Microsoft Analytics and Twitter

Recently I ran across a pretty cool posting at The posting details extracting data from Twitter, loading it into your own Hadoop database on Azure and then using PowerPivot to analyze the data.

The possiblilites for analysis are endless with this much data at your fingertips!


SSAS interview questions

I had read an article by Dave Rodabaugh a while back  on his approach to interviewing potential SSAS developers. The articles diappeared from when it was taken over by Dr.Dobb’s. Well thanks to the power of the forums, Darren Gosbell and Vidas Matelis I was able to find them again.
It is a great five part article on how to approach a candidate about analysis services and how to weed out the people that know from those that pretend to know.
You can now find the articles on here

New BI website

Pragmatic works has launched a new BI website at
exerpt from Pragmatic Works

"Pragmatic Works launches a new online resourceBusiness Intelligence Developer’s Network ( – a site designed to help BI Developers find answers, locate reference materials, and share knowledge with their peers and colleagues. "


Some nice finds

Just wanted to post some nice little sitestools that I have found
Create a Time ONLY dimension for SSAS
SSAS Activity Viewer for SQL Server Analysis Service 2008 – Use this tool for viewing current activity and queries being run against your SSAS server
A different approach to Time dimensions – Great paper for learning how to create and use custom time members
MDX Script performance enhancer
JumpStart TV – nice collection of instructional videos covering SQL, BI and .NET

Gemini get’s a name

Project Gemini, the new Self-service BI from Microsoft got a new name today…Power Pivot.
You can check it out here
As a BI professional, I am still not sure how I feel about self-service BI. In this month’s SQL Server magazine there is an interview with Donald Farmer, the Program Manager for Analysis Servcies about SQL Server 2008 R2. The majority of the article though focuses on self-service BI. Even after reading the article, I still feel that without the proper infrastructure and levels of control, this thing could get out of hand quickly.
I definitely need to do some more investigation into PowerPivot to get a better understanding of my role as a BI Professional and how it will play a part in the new self-service BI world.
If you have any thoughts or opinions about PowerPivot, I would love to hear them.

NovaView 6

While looking through some blogs today, I ran across Ella Maschiach’s blog post about some of the new features of Panorama NovaView 6. At my last client, I spent almost 2 years implementing NovaView 5 reports and dashboards. During those two years, there were good days and there were bad/fustrating days with NovaView 5. Right before I left I saw early demo’s of the new flash components that were coming in NovaView 6 and even at the early stages, they looked amazing. From Ella’s post, it looks like Panorama is finally adding some of the flash and functionality that should continue to make it one of the best BI tools on the market for the enterprise.
Here is the post