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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: If you have a Cloud of Words, let them Fly!

[2016-July-31] Last week was my 2nd time participating at the local Toronto Open Data meetup (https://www.meetup.com/opentoronto/). The audience of this meetup is quite diverse and covers people with various occupations, such as: data enthusiasts, students, public service workers and other citizens who are united under one idea to explore…

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0 comments, 1,086 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 31 July 2016

Power BI Pulse Chart vs. Dancing bars in Excel

[2016-Jun-30] Recently Microsoft Power BI has been enhanced with a new Pulse Chart custom visualization (Visual Awesomeness Unlocked: Pulse Chart) which is extremely good and useful for a visual data story telling. I believe that the less we have people explaining their data visualization and more we let…

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0 comments, 630 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 30 June 2016

Analyzing David and Goliath datasets on a same chart; Dual Axis in Excel, Power BI and SSRS

[2016-May-31] Two different metrics, two different datasets, one may represent a very high value and the other one is very low. What's interesting is that both metrics could be very close related; like Total Product Sales vs. Product Price or Average Monthly Temperature vs. Rainfall over a period of time. 

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2 comments, 216 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 31 May 2016

Power BI Box and Whisker visualization vs. Box Plot chart in SSRS

[2016-Apr-30] I don't work with box plot charts very often, however when I do then it becomes a very interesting experience. First, it starts from data extraction and then playing around with various visual settings to make those boxes and whiskers to look good.

I assume that sometimes we tend to work…

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0 comments, 1,064 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 30 April 2016

Excel Power Map vs. Power BI Globe Map visualization

[2016-02-02] PowerMap in Excel is a great tool with good design and comprehensive user experience. I’ve started using it about a year ago when our team participated at first Canadian Microsoft Big Data hackathon (http://blogs.technet.com/b/cansql/archive/2015/04/13/big-data-hackathon-a-story-from-a-winning-team.aspx).

So I gradually developed a taste to this Geo analytical tool…

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2 comments, 2,151 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 2 February 2016

Specifying Paths to External Items (Report Builder and SSRS) in SharePoint with PowerShell

[2015-Dec-24] My story: two SSRS items (main report and its sub-report) need to be deployed to SharePoint. Trivial task, and even if I need to locate sub-report to a different SharePoint document library or folder I can easily do that during a development phase or using Report Builder…

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0 comments, 436 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 24 December 2015

PowerMap with Custom Region shapefiles - Demystified

[2015-Nov-18]  Today is a global GIS Day (http://www.gisday.com/) where people across the globe celebrate and promote the use of various geo locating technologies. I used to work for one company (http://www.elections.on.ca/) about 5 years ago as a data analyst and I saw their GIS specialists worked very…

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3 comments, 2,685 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 18 November 2015

Too Big To Be Visible - SQL Server vs. Oracle data in SSRS reporting

[2015-Oct-20]  A sourcing system failed to return correct results (returned value was a very high figure with double digit number after "E"). An existent ETL process was capable to save this value into an Oracle staging database, however previously working SSRS report showed me a blank column with no data…

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1 comments, 1,801 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 20 October 2015

Why I still like Excel PowerPivot models in SharePoint however Tabular solutions in SSAS are better

[2015-Aug-12] It’s quite obvious that in present time there is a growing audience for all the latest changes and updates within the Microsoft Power BI sphere. I think someone has already built a data model that showed number of tweets about Power BI which prevailed other more usual and heavily…

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4 comments, 635 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 12 August 2015

Single value filters and custom error messages in Power BI

"Let me be the one for you, otherwise we need to work on communication". Basically this was a very brief description of a recent use case for a power view report which had been later replicated in a Power BI slide as well.

Users were aware of PowerView / Power…

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0 comments, 483 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 27 July 2015

Setting specific colors for PowerView charts

I was listening for Phil Collins' "True Colors" song in my car audio this morning and it reminded me about the very issue that PowerView currently has: that it doesn't allow to set specific colors to different elements of its own visuals. There are more and more announcements made about…

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0 comments, 1,321 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 21 July 2015

Updating PowerPivot model and PowerView report with PowerShell

Before I start describing a problem that my PowerShell script helps to resolve, these are a few blog posts of other people that inspired me to look at the whole issue of automating changes for Excel PowerPivot models (especially when you have many such Excel files and their manual change…

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0 comments, 1,733 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 18 June 2015

Powershell for SSRS in SharePoint: Multiple data sources and shared datasets

I thought that I would leave any further attempts to improve my Powershell script that was used to deploy SSRS reports to SharePoint along with creating data driven subscriptions in there (please see my previous blog posts: PowerShell, help me to publish my SSRS reports to SharePoint!, SSRS reports…

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0 comments, 1,264 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 14 May 2015

Big Data Hackathon in Microsoft Canada: Power Map will find your way!

Big Data, what a term! Some people instantly think of a huge sometimes cumbersome volume of information, others define it with three or four Vs (volume, velocity, variety, and variability). Debates, other social and technical events are organized in order to promote various technologies that work with big data sets.

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0 comments, 1,055 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 10 April 2015

SSRS report footer is NOT lost in Excel

With all the recent changes and updates within the Microsoft PowerBI universe, SSRS core technology gets less and less attention. However a recent experience with one of the SSRS report’s functionality triggered my interest to share it.

I always thought that WYSIWYG principle for SSRS report exporting formats only worked…

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0 comments, 7,521 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 31 March 2015

PowerPivot Saga 2: DAX OR function (OR there is something better)

I didn't realize that the DAX OR function only accepts 2 arguments compared with the similar function in Excel where a limit of arguments is set to 255. This difference only occurred to me when I received an error in my PowerPivot data model with an attempt to list more than 2 arguments…

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0 comments, 3,438 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 24 December 2014

PowerPivot Saga: Scheduled Refresh more than once a day

PowerPivot data models in Excel is a great way to quickly pull data from various sources, build relationship between different tabs along and creating different calculations. Once a model is built then it can be further utilized in reporting. 

Users want to have their reports to show updated information that…

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0 comments, 1,489 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 3 November 2014

SSRS report rendered in EXCELOPENXML then something went missing

Recently I had been requested by a client to look into one of their SSRS reports issues. They had one report with a text box that contained some padding from the left side. All seems to be OK, report showed indented text values both in RPL and PDF rendering extensions;…

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0 comments, 1,281 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 16 October 2014

SSIS Pivot makes you stronger

At the recent Toronto SQL Server User group meeting Michal J Swart (@MJSwart) gave a good presentation based on 10 of his blog posts. There was one (Forget About PIVOT, You Don’t Need It) that got my attention; first, I remembered that I had read…

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0 comments, 549 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 15 October 2014

SSRS report: Multi-value parameter going after Data-driven subscription

It is always good to enrich SSRS reports with multi-value parameters; users have more flexibility to combine different reporting scenario with no need to run a report for different parameter values separately. On the other hand, developers can craft their skills to embed multi-value parameters into report datasets; referencing different…

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4 comments, 15,186 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 27 August 2014

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