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T-SQL Tuesday #22 Round-Up - Data Presentation


T-SQL Tuesday #22 is history, and I was pleased by the many posts and participants in this month’s September blog party, originally started by our friend SQL MVP Adam Machanic blog|twitter.  He came up with the idea of improving community involvement via blogging where bloggers around the world post their views on a same topic chosen by the host on the 2nd Tuesday of every month.  I received positive feedback, on-line and off-line, about this T-SQL Tuesday.

So, it’s time for our T-SQL Tuesday round-up and review of all our blog entries on our topic of the month, data-presentation.  In the original invite, I asked the SQL Community, to blog about the importance of formatting data to the end-user.  No matter what the code looked like behind the scenes, we must generate results and reports that are easily readable and understandable by the, often non-technical, end-user.  In many instances, such as the example I provided, formatting your code may be helpful in outputting a quality end-product.

Since the topic was broad with no specific requirements, we have some interesting, creative and detailed posts.  Some were technical, some non-technical, but all good quality contributions.

Rob Farley, being on the other side of the world and such, was one of the early contributors, talking about “Pie Charts – could try harder” and the importance of presenting data using effective visualization techniques.

Noel McKinney, who maintains his site, Noel NOT Null, (another early poster) writes about an experience where the separation of data and presentation was violated (Why have the heavens not darkened? :-P)  He had a new boss come in and asked him to remove the leading zeros from all numeric values – in the database!  Read Noel on Data Presentation.

Pinal Dave, whom we all know from the, posted about SQL SERVER – Denali – New Functions and Shorthand for CASE Statement, and how important they are to data presentation.  He commented that he “loved” this month’s topic!


Dirk Wegener touches on two scenarios in which he format strings in the result sets of queries, and writes a user defined function that he believes should already be part of SQL Server’s T-SQL out of the box functions. 

Bob Pusateri, aka SQLBob, of his blog series, The Outer Join (who hosted a T-SQL Tuesday recently himself), relates his story to data presentation and takes the liberty of extending this to include other computers so he can tell all about what he calls “Pseudo-XML”.

Amit Banjeree, who maintains,, blogs about Data Presentation and the Mask of Zorro in a very interesting post. Amit compares raw data to visual representation of the data.

Airborne Geek, whose real name is Kerry L. Tyler, writes that Data Presentation: is Just as Important as the Data Itself, and gives us some examples and very good details on what you need to ask the end-user first, before you embark on creating the visuals.

Robert Pearl, (PearlKnows Blog) the guy that started all the ruckus about data presentation, that’s me J, followed up the invitation with his example of formatting data to the end-user by using a CTE.  By deriving the percentages, it’s easy to create data charts/graphs and is the visual eye-candy that all our end-users and higher-ups love! 

Matt Nelson, at, discusses reporting using Cognos, which can render reports that create the same presentation layer, independent of which database platform you use.  Whether its Oracle, SQL Server, or MySQL, the end-user will see the same unified report.

Robert Mathew Cook, aka SQLMashup, submitted his data presentation contribution here, talks about presents, tiers and tools, to make end-user presentation.  He mentions other T-SQL such as Using GROUP BY with ROLLUP, CUBE, and GROUPING SETS, as well as multi-tier and .NET application architecture.

Matt Velic, data professional, blogger, and recently minted member of the SQLPeople team, posts his T-SQL Tuesday #22 Data Presentation titled Information Astray.  Happy that one of his firsthand experiences in poor design, inspired his post.  Reads like a mystery, “The Case of the Missing Book”. LOL

Jason Brimhall aka SQLRNNR, brother-in-blogging on, discusses items that will help your data be better presented are: Performance, Accuracy, Display, and Business Requirements.  Lots of great code examples too! 

John Morehouse, aka SQLRUs, gives his take on what data presentation is all about. He agrees that it is one of the most important aspects of what we [as DBA’s] do.  In a nutshell, it’s really about talking with your end users and find out what they want and/or need.  Read More…

Jack Vamvas, who maintains the site,, give us an awesome example of data presentation using PowerShell and excel charts!  PowerShell to Excel is a good way to presenting data, and works with SQL Server.  Read More…

Nigel Peter Sammy continues the T-SQL Tuesday blog party, and also talks about Excel for data presentation, but in this case talks about the powerful feature PowerPivot for Excel - a data analysis add-in tool that you can use to perform powerful data analysis in Excel 2010, bringing self-service business intelligence to your desktop.

Steve Jones, aka way0utwest, co-founder & editor of, talks about how critical Formatting Data is to data presentation. His point is to always push any presentation work to the client instead of the database server. Read More…

Sebastian Meine, of Sqlity shows us how to implement string concatenation in T-SQL, using XML.  He offers a detailed step-by-step method.  Read More….

Bradley Ball, aka SQLBalls, gives us some nice code examples and good explanations.  He also took my cue, and introduced his own CTE J Brad’s take is unformatted code would be a nightmare to read through, and good coding standards are a habit that you want to get into.  Read More…

OK!  I think I got all of your posts summarized.  (If I missed anyone, do let me know :-O).  We definitely have a nice array of various articles and entries, and truly want to thank everyone here for all their contributions, and taking time out to participate in this T-SQL Tuesday #22.

Again, I want to thank Adam for pinging me and giving me the opportunity to host!  Hope you all enjoyed this month’s blog party.  Tune in next month for another fun topic!

Have a great topic? Remember, you too can host, just reach out and contact Adam directly.   

You can follow me on Twitter|Pearlknows, and to take a look at our products and services, please visit us at Pearl Knowledge Solutions' website.  Ask about our comprehensive quick-start performance assessment, to keep your server's engine humming!



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