Wednesday, June 29, 2011

BI Book – Excel as BI Front-End Tool

I’m very happy to announce that finally I submit the chapter for the next MVP Deep Dives Book that I’m a co-author with some other MVP professionals around the world. The book will be published next October and for sure I’ll give you here more news about it.

The chapter I wrote, explains the construction of an Excel Dashboard from an IT and Business perspective in a retail sector scenario. It was not intended to explain the best way to create a dashboard for the retail sector, but to describe some tips and tricks for a low-cost dashboard using a familiar tool commonly implemented across organizations: Excel.

Excel 2010 seems to be the strongest candidate to be chosen as preferable tool. It's certainly true that Excel 2010 doesn't yet have the design features of some BI Front-End competitors, but the low cost and welcome acceptance from end users are big advantages to it. Naturally, there are huge commercial interests in favour of more robust solutions that generally stand by their promises, but in turn, the return on the investment (ROI) is the question.

Excel Dashboard
The dashboard created along the chapter is shown in the previous figure. I highlight the fact that beyond this dashboard, information is centralized inside an OLAP cube, and the dashboard was created without any line of code! At one hand, you make IT department satisfied (because they still control data quality, data governance…) and at another hand, business has the freedom to create their own dashboards and reports not only through Excel 2010, but also through Report Builder 3.0.

All the money from the book sales will be donated to charity. And the organization selected by almost co-authors of this book is the
Operation Smile. I hope you buy this book to learn new things but also to help to make the difference for these children! For those interested in doing more charity work, check out Social Work Degree.

Operation Smile
I'll keep you informed about book published date!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

BI Tools - Cumulative Update #8 for SQL 2008 R2

Dear Friends,
Just to inform you that a new cumulative update was released today! If you use SQL 2008 R2 version don´t forget to update it with these new fixes.

Take a look a the full details here:
CU#8 KB Article:

Previous Cumulative Update KB Articles:
CU#7 KB Article:
CU#6 KB Article:
CU#5 KB Article:
CU#4 KB Article:
CU#3 KB Article:
CU#2 KB Article:
CU#1 KB Article:

Follow all Microsoft SQL Server Release Services here:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

BI Blog - Four Years Blogging - Thank You!

Four years blogging! For me it’s simple amazing!
I started this challenge 4 years ago (May 2007) when few people known what a blog is! I always kept in mind that this place is just for write about BI and never to make money with banners with commercial purposes. My goal was always to spread BI world and never disappoint you with other intentions like earning money with this.

Almost 100.000 page views for a blog without adult content or illegal download links, it’s for me absolutely positive. I know that there are several points to review and improve, but it’s all about stop for a while and decide to focus on it.

Naturally without the support of special persons, I couldn’t arrive here. I highlight the following important persons, who directly or indirectly make this blog still alive:
- The ISCTE students from MSIAD and MEI master degrees classes
- The UPT students from post-graduate BI classes (1º and 2º Editions)
- The Ensiguarda students from MBA classes
- My dear teacher Maria José Trigueiros
- All the persons that believed in me and always encouraged me to continue on this challenge
- All blog visitors!!

Some numbers...

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This place will continue to be a meeting point for all those persons that have the same passion as me for Business Intelligence.

I promise you that I’ll never stop

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

BI Book – Free Data Quality and MDM SQL e-book

Well… here am I again with another free e-book… and this time a Data Quality (DQ) and master data management (MDM) book using SQL 2008 R2! The book was written by my MVP colleagues Dejan Sarka and Davide Mauri. It’s for sure an amazing book that you should not miss! I’ll start reading soon!

"This book deals with master data. It explains how we can recognize our master data. It stresses the importance of a good data model for data integrity. It shows how we can find areas of bad or suspicious data. It shows how we can proactively enforce better data quality and make an authoritative master data source through a specialized Master Data Management application. It also shows how we can tackle the problems with duplicate master data and the problems with identity mapping from different databases in order to create a unique representation of the master data.

For all the tasks mentioned in this book, we use the tools that are available in the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 suite. In order to achieve our goal—good quality of our data—nearly any part of the suite turns to be useful. This is not a beginner’s book. We, the authors, suppose that you, the readers, have quite good knowledge of SQL Server Database Engine, .NET, and other tools from the SQL Server suite.

Achieving good quality of your master data is not an easy task. We hope this book will help you with this task and serve you as a guide for practical work and as a reference manual whenever you have problems with master data"

I hope you enjoy it!


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