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Data Savvy

Meagan Longoria is a business intelligence consultant with BlueGranite in Denver, CO where she shares her expertise in Microsoft BI and data warehousing through solution envisioning, architecture design, solution development, training, and blogging. She is a speaker at user groups and conferences across the country.

Power BI Visual Usability Checklist

At PASS Summit, I presented a session called “Do Your Data Visualizations Need a Makeover?”. In my session I explained how we often set ourselves up for failure when conducting explanatory data visualization before we ever place a visual on the page by not preparing appropriately, and I provided tips… Read more

1 comments, 2,319 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 15 November 2018

Learning Better Presentation Skills (T-SQL Tuesday #108)

This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by Malathi Mahadevan (@SqlMal). The topic is to pick one thing I would like to learn that is not SQL Server.

I’m going to go a different direction than I think most people will. I spend a lot of time learning… Read more

1 comments, 1,937 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 13 November 2018

Data Factory V2 Activity Dependencies are a Logical AND

Azure Data Factory V2 allows developers to branch and chain activities together in a pipeline. We define dependencies between activities as well as their their dependency conditions. Dependency conditions can be succeeded, failed, skipped, or completed.

This sounds similar to SSIS precedence constraints, but there are a couple of… Read more

4 comments, 1,630 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 3 October 2018

Join Me At PASS Summit 2018

The PASS Summit 2018 schedule has been published, and I’m on it twice! On Monday, November 5, I am giving a full-day pre-con with Melissa Coates on Designing Modern Data and Analytics Solutions in Azure.  We’ll have presentations, hand-on labs, and open discussions about architecture options in Azure… Read more

0 comments, 211 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 6 September 2018

Considerations for Using Layout Images in Power BI

Using layout images in Power BI has become a popular design trend. When I say layout images, I’m referring to background images with shapes around areas where visuals are placed. This is different from the new wallpaper feature that became available in the July release, which can be used to… Read more

2 comments, 1,816 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 28 July 2018

Power BI Report Accessibility Checklist

In many cases, some small changes can go a long way in making your Power BI reports more accessible for users with different abilities. The checklist below lists considerations you should make in your report design to create more inclusive reports. I’ll update this post as new features are released. Read more

5 comments, 980 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 7 June 2018

Choosing a Color Palette For Your Power BI Report

Color is a powerful attribute in data visualization. In a good visualization, it can focus attention and enhance meaning and clarity. When color is used poorly, it creates clutter and confusion. Power BI has a default color palette, but it isn’t always optimal or even appropriate for many reports. Luckily,… Read more

4 comments, 1,947 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 27 May 2018

Thoughts and Lessons Learned From A Power BI Embedded POC

I worked on a Power BI embedded POC where a report with an in-memory Power BI model as the dataset was embedded into an application in an “app owns data” scenario. This means that the application handles all authentication and access, and users do not need to be… Read more

8 comments, 2,530 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 25 April 2018

Please join me for my PASS Summit Pre-Con with Melissa Coates

I’m excited to announce that I’m joining forces with Melissa Coates (aka SQL Chick) to do a full-day PASS Summit Pre-Conference Session this year!

We’ll be talking about Designing Modern Data and Analytics Solutions in Azure.

Many traditional data warehousing professionals as well as other data engineers are… Read more

0 comments, 605 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 12 April 2018

Four Easy Things You Can Do Now To Make Your Power BI Reports More Accessible

Accessibility is often overlooked or ignored when it comes to reporting and data visualization. I think there are two reasons why:

  • We often don’t consider user scenarios with which we aren’t familiar. If we don’t know someone with color blindness/low vision/dyslexia/repetitive strain injuries, we don’t understand the difficulties they might…

Read more

4 comments, 951 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 9 March 2018

Power BI Screen Reader Accessibility

I recently wrote a post on the BlueGranite blog called Improving Screen Reader Accessibility in Power BI Reports. It contains some good reasons why accessibility should be considered when it comes to usability features of any web property or data viz. And it shares several tips to make your… Read more

4 comments, 1,807 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 6 February 2018

Ten Ways To Help Your BI Consultant Be Successful

I’ve been working in the field of business intelligence for over ten years, as a consultant for over five years. One thing I’ve learned from that time is that consultants need the client’s help to complete a project on time and on budget. Even if the consultants are doing the… Read more

2 comments, 2,658 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 30 January 2018

Design Concepts For Better Power BI Reports Part 5: Affordances

Affordances are a general design concept that comes from physical product design but can be applied to visual design. I first learned about affordances from the book The Design of Everyday Things. The book describes affordances as the following.

“Affordances provide strong clues as to the operations of things…… Read more

2 comments, 426 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 28 December 2017

Design Concepts For Better Power BI Reports Part 4: The Squint Test

Data visualization should be iterative. You should get a good initial draft put together and then check to make sure it meets your success criteria. Then check the design to ensure it it effectively conveys information in a manner that is easy for your audience to consume. You can then… Read more

6 comments, 657 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 22 December 2017

Design Concepts for Better Power BI Reports Part 3: Gestalt Principles

The Gestalt principles of visual perception describe how humans tend to organize visual elements into groups or unified wholes to help us make sense of visual stimuli. Basically, we perceive the visual world as complete objects rather than a bunch of independent elements.

For instance, you probably see a triangle… Read more

2 comments, 505 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 18 December 2017

Design Concepts For Better Power BI Reports – Part 2: Preattentive Attributes

Preattentive attributes are visual properties that we notice without using conscious effort to do so. Preattentive processes take place within 200ms after exposure to a visual stimulus, and do not require sequential search. They are a very powerful tool in your data visualization tool box – they determine what… Read more

5 comments, 735 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 30 November 2017

Design Concepts To Help You Create Better Power BI Reports

I have decided to write a series of blog posts about visual design concepts that can have a big impact on your Power BI Reports. These concepts are applicable to other reporting technologies, but I’ll use examples and applications in Power BI.

Our first design concept is cognitive load,… Read more

10 comments, 2,255 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 27 November 2017

Biml for a Task Factory Dynamics CRM Source Component

I recently worked on a project where a client wanted to use Biml to create SSIS packages to stage data from Dynamics 365 CRM. My first attempt using a script component had an error, which I think is related to a bug in the Biml engine with how it currently… Read more

6 comments, 1,127 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 22 November 2017

Data Visualization Panel at PASS Summit

Next week is PASS Summit 2017, and I’m excited to be a part of it. One of the sessions in which I’m participating is a panel discussion on data visualizationMico Yuk will be our facilitator. I’m in great company as the other panelists are Ginger Grant, Paul… Read more

0 comments, 334 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 28 October 2017

Let Her Finish: Voices from the Data Platform

This year I had the pleasure of contributing a chapter to a book along with some very special and talented people. That book has now been released and is available on Amazon!  Both a digital and print version are available. My chapter is about data viz in Power BI,… Read more

1 comments, 575 reads

Posted in Data Savvy on 19 October 2017

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