Azure SQL Data Warehouse: Don’t do this…

I am always one of the first to try new stuff when it comes out and so it was great for Microsoft to give me job doing this some 99 months ago.  One of the latest things I signed up for was the Azure SQL Data Warehouse (ADW), and then setup a demo ADW so…


Data, no use at all without a catalog

About a decade a go I went on a Microsoft BI boot camp which was also  attended by Microsoft staff specifically Matthew Stephen and Rob Gray who inspired me to work towards joining Microsoft myself.  Two years later I got in and haven’t looked back and I still track Matt on LinkedIn, so I was…


Cortana – Remembering the Future

If you have ever watched the Star Trek First Contact film the crew allude to the fact that then star ship Enterprise is named after the first space shuttle, when actually it’s the other way around the first space shuttle was so named because over 2 million star trek fans lobbied NASA to call it…


Bring your data to life

Charlotte asked me to write up something on bringing your ideas to life, and that got me thinking: what is life anyway? Many things don’t look very ‘alive’, because we barely notice them moving or changing over time – coral or lichen for instance. Other life forms move so fast we can barely see them or are so…


Azure Data Services for (near) Real Time Scenarios

Light years takes about 8 and half minutes to get from the surface sun to the earth and it can actually take a photon 20,000 years to get form the core of the sun to the surface. On earth that means that if the sun stops shining we wont know about it until eight and…


Azure Data Services for Business Intelligence

A little known fact the biggest workload on Azure VM’s (aka IaaS) is .. SQL Server. This might seem odd give that there is a SQL Azure service where you can run SQL Server database without worrying about SQL Server itself. So what’s going on here? There are a few possible options: These VMs might…


Azure Data Services–what are they?

This might be a recurring theme but worth mentioning again –  Azure continues to change and expand at an alarming rate. On the one hand this is simply scale, for example we now have access to bigger compute resources like the G class virtual machines, ever cheaper storage, and higher and higher limits on what…


Machine Learning for the Business Intelligence developer

Amy (the other half of the data duo in our team) and I have been gate crashing the Data Culture series and other events recently to see who’s interested in Azure Machine Learning (MAML) . It turns out that data scientists are pretty comfortable using their own tools and scripts be that in R and…


Azure Machine Learning – General Availability

Today Microsoft Azure Machine Learning (MAML)goes from preview to general availability and it’s also undergone quite a few changes on the way. Before I get into what’s new (and there is quite a lot) I do occasionally get feedback that Azure services are evolving too quickly for everyone to keep up.   I do agree this…


What kind of data person are you?

I have been working with data in one form or another since 1991, but I wouldn’t describe myself as a DBA, data scientist or a developer so what am I, and am I alone? I spent ten of those years doing business intelligence and most of that was working with databases, designing systems data marts,…