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Tim Mitchell

Tim Mitchell is a business intelligence consultant, author, trainer, and SQL Server MVP with over a decade of data management experience. He is a partner with Linchpin People and is the principal of Tyleris Data Solutions.

Tim has spoken at international and local events including the SQL PASS Summit, SQLBits, SQL Connections, along with dozens of tech fests, code camps, and SQL Saturday events. He is coauthor of the book SSIS Design Patterns, and is a contributing author on MVP Deep Dives 2.

You can visit his website and blog at or follow him on Twitter at

Somebody Doesn’t Like You, and That’s Good

Everybody wants to be liked, to some extent. Being disliked by others feels like a deficiency, a shortcoming in oneself that must be fixed. It feels like a failure that you’ve let someone down, or even worse, it can make you feel like you’re somehow broken or deficient.

I would… Read more

10 comments, 164 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 24 April 2015

Using the SSIS Object Variable as a Data Flow Source

Object variables in SSIS are incredibly versatile, allowing the storage of almost any type of data (even .NET objects). In my last post on this topic, I demonstrated how an SSIS object variable containing a .NET DataSet object could be used by the for each loop container as an… Read more

10 comments, 5,672 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 20 April 2015

Handling Mixed Format Data Files in SSIS

Some time back I wrote about how to use the script component to parse out ragged data files in SSIS. In this post, I’ll continue the discussion to describe how to handle mixed format data files – specifically, those with several different record types in each file.

In a… Read more

1 comments, 5,168 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 13 April 2015

A full day with me, SSIS, and Edgar Allan Poe

When I think about Baltimore, I think about Edgar Allan Poe. Baltimore was Poe’s one-time home, and in fact there is a museum located in a home in which he once lived. I’ve been a Poe fan since high school, and am looking forward to seeing some of the… Read more

0 comments, 199 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 10 April 2015

On Failure: On Being a Screw-Up

“He’s a screw-up. Always trying things that don’t work.”

I’ll be honest: I used to be afraid of being the person described above. I didn’t want to be known as someone whose ideas didn’t work. And to that end, I was successful: most of what I tried was successful. The… Read more

7 comments, 5,292 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 9 April 2015

Null, empty string, or zero?

The answer: It Depends.

One of the more common problems I encounter when managing data quality, especially in an ETL process, is the handling of null values, blanks, and zeroes. When I put on my preaching shoes to talk about bad data, this is one the areas I have to… Read more

5 comments, 6,865 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 6 April 2015

Best of PASS Summit 2014: Building Bullet-Resistant SSIS Packages

This week, PASS announced the Best of PASS Summit 2014, a collection of the 10 highest-rated sessions from last fall’s PASS Summit in Seattle. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my session, “Building Bullet-Resistant SSIS Packages”, was among these. All of these sessions (including lots of other content)… Read more

1 comments, 5,456 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 4 April 2015

Finally, a Universal Data Integration Utility

Earlier today, the fine folks at the F. Oobar Corporation released a revolutionary product: a universal data integration utility. This software component, known as the Baseline Ongoing Generic Utility for Synergy, will run on any platform and can convert data to and from almost any format automatically. It also reads… Read more

6 comments, 228 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 1 April 2015

Why I Want to Have Coffee With You

Yesterday I read an article entitled “Why I Don’t Want to Have Coffee With You”, in which the author writes that he doesn’t have the time or the desire to simply “have coffee”. While I empathize with some of the author’s justifications for his position, I was disappointed… Read more

10 comments, 6,652 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 31 March 2015

The Idea Book

How many times have you said to yourself, “Someone should build an application that does [x]…”, or “Wouldn’t it be easy to add automation to [y]”, or “It would be a lot of fun to work on a project to build [z]”? For me, this has happened a lot, and… Read more

1 comments, 224 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 25 March 2015

Fix Inconsistent Line Terminators in SSIS

There is a flat file processing issue I’ve run into a number of times over the years, and it’s come up again several times recently. The issue relates to the line terminators used in data files. Occasionally, changes to the systems generating these data files, or perhaps even manual edits,… Read more

8 comments, 286 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 23 March 2015

Iterating Through Excel Worksheets with Biml

Wrangling large or complex Excel workbooks in SSIS can be a challenge. From managing data types (more about that in this post by Koen Verbeeck) to addressing multiple worksheets in a single document, configuring SSIS to properly read from or write to Excel documents is tedious at best. While there… Read more

10 comments, 6,655 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 16 March 2015

On Failure: Getting Up

In my continuing series entitled “On Failure”, I want to talk about skiing.

I’m not a great skier. It would probably be a stretch to say that I’m a good skier. Still, I enjoy doing it, and I want to (and can) get better at it. Since I live in… Read more

1 comments, 5,542 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 6 February 2015

Advanced SSIS Training in Dallas

I’m very excited to offer a new course entitled “Advanced SSIS” in the Dallas area this spring. My friend and colleague Andy Leonard and I will be delivering this new 3-day course March 9-11, 2015 at the Microsoft offices in Irving, Texas. This course is intended for… Read more

0 comments, 245 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 21 January 2015

On Failure

The first rule of blogging is that you should write about topics you know a lot about. And I know a lot about failure. This post will be the first in a series on the topic, through which I’ll share a few of my own failures and how I’ve done… Read more

8 comments, 214 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 9 January 2015

Six practical tips for social media success in 2015

Social media is the new résumé.  In many ways, it’s even better than a résumé – a person’s social media stream can reveal attitudes, biases, and deficiencies that wouldn’t dare appear on a résumé.  Your online thoughts – blogs, Instagram pictures, tweets on Twitter, posts on Facebook, among others –… Read more

3 comments, 5,493 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 2 January 2015

[OT] Blog is in maintenance mode

I’m spending part of this holiday break repaying some technical debt on my website.  Among other things, I am importing some old content that I never brought over when I did my migration to WordPress a few years ago.  Most of the content I’m bringing over is old (most of… Read more

0 comments, 222 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 21 December 2014

On Perspective

Perspective can make or break a career.  Maintaining a proper perspective is very often the differentiating factor between a good technologist and an incredible one.

In my 15-ish years in IT, I’ve said a lot of dumb things.  Many of them I’ve forgotten, but I can’t shake the memory of… Read more

10 comments, 5,158 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 3 December 2014

SSIS Parent-Child Architecture in Catalog Deployment Mode

This is the third in a series of posts about SSIS parent-child architecture.  You can find the index page here.

In my previous posts on SSIS parent-child package architecture, I described the benefits of the parent-child package design pattern and demonstrated the implementation of such a pattern in package… Read more

0 comments, 6,034 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 1 December 2014

How to burn down your house while frying a turkey

It’s an odd query, yes, but in preparation to write this post I actually typed the above phrase into my browser.  No, I’m certainly not looking to burn down my house.  In fact, wait here while I clear my search history, just in case.

For the sake of argument, let’s… Read more

5 comments, 289 reads

Posted in Tim Mitchell on 26 November 2014

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