Insufficient data from Andrew Fryer

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

the BI Sematic Model in SQL Server Denali ctp3

Some sort of semantic model is needed in every BI solution but what is it and why do I need one?  It’s a view of the data store(s) you want to work on for business intelligence which adds additional information that can be stored in the individual tables themselves.  For example how are the tables… Read more

Hindsight is a wonderful thing

It’s time to spring clean the blog as I have realised that a few of my older posts have been overtaken by events and could be misleading if they were acted upon now. For example: SQL Server 2008 is now supported on VMWare and other virtualisation platforms as part of the Windows Server Virtualization Validation… Read more

End User/ Self Service BI

The idea of letting users design their own BI fills many experts with equal dread and delight.  On the one hand users know exactly what they want and the IT professional is freed from the drudgery of endlessly tinkering with content. On the other end users don’t really understand the intricacies of their data, and… Read more

Barriers to upgrading to SQL Server 2008

Most IT Professionals like to use the latest (stable) version of a product, so what’s holding up your adoption of SQL Server 2008? Hardware. If you are moving from SQL Server 2000 to 2008 that’s probably going to mean a new server as you’ll probably want to move to 64 bit hardware and that could… Read more

Dashboard Decisions SharePoint or Performance Point?

When it comes to dashboards, Microsoft’s business intelligence stack seems to have some overlap in it, so how can you decide what to use when? Dashboards are an overused term, so what I am talking about here is the ability to provide an interactive instrument panel for all or part of your business which should… Read more

Management Reporter – the new FRx

  One of the worst reporting headaches is producing output for the finance department.  The reports need to meet strict standards, be penny perfect, and the end user always wants the report to be in excel.  With reporting services in SQL Server 2005 this could be done by the IT department but the real solution… Read more

Analysis Services and Excel Pivot Tables

Excel is the number one business intelligence tool;  It fronts Hyperion, Cognos Financial Planning, and of course SQL Server Analysis Services and Performance Point Server Planning. In Office 2007 there is now excel services so that information workers can park their work on SharePoint where it can be properly secured.    One issue I have seen… Read more

SQL Server BI Everywhere

Nearly everything Microsoft brings out these days has a SQL Server back-end, except Exchange as Eileen will tell you.  I got asked about cubes in Project Enterprise server recently and managed to resolve an issue with the data not being updated due to a connection problem. In a similar vein, I have been helping out… Read more

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the TechNet Forum

Forums (fora for Latin geeks) date back to well before Microsoft and even Frankie Howerd. TechNet has a raft of forums  on almost every Microsoft technology as it affects IT professionals where you can get and give help.  Both MVP’s and Microsoft product guys keep watch on these so you can usually get a good… Read more

Performance Point Server resources.

I am easily confused and Performance Point is confusing. Even finding where the the resources are for  using it can be tricky.  TechNet has got  a site with lots of online help on maintaining Performance Point while MSDN has a site dedicated to design models in it. I am not sure that MSDN is the… Read more