Monday, April 13, 2015

Losing Statistics

In a world where data is king, why do we as Business Intelligence Developers not capture our own data. For instance, when we send reports out by email, we lose any kind of insight we may have on our reports. Who is looking at them, how often, what are peak times? This can make it very difficult for down times and notifications if there are any issues.

We also make some items available through Tableau, but unless you deep dive in to their PostGres database, you only see the last time someone logged on to the system. Then there's Sharepoint. I'll admit, I don't know a lot about whether you can get this level of detail from Sharepoint, but I would be happy to assume that you can get a lot more than by only attaching reports to emails.

We need a better plan.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Being lucky enough to go from DBA to Microsoft Business Intelligence

So far in my career I have been lucky enough to work with some really hot products. I started out of school as an Oracle DBA, while also performing SAP Basis duties. I did this for about 3 years, when I decided it was time to try something new. What I didn't know at the time was that my Director did not want to lose me as a resource.

Our company was also starting to migrate our current Oracle and Cognos Data Warehouses to a Microsoft Data Warehouse. With my background as a DBA, they felt it was the next logical step in my career and they were right. I started in the group taking on SQL Server DBA tasks, while gaining the necessary skills with the Microsoft BI Stack. Looking back this was such an amazing opportunity. I was able to be an integral part of building the new warehouse from scratch. I had some brilliant co-workers, that were so willing to help me learn. I also had the opportunity to work with some really knowledgeable consultants from Pragmatic Works. A side effect to our company moving from the previous data warehouse to the new data warehouse was adopting Agile development. I had the opportunity to attend many BI related and Agile related trainings.

And now after leaving that company to join my current employer, I have continued to expand my BI skills. I am once again back to doing a lot of the SQL Server DBA tasks, but also learning more aspects of the process. I am still using Agile and the BI stack, but I've had the ability to bring my ideas to another warehouse conversion while also learning new approaches to migrations,  development and architecture.

My future goals are to become MCSE Certified and work towards an Architect position. At some point, I would also like to become a Microsoft MVP.

Trying LinkedIn Premium for a free month

Trying LinkedIn Premium for a free month. I have been a member and big fan of LinkedIn for quite some time. This is how I actually found my current position or should I say this is how my current position found me. I wasn't really looking for a new opportunity, but one day a recruiter contacted me through my profile view and asked to talk. I was having one of those days at work and I figured what could it hurt. Within a week I had done a phone interview, on-site interview and had been offered the position. It was amazing, hardly no effort at all on my part.

So backed to LinkedIn Premium. Quite often I get the pop up, try premium free for 1 month, so once again, I figured why not, let's give it a try. 

Here are the stated benefits.

- Unlock the full list of(Who's Viewed Your Profile)
- Contact hiring managers and recruiters directly with InMail
- Move your job applications to the top of the list as a Featured Applicant
- Filter opportunities by salary, and see salary estimates for all job listings
- See how you compare to other applicants with Applicant Insights.

I'll try an remember to write an update on whether I saw any real benefit or not.

Friday, March 06, 2015

What are those randomly generated SQL Server Agent jobs with the funny character sequence?

They some times look like 266102E5-EF3A-4D3B-B2AA-4907MM1DF28C or maybe D087318E-0C24-4895-9ECF-9530AA4D11B3 and they randomly show up in your Sql Server Agent list or do they randomly show up?
Well they are your Reporting Services subscription jobs. The nice thing is that you can dissect the details in the job and then use those details in a master job plan.
We recently did this so that our Report subscriptions were no longer time based, but became process based. We were originally scheduling the subscription to run based on what time we guessed the cube would finish processing and as you already know, guessing what time any process completes is a bad option. Once we took the details out of the randomly named job and put them in to the master job plan, we were able to deliver our subscription a lot earlier and without any manual process of checking to make sure it had all of the day's details.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Starting Again!

I was recently talking with a co-worker and he was talking about creating a blog, and I had mentioned that I have had a blog since 2007. Which got me thinking that I have not done a blog post in at least a year. So, I decided to try and start the blog back up. Unfortunately, it looks like all of my old posts are gone.

Most of the content of this blog will be about Microsoft Business Intelligence tools, SQL Server and a few other technology items.

Let's hope I can keep this blog updated.