Month: July 2013

I’m speaking at SQLSaturday #236 in St. Louis

I’m excited to be speaking at SQLSaturday #236 in St. Louis, MO on August 3, 2013.  I will be presenting a session on Excel Cube Functions.  Excel Cube functions have been around for a while and in my opinion do not get the acclaim they deserve.  I learned to use them in my first job out of college on the financial reporting team and became a reporting rock star (back before shadow IT and self-service BI were cool).  They were also an intro to MDX for me.  This was the beginning of a path that led me to my current job as a Business Intelligence consultant. Excel cube functions are still very relevant today, so I’m spreading the good word.  Here’s my session abstract:

Don’t Miss Out on Excel Cube Functions

Cube functions have existed since Excel 2007, but they’re not as well known nor as well publicized as other methods to obtain data from Analysis Services/PowerPivot sources. Business Analysts may feel confined to tabular (symmetrical) reports with pivot tables. BI Developers may avoid Excel because they want the ability to write calculations in MDX and the extensive formatting capabilities of Reporting Services. And Power View limits you to the sets, calculations, and captions available in the data source and doesn’t provide drillthrough detail. We’ll start with the basics of how to write and use cube functions, then employ them to build a nicely formatted, asymmetrical, parameter-driven report that overcomes the previously noted limitations. In addition to facilitating new methods for data retrieval and report design, learning cube functions can help business analysts understand the MDX language and BI developers appreciate the power of Excel’s formulas and formatting options.

I’m also participating in a joint effort with the amazing Bill Fellows (@billinkc on twitter, blog at http://billfellows.blogspot.com/) about BIDS Helper. We both think BIDS Helper is a must-have for BI developers. We’ll walk you through our favorite features and talk about real development situations where BIDS Helper was useful in each part of the process of developing a BI solution (ETL, OLAP cube, and reports). As with most Bill Fellows sessions, there will probably be candy involved.

Somebody got BIDS Helper in my Data Tools

Do you develop SSIS packages, SSRS reports or SSAS cubes (multidimensional or tabular)? Then this class is for you! We’ll cover the capabilities this free tool empowers you to perform as well as address some of the grating little quirks of BIDS/SSDT.

Analysis Services Multidimensional:

  • Roles Report
  • Printer Friendly Dimension Usage

Analysis Services Tabular:

  • Tabular Actions Editor
  • Tabular Display Folders
  • Tabular HideMemberIf

SSRS:

  • Delete Dataset Cache Files

SSIS:

  • Deploy packages from BIDS/SSDT
  • Identify items with configuration/expressions
  • Create packages based on templates
  • Find differences between packages

Learn about this perfect combination from Meagan Longoria and Bill Fellows and you’ll never want to have your BIDS without the helper!

You can also catch Bill at PASS Summit 2013.  He will be presenting Type More, Click Less: Programmatically Build SSIS Packages. After SQLSaturday #236, it will be time to get ready for SQLSaturday #191 here in Kansas City on September 14.  I enjoyed organizing the Kansas City SQLSaturday last year so I’m helping once again this year.  If you are in the Kansas City area (or can travel here), I hope you will join in on the learning, networking, and fun. The call for speakers is open until July 16th if you would like to present.