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Sam Vanga

Sam Vanga helps business people solve their data problems and enables them make data-driven-decisions. His specialties include data integration, data warehouse and database development, and BI design. Sam blogs at http://SamuelVanga.com.

Baltimore Crime Report Using Power BI

As part of my quest for using data to find answers to everyday questions using Power BI – after analyzing baby names and eating habits – I turned to crime data for the city of Baltimore.

Data is obtained from Open Baltimore and I used Power BI Desktop. Once you… Read more

0 comments, 88 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 27 July 2015

Community Reactions to Power BI General Availability

Power BI is released to the public on Friday, 07/24. There’re both free and Pro versions. For full details about products, downloads, and pricing, go to https://powerbi.microsoft.com/.  This is how the community reacted to the release on Twitter.

An exciting news was announced a day prior to GA. The… Read more

0 comments, 106 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 26 July 2015

Include File Name in Content Using Power Query

When importing data from a flat file using Power Query, you’d want to combine multiple files and include file name in the resulting table. For example, in Analyzing Baby Names using Power BI I posted recently, the file name contains year that I needed to include in the table. Here’s… Read more

0 comments, 626 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 21 July 2015

Automating SSIS Design Pattern: Load Flat File Into Staging Table

Delimited flat files are commonly used to move data from one system to the other.

In this two part series published on SQLServerCentral.com, you’ll learn:

  1. A design pattern to load flat files to staging tables
  2. Automatically create packages to load multiple flat files using this pattern

Both these articles… Read more

0 comments, 142 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 14 July 2015

Are People’s Food Habits Changing? A Power BI Analysis

A few years ago on road trips I’d happily grab whatever I can find to eat at service stations. That usually includes either McDonald’s, KFC, or Burger King. But today I wouldn’t mind driving a few miles off-route to eat something healthier. If you follow any financial news, you’ll notice… Read more

3 comments, 1,626 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 7 July 2015

I’m on WOxPod! Podcast

A few weeks ago, while at SQL Saturday Philadelphia, Chris Bell, SQL Server MVP and co-leader of PASS DC user group graciously sat me down and talked. We talked about me; who I’m, what I do, and what I like. You can listen to the podcast here.… Read more

0 comments, 105 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 29 June 2015

Analyzing Baby Names using Power BI

Me and my wife are contemplating names for our first baby we’re expecting in a couple of months! We don’t know yet if it’s going to be a girl or a boy, and our shortlist of names is very short right now with just one name. Needless to say, we’re… Read more

3 comments, 32 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 16 June 2015

Team-based Database Development: Playing Nice With Others

Here are the slides and links to awesome resources for my presentation, “Team-based Database Development: Playing Nice With Others

If you need a summary of what’s covered in the session, the abstract is as follows:

As soon as you have more than one person on a development effort,… Read more

2 comments, 1,587 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 29 April 2014

Read Flat File Contents to Variable – Write Variable Value to Flat File

When working with SSIS, you’ll often find the need to read the contents of a flat file to a variable, and write the value of a variable to a flat file. A script task can be used to accomplish both of these.

READ CONTENTS OF A FLAT FILE TO A… Read more

0 comments, 2,618 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 8 April 2014

Presenting Biml and Team-based Development at PASSDC and BSSUG

I’m excited to present two different sessions in April at DC SQL Server User Group and at Baltimore SQL Server User Group. I look forward to seeing you there if you’re in the area.

I’m passionate about these topics and enjoyed building these new sessions. Hopefully the attendees will… Read more

0 comments, 245 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 3 April 2014

Automate T-SQL Merge For Loading Dimensions

If you’re a data warehouse developer, chances are you use T-SQL Merge statement to process slowly changing dimensions. If you’ve coded a couple of Merge statements, you might’ve noticed that most of that code is redundant. By saving source to target data map and other metadata before hand, you can… Read more

2 comments, 292 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 5 February 2014

Get Rid of These 5 T-SQL Bad Habits with SQL Prompt

We all have bad habits. Maybe we eat too many snacks, spend too much time on the couch watching TV, don’t take enough breaks during the day. Some of these bad habits are harmless, but others, like not regularly taking database backups might give you constant headaches. Bad T-SQL writing… Read more

0 comments, 172 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 21 January 2014

Standardize Table Aliases

What's wrong with the following code?

  1. SELECT
  2.     a.[BusinessEntityID]
  3.     , b.[FirstName]
  4.     , b.[LastName]
  5. FROM [HumanResources].[Employee] a
  6.     INNER JOIN [

Read more

0 comments, 244 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 5 March 2013

Standardize Table Aliases

What’s wrong with the following code?

SELECT 
    a.[BusinessEntityID]
    , b.[FirstName]
    , b.[LastName] 
FROM [HumanResources].[Employee] a
	INNER JOIN [Person].[Person] b
	ON b.[BusinessEntityID] = a.[BusinessEntityID]

Nothing – except for my poor choice of using meaningless single characters as table aliases. Although it’s not a big deal with simpler queries like I’ve here,… Read more

0 comments, 160 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 5 March 2013

Sparklines and Conditional Formating in SSRS

When creating a SSRS report, you want to add lines that display trends. You want to show trends for more than one data point. And you want to conditionally format the data point.

In this example, I use Sparklines and a simple expression to create a sparkling report!

Below is… Read more

0 comments, 189 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 26 February 2013

Sparklines and Conditional Formating in SSRS

When creating a SSRS report, you want to add lines that display trends. You want to show trends for more than one data point. And you want to conditionally format the data point.

In this example, I use Sparklines and a simple expression to create a sparkling report!

Below is… Read more

0 comments, 416 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 26 February 2013

Script to Populate Date Dimension, without Using a Cursor

Most of the scripts I've used to populate date dimension uses a cursor. Since data is loaded only once to a date dimension in the ETL life cycle, using a cursor isn't a sin.

Still, when I was reviewing my own code the other day, I wanted to get rid… Read more

0 comments, 1,384 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 22 January 2013

Script to Populate Date Dimension, without Using a Cursor

Most of the scripts I’ve used to populate date dimension uses a cursor. Since data is loaded only once to a date dimension in the ETL life cycle, using a cursor isn’t a sin.

Still, when I was reviewing my own code the other day, I wanted to get rid… Read more

0 comments, 235 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 22 January 2013

SQL Server Views

This post is first of yet to come long series on basic concepts of SQL Server. I’ll begin with basic 101 introduction to SQL Server views. I wouldn’t recommend reading any further if you are an experienced sql server’er. I value your time

What are views?

  • virtual tables
  • named select…

Read more

0 comments, 414 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 22 January 2013

Scripts to Detect Data Warehouse Issues

Standards and best practices are like flu shots you take before you’re infected; Database best practices protect your databases from bad things. But, we all make mistakes. It could be because we’re on a time crunch, or we’re lazy (which I’m guilty of by the way), or maybe it’s part… Read more

2 comments, 200 reads

Posted in Sam Vanga on 15 January 2013

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