Different steps in BI projects

June 16, 2014

A project I just did for the municipality’s Sanitation Department made us rethink the different steps in BI projects in our team. Up till now, we would first have meetings with the customer and the operational system developer to learn what the client wants and what are the corresponding tables in the system.  We would then sit and write two documents – one for the customer detailing what we’re about to give him, and one for the BI developer detailing which tables should be extracted and how they should be manipulated. The client would have to wait two months (at...
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Project Passau

June 13, 2014

We just had a Microsoft consultant come in and show us the latest innovation in SQL Server 2014 with Office 365. Though I saw most of it in demos given before, it was still stunning to see the abilities of Office 365 with SQL Server 2014. There was something new to see this time regarding Data Mining and Predictive Analytics in the cloud. This is the first time I saw Project Passau which demonstrated amazing abilities for easily predicting future trends. Microsoft has been offering Data Mining in various ways: through numerous versions of the Data Mining add in...
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Imitating QlickView through Excel 2010

May 9, 2014

I have recently started a new project for the Sanitation department in the municipality. The Local Recycling and transfer station where the sanitation truck go to dump trash or recycle has a report system that is a QlickView over their operational system. Their power user saw reports being generated by QlickView and offered we see them as well. We showed him earlier what we can do with Panorama Nova View and SSRS but he didn’t buy it. Having seen what QlickView did for the recycling center, I can see why. Though we didn’t have QlickView to offer him as...
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A user can’t see Panorama view on a new cube

March 28, 2014

We had a book in Panorama NovaView which we had made about a year ago. The book had views that were all based on the same PowerPivot cube which was published to a SharePoint Server (so it was recognized as cube by the viewer). So, a year had passed and we needed to add to our book new views which would be based on a new PowerPivot cube. The data in both cubes was about workers in different units and the authorizations on the cubes were given so that every manger would see just the workers in his units....
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Errors in the OLAP Storage Engine for a large dimension

March 3, 2014

A colleague of mine was working on a cube. The cube had a fact table that was also a dimension. It had 18 million rows of data. When my colleague tried to process the cube with that fact and dimension, he couldn’t. Both the full and the incremental process didn’t work. He got an error on processing the large dimension with a message of:   Exception calling "Process" with "1" argument(s): "File system error: A FileStore error from WriteFile occurred. Physical file: . Logical file: . . Errors in the OLAP storage engine: An error occurred while the 'RN' attribute of the 'YYYYY'...
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Preview SharePoint List Structure

February 3, 2014

We’re starting a new project where we're collecting data, amongst others, from SharePoint lists from the Municipality’s site.  Though the SharePoint developers recommended we import data through a web service, we found that SSIS has a component for SharePoint as a data source. We started off by downloading and installing the SSIS component for a SharePoint List Source from CodePlex as it does not come with the SSIS itself.  We added the component to our SSIS through the Tools menu >  Choose toolbox items and then chose the relevant components: I needed to predefine for our DBA the tables we...
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Referencing calculations in different parts of your report

January 13, 2014

I’ve recently found something new to use in SSRS. Yes, 7 years of usage and I found something that was completely new to me. And then I discovered it existed since SSRS 2008 and I just hadn’t used it (oops!). I was a bit hesitant of posting about it, until I also heard a lecture about it in the last BI User Group meeting (and I recommend you go to meetings taking place around your neck of the woods). So now I feel very comfortable in telling you about referencing calculations in different parts of your report through the...
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How to define a Smart City

January 6, 2014

In the past few months, we've been hearing in the BI team about Smart Cities. We can define a Smart City (according to Wikipedia) as efficiency based on the intelligent management and integrated ICTs (information and communication technology), and active citizen participation. The term was initially presented to us through a company offering us a POC of a dashboard in SharePoint. They talked with us on what another city in Israel had monitored and talked with us on what was being done, in a very larger scale in New York: New York Open Data, APIs and Digital Roadmap NYC Mayor’s Management Report NYC...
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Report fields not showing correctly in Report Server

December 8, 2013

I’ve created a report quite a while back ago in SSRS for my client and deployed it to the report server. He used the report regularly (and I should know as much because I got requests for changes). Suddenly one day he sends me an email with a screen shot of the report with one of the fields showing a complete blank. I couldn’t understand why. I looked the report up in BIDS and the fields showed correctly. Looking at report on the server still showed me the field as blank. I was completely baffled. I decided to delete...
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SQL Server 2014 Release Date

We’ve had a lecture the previous week with Mr. Roy Pasternak and Mr. Ofer Daliot from Microsoft Israel about the upcoming features for BI in SQL Server 2014 along with SharePoint 2013. One of the things Mr. Pasternak mentioned in his lecture was that SQL Server 2014 is suppose to be released on January 2014. Now I know there was already an SQL Server 2014 CTP2 but I’m used to having a release candidate (RC1) before the actual RTM. Still Mr. Daliot had also confirmed will be in the coming January so I guess that’s it.Mr. Pasternak had also...
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