Insufficient data from Andrew Fryer

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

Excel OLAP add-in

Excel already has always had excellent support for analysis services, but to get the best form it you need to use a version of office later than than the version of SQL Server you are connecting to.  So for analysis services 2000 excel 2003 is OK but if you connect to analysis services 2005 then… Read more

SQL Server 2008 BI, Perception & Reality

Following all the acquisition mania in the BI marketplace last year, it’s interesting to see that the Microsoft approach of growing your own BI platform seems to be paying off according to this article by Gartner in Information Week. It has taken a while though – I well remember my first foray into olap services… Read more

Data Mining in SQL Server 2005, 2008

Data Mining like every other term in business intelligence seams to mean different things to different people. For me the key things that data mining does are: Assist in discovering relationships in data sets that were previously unknown.  An example would be to get an insight on how age, and gender relate to which mobile… Read more

Lean and Mean

When you build a cube in analysis services it is very easy to expose every attribute in every dimension to the user.  You can also add-in every measure and if you don’t feel that’s enough then you can create your own calculated members to add to the users’ fun.  Once you have given the users every thing… Read more

Whatever happened to the Virtual Cube?

I got asked a very odd question today – “How do you use virtual cubes in Analaysis Services 2005?”. I was momentarily speechless (a rare thing for those that know me!). This got me to thinking that there must be quite a few installations of the previous version analysis services 2000 (AS2000) out there run by… Read more

The Unified Dimensional Model (UDM)

It’s coming up to London Fashion Week so I thought a post on models for all you dedicated followers would be good.  The models in this post are rarely size zero ! So what is one of these?  Technorati isn’t much help but if you look hard you will find some posts e.g. by one of my predecessors Mat… Read more

Cast and Convert

In SQL server the Cast and Convert functions change one type of data to another.  A pod cast is the art of converting knowledge into sounds so that’s the tenuous link for this post.   Pod casting is not something I have ever tried, but the security expert on our team, Steve Lamb sees himself as the next… Read more

Hierarchies avoid arguments

Just when you thought you had heard the last of hierarchies there’s another post.  This one is a little different – it’s about managing confrontation and arguments, not with the code in the SQL server CLR but with other humans! In a hierarchy you navigate upwards to see information at a summary level e.g. from January to… Read more

Making Hierarchies Natural

I though it might be worth another post on hierarchies in Analysis Services 2008 CTP4 to show some more attribute relationship. If we look at the attribute relationships in the date dimension of adventure works below: the relationships match the hierarchies and so the design is well optimised and there are no blue squigglies.  However… Read more

Unnatural Hierarchies in Analysis Services 2008

Continuing on from my last post, I explained what Natural Hierarchies were but I thought it would also be worth mentioning what the opposite was and the issues around that.  Unnatural hierarchies can be created between any two attributes for example in the world of human resources (HR) it is becoming more and more important… Read more