Pragmatic Works Blog

Company blog for some of our Pragmatic Works employee to write about company happenings and about the software business.

You Don't Have Time for Data Testing?!

On Sep 02, 2015 by John Welch

I’ve been a big advocate of testing for applications, databases, data warehouses, BI and analytics for a while now. Not just any testing, but real tests that help you truly verify the state of your code, applications and data. I like Test Driven Development, but really any approach that focuses on automated, repeatable tests that verify meaningful functionality I find hugely beneficial. And almost no one I’ve ever talked to about this topic has disagreed with me. (There was that one guy, but he was a FoxPro developer, so...) But there’s often a point where the conversation goes sideways. Usually, it starts something like this:

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Patterns and Practices: Creating a Date Table

On Sep 01, 2015 by Ginger Grant

There may be a time when you will need to create a table containing a series of dates. Perhaps you want a date table for a data warehouse or a data model in Excel’s Power Pivot. There are a number of ways you can create a date table in SQL Server. I will show a method, which we recommend at Pragmatic Works, that uses a Common Table Expression [CTE].

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Tagged With: Excel, Data Warehouse

Designing Datazen Dashboards

On Aug 20, 2015 by Ginger Grant

Datazen is a reporting tool recently acquired by Microsoft that allows dashboard creation and publishing based on many data sources, including Excel. With Microsoft's acquisition comes many questions about the Datazen interface. In this post, Ginger Grant will give you insight on creating Datazen dashboards.

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Tagged With: Datazen

Exploring Excel 2013 for BI: Adding a Slicer

On Aug 14, 2015 by Steve Hughes

Welcome back to our blog series Excel at Excel with Steve Hughes! In his previous posts, he's discussed using the Quick Explore, Show Details and Flash Fill features. In this entry, Steve will show you how to add a Slicer feature in Excel.

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Tagged With: Excel, Excel at Excel

Three SSAS Dimension Design Best Practices

On Aug 07, 2015 by Dustin Ryan

Are you having issues with the performance and usability of your solution’s dimensions? In this blog, Pragmatic Works' Senior Business Intelligence Consultant Dustin Ryan covers three best practices that for improving performance of SSAS dimensions as well as common mistakes in dimension design. Additionally, he's discussing some common mistakes he sees users making with dimension design.

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Tagged With: SSAS

Exploring Excel 2013 for BI: Flash Fill

On Jul 30, 2015 by Steve Hughes

Welcome back to our series, Excel at Excel, by Steve Hughes! In his last post, Steve discussed using the Show Details feature. In this edition, he'll show you how to use the Flash Fill function by walking you through how to manipulate data and fill a column base using the Flash Fill function.

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Tagged With: Excel, Excel at Excel

Performance Tuning SSAS Best Practices

On Jul 24, 2015 by Dustin Ryan

Looking to improve the performance of your SSAS solution? Dustin Ryan has you covered. In this post, he will discuss three best practices that you can follow to improve performance and management. Following these best practices will make a huge difference when dealing with large SSAS solutions.

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Tagged With: SSAS

Preparing a Technical Session Part 2: Coming Up With a Title

On Jul 22, 2015 by Devin Knight

In his first blog on creating a technical session, our Training Director Devin Knight discussed how to choose a topic. In this post, he'll give you tips on picking the perfect title for your session. The title of your session often dictates how successful your presentation will be, and Devin is sharing his tricks on creating the best presentation title.

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Tagged With: Professional Development

Exploring Excel 2013 for BI: Show Explore

On Jul 16, 2015 by Steve Hughes

Welcome back to our informative series on Excel by Steve Hughes! In his first post, he conquered the Quick Explore feature. In this post, Steve will delve into the Show Explore feature. Join Steve as he shows you how you can drill into details using the Show Explore feature once you've connected your SSAS cube to Excel.

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Tagged With: SSAS, Excel, Excel at Excel

How to Use the Unpivot Transform in SSIS

On Jul 08, 2015 by Bradley Schacht

Moving data from columns to rows can be a tricky task and accomplished in a variety of ways. That may be through a series of unions in T-SQL, but that’s just ugly and means lots of passes at the data potentially. You could use a T-SQL unpivot, which isn’t bad and usually my preferred method. The problem is you may not always have the option to use T-SQL.What if your source is a flat file or a database that doesn’t support unpivot?

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Tagged With: ssis

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