Tuesday, December 29, 2009

BI Dissertation – Master degree done!

Finally I got my master degree on Decision Support Systems/ Business Intelligence. It was almost 2 years and half and finally I defended my dissertation yesterday. I want to thank all those people who always encouraged me to “fight” for this and special thanks to my supervised Dr. Orlando Belo (Universidade do Minho – Portugal), Steve Vanstone (Bonds University – Australia) and Dr. Chong (Chinese University of Hong Kong – China). (Check out the previous post I wrote about the dissertation here)

Check below the abstract of my dissertation that I’m thinking to translate to English for sending to all those people around the world that gave me feedback about their works and some support to my dissertation.

"In the current economic environment, the value of information is increasingly important in the habits and customs of each citizen. Prices per barrel of oil, Euribor rates, equity indexes, inflation rate, among others, arrive everyday at our homes through the media. Their study is increasingly important, especially by the need to identify their impact on our daily quotidian.

The application of Data Mining (DM) techniques, in an attempt to predict the movement of the stock market, has never been a very well accepted, mainly by economists and the academic world. It is an area of high complexity, and the fact that it involves money, mean that their research, especially successful, is not made public. However, these techniques exist, and are increasingly used not only in financial markets, but also in practically all other activity sectors.

This dissertation begins by making an approach to the complex world of the stock market, in an attempt to demystify it a little. Subsequently, based on investment rules normally applied by practitioners, it’s presented a model of an artificial neural network, which provides in a daily basis, the decision to buy, hold or sell a particular asset, supported by a decision support system to monitor and analyze the evolution of the made decisions."

Keywords: Decision Support Systems, Data Mining, Knowledge Discovery in Data, Business Intelligence, ETL, Data Warehousing

I also added some screenshots of dissertation presentation I made yesterday… if you’ll be curious about the data mining model results, just tell me and I will translate all slides.

Dissertation AgendaDissertation problem
Dissertation Problem 2Dissertation ObjectivesDissertation OverviewDissertation Future Work
I hope you enjoy this. Regards,

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas
It is time to relax with the family and take care of those who truly love us and be forever on our side!
Merry christmas to you and to all your family.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

BI Tools - First Look to Excel 2010

Create Dashboards never been so easy ... the new version of Excel 2010 (Beta) is really amazing. Exploration of a multidimensional cube has never been so intuitive and simple like it is now. The image below shows a simple dashboard that I made in this new version in 20 minutes for the Northwind database sample...

Excel Dashboard
There still are some features to improve in this version, anyway, the new features promise to make the life of the decision maker easier... and now, I sincerely believe that the democratization of business intelligence is beginning, and finally Business Intelligence will soon be available to all employees of an organization. And all because Excel is the best known tool in the world, where almost users who use a computer, know what Excel is and what Excel do. Many BI Vendors know it, and began to build few years ago, add-ins for Excel in order to take advantage of some previous limitations of Excel. And a question arises ... will these small businesses survive the constant improvement of Excel? Only time will tell whether they will be able to adapt or not with new solutions... I really hope so, becausee this small companies do a big important job… and Microsoft knows that!

Excel Slicer Excel Sparkline
As the most interesting features from Excel 2010, I highlight the slicers, the “sparklines”, and the possibility of creating Named Sets through Excel. The Slicers lets you visually filter the data in a PivotTable and quickly extract exactly the data you're looking for. Slicers can be moved and resized like charts and graphs. And each slicer could be connected to several pivot tables… for me it’s really amazing this feature. The “sparklines” is a copy of some products made before by XLCubed (check the SQL Bits session where XLCubed presented “Microcharts”) and it’s in a very early stage. And the last feature that I highlight today, is the possibility to create named sets from Excel, grouping a set of items and several other features like customize MDX statements of a pivot table.

I hope this post was helpfull to you.
regards, Pedro

Saturday, December 12, 2009

BI Guest Corner - Prospecting Like a Prostitute

I like too much learning through analogies, and for that reason today I come with a very interesting and comic analogy, created by Erik Luhrs who deserves a reference in this corner. In business Intelligence, (the main subject of this blog), sometimes we forget that all the work that is done in a business intelligence system has a main purpose… get more money (value) through good decisions that came’s in actions focused in the customers. And in this video, you get a fundamental lesson that you should always follow, target your audiences!!! And target your audiences with analytics…a sub-system of Business Intelligence System.
Prospecting Like a Prostitute
“Sometimes the greatest lessons are in the places you’d never think to look. In this video Erik Luhrs will show how workers in “the world’s oldest profession” still have some sales lessons to teach even the most professional and polished salespeople of today”

Monday, November 30, 2009

BI StepByStep - SSIS Calling a WebService (Option 1)

Dear Friends,
There is lot of issues in the EE and MSDN communities relating to calling a webservice from SSIS. For thatSSIS Calling a WebService reason, I decided to write a new technical paper concerning to the subject.

And as I told before, technical papers and discussions, will be posted on the BI Community (http://www.biresort.net/)

And you can also directly download each paper from here:


StepByStep - SSIS Calling a WebService with Web Service Task (Added 30-11-2009)

I hope It can help you!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

BI Certifications - CBIP/TDWI Certifications done!

I started writing this post on the return trip to Portugal. It was a very enriching and experience trip, which I reached one more objective I had in mind for more than two years. I passed the four exams and got the specialization in Business Analytics and Data Management provided by The Data Warehouse Institute (TDWI - www.TDWI.org)

To whom I dedicate this achievement...I'd like to dedicate the achievement of this goal, besides of course my family and girlfriend who accompanied me on this trip to Germany, two very special persons.
Maria Jose TrigueirosFirstly, to Mrs. Maria José Trigueiros for all messages and follow that gave me along the master. Secondly, to my master adviser Mr. Orlando Belo, who accompanied me on a daily basis during the dissertation. These two persons, directly and indirectly supported me in the last two years, and for sure without them, it would be difficult to maintain my motivation and strength to deepen my knowledge in this amazing world of Business Intelligence.

The exams…Relating to the exams, what I felt was that in fact, the level of difficulty is high and mainly because there is less than a minute to answer to each question. There are 110 questions to be answered in 90 minutes ... Each question has 4 possible answers, where two of them are usually very similar and can be confusing ... When the "mother" language is not English, is even more complicated because some questions and their answers are long.

Fortunately, I was lucky to begin with the apparently the less complicated exam to make, and it allowed me to understand the time management that should be looked at, in order to do other exams. To get an idea, in the first exam when I had only 5 minutes to finish, I had 20 questions to answer... it was an authentic stress and the last question was answered over the last second ... There's no time to think and go back to review the answers ... that is, or you known the answer and quickly respond to a question, or it will be better to go ahead to next question!

It is difficult to describe the best way to prepare for the exams ... Normally the scope of a normal exam it’s a well-defined scope and the issues are related to the context and usually reading a book or two is enough. But in CBIP/TDWI exams it is quite different... you need to have a real-world experience and read several (many) books. But for the preparation and bibliography to make the CBIP exams, I’ll prepare/describe in a future post.
I made and passed in four exams: Information Systems (core), Data Warehouse (core), Business Analytics and Data Management that turns me a specialized professional in Business Analytics and Data Management. The more complicated exam was the Information Systems which is too much technical and detailed.

TDWI Germany Centre...It all started at 8:00 in the morning of last Friday (06-Nov-2009)... in the TDWI Germany centre, located about 30 km’s from Cologne (Germany) where I was accommodated with my girlfriend Joana.
The facilities of the centre are very good and the staff really fantastic, especially Simmone and Mr. Guenter Fuhrmeister, CEO of SIGS DATACOM (TDWI Partner) ... They both received me very well and they greatly reduced my stress caused by so many tests on the same day. In addition to all the sympathy and coffees, snacks, drinks, and others... they offered me an amazing book that I will start reading during this week, wrote by Frank Buytendijk. (Click on the book image to preview the book)

The Cologne city...Cologne (German: Köln) is Germany's fourth-largest city after Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, and is the largest city both in the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than 10 million habitants. It is one of the oldest cities in Germany, having been founded by the Romans in the year 30 BC.
Cologne lies on the Rhine. The city's world famous Cologne Cathedral (Kölne
r Dom) is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishopric of Cologne. The University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln) is one of Europe's oldest universities and internationally renowned for its economics department.
(reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cologne)

The party...At the end it was the party where my princess Joana was waiting for me at the in Cologne... we started enjoy this fabulous city with some of the advices given by Simone. We were focused mainly in the shopping area and near the Rhine river. It is a beautiful city with an intense movement of people not only in the shopping area, but also in the restaurants and bars area. We attend, almost every day, to a Cuban bar where we drank exotic drinks as capiroska, mojito and others!

My sensation is that I’ll return to Germany to take the other CBIP specializations very soon... I hope this post was helpful to you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

BI Certification - CBIP Exams

Dear friends,
Passed almost a month after the last time I wrote here ... In fact last month has been very hard… and the next also promised with several projects in mind. And one of these projects that I've been thinking for more than 2 years… is the world Business Intelligence certification (CBIP) provided by TDWI.

The TDWI (The Data Warehousing Institute™) was founded in 1995 and provides education, training, certification, news, and research for executives and information technology (IT) professionals worldwide.

Next 6 November 2009, I’ll be in Germany to take the CBIP exams for at least one of the 5 key specialities.

– Leadership & Management
– Business Analytics
– Data Analysis & Design
– Data Integration
– Administration & Technology

I’ll try 3 specialities exams, plus 2 other exams that are required and common to all specialities:

Information Systems
Data Warehousing

I have a lot of subjects to write… I’ll promise (once again) that I’ll be more often writing here…

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BI Certifications - Microsoft Certification Discounts

It’s show time!!!… Now is a great time to take Microsoft certification programs. Microsoft announces that will be offering until the final of this year a discount up to 25%, in their exams. There are two certification Microsoft paths in Business Intelligence area, the MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) and MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) that are under discount… don’t hesitate… schedule right now the exam through this link
I’ll do the SQL 2008 exams in the first week of November 2009… join me!

Certification on SQL 2005 version
Exam 70-445 (MCTS BI)
Exam 70-445 + Exam 70-446 (MCITP BI)

Certification on SQL 2008 version
Exam 70-448 (MCTS BI)
Exam 70-448 + Exam 70-452 (MCITP BI)


Saturday, September 12, 2009

BI Conference - Business Analytics Summit

Next November 2009 (12-13) will take place a promising conference about business analytics. Unfortunately, and mainly because I’m in Europe, I won’t be there, although I must share the event with you. The organization, the speakers the content promises and if you are in USA or be there in these dates you cannot miss it…

The Business Analytics Summit focuses on the key issues involved in the implementation of Business Analytics such as data integration, KPIs, reporting and more. There are an increasing amount of companies investing in Business Analytics for improved decision making, organizational performance and a competitive edge. In a time of economic downturn the key to growth (or survival) is making the right decisions. Adequate decisions will be found wanting in 2009.

Ben Satchwell, Conference Director at Business Analytics News, says “The current economy has made businesses realize that business analytics is no longer a project they can continue to look at from afar. We are very excited about working with Information Builders Inc on the Business Analytics Summit as our goal is to have leading players from each set of stakeholders in the industry involved – and Information Builders very much fit the mold of the high end companies that will have a presence at the conference.”

Take a look at the official websites:

The total amount for the summit is $1595, but Ben Satchwell (Conference Director) offer $400 discount for all the visitors of this blog, so…

Contact me to get a $400 discount code

Friday, September 4, 2009

BI Training - Free remote BI Sessions

This month is being hard for me because I’m writing my master thesis… and the deadline is in the final of this month… and for that reason I’m not writing so often. Almost two and a half years writing in this blog and there's a new idea... in addition to send my BI messages/opinions through writing, I'm thinking to contact via video/audio with all you that visit this blog and make it alive with all the comments and suggestions. At the moment I’m only formalize the intention and hoping to receive feedback for all you.

In brief I’m describing below the session plan:
Business Intelligence training focused on learning the concepts and using the Microsoft tools that are more flexible than other players in the market.

To share knowledge, make new friends and also to train my oral english language.

For all the persons that usually visit and support this blog with comments and sugestions. (For portuguese people I’ll prepare soon a on-site training)

I will try to do it on October or November of this year 2009 after finishing the master BI thesis and after the 20h00 (Portuguese time... because I have a job…)

How much?

How attend?
Through Office Live Meeting that you can use to engage audiences in online meetings, training, and events. I need to make some tests to this software, even appoint a date for testing it with all the registered users.

In order to know the number of interested users, please fill the registration form in the link below. (The number of users are limited)

I’ll be waiting for you.

Monday, August 10, 2009

BI Tools - Microsoft beating the BI market

Today I finally received an e-mail from Microsoft announcing the release of the CTP version (Community Technology Preview) for SQL 2008 R2 ... and I'm really excited to take the first look and for sure tomorrow I’ll download it ... I'm still focused on my master thesis, any way I will try to "play" a little this release and give a little feedback to you.

I truly believe that today Microsoft made a big step to beat all the competitors. Microsoft doesn’t have several decades of proved work, but has few years that are being improving and investing a lot in the Business Intelligence “world”

But why as an independent BI consultant I believe in Microsoft?

1. Because Is open to the communities/and world in spite of almost other players that they follow a strategy to hide all information and knowledge from their products

2. Because Is a buyer in the market… Examples are the acquisitions of Datallegro, ProClarity, Mobicomp (mobile), Zoomix (data quality), Teradata… and for example partnerships with Dundas, Panorama…

3. Because in a near future BI will be for all users (to the masses) and not only for a few group of decision makers. Today BI is spread in all organization for operational, tactical and strategy areas. Nothing better than improve the capabilities of an existent product in the market that everybody knows what it is, and what it does… simple EXCEL.

4. Because almost the players (SAP, SAS, Microstrategy…) in the BI market provide very expensive tools that are not possible nowadays… Some years ago they could set these expensive costs, because in that time these tools could provide competitive advantage… today even open source solutions are available in BI…

Last decades this BI players was trying to convince the end users and decision makers that they need new applications/interfaces to analyze, monitor and plan their business, but they were wrong, and mainly because Microsoft enter few years ago in this market. The end users and decision makers doesn’t want to know what is behind excel… only wants to see their KPIs no monitor, analyze, plan and control their business in their preferred tool… EXCEL.

In the coming weeks Microsft will also launch CTPs in the Project Gemini (Excel and Sharepoint) and in the Project Madison (massively scalable data warehousing).

Friday, August 7, 2009

BI Technical Papers Step-By-Step

As you may already noticed, I’ve started this blog (two years ago) with several practice issues, and when I started my BI master degree (also two years ago) I realized that the theory and the concepts are fundamental to have enough capabilities to face all the issues independently of the tools you are using. I’m a practice and theoretical person and just because I think that one depends on the other. It’s difficult? Yes it is, but for me is the single way to understand and align each one.

And for not fill this blog too much, I decided to publish more technical and practice posts at the Business Intelligence community that I’m co-founder with several other BI professionals. These technical posts will be created and published in www.BIResort.net in a format Step-By-Step paper in order to help better not also the more technical persons, but also those persons that are starting to work in this amazing world of Business Intelligence.

I’ll focus in several key areas, but for now I only made three papers in SSIS/ETL area. I’ll start on areas like SSAS/OLAP, SSRS, EXCEL 2010, and others… follow this post through the link in the right bar.
Follow all the papers from this link:
And you can also directly download each paper from here:


I hope I can help you!

Friday, July 17, 2009

BI Education - BI Graduations in Portugal

Today I will talk about two universities that marked me a lot and currently are betting strong in the Business Intelligence area... These two universities are located in two different cities and separated by 300 km between Porto (North) and Lisbon (South). The reason for this post is not only because they are the main universities in Portugal going in deep Business Intelligence area, but also the contribution they gave me all my life since 1995.
I have great affection towards these two institutions, both have a very important role in my personal and professional development. At “Universidade Portucalense” (UPT) I finished my degree in 2001 while in the “Instituto Universitario de Lisboa” (ISCTE-IUL) I am currently finishing my dissertation included in my master BI degree began in 2007.

UPT – Universidade Portucalense
The UPT prepared me for life with its entire rigor, exigency and the indescribable quality of the teachers. In this University nothing failed ... everything worked ... I dare to say that this university has the better organization and installations.
I was at the age of responses to WHY… Why I need to study? Why I need to learn some contents? Why…Why…?

ISCTE-IUL – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa
The ISCTE-IUL helped me to improve my skills and to be more organized, more focused on the benefits and objectives to be achieved. Also helped me to understand the others and myself.
I was at the age of responses to HOW… How can I be a better Professional? How can I do the things more efficiently? How…? How…?

In UPT time the contact to the teachers was very difficult… otherwise today you can catch them by email or by mobile… It’s the evolution… The old and current students should be proud of these two universities that after so many years are still here helping us to be better professionals.

If you want to improve your competencies or start a new path, the registrations for business intelligence graduations are open. Visit the universities websites:


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