4/30/2013

Attended Hadoop Presentation Today

Today 20 of us gathered to hear the CTO speak.

He gave us a presentation on Hadoop.

As the 20 of us will be attending Cloudera Hadoop Map-Reduce training next week for 4 days.

The demo lasted exactly 1 hour 30 minutes.  Discussed HDFS, HBase, Hive, Pig and had a few demo's.  Also showed us the Cloudera Manager for our production system.

Good stuff!  Can't wait to be immersed in the granularity that which is Big Data.

Not sure of everyone's exposure in this terrain, however, everyone seemed sharp, asked good questions.

So next Tuesday, training, Map-Reduce, will update with the details!

Intro to SharePoint - SSRS Integrated Services

Today the server admin's got our SharePoint 2013 server up and running.

And in doing so, they were able to integrate the SSRS Reports.

So that means no more separate SSRS server running in Native Mode.

All the maintenance is now done within SharePoint.

Add folders, Upload reports, create Data Sources, etc.

And the reports run within SharePoint, users can select parameters.

Next step tomorrow will be to add permissions to specific people.

And let 'em at running the reports.

Way cool!  Something new!

4/29/2013

Where Does Creativity Come From?

Where does creativity come from?

Curiosity.  The ability to sit still, allow the clouds to form in the mind, let them wander.

For if you try too hard, the clouds disappear.

Allowing the mind to flow naturally over the landscape.

To see the colors differentiate from the others, to watch things rise and fall.

Allowing the mind to relax.

In that stillness, you become more receptive to the infinite being.

And catch sparks of insight.

A form of meditation, the detached observer, without opinions, just watching.

I believe J. Krishnamurti believed in this.

Not necessarily to deny the self, but to distance your thoughts from past experience.

As the past is biased by its past.  And the past cannot be trusted.

You must view each moment as a child does, unobstructed by your repository of beliefs.

To see each moment as fresh, new as if you just popped out of the womb.

That is creativity.

4/26/2013

Advanced Microsoft Business Intelligence This Week

Today I got our Cube working in SharePoint 2013.

There was a lot of work involved.

First we have to pull the closed sales from Great Plains into the local database.

There's an SSIS job to do that.  It runs daily to refresh the month to date data.

Then there's a VIEW which joins that data to all the prior data.

That data gets pushed to the Tabular Model cube daily as well.

And there's a Business Intelligence Semantic Model (BISM) on SharePoint which allow connectivity.

The Cube data can then be viewed from the SharePoint web through PowerView, a self service visual web page where user can select fields.

Users can also view the Cube data from Excel PowerPivot on their local desktop via an ODC Office Data Connector, which has a refresh button so they can create complex pivots and save them.

The next thing, that same Cube can be used as a Data Source for the PerformancePoint Dashboards which contain ScoreCards and KPIs.

So today I got the Cube working from start to finish, which will allow me to begin the Dashboards next week.

This is what I would call Advanced BI, not your traditional Reports I did from the mid 1990's until just a few years ago.

SharePoint 2013, SQL-Server 2012, SSRS 2012, Visual Studio 2010 with c#.

It's exactly what I want to be doing.

Add in some Big Data Hadoop Map-Reduce and HBase.

What more can you ask for?

4/25/2013

Give 'em the Tools They Need to do the Job

I tend to keep busy at work.

If you gave me a month's worth of work, gave me the tools to do the job, it would probably be done in a few days.

Except that's not how it works in the real world.

Waiting on other people to do stuff, test stuff, grant permissions, move code, you name it.

If you have a person that works fast, produces accurate code, the first time, it would make sense to give them what they need, don't you think?

4/24/2013

My Advice to the Next Generation Workforce

My advice to the youth, go against the grain.

First off, pick an occupation which you can earn a living.

Gain skills that are marketable in the real world.

Learn as much as you can in High School.

Take an internship, make connections, figure out where the jobs are.

Don't go to college, learn on the job, take specific courses at night to advance your knowledge base.

Use the internet as a tool, to research, everything you need to know is available for free.

Don't invest in the 401k, invest in building a nest egg.

Don't buy a house, rent, houses are money pits, they tie you down, and lock you in to a 30 year mortgage.

Don't settle down, be mobile.  Be ready to pack up and move at any time.

Find a mentor, someone in the work force who you can learn from.

Stay current in your field, it's changing faster than you can imagine.

Take online courses, online seminars, learn from the best.

Change jobs frequently as in ever other year, but don't burn bridges.

Don't listen to mainstream advice, its designed to lock you in as the previous generation did it.

Do what you enjoy, work hard, remain debt free, pay for everything in cash, no loans.

Do not get stuck in the same city, at the same job, remain fluid.

And if you ever catch yourself being too comfortable, break out of it.

A rolling stone gathers no moss.

4/19/2013

Internet Forums Used to Solve Programming Issues

As a programmer, I depend on the information on the Internet to assist.

And I do my part by blogging.

Many of the topics are related to Technology.

And some are specific answers to specific problems.

And those do get read more than the personal stuff I talk about.

However, lots of my searches for answers pull on message boards.

And on the message boards people ask questions.

And people chime in and ask the user to be more specific on the problem.

And the chain continues with more people adding comments, possible solutions, iterating they have the same issue.

And sometimes the solution provided does answer the question at hand and is reproducible later.

However, here's an interesting tidbit.

I have almost never, posted a question on any forum.

Not sure why.  Perhaps the lag time between posting and receiving answer is too long.

Perhaps I tend to solve the issue sooner than later.

Sometimes I just keep searching the internet until I find the solution.

However, it's interesting that I've rarely if not never post questions to the internet forums.

And so it goes!


#ArtificialIntelligence Getting Closer By the Day


Making Friends With Artificial Intelligence: Eric Horvitz at TEDxAustin



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpoVh9xwdD4

I watched this video and two things became apparent.

1. Artificial Intelligence is becoming a close probability and no longer a distant future fictional topic.

2. Artificial Intelligence will be combined with Psychology to get inside the human mind and computers will combine human and machine intelligence to advance humanity.

Something interesting he talked about, Surprise Modeling - capturing past data on events that surprised you, the events that keep you up at night.

Kind of makes you wonder, all the unexplained events that occur sporadically to the average user, but have underlying patterns which go unseen.

I've been saying this for a long time, as I watched the patterns of rain over time, to conclude that it rains on every American holiday.  I didn't use a database, just casual observation, except I think if I had the data to verify, my conclusion would be validated.  Sounds odd perhaps, but we now have the data and technology to confirm such abstract ideas.

Right now they just want to know your shopping patterns to get you to buy stuff.  The scary part about all this AI stuff is that the computer take on a role of their own or programmed to control the human race.

Machine learned models to map your thought patterns to be stored in a database and combined with Psychology.  Interesting stuff.

Like any new technology, it can raise you up or it can build bigger cages.  There's no stopping new technology.  Based on our past, we can only pray the new stuff is used to better mankind.

Add AI to robots and they can possibly outperform humans.  No bathroom breaks.  No holidays.  No vendetta's against the new guy who's smarter than you.  No favoritism.

Something that comes to mind now is the maddening call center systems, press 1 to speak to accounting, press 2 to speak to billing, press three to repeat.  Everyone has gotten caught in these things and sometimes the only way to proceed is to hang up and start again, because you're trapped in a non caring automated system and all you want to do is speak to a real person to have your issue corrected.    And what if there're bugs in the AI system?

So if they can get inside your head, they can track your every move with GPS, they know what you are doing at all times, they know your personal info, bank account assets, spending patterns, your social networks, your job history, where does individual freedom exist?

And what if the humans become obsolete?  As in not enough jobs in society to support the current populations?  Fierce competition for resources.  A widening gap of financially have's and have nots.

However, maybe they can cure diseases, ease traffic flow, make our lives easier.  There's a line between benefits and nightmarish possibilities.

I guess time will tell...

4/18/2013

There Definitely Is A Need For #DataScientist

You can have the most accurate data in the world.

With the data up to the minute.

Provided in any format.

And you can still derive the incorrect conclusion.

Because nobody taught us how to extract insight from the data.

Yet we're all supposed to believe that's its easy.

The thing to keep in mind, we've had access to data for a long time now.

And we view the business in a rear view mirror.

Now that we have newer technology, at cheaper prices, the average person has access to tools once run by actuaries, statisticians and high financed projects.

All the technology is now at our disposal.

And that's why I believe there is a need for a data scientist to derive value from the data, both big and complex.

Because the CEO, SVP, VP, Directory, Manager, Supervisor may not be able to deduce the insight on their own.

The trick is to dumb down the technology enough to allow typical data analysts to find the insights.

Bring the software to the data analyst rather than send the data analyst to the technology.

That person's role is to understand data in it's raw format, be able to move the data around, clean up the data, apply business rules to the data, mash the disparate data sets, produce reports, visualizations, process Big Data, as well as understand the business enough to form valid conclusions and insights, and present these ideas to the senior management, the entire gamut.

There is a need for this person, whatever label they're given: Data Scientist, Data Analyst, Data Engineer, Data Monkey, etc.

Sling the data around, using technology, to interpret the business.

Data, Technology, Analytics.

Self Service won't solve all three components in my opinion.

Florida - A High Tech Destination

Just scanning the internet for Florida businesses who've had some difficulty...
Forgive me if I've not mentioned your site, however, I for one can see Florida, specifically the High Tech Corridor, growing to create a culture of creative people centered around technology.

We have the infrastructure, Universities, culture and the drive to create a top notch Technology infrastructure with Research and Development, Business, Non Profits, Space, Healthcare, and any other business ventures.

It only makes sense that Florida be included in the ranks of Boston, New York, Washington DC, Raleigh-Durham-Cary, Austin, Silicon Valley, Seattle, etc. etc.

Make it so!

4/15/2013

So You Want to Become A Data Jockey? Read this!

So if you plan on learning the profession of reporting, you've got your work cut out for you.

First you'll have to learn relational databases.

And how to write SQL queries to pull data into a report.

Then you'll have to un-learn relational databases.

And do data warehousing using star schemas for fast data retrieval.

Then you'll have to forget both relational and denormalized databases, and learn NO-SQL.

That's short for unstructured or semi-structured databases, where the schema is formed on the fly by the developer.

Then you'll have to learn Big Data, so get your Java skills sharp to pull some Big Hadoop Data using Map Reduce.

You'll be able to access Hadoop using a psudo SQL like language which converts your HIVE queries to Map-Reduce under the hood, somewhat fast.

But if you wait a little longer, you'll be able to write SQL that by-passes the HIVE to Map-Reduce conversion and go straight to the data which is wicked fast (Cloudera Impala).

And next you can hook into Hadoop using ODBC drivers to access from Excel and Microsoft ETL tool called Integration Services (SSIS).

So like I said, if you would like to be a data jockey, you'd better start learning.

Because we haven't event mentioned Graph Databases which are good for relationships between key-value pairs, or predictive analysis, data mining, sentiment analysis and streaming data.

To summarize, life in the fast lane is never NULL.

Exactly How Does One Extract Insights From Data

Extra!  Extra!  Read all about it!

Use Business Intelligence to extract insights from your data.

Um.  How does one do that?

Let's say for example that your data is accurate.

And let's say the data is timely or current.

And let's say you have it in variety of formats: PDF, Excel, cool Visualizations, accessible from Mobile apps from anywhere anytime.

Now what.

What is the user supposed to do to derive insights?

Hmm.

This graphs goes up a bit over here, then down, then up again.

Wonder what that means.

More sales?  But why?

Why does the curve rise, dip and then rise again?

I thought by spending all this money on accumulating data, paying high priced BI developers to extract and move the data into a logical report, the answers would reveal themselves.

Wait a minute, I have to do the interpretation of the data too.

I never learned that in MBA school 20 years ago.

Have I been duped?  What if I infer the wrong thing by this report?  Where's my safety net?

Like a fire inspector investigating a fire scene, he must sift through the ashes, dust for clues to figure out how the fire started, by what, and then by whom.

Nobody said finding insights would be easy.

And nobody said exactly how to do it either.

Just saying!


4/14/2013

My Latest Crush - Artificial Intelligence

For a while now I've stated that Business Intelligence is simply a sub-set of true Artificial Intelligence.

So this week I started down the path of learning what AI really is.

I gave my own personal interpretation here:

http://www.bloomconsultingbi.com/2013/04/my-definition-of-artificialintelligence.html

And then I found a good site which summarizes much of AI:

http://www.learnartificialneuralnetworks.com/

There is so much to learn regarding this topic, it's a bit intimidating.

Becuase the spectrum is wide and deep and not easy to digest.

However, I'm going to continue to learn more about it.

I like to tackle the challenging subjects and I do believe this is one of them.

I believe that the next level of BI is AI.

Remove the human aspect from receiving input, processing data based on known rules, compare against existing patterns, to formulate matches, based on probability, and to retain each new item, in order to learn, dynamically, indefinitely.

I'll keep you posted - cheers!

Keys to the Kingdom - Access to All Data Within #Hadoop

Get your tickets, they ain't cheap.

But once you've got them, you've got keys to the kingdom.

All inclusive access to your favorite rides.

I'm talkinga about Hadoop.

Once you have access to the Cluster, you've got the keys to all the data present.

Because from the best of my knowledge there are no other restrictions on the server to restrict access.

You can go surfing for whatever data you want.

No big bad DBA to block your access with roles.

The way to restricts sensative data is to place on different cluster.

And what about encrypting the data, sure why not.

Except what value does that bring.

Correct me if I'm wrong but how does one block access to specific data contained within Hadoop?

4/12/2013

Beta Tester Is Using My c# App

When it's all said and done, I got a new web app in production this week.

Suffice to say, it wasn't easy.

Actually, doing the work to convert the web from our parent company to the new company took me about a day.

Figuring out how to connect to the database on the other domain however took some figuring out.

It turns out that I can't connect from my local machine.

However, by using the external IP address on the production web server, it does see the other server and connects just fine.

Lots of emails going back and forth with the server admin's to realize this.

There were two ancillary c# apps that needed to run and scheduled in task manager on the server as well in addition to a SQL-Agent job that runs every 15 minutes to pull in some data from outside the DMZ.

Once I got the numbers to match the old site, I chose a manager to be the beta tester, in exchange for some new enhancements once the site is dispersed to the rest of the business units.

Maybe next week we'll have the new SharePoint 2013 site available to begin the process of creating the Tabular Model cubes.  And maybe the SSRS 2012 server will be ready to start loading some reports.

Becuase I'm supposed to be creating some new Dashboards for the enterprise once everything is in place.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

My Definition of #ArtificialIntelligence #MachineLearning #AI

Are you smarter than you were at age 5?

How do you know?

Well, for one thing, you have gained experience over time.

And hopefully that experience has turned into some sort of insight.

Allowed you to learn from your past.

In order to not repeat the same mistakes.

And you have built up an arsenal of knowledge.

From a variety of input sources.

So yes, you brain is more developed now.

So is your pool of knowledge.

And hopefully you have learned to reason.

Why is one choice better than another?

Well I can remember a similar occurrence in the past where I did this which resulted in that.

That result was not the best so perhaps I should deviate from this particular action.

An example, when I was young I wondered what it would be like to touch the hot stove burner.  It resulted in my finger being burned.  That caused pain.  Based on that memory I will choose not to repeat that by checking if the oven knob is turned on, sense if the burner is glowing or generating heat, if not I can touch it.

You have learned to alter a specific behavior based on a results of a past experience.

I believe you can do the same with a computer.

A system which can tap an enormous database, to view linear actions, see their outcomes, base current decisions on those metrics, to alter current behavior and iterate the process over time.

To fine tune the process, build more knowledge base and better predict future outcomes, automatically in real time.

And that's what I think of when people say the word Artificial Intelligence.

Here's a link to a real Artificial Intelligence site:

http://www.learnartificialneuralnetworks.com/ai.html

4/11/2013

Convert Data to Information to Knowledge to Power

I was searching Google today on Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.

And stumbled across this article:

http://www.rosslynanalytics.com/news/blog/artificial-intelligence/artificial-intelligence/2012/07/02/big-data-artificial-intelligence#.UWayc5zujVA.twitter

The title of this blog is what peaked my interest:

"Convert data to information to knowledge to power"

I've never seen it stated like this before, but in essence, this has been the goal of Business Intelligence all along.

We accumulate data.

The data is converted to info via Reports, Dashboards, Visualizations, Scorecards, etc.

Which is then turned to info by actual people who interpret the data.

To create and modify actions to drive results.

Presto!

I would say this is all great.  Except to advance it to the next level, Artificial Intelligence, the process needs to be automated.

Teach the computer to gather the data, to synthesize it, to bang it against known facts and patterns, to drive behavior.

That's what it's all about.  Because I hate to say this, but putting all your eggs in one basket and allowing humans to interpret the data, there's too much room for error.

Think of it as a chess game.  A master chess player knows thousands of possible combinations, stored in his brain, based on decades of studying.

If you could dump all this info into a computer / database, that info becomes valuable because every time the computer plays, it can query it's data for logical moves, and then learn from both players to increase its knowledge base.

I don't see how a human can compete with that.  The computer never forgets.  Never has a bad day.  Never takes vacation or calls in sick.  And can process vasts amounts of data in microseconds.  And is learning all the time.

Artificial Intelligence is the end game, the goal that everyone is trying to accomplish, under the guise of Business Intelligence.

We just don't know it yet.

The Goal of #BusinessIntelligence = Insight

According to Wikipedia, "Insight" is defined as the following:


Insight is the understanding of a specific cause and effect in a specific context. The term insight can have several related meanings:
  • a piece of information
  • the act or result of understanding the inner nature of things or of seeing intuitively in Greek called noesis
  • an introspection
  • the power of acute observation and deduction, penetration, discernmentperception called intellection or noesis
  • an understanding of cause and effect based on identification of relationships and behaviors within a model, context, or scenario (see artificial intelligence)
An insight that manifests itself suddenly, such as understanding how to solve a difficult problem, is sometimes called by the German word Aha-Erlebnis. The term was coined by the German psychologist and theoretical linguist Karl Bühler. It is also known as an epiphany.

Here's another definition for "Insight":

in·sight  (nst)
n.
1. The capacity to discern the true nature of a situation; penetration.
2. The act or outcome of grasping the inward or hidden nature of things or of perceiving in an intuitive manner.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

From my view, the entire reason for Business Intelligence is to deduce some form of Insight.

To go from point A to point B.

By analyzing Data both small and large, to deduce conclusions, to form actionable events.

Insight is that "a-ha" moment. The light bulb going off above your head. It's the realization that springs forth from some unknown intelligence.

Data can do this. So can years of experience. As well as the I-Ching, Tarot cards, Astrology, Intuition and a Sixth Sense.

Just the vehicles to get you from point A to point B.

However, Data has precision, can be Verified, Reproducible so there's a form of Accountability involved. Which makes it more Scientific and accepted by the community.

Sometimes when my mind is free to wander, I get insights. Perhaps some simple elegant solution to some problem I'm facing. Perhaps in the shower. Or while driving down an endless road.

Insights are freebies from the Universe to help guide us along our journey.

And Data can provide some of those insights from time to time.

If we have the reasoning ability, patience and focus.

Connecting the dots if you will.

That's what I like about Business Intelligence.

A Crystal Ball to answer some of your toughest questions.

4/09/2013

8 Obstacles Business Intelligence Developers Must Face

People assume too much.

For one thing, they believe that Business Intelligence developers have all the tools they need to do their job.

First off, BI devs have to get training.  Most places do not pay their employees for training.  They'd prefer to hire people off the streets who already posses the hard to find skills.

Second, Software.  Many times, we have to fight to get the necessary software installed on our PCs.

Third, Permissions.  Lots of places we don't have sufficient privileges to install software on our own boxes because we aren't trusted as administrators.

Fourth, Access to the data.  Lots of times we have to fight like heck to get access to databases, files and data.

Fifth, Servers.  Some times we're just sitting there, waiting for an SSRS server or SharePoint server to be installed, with the correct software.

Sixth, Business Rules.  At some jobs I've been, people hold on the business rules tighter than you can imagine.  JOB SECURITY people.  Do us a favor, give up some control and be transparent with the biz rules.

Seventh, Change Control.  Users complaining where there data is, one problem.  5 layers of bureaucratic red tape to complete tickets, get the change blessed and then successfully moved to production.

Eight, Budget.  We need more memory.  We need more licenses.  Somebody's got to pay for this stuff.

SOMEBODY GIVE ME THE TOOLS TO DO MY JOB!!!!!!

So as you can see, the obstacles a Business Developer has to overcome are quite impressive.

And that's why the role of BI developer is in high demand.  And that's why some departments prefer to go around IT.

I'm just telling it like it is...

4/08/2013

So Why Don't Some People Improve Over Time?

I've been playing tennis for a long time, since the 6th grade actually.

And I taught for a while back in 2005.

So I can size up somebody's game quickly.

So when I was at a diffent tennis club this weekend to play a match, I saw some people playing and I recognized their strokes.

And the thing is, their games haven't changed a bit over the years.

And they play all the time, they take lessons too.

So why don't they get any better?

I've been programming for a while now, since 1995 actually.

And I've been a Team Lead / Supervisor in 2011.

So I can size up somebody's skills quickly.

And I see programmers who have the same skill set they've had for years.

They haven't changed a bit over the years.

And they program every day.

So why don't they get any better?

Perhaps passion.  Natural abilities.  Lack of effort.  Lack of desire.

Any of the above.  All of the above.

I guess people just plateau at some point.

They recognize they've come so far in life and that's good enough.

I don't know.  I've always strived to learn new skills.  To get better.

Which takes effort.  Discipline.  Priorities.  Focus.

My feeling is if you're aren't trying to improve, you're going backwards.

Because the competition isn't sitting around doing nothing.

They're out there every day, trying to improve.

You sit still, you've given up.

So where do you stand?  Business as usual?

Or what challenges can I find today?

4/04/2013

Migrated SQL App Across Domains

I've been working on a project.

The project consists of duplicating some code.

On a new domain.

So I've been piecing together all the Stored Procedures, Views, Functions, Tables.

As this particular app crosses 6 or 7 databases on two different servers (linked).

In fact, one of the table names is the same in two different databases, which makes it fun when I port it over to a single DB.

And I've had to copy millions of rows of data across the domain, using an interim database as a pass through.

And I had to redo the SSIS package to point to the new database.

And there are data feeds from a c# app that populate a table on a server.  So I copied the raw data over first, then set up a SQL-Agent job to push the data (diffs) to the interim server, which I call from my code.  Just an temporary solution until I get the source code for the c# app next week.

And today I ran the job from start to finish, successfully.

The numbers were slightly off, as it could be a timing issue when each of the packages ran.

So I let my boss know it was close to working state.

He said that was impossible.  All the code and all the data resides on the other domain.

I said I went and got all that piece by piece and spliced them all together on our side.

He was amused to say the least.

And he followed up that once the SharePoint server is operational, I'm going to be 'really' busy.

I've always been a hard worker so I'm looking forward to some new challenges!

SSIS Package Hangs Visual Studio 2010

I inherited an SSIS package the other day.

And I've been slowly customizing it to meet our needs.

And for some reason the SSIS package hangs for minutes at a time.

So I scanned the internet high and low and stumbled upon this solution:

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/sqlintegrationservices/thread/9b3a0f26-1e00-46a5-8c75-f818bdf2907f/


This really seemed to speed things up!

Hope it helps you too!

4/03/2013

Manage Outlook with Single Folder

Most people in the workforce send and receive email.

And most of the places I've worked we use Microsoft Outlook.

And I used to spend enormous amount of time organizing the folder structure.

First I'd have a folder for everyone who sent me email.

Then I'd have a folder for every project / application.

Except sometimes they would overlap.

And it actually caused more confusion.

So lately I've condensed everything down.

To a single Outlook folder.

And every email goes in there.

And if I need to search for an email, I simply search for the topic in all folders.

Typically find the email with little effort.

And that has actually saved time and reduced clutter.

Some people get hundreds or thousands of emails per day.

I only keep outstanding email in my inbox.

If the email has been completed or no longer needs my attention, it goes in the single folder.

And that's how I do it!

Download Team Explorer 2012 to Integrate Visual Studio 2010 to Team Foundation Server 2013

We use Visual Studio 2010 as our primary IDE for code development.

And recently the Team Foundation Server was upgraded to 2013.

And we were soon unable to connet and add Team Projects in VS 2010.

After doing some research I found a URL which instructed to download Team Explorer for 2012.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30656

Sure enough the application loaded after install and pointed to the new TFS server.

Was able to create a new Team Project - success!

#BusinessIntelligence Department's Advantage #BI

I really think the advantage that Business Intelligence brings to the table is this.

BI has their tentacles in every facet of the organization.

They know how the accounting system works.

And the Marketing systems.

And the Sales systems.

And here's the key.

They know how all the systems integrate together.

Each department has a great understanding of their system.

Yet they lack the cohesiveness.

That's why the Business Intelligence team trumps the rogue independent departments.

The ones who go off into the Cloud or bring in their own consultants.

I'm all for self service.

I just think the BI team should setup the infrastructure and the data sources.

And allow the business to do their thing and access the data they need to run the show.

4/02/2013

#Cloudera #MapReduce Training Scheduled #Hadoop #BigData

Just got the official word that I'm signed up for training on Cloudera Map/Reduce.

It's a four day course scheduled for May 7th - 10th (Tues-F).

In Tampa.

They are also having additional courses for HBase and Hadoop Admin Training which other people will be attending.

Cloudera is one of the top Hadoop ecosystems and I've worked with their pre-loaded VM's in the past.

Previous Blogs:

http://www.bloomconsultingbi.com/2012/04/my-intro-to-hadoop.html
http://www.bloomconsultingbi.com/2013/01/getting-started-with-cloudera-hadoop.html
http://www.bloomconsultingbi.com/2013/01/first-try-at-cloudera-hadoop.html
http://www.bloomconsultingbi.com/2013/01/cloudera-hadoop-day-2.html
http://www.bloomconsultingbi.com/2013/01/my-intro-to-cloudera-hive-day-3.html
http://www.bloomconsultingbi.com/2013/01/my-intro-to-cloudera-pig-day-3.html
http://www.bloomconsultingbi.com/2013/01/summary-of-hadoop-1st-week.html

To be honest, this is exactly the career path I'm interested in.

Because data is not getting any smaller.  Hadoop is gaining traction in the world of IT.  It's a specialized skill that not every developer can do.  It's in high demand and short supply.

Always be learning!

4/01/2013

Tampa Bay BI User Group Meeting

Tonight I attended the Tampa Bay SQL Server Business Intelligence User Group meeting.

The topic was Cloud Reporting.  Except there was no mention of Windows Azure.  Or any hosing provider up in the cloud.

The presentation was geared around SSRS reports called from a Web page, where the RDL file was embedded in the application.

The presenter was good, there were some good questions and I actually saw how to dynamically change the data source on the fly based on a parameter.

In the past I've used dynamic SQL which is not a best practice most likely and I let the speaker know that I liked the solution he provided.

And then he asked th audience how they would fix his reporting environment.

One solution was to use Tabular Model, even against his production database, a sort of pass through with almost real time data.

Because at the presenters business, they are querying on the live system.

The food was great.  Glad I attended.

And I saw some old friends and met some new ones.

That's all folks!

Get Sh#t Done!