Insufficient data from Andrew Fryer

The place where I page to when my brain is full up of stuff about the Microsoft platform

Grain – The devil is in the detail

Technorati Tags: BI, Business Intelligence, OLAP, SQL server 2008 Business Intelligence is just like digital photography, the more detail you want the more space you are going to use and in both cases we talk about grain and granularity.  If you have ever worked with RAW files on a ‘Prosumer’ (an IT Professional with as… Read more

OLAP, Cubes and Multidimensional Analysis –

 Hugh McLeod is quite correct, On-Line Analytical Processing (OLAP) is actually about business, it just sounds like a science project.         Basically OLAP is an awful name, Nigel Pendse, author of the OLAP report calls the same thing FASMI, which I think is a far better term : Fast – 90% of queries back… Read more

Slowly Changing Dimensions and Surrogate Keys

You would expect there to be a record and hopefully only one record for each sales person in a typical sales system and another record in another table for each of the customers.  But what happens when a one of these sales people gets assigned to a different territory or is promoted to be a regional sales manager?  The usual… Read more

The Dimensional Model

What’s different about a data warehouse is that all of the information from the line of business or source systems gets rearranged into two types of information: Dimensions contains a group of descriptive attributes.  An example is a product where we have its colour, size, description, product group, product category etc.  It should have a single part primary… Read more

SQL Server 2008 CTP4

Just in case you don’t get the technet flash from Georgina, SQL server 2008 CTP4 is out there for you to enjoy.  Community Technology Previews (CTP) for SQL server 2008 are different from the previews released for 2005 in that if a feature is in  a 2008 CTP it is well formed and tested, but not necessarily optimised… Read more

SQL Saturday

        I know that there are still a lot of organisations who are still on SQL server 2000 or who have not leveraged all of the functionality in SQL server 2005. So if you want to know more the SQL Server Community is running a SQL Bits day at our offices in Thames… Read more

Vista and NVIDIA SLI

When not in business intelligence mode, I am a PC gamer and being an old PC Gamer  I never got the console thing.  Like many of you I was hesitant about upgrading to Vista as my black box has been continually modded over the last 3 years to keep up with the latest games.  On the upside there are a few Vista only (direct… Read more

Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, and Data Marts

The terms Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, and Data Marts are used interchangeably by many people so I thought it would be good to explain the differences. The data warehouse is the repository for all the data to be analysed and reported on without the means to do so. A good analogy would be SQL server… Read more

Business Intelligence – Why Bother?

If you’re staying with this Business Intelligence (BI) 101 discussion, you are probably wondering why bother? No that doesn’t mean why bother with this blog but why bother with BI at all. Businesses need reliable information in order to survive and thrive, and business users need this when they want it and how they want it.  The sort… Read more

Business Intelligence – What is it?

In the world of management speak it is common practice to re-brand an essentially old idea with a new name. Many years ago we had EIS (executive information systems), decision support systems  and MI (management information) systems.  I am sure there are experts out there who will post me precise definitions of these and be able… Read more