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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.

Setting Variables in Azure Data Factory Pipelines

(2018-Oct-15) Working with Azure Data Factory you always tend to compare its functionality with well established ETL packages in SSIS. Data flow task have been recreated as Data Copy activities; logical components have found they cloud-based siblings; as well as new kids on the block, such as Databricks and Machine Learning activities…

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1 comments, 142 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 15 October 2018

Maps in Power BI. Do I really need them?

(2018-Aug-30) While preparing for a recent Power BI Toronto meetup session, I found a very valuable whitepaper on Maps in Power BI written by David Eldersveld from the BlueGranite consulting company, and I had used some of the ideas and examples from that document in my presentation.

There is one…

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2 comments, 785 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 30 August 2018

ArcGIS Maps for Power BI: Plus subscription (2nd part); What's in it for me?

(2018-July-29) My initial attempt to explore and test the ArcGIS Map paid version continued after receiving a response from the ESRI support team. Initially, I couldn't see all the additional features of the Plus subscription and I wrote about that in my last blog post - ArcGIS Maps for Power…

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1 comments, 135 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 29 July 2018

ArcGIS Maps for Power BI: Free vs. Paid version

(2018-July-25) I like the ESRI company slogan, "The Science of Where". Hopefully, it will help someone not to get lost in the myriads of geo points on their maps. 

Working with ArcGIS map visualization in Power BI, you always hit that notification point that tells you about more features available in the…

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3 comments, 2,070 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 25 July 2018

SQL Server data flow into Excel template with Power Query function-based parameter

(2018-July-15) Your case is to create an Excel template with data extracted from a backend SQL Server database; it takes a few minutes and Power Query is a very handy tool to connect/shape and extract your data into a worksheet format. What if you need to create multiple files where…

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1 comments, 2,050 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 15 July 2018

Power BI with Mapbox and Volcanic Ring of Fire

(2018-May-27) With recent Hawaiian volcano activity, it would be interesting to see how other similar events have shaped our Earth planet. The NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) provides public access to the Volcano Location Database - https://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/nndc/struts/form?t=102557&s=5&d=5. And currently, it contains information about 1571 known volcanic eruptions

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2 comments, 2,082 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 27 May 2018

Power BI with Maps: Choose Your Destination

(2018-May-20) A childhood dream to travel around the world fueled by reading Gulliver's Travels stories and Robinson Crusoe attempts to survive on a deserted island. Those books were filled with geographical description and map locations. I think I always loved working with maps and I still do! There is something that could captivate…

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3 comments, 2,649 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 20 May 2018

Geometry Objects in SQL Server using Latitude/Longitude coordinates

(2018-Mat-31) Support for spatial geometry functions was initially introduced in SQL Server 2008 and then it was greatly improved in Denali (SQL Server 2012) version of the product - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/relational-databases/spatial/spatial-data-sql-server

Back then, when I was reading about the spatial features in SQL Server, I wondered where I could use this functionality…

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0 comments, 927 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 31 March 2018

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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7 comments, 5,876 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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3 comments, 519 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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1 comments, 875 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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9 comments, 1,448 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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6 comments, 1,506 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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1 comments, 1,201 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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1 comments, 463 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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1 comments, 742 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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5 comments, 3,271 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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2 comments, 2,874 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, 1,843 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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5 comments, 544 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 8 May 2017

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