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James Serra's Blog

James is a big data and data warehousing technology specialist at Microsoft. He is a thought leader in the use and application of Big Data technologies, including MPP solutions involving hybrid technologies of relational data, Hadoop, and private and public cloud. Previously he was an independent consultant working as a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence architect and developer. He is a prior SQL Server MVP with over 30 years of IT experience. James is a popular blogger ( and speaker, having presented at dozens of PASS events including the PASS Business Analytics conference and the PASS Summit. He is the author of the book “Reporting with Microsoft SQL Server 2012”. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

I’m presenting at the PASS Summit!


I am fortunate enough to have been selected to give a presentation at the PASS Summit 2013 in Charlotte, NC on October 14-18.  It’s amazing to think that, although I have been in IT for 25 years, I first started to build my brand when I started this blog only 25 months ago (April 2011), and I have already got to the point where a session of mine has been accepted to “the big show” (I guess I have made it Big Time).  But you know what?  You can do it to!  And here is how: Enhance your career by blogging!, How to use LinkedIn to enhance your career, Blueprint for consulting riches, How to become an expert in your field, ABL: Always Be Learning, DBA’s, want to earn the big bucks? Learn BI, PASS Business Analytics Conference: the ultimate networking

Below is my presentation abstract along with more info about the conference.  I hope to see you there!

Building an Effective Data Warehouse Architecture

You’re a DBA and your boss asks you to determine if a data warehouse would help the company.  So many questions pop into your head: Why use a data warehouse?  What is the best methodology to use when creating a data warehouse?  Should I use a normalized or dimensional approach?  What is the difference between the Kimball and Inmon methodologies?  Does the new Tabular model in SQL Server 2012 change things?  What is the difference between a data warehouse and a data mart?  Is there any hardware I can purchase that is optimized for a data warehouse?  What if I have a ton of data?  During this session James will help you to answer these questions so your response to your boss will provoke amazement and lead to a big raise.  Or at least help to lead you down the correct path!

PASS Summit 2013

PASS Summit is the world’s largest and most intensive technical training conference for Microsoft SQL Server and BI professionals.  But more than that, it’s your conference – planned and presented by the SQL Server community for the SQL Server community.

More info:

51 Questions About Your #SQLPASS Summit Submission

Tips for Getting Around Charlotte at PASS Summit

#SQLPASS Abstract Review – My Perspective


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