Friday, August 22, 2008

When Processes Break

I was on-site with one of my current clients, an instantly recognized leader in insurance. The cube my team was using for the day was a typical 'hotel cube' given to traveling consultants. As we cleared the desk to do some work, I noticed a snappy little publication covered in 3-D graphics. The purpose of the document seemed to communicate the virtues of finding defects early, as opposed to late in the software develolpment process.

The priceless comment from one of my senior team members was something like "...everybody knows that, but nobody does anything about it..."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

File Under SSAS Demo Creation

In the course of creating a demo for a potential client, my team made the following observation. While the time dimension is always crucial to a BI solution, for a laptop portable demo stay away from models that incorporate two (or more) time dimensions. For example, in Hospitality refrain from using a model with Check-In and Check-Out dates, instead consider using Check-In Date (or Check-Out Date) and a measure indicating the interval, for example Nights. This helps avoid a sparse cube with few aggregatable date pair combinations.

Obviously, in a production environment the client may have valid reasons to employ both a Check-In and Check-Out date dimension role. However, production hardware deployment won't have the constraints of an all-up demo environment executing SQL Server, SharePoint and PerformancePoint an a single (laptop) machine.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Techmixer University

It was my distinct pleasure to be a speaker at Techmixer University this afternoon. I was able to successfully demonstrate using SharePoint and Excel Services to rapidly create dashboards for performance monitoring. Stay tuned for an update as to where to get the presentation and demonstration files.

To those of you that attended, thanks again for your time, attention and questions.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Travel Size Supermarket

My work has required varying levels of travel, from out on Sunday - back on Friday "Road Warrior" trips with never the same night in the same city, to the simple overnight for an early am meeting or software demonstration. I am fortunate that less than half of my work requires travel by air. However, for those of you racking up the frequent flyer miles, or who just prefer minimalist packing, Minimus has a wide selection of creature comforts for you next Planes, Trains and Automobiles adventure.

From a micro roll of paper towels to sink-sized Woolite for on-the-road laundry (in the event of an unplanned extra night for instance).

Friday, August 01, 2008

Belated Congratulations

Join me in congratulating (however belated) a fellow Steel City SQL board member, Robert Cain for earning Most Valued Professional status from Microsoft. Robert works tirelessly on a number of user groups, including Steel City SQL, he blogs seemingly a continuous stream of relevant posts at I urge you to add it to your feedlist.