match results
- How improved data quality, data stewardship and data sharing can impact your operational systems and analytical reporting
- How to improve your business intelligence outcomes and decisions
Speaker John McAllister is Regional Sales Director for Profisee, a master data management and data quality software company. Profisee delivers enterprise-grade MDM capabilities through its Master Data Maestro software suite. Profisee also has industry models for metadata management for healthcare, insurance, oil & gas, and retail to greatly speed up delivery of a master data management solution.
Learn About Azure Machine Learning with a Microsoft Expert
Azure Machine Learning in the cloud allows you to easily build, deploy, and share advanced analytics solutions. It’s no wonder that Machine Learning is dramatically impacting the way organizations derive value from data. However, it can be challenging and costly due to skillset shortages and expensive and complex tooling. Azure Machine Learning (ML) solves these problems with its easily accessible experience for data scientists of all skill levels.
- Fundamental machine learning concepts
- Data science process and key challenges facing aspiring data scientists
- Common data science workflows
- The end-to-end process of building, evaluating, fine-tuning and deploying a scalable predictive analytics solution using Azure ML
- Azure Machine Learning (ML) service capabilities
This session is an introduction to Machine Learning and Azure ML. It’s for people who want to start exploring ML or aspiring data scientists. for example, BI professionals who want to progress to more advanced analytics.
Speaker Jarek Kazmierczak is a Principal Enterprise Strategist at Microsoft. He is a seasoned architect with more than 20 years of experience in information management, advanced analytics, enterprise architecture, and technology strategy.
Learn How PowerShell Can Easily Automate Your Daily Tasks
PowerShell is an automation platform and scripting language for Windows Server that can simplify the management of your systems. According to Paul Filmalter, PowerShell and SQL Server are a great combination. Why? We all know when we deal with more and more instances that automation is the way to go. Powershell provides that automation platform in an easy and effective way. Most of the session will be demonstrations including Paul’s latest script to capture (SQL Server Information) and build a report in Excel by using his own Objects.
- The most Important CMDLETS in Powershell – Powershell will do the talking.*
- How to automate tasks in SQL by using Powershell including three ways connecting to SQL Server.
- Creating a new database, creating a table, adding data to this table and returning the records.
- Running Powershell in SQL Server Automated
* In PowerShell, administrative tasks are typically performed by cmdlets (pronounced command-lets), which are specialized .NET classes implementing a particular operation.
Speaker Paul Johann Filmalter is a Senior Premier Field engineer at Microsoft. He provides Microsoft customers with superior Data management, troubleshooting, and performance related skills in SQL Server, Powershell and .NET. He also assists customers with debugging and code reviews to ensure effective code and reliable information systems.
Pravina Parthasarthy, Senior BI Consultant at DesignMind, will cover how to use the SSAS tool to build cubes, analyze datasets, and build up to the usage of SSAS on terabyte-sized datasets. You’ll learn the basics about data modeling and will go through some best practices for designing a good OLAP * cube. She’ll also discuss straightforward techniques that you can use in dealing with such large datasets.
You’ll see how easy it is to use the SSAS tool and its inherent advantages while also using reporting tools. Finally you’ll get to see a terrific demo of an SSAS Data Warehouse.
- The basics of a good data model design for an OLAP structure
- Points to remember while designing the dimension and fact structures of the DW
- How to process the cube efficiently
- The basics of achieving good query performance with a large dataset
* OLAP is an acronym for online analytical processing, a computer-based technique for analyzing business data in the search for business intelligence.
Pravina Parthasarthy started off as an electrical engineer before realizing her true passion was data and analysis. While at Yahoo, Pravina was in charge of the largest OLAP cube in the world. Her professional interests include SSAS, SQL Server, and the how to manage ultra large datasets.
Speaker: Database Legend Fabian Pascal
As usual with the hyping of fads such as Big Data all you hear is the “huge opportunities for enterprises to gain hitherto unimagined insights”. On the other hand, you hear very little about the potential to tell enterprises really big lies, which can rise from 100% correct data in poorly designed databases.
According to well-known database expert Fabian Pascal, most data professionals know that relational databases consist of tables, but so what? Provably correct query results are guaranteed if, and only if, R-tables are well-designed and properly constrained.
Unfortunately, more often than not tables are neither, which makes databases harder to understand, risks operations that don’t make sense, or results that are hard to interpret, or outright wrong. This is exacerbated by SQL DBMS’s that tolerate poorly designed tables and apply incorrect operations. Join us at the Silicon Valley SQL Server Group in Mountain View in September to learn more.
- Tables – So what?
- Provably correct query results: How?
- 5NF R-tables Without Normalization
- The Price of Poor Table Design
Fabian Pascal is a consultant to large software vendors such as IBM, Oracle, and Borland, but is better known as an author and seminar speaker. He lives in the San Francisco and works in association with Christopher J. Date. You can check out his frequently updated blog, Database Debunkings, here. Oracle blogger Jeff Kemp calls Database Debunkings, “a fresh blast of cool air in a world that continues to be inundated by fads and misconceptions”.
Mr. Pascal is known for his sharp criticisms of the database industry and trade press. He believes in strict adherence to the principles of the relational model, and argues that departing from the model in the name of pragmatism is responsible for significant data management troubles.
Learn about Girls Who Code, a national nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and engineering. GWC works to educate, inspire, and equip high school girls with the skills and resources to pursue opportunities in computing fields. This presentation is on September 9, 2015 at the Microsoft office in San Francisco.
Girls Who Code has developed a new model for computer science education, pairing intensive instruction in robotics, web design, and mobile development with high-touch mentorship from female engineers and entrepreneurs.
West Coast Director Salleha Chaudhry will tell us about GWC programs at schools and corporations. You’ll also hear from recent Girls Who Code graduates.
- About Girls Who Code high school clubs and summer internships
- About actual summer 2015 projects at Intuit and Pixar
- How your company can get involved
- How your daughter can become a Girl Who Codes!
Highly-renowned Business Intelligence consultant Dan Bulos joins us at the Bay Area Microsoft Business Intelligence User Group meeting on September 3, 2015. Dan sits on the Microsoft BI Partner Advisory Council. He’s a recognized authority on analytical database technology and how to best use it to provide real-world solutions for business users. According to Dan, creating a Reporting Services report that provides dynamic layout (using PivotTable-like features ) has its challenges. Dan will give us a look at a dynamic layout project and explain the techniques and tricks he used.
You’ll learn about:
- Dynamic row & column layout
- On-The-Fly attribute reporting hierarchies (even across dimensions)
- Across dimensions other than measure (matrix reports are too slow)
- Dealing with numeric formatting (harder in an ad hoc environment)
- Adding a little more intelligence (% of total not useful for Gross Margin%)
- Dealing with multi-tenancy
Joshua Vickery of Microsoft will demystify the Microsoft Power BI stack at the June 2015 meeting of the Bay Area Microsoft Business Intelligence User Group. In Zero To Dashboard In Sixty Minutes, Josh will discuss on-premise solutions including Excel plugins and SharePoint integration as well as the new cloud-based Power BI Preview.
You’ll learn about Power BI as Josh gives a hands-on demo.
- The components of Power BI and how they work together
- How to guide customers to choosing the right implementation path
- How to quickly create interactive dashboards and how to publish them to SharePoint or the Power BI Preview portal
Power BI and Big Data were the hot topics at at SQLSaturday Silicon Valley. Angel Abundez and Andrew Eichenbaum presented to standing room only crowds at SQLSaturday Silicon Valley on March 28, 2015. The event was at the Microsoft Technology Center in Mountain View, CA.
“Automating Power BI Creations” focused on how to build and automate data sets and data models in Excel using the Power BI toolset. Angel Abundez pulled data from a variety of on-premise and cloud data sources to show the latest capabilities of Power Query and Power Pivot. Angel is VP, Business Intelligence at DesignMind in San Francisco. You can learn more about Microsoft Power BI in his article Power BI: 5 Things You Need to Know Now.
“Big Data & Data Science – How to Get Past the Hype and into a Team” drew a huge crowd. Andrew Eichenbaum, VP of Data Science, discussed the different roles available for this currently hot career path and talked about the qualifications around each of the roles on Big Data and Data Science teams. Finally, he provided starting points and pointers on how to get started in these fields. You can learn more about data science career paths in Andrew’s blog post Hiring a Data Science Team: Types of Data Scientists.
In an ongoing effort to provide world class Big Data solutions to Cloudera customers, DesignMind is pleased to announce our Cloudera Silver Partner status as a Cloudera System Integration partner. This new status recognizes our commitment to mastering Cloudera technologies, through training and certification testing, in addition to our extensive Cloudera field experience. DesignMind joins Accenture, CapGemini, Deloitte, IBM, and other consulting firms in the system integration program. The Cloudera Connect partner certification program is the most comprehensive in the Hadoop market. You can learn about the partner program on the Cloudera Connect partner page.
Cloudera is a Palo Alto-based enterprise software company that provides Apache Hadoop-based software, support and services, and training to data driven enterprises. It has the largest ecosystem of companies developing, integrating and deploying technology on Apache Hadoop than any other vendor in the Big Data market.
“Our enhanced partnership with Cloudera pairs their leading-class product with our extensive professional services expertise, allowing us to deliver greater value to Cloudera customers,” said Mark Ginnebaugh, CEO of DesignMind in San Francisco. DesignMind is a data analytics consulting firm specializing in data architecture and analysis. Its technical experts specialize in Business Intelligence, Data Platform, Data Science, Custom Development, and Technical Staffing.
Angel Abundez will give a three hour presentation on “Managing Self-Service BI in SharePoint 2013” at the PASS Summit in Seattle on November 7, 2014. Angel, VP Business Intelligence at DesignMind, will show how Power Pivot and Power View contain a powerful combination of data analytics modeling and data visualization with Excel 2013. He’ll cover how teams can best leverage self-service capabilities to enhance corporate BI models, data sources, and reporting.
Code Camp is a free, two-day community event on October 11-12, 2014 at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills.
Andrew Eichenbaum of DesignMind will present Hiring a Big Data and Data Science Team at 1:45 pm on Saturday.
The Bay Area’s largest SQL Server event of the year is back on March 15, 2014 at the Microsoft Technology Center in Mountain View. SQLSaturday is a free training event for everyone interested in learning about SQL Server, Business Intelligence & Big Data with a focus in the Microsoft SQL Server platform and related Microsoft technologies. It will feature sessions on SQL Server 2014, Database Administration, Development, Business Intelligence, and Big Data. This is a free event, hosted by DesignMind and Microsoft.
DesignMind president Mark Ginnebaugh was named one of Microsoft’s SQL Server MVPs for the third consecutive year. Microsoft created the Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award to recognize exceptional, independent community leaders who share their passion, technical expertise, and real-world knowledge of Microsoft products with others.
Two key members of DesignMind’s Microsoft Business Intelligence team are speaking at SQL Saturday #144, being held in Sacramento, California on July 28, 2012. Mark Gschwind, Vice President of Business Intelligence, will be speaking on Master Data Services in SQL Server 2012. Angel Abundez, Lead Business Intelligence Consultant, will be speaking on Mobile BI with SSRS and SharePoint.
DesignMind is a Platinum Sponsor for this free learning event.
DesignMind Lead BI Consultant Angel Abundez will be speaking at the PASS Summit 2012. The conference is organized by the Professional Association for SQL Server, and is the premier annual conference for SQL Server and Microsoft Business Intelligence professionals.
Angel will be speaking on one of his favorite topics, Mobile BI with SSRS and SharePoint. Here is a description of his talk.
Today’s executives and information workers want to use mobile devices to get at their business information so they can make critical decisions and thrive. Let’s help them get there with SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and SharePoint.
Tablets and smart phones are ubiquitous, but are we making effective use of them? We•ll discuss the design approach to launch mission-critical dashboards and reports on smaller screen sizes using touch-screen technology. We’ll look at iPad and Windows Phone, SSRS, and SharePoint from the perspectives of BI developers and business users, with an emphasis on data visualization best practices.
Attendees will learn about:
- Current mobile apps that deliver BI on the Microsoft platform
- Pros and cons of each delivery type
- Resources for mobile BI development
- How to design SSRS reports for mobile devices
- How to design PerformancePoint dashboards for mobile devices
- Administering cloud services for SQL Server and SSRS
DesignMind Achieves Gold Partner status in the Microsoft Partner Network.
According to DesignMind President and SQL Server MVP Mark Ginnebaugh, “This designation is an honor for our organization. It reflects our team’s dedication to our clients, and Microsoft’s outstanding Data Platform, SQL Server, and helps establish DesignMind as a leading SQL Server consulting firm in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and the Western United States.”
DesignMind is teaming with Microsoft as Launch Partners for Silicon Valey’s largest ever SQL Server and Microsoft Business Intelligence conference. The event, being held at Microsoft’s Technology Center in Mountain View, has 700 registrants, 6 educational tracks, and almost 40 top technical speakers.
DesignMind President Mark Ginnebaugh has organized this free learning event, along with Ross Mistry of Microsoft. Mark will be giving welcoming remarks at the event.
DesignMind’s President, Mark Ginnebaugh, has been recognized by Microsoft as a Most Valuable Professional for SQL Server. This achievement is awarded annually to less than 300 SQL Server Professionals worldwide.
DesignMind is a Microsoft Gold Partner for Data Platform, and has one of the strongest SQL Server consulting teams in the San Francisco Bay Area.
DesignMind President Mark Ginnebaugh has been appointed to the board of directors for the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS). PASS is an international technical community focused on Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft’s Business Intelligence tools.
PASS has more than 75,000 members, and 217 local chapters worldwide. Mark will serve as Director of Global Chapters, helping Chapter Leaders and Regional Mentors continue to grow and reach more members of the SQL Server community.
From PASS President Rushabh Mehta, “The PASS Board is very pleased that Mark Ginnebaugh will be joining the board. His commitment to our community can be seen by his leadership of the Bay Area SQL Server Community. His insights and efforts will be invaluable.”