Pragmatic Works Blog

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

Pragmatic Works at PASS Summit 2015

On Oct 05, 2015 by Devon Stiles

It's hard to believe that PASS Summit kicks off in just a couple of weeks! PASS Summit is the world's largest and highest-rated conference for Microsoft SQL Server and BI professionals, and our consultants are proud to be presenting sessions throughout the week. Here's a list of their sessions, dates and times:

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Five Disaster Recovery Mistakes You Might Be Making

On Sep 24, 2015 by Pragmatic Works

Kathy Vick and Rowland Gosling are Pragmatic Works' resident experts on disaster recovery. Through their vast experience, they've noticed many common mistakes that DBAs are making and they're sharing their insight to prevent your recover from being a disaster of its own:

Disaster planning is a challenging topic for most companies and a crucial factor in data lifecycle maturity. While we understand no one wants to think about bad things happening, but for the same reason you pay for insurance, you need to have a resolute disaster recovery plan. Even the most well-prepared organizations and DBAs can be challenged with what to do to bring their systems back online during an outage.

In our experience, we’ve noticed most DBAs understand planning for a disaster like their company’s RPO (Recovery Point Objective, or how much data they can lose in a disaster) and RTO (Recovery Time Objective – how much time they can be down), and they plan their disaster strategies around those objectives. But the real challenge comes when disaster strikes, and your DBA is put to the test trying to bring the systems back online and prevent recovery from being a disaster.

With all of that in mind, here’s our list of five common mistakes you may be making with your disaster recovery strategy:

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Tagged With: DLO

Exploring Excel 2013 for BI: Cleaning-Up Slicers

On Sep 16, 2015 by Steve Hughes

Thank you again for reading our blog series Excel at Excel with Steve Hughes! In his previous tip, Steve showed you how to add slicers. In this post, he will discuss cleaning up slicers once they have been added to your spreadsheet.

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Tagged With: Excel, Excel at Excel

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

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