Few words about: Disappearing SSAS named set

Today i discovered something that could be interesting for you if you work with multidimensional projects in MS technology. I’ve got calculations in my project some of them was named sets, I would like to test them during the final step of the project. Everything was ok but few named sets wasn’t visible in the client tool. Let’s check this on AdventureWorks sample.

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Let’s say that we want to create set that contain only active promotions but our company provide some promotions after first four months. Simple example above (click image to zoom)  meets business needs but when we deploy our project to the server and try to verify data in SSMS we will see something unexpected:

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Where is our Named Set? Continue reading

Few words about: business intelligence?

A lot of people doesn’t know what is Business Intelligence. It’s funny but most of people with technical skills cannot explain what is BI and for what we need it. In this short post I would like to introduce you into world of bi. Some experts can say that it’s set of technologies, methodologies, architectures and so on. But what BI really is?

In our case we talk only about BI software and BI idea. In one word Business Intelligence is possibility to keep our data in order. Many companies have many databases in their organization. These databases are used by great software like CRM or ERP, but there is few big problems with this soft and databases: if your company grows and you’ve got for example 5 branches, every branch has its own software. It’s very hard to gather, consolidate and analyze this data together. Sometimes we need to know something about historical data, for example User A lives in Toronto and sells there  products, after two years he or she moved to new location – New York. In traditional databases data about his/her first place of living will be erased. BI solves this problem by building global data warehouse that can store data from many sources with normalized format. Data warehouse provide opportunity to store historical data with Slowly changing dimension mechanism ( I will try to explain it in the near future).

                Another problem is very simple but very hard to solve – end users. Sometimes when we look at our databases we can see great architecture, a lot of tables that are in concert with third normal form but.. when we look closer we can see something very strange like in the picture below:

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In the picture we can see some data. First row is correct, every attribute is inserted correctly, but in the second one we can notice strange Hobby “___” – it’s simple to diagnose– somebody who don’t want to insert correct data, put random characters here. Other rows show us very strange fact too – people have only 2 genders but here we have 4! Application architects should give users interface where they can choose from drop-down list only two possibilities but they didn’t do that. Here we can see that they can put new values – it’s disaster of course because for us it’s simple that W=Woman and F = Female but reporting software it’s not intelligent as we are. Another think is Phone Kate and Jan has the same phone number, mistake or the same person? Hard to say for us, hard to say for soft. Business Intelligence give us opportunity to clean data, its provide some tools to build dictionary values like City, Gender, Country or Product.

Another feature that Business Intelligence provide is data mining. Data mining is very complex topic but in very simple term we can say that data mining give us information about our data that we cannot discover in the simple way. For example organizations can discover what products are sold together – it’s called basket analysis or group clients into groups using clustering algorithm.

Business Intelligence software include also reporting tools. When we gather our data, clean and form into data warehouse form we can build reports on it. Reports are very important in every company but they are as good as source that they are based on.

To sum up this small piece of text we can say that BI software :

  • gives company “the only single version of truth”
  • gather data from many sources
  • clean our data
  • give opportunity to fast access and query huge amounts of data
  • provide opportunity to deep dive in our data (data mining)
  • is advantage over the competition

I hope  now this term is clear for you.

Hello world!

Hello,

I would like to invite you to my blog where you can find some useful(or not) information about technology, especially Microsoft technology like Business Intelligence and database solutions (SQL Server). From time to time i will post something about .NET and the other  that i have to work with or which are interesting for me.

Finally i would like to invite you to take part in this blog, ask some questions and maybe write something interesting that i can post 🙂 visit achodkowski.wordpress.com from time to time – i want to blog on weekly basis.

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Thanks!

Adrian