Pragmatic Works Blog

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

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

Exploring Excel 2013 for BI: Quick Explore

On Jul 02, 2015 by Steve Hughes

Excel is a powerful tool that is used by almost everyone is the business world. Because of its numerous capabilities, Excel has many functions that can often be confusing to users. In this new blog series Our resident expert, Steve Hughes, will cover a wide variety of Excel topics ranging from easy to complex. Steve will provide you tips and tricks he has discovered in his journey through Excel.

Quick Explore

So, you have connected Excel to your SSAS cube. You really wish you could cross drill easily in the product. If you have used PerformancePoint Services you know the process. Right click on the bar or cell and then choose the dimension to drill to using the information you clicked on as a starting point. You can now do this in Excel 2013 using Quick Explore. Here’s how to do it:

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Tagged With: SSAS, Excel, Excel at Excel

Preparing a Technical Session Part 1: Picking a Topic

On Jun 30, 2015 by Devin Knight

So you’ve decided or perhaps were told to do a technical presentation. If this is something that’s new for you, then you may be going through a variety of emotions. You may start feeling excited in anticipation of the event, but often that quickly that changes to anxiety as you realize the amount ofwork ahead of you. As an experienced technical presenter, I understand what you're going through and the challenges you'll face throughout the process. 

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Tagged With: Professional Development

Looping Through a Result Set with the ForEach Loop

On Jun 24, 2015 by Shawn Harrison

In today's blog post, I am going to show you another use for the ForEach Loop container in SSIS. Most of the time, this container is used for looping through a group of files, however, there are many different uses for it.

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Tagged With: ssis

Why You Should Care About Data Testing

On Jun 22, 2015 by Robert Cain


It has long been a staple of the application world, but far less so in the world of data-centric development. Testing should be critical at every stage of development, especially at the data level.

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Tagged With: Products, Data Testing

Creating a SQL 2016 CTP2 Virtual Machine in Azure

On Jun 17, 2015 by Devin Knight

With the CTP2 of SQL Server 2016 now released, you may be eager to try it out. One of the best ways to do this in my opinion is to set it up on a virtual machine. You could certainly do this with VMWare or Hyper-V but my new preference for creating VMs is Azure.

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Tagged With: Azure

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