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Data Adventures

My personal journey in an intricate world of data and continuous effort to make it more structured and well understood can be found in this blog.

I live and work in Canada - see my profile on LinkedIn.

Power BI with different Network Visualizations

(2018-Feb-10) A few days ago Microsoft provided another update for its desktop version of the Power BI data analytical tool - https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/power-bi-desktop-february-2018-feature-summary/. Among all the major updates in this release, there was one new custom network visualization added by ZoomCharts. It wasn't the first network visualization available in the Power…

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2 comments, 361 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 10 February 2018

Power BI with Azure Data Lake - where the water doesn't run dry

(2018-Feb-04) I've had a case working with very large data files as a source for my heat map visualizations in Power BI, where the main file was slightly above 600 MB - http://datanrg.blogspot.com/2018/01/when-its-cold-outside-perhaps-power-bi.html. Not a big deal when you have only a few such data files that you can directly be…

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0 comments, 215 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 4 February 2018

Get Data experience from Excel to Power BI and SQL Server Analysis Services 2017

(2018-Jan-20) It has been a long journey for the Excel data integration tool Power Query from its early version as an external add-in component in 2010 and 2013 Excel to the built-in feature of the Excel 2016. 

Power Query for Excel provides a seamless experience for data discovery, data transformation…

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0 comments, 527 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 20 January 2018

When it’s cold outside, perhaps Power BI heat maps can warm you up

(2018-Jan-13) You never know how the weather will behave itself, especially when the temperature gets dramatically changed from +10 to -10 within a day. During this Christmass and New Year holidays, it was very cold here in Canada. So I thought to explore some open data set that may contain…

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3 comments, 1,054 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 13 January 2018

Power BI Sankey Chart: a case to review your Budget books

(2017-Dec-29) Sankey diagram (chart), named after Matthew H Riall Sankey, is a good visualization tool for information flow within a system. It can also identify main players (contributors) to different stages of this flow, where those stages can be textually described and flow thickness its distribution can be attributed to…

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0 comments, 505 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 29 December 2017

Lost in Big Data, perhaps Small Data could help

(2017-Nov-19) I don't remember how I actually found this book "Small Data: The Tiny Clues that Uncover Huge Trends". Most likely, it came as one of the numerous suggestions from Amazon when I was purchasing other databases related book. And I don't regret of getting to read this "technology-agnostic" work…

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0 comments, 1,126 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 19 November 2017

Book from a library. Learning never stops for data professionals.

[2017-Oct-31] If you have never read the "Iacocca: An Autobiography" book by Lee Iacocca, I highly recommend it. I read it first when I was 17 years old, walked into a local library in my search for any computer related books. By accident, found it on a bookshelf, read a…

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0 comments, 301 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 31 October 2017

Macros in ER/Studio Data Architect is your data modeling lifebelt

[2017-Sep-01] There is a well-known phrase, "the rescue of a drowning man is the drowning man's own job" from one of the best books by Ilf and Petrov  "The Twelve Chairs". And if you have ever used macros with the ER/Studio during your data modeling, then you…

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0 comments, 366 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 1 September 2017

Data modeling in Power BI using XML file with Parent and Children nodes

[2017-Aug-08] Support for XML structured files as a data source has been available in Excel, then was introduced into the Power Query data extract engine of the same office application which later migrated into the Power BI data modeling tool.

My recent experience working with XML data files at the…

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1 comments, 778 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 8 August 2017

Calculating Travel Distance/Time in Power BI using Bing Map API

[2017-July-24] Map visualization in Power BI has drawn many data professionals into a field of ?reating visual data stories with maps. It only takes a dataset of Geo located data points to do this and everything else is managed by map visual controls plus one's imagination. You have a choice…

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1 comments, 1,527 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 24 July 2017

Geo Location of Twitter messages in Power BI

[2017-June-25] There are several custom solutions that make Twitter messages analysis possible in Power BI. And with a recent addition of the Campaign/Brand Management for Twitter solution template for Power BI (https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/solution-templates/brand-management-twitter/) it's getting even less complicated to get into this social media mainstream data exploration.

Here is…

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4 comments, 1,603 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 25 June 2017

Power BI with Narrative Science: Look Who's Talking (Part 3: On or Off premises)

[2017-May-08] Listening to a car radio with many different talk shows available, it comes more often to my mind, that certain segments of those radio stations broadcasting would eventually be substituted/automated by machines. I don't think it will happen overnight, but the voice natural language generation software is a reality…

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4 comments, 420 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 8 May 2017

DAX calculations with hierarchies: Set the order straight.

[2017-Apr-30] If you have ever tried to create calculated measures in SSAS Tabular/ Power BI models where different levels of your model hierarchy had to be considered then you'd understand how DAX language doesn't have a straight way to identify parent & child levels in order to compute necessary metric…

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4 comments, 1,397 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 30 April 2017

SSIS Web Service Task: misleading role of WSDL file

[2017-Mar-31] You can call one of your web service methods in SSIS package using a .NET script task or you can just use an existing Web Service task. The latter option is easier, UI based, doesn't take too much time to set up and Input/Output parameters are very intuitive to navigate.

There is one gotcha with…

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1 comments, 897 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 31 March 2017

External SQL files vs. Stored procedures in SSIS development

[2017-Feb-21] I'm creating this particular blog post more for myself to remember and use it as a reference to related discussions in future.

One of my client's existent SSIS solution contains a use of multiple SQL execute tasks which are configured to use external files with a complicated SQL code.…

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5 comments, 2,605 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 21 February 2017

How to compare two SSAS databases with a custom MDX query

[2017-Jan-29] It came as a request from one of my customers where I had worked as a consultant to quickly compare two similar SSAS databases located in different environments. So I quickly ran an MDX query with some key metrics against each of the SSAS databases and presented the results…

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0 comments, 616 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 29 January 2017

Open Data is like a soup

[2016-Nov-04] Open data is like a soup, some people like it hot (or made with all the latest updates); some people like it spicy (probably experimenting with various data representation forms). And only on some special occasions you'd prefer a c-old soup over a hot one (where old data analysis is…

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1 comments, 479 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 4 November 2016

Power BI with Narrative Science: Look Who's Talking (Part 2: Predicting the Future)

[2016-Oct-18] I read a book one time about the importance of using visual aids in teaching. They also used a well known illustration that a human optic nerve is thicker than the auditory one; thus, resulting to more information being consumed by brain with seeing things rather than hearing or listening to…

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0 comments, 1,555 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 18 October 2016

Historical Reports vs. Predictive analytics: Rear view mirror look vs. Forward-looking view. Really?

[2016-Sep-30] Working with reports based on historical data is like driving a car while looking in the rear view mirror. I heard this term again when I went to the Microsoft Data Science Summit in Atlanta (https://ignite.microsoft.com/microsoftdatascience) this past week. Which gave me a second thought to consider: how…

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0 comments, 748 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 30 September 2016

Power BI with Narrative Science: Look Who's Talking?

[2016-Aug-31] Someone said a picture is worth a thousand words and this is true that in most cases a visual representation of a fact is absorbed better compared with a verbal or textual version of it.  However sometimes just looking at a “picture” or analytical report it also would be…

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0 comments, 830 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 31 August 2016

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