Power BI Pro


Power BI Pro


As I write this, I have Word sized so that I can keep an eye on my browser in the background, set to auto refresh the pricing page on the PowerBI.Microsoft.com site. Why? Because today, 7/24/2015, (My Birthday) Microsoft is making Power BI Pro generally available to the public. Have I been reduced to the level of Apple enthusiasts, camping out for an iWatch or iPhone release? Not quite, I hope. I feel a mixture of shame and at the same time a degree of pride in my geeky anticipation for this product. I expect this release will have a significant impact on the world of BI, and certainly my work in the field. I plan to chronicle my experience and learning of the product in hopes that I can help others learn and appreciate its usefulness. Please join me on 8/3/2015 if you are in the Tampa area. I’ll be presenting a first look at Power BI Pro at the Tampa Bay BI user group. I’ll be covering some of the basics for setting up your first dashboard in Power BI Pro, connecting to an Azure SQL Server Database, the Power BI Desktop application and, if I can get a good demo of it working by then, hooking up the Connector for an On-Prem SQL server.

Power BI


Power BI

This was a close one, just under the wire! I just got back from the PASS Business Analytics Conference in San Jose CA, my first time there. I’m starting to realize I have a lot to catch up on in the Analytics world.

I learned about the new Power BI Preview site and the Power BI Designer. In the next couple entries I’m going to cover creating projects in each of these from the ground up. First I’d like to ask for some feedback. What types of projects do you think might be useful, using these new tools? Have you run into any issues that you are still trying to work through (As I am) in getting a first project out there? Please contact me, I’d like to make this an interactive series about real world examples.

SQL Saturday Tampa 371

SQL Saturday 371

SQL Saturday 371

Ok, I admit it. This post is a bit of a cop-out to avoid not posting in February. This is the slide deck for anyone attending my session tomorrow morning at SQL Saturday Tampa 371.

Click Here to download it.

I will be adding a few updates to it based on some work I’ve been doing recently, as soon as it’s ready for prime time, I’ll re-post. Thanks to everyone who’s attending!

Top 4 Quotes For Report Developers


Top 4 Quotes For Report Developers

Before I start into the quotes, I want to let you know about something I’m trying for 2015. I have committed myself to writing at least one blog post per month. As a personal incentive, if I fail to post, I will give away one copy of the new “Pro T-SQL Programmer’s Guide, 4th edition” –Miguel Cebollero to the first person to call me out on it by commenting on my previous month’s post. If I reach my goal and post at least once each month, I’ll give away one copy in a random drawing of those who have written at least one (relevant) comment to one of my 2015 posts.

Now, to the quotes. I am a big movie and book fan and often wonder if the quotes I cite to folks are lost on them or if they “get” my references. So I thought it might be fun to explain a few of my favorites. I’m sure if you’ve ever written a report once you read these, even if you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, you’ll get them.



Counting down from number 4:

As the saying goes, “If you had an infinite number of monkeys and an infinite number of typewriters, you could have the entire works of Shakespeare in no time.” I throw this one out there any time a question of data quality comes up. Sure, you just might have the entire works of Shakespeare, some unimaginable gems hiding in your data, but you also have so much junk that it would take you an eternity to find them. Still as report writers, we are expected to present that gem, and ONLY that gem in a report that has more exception criteria than results!

SQL Saturday 318 Orlando 2014

SQL Saturday 318 Orlando 2014,
#sqlsatorlando, Thank You’s and PASS Summit 2014

SQL Saturday 318 Orlando 2014

SQL Saturday #318 Orlando 2014

So again, it’s been a while since I’ve posted a bolg. Right off the bat I need to tell you this is a non-technical post. I wanted to let everyone know that I will be presenting a session on SSRS at SQL Saturday 318 Orlando 2014 in a couple weeks, September 27th. This will be another great learning opportunity for all of us, so If you can make it out, be sure to register ASAP.

Next, I’d like to call out a couple of guys who have had a huge impact on my career and personal development over the last couple of years. I’ve been fortunate enough to work for both of them and have learned more from them and through them than I could have ever imagined.

First is Jose Chinchilla. (SQLJoe.com & AgileBay.com) I finished 2013 and started 2014 working for Jose in a consulting role. Jose is the owner of Agile Bay and runs the Tampa SQL BI Users group. (http://tampabaybi.sqlpass.org/) A couple weeks ago Jose presented me with an opportunity to go to this year’s PASS Summit in Seattle in November! I couldn’t be more excited to say I’ll be attending my first Summit! I can’t wait for this event, and am sincerely grateful to Jose for making this trip possible.

Next, but in no way to a lesser extent, I’d like to thank Miguel Cebollero (SQLMiguel.com) First for letting me take 3 days off to attend the Summit, and also for his ongoing encouragement. Miguel has been more than a great guy to work for. Beyond his top notch technical guidance, I like to say that he keeps me honest. He stays connected, not just with me but his entire team, consistently motivating us beyond our 9-5 jobs.

Both Miguel and Jose exemplify what I have found in the SQL Server community at large. A genuinely fun and supportive group that is always willing to help fellow professionals. So I’d like to also thank all of you, who have read my blog and attended my speaking engagements. I learn more writing and presenting than any of the folks who are listening.

Querying Active Directory From SSRS to secure reports and enhance the user experience

Querying Active Directory From SSR

Querying Active Directory From SSRS


Thanks to everyone who stopped out to the Tampa SQL BI user’s group last night to hear my presentation on Querying Active Directory From SSRS. Here is the link to download the Power Point. Click Here to download. Be sure to join us next month for Bryan Bennett’s presentation of Service Broker.


If you haven’t already, visit the Tampa SQL BI User’s Group site and register for updates to learn about everything our chapter will be doing in the coming months. Click Here.

Your Data Quality Is Crap (and no one cares)

Your Data Quality is Crap (and no one cares)
Having just started with a new company last week, I’ve been reflecting on the positions I’ve held over the years and thinking about what causes me to categorize them as good or bad jobs.
Some I value because of the people I worked with. Some, it was an exceptional compensation package or career opportunity that I remember most. But when I’m forced to name the best job I’ve held over the past 20 years, none of those factors play into my calculations. As the title of this post suggests, you’d be right to guess that data quality was the best I have experienced in my professional career, at a job I held for only a short time, yet had a lasting effect on me.

A quick side note, I’m planning to make this topic a series, and this first post is going to set the groundwork for, what I hope becomes a dialog on the topic of data quality. So if you are looking for technical insight you may want to skip ahead to the as yet unwritten follow-ups to this post.

It was 2001, I had a couple programming jobs under my belt and was hired to write part of the web interface for a law enforcement site. The company…

ITProCamp 2013 Is this Saturday, register today!

logoITProCamp 2013

Just a quick reminder before you set your weekend plans. This Saturday will be ITProCamp 2013, October 26, 2013 from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM (EDT). At Keiser University 5002 West Waters Avenue
Tampa, FL 33634. This is a free event, but please register at: http://tampaitprocamp2013-eorg.eventbrite.com/

I will be presenting an introduction to SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS).