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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.

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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4 comments, 1,574 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, 130 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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0 comments, 282 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, 1,303 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, 335 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, 518 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 31 August 2016

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, 1,632 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, 854 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, 505 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, 1,597 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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10 comments, 2,816 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, 654 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, 4,880 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, 1,893 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, 803 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, 611 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, 2,123 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, 2,371 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, 1,687 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, 1,208 reads

Posted in Data Adventures on 10 April 2015

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