Nerds-Turned-Bullies, The Rise Of The Brogrammer, And Are Analytics Good For SQL People?

Nerds-Turned-Bullies, the Rise of the Brogrammer, and Are Analytics Good for SQL People?

Don’t Do This.  And Don’t Stand for it Either. The Greatest Treason? Today I want to go off-topic just a little bit, but in a way that I think is relevant to many of us as professionals.  And then bring it home, so to speak, specifically at the intersection of Analytics and Databases. To me, there are few treasons greater than spending time on the receiving end of abuse, learning firsthand what that abuse feels like, and then subsequently becoming…

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MS Roadmap: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

MS Roadmap: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Yeah I’m a Bit Slow… Back in October, Microsoft released a roadmap blogpost detailing plans and direction for their BI platform.  I kinda pressed the Snooze bar on paying attention, because hey, I was super busy, plus…  I always tend to take my time with announcements like these.  I do my best “digestion” once the noise has died down, and my best thinking slowly, in quiet. Spoiler: Mostly Positive Words like “Bad” and “Ugly” are overkill, as my reactions are…

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Traditional BI Is (Unintentional) Corporate Sabotage

Traditional BI is (Unintentional) Corporate Sabotage

A CIA Manual for Inaction Perhaps you’ve seen this making the rounds on Facebook:  in the 1940’s, the CIA created a sabotage guide for citizens of France and other occupied countries.  You know, to screw with the Nazis, which is pretty much All Good.  This manual was declassified within the past ten years, and it provides an intriguing glimpse into human nature. The manual contains the sorts of things you’d expect to find:  how to wreck equipment, ruin fuel, disrupt…

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BI For Everyone: Tear Down The Wall Between IT And Business

BI for Everyone: Tear Down the Wall Between IT and Business

President Reagan in his famous “Tear down this wall” address, asked for the Berlin wall to be brought down. Believing that freedom and security go together. With the same sentiment, we make a call to tear down another wall. Tear down the wall between IT and business, and bring Business Intelligence (BI) to everyone. Note 1: IT and the Business team of course interface on many fronts, but for this article we would focus on Business Intelligence.Note 2: The teams…

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Power BI and the Trajectory of Your Life

By Avi Singh [Twitter]

At a recent client visit, I found myself thinking of trajectories.

A small shift now can change the trajectory of the rest of your life

After the class, I was chatting with one of the attendees. Here is what I learned:

  • The attendee, let’s call him ‘John’, has been working for many years at this revered institution.
  • He had been using Excel, but he thanked ‘Dan’ who several years ago had introduced him to Excel Pivot Tables
  • That changed his trajectory. And many years later, here he was, sitting in my Power Pivot class…
  • And I wondered…how it would shift the trajectory of the rest of his life
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Grab Bag: Job Opps, Sold Out in Indy, and a Vibrant Power BI Discussion

Post by Rob Collie Four quick topics today: Mini-application for for PowerPivotPro jobs Specific job opp in Seattle area Indy class sold out Last week’s Power BI post and the (even more interesting) followup discussion 1) “Mini-Application” Form for PowerPivotPro Jobs Back in January I mentioned that we’d be expanding the PowerPivotPro team this year.  The calendar tends to zip by under our feet rather quickly, and here we are in August, but we’ve quietly been growing the team, slowly,…

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Are Your Official Data Tools an “Arranged Marriage?”

Post by Rob Collie


A Recent Trip to the Hospital Highlighted the Folly of The Way Things Work

That Oh So Sneaky “Adoption Problem”

I spend a lot of time talking to software vendors. One vendor specifically of course, whose name rhymes with “Bike Row Loft.”  But all software vendors share one basic habit, which is that they’re constantly asking, “How do we get more customers to BUY our tools?”

But I also spend a lot of time talking to their customers.  And while the vendors expect their customers’ most pressing question to be “which software tools do I buy,” the reality I see is FAR different.

Buying software is just the FIRST step down a very difficult road.  You choose the software from Vendor X, announce the decision to your organization, send Vendor X a check…  and that’s the starting gun.


Yeah, Vendor X sees that as the END of the story.  And so do their competitors, Vendor Y and Vendor Z, who slink away defeated.  But you, the purchaser of the tools, well, your story is just beginning isn’t it?

Now you have to get your PEOPLE to start USING the new tools.  And to KEEP using them.  I’ve discovered that this is by FAR a much bigger problem than choosing the tool. 

“The New Operating Room Sucks, Who Designs These Things?”

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Power BI Designer vs. Excel: What’s Microsoft Up To?

Post by Rob Collie

Power BI Designer:  A Good Thing for the Power Pivot Revolutionary in Your Life

This is Power BI Designer, a New Product from Microsoft, and It’s Relevant to ALL of Us.

Major Seismic Activity out of “Mount Redmond”

Some of you may have seen it already, but just in case you haven’t:  in recent months, Microsoft has been touting a preview of what it calls Power BI Designer.  You can download it here for free, and install it right next to all of your other tools, TODAY.

I’ve held off, a LONG time, in writing about Designer.  Because I wasn’t yet sure what to make of it.  I’ve been wary of it, critical of its existence.  It’s taken many, MANY off-the-record conversations with my former colleagues at Microsoft, and a lot of reflection, but now I am ready to talk about it, and even endorse it – with a few caveats near the very end of this post.

The Many Desktop Applications of Power BI

My Start Menu is Getting Crowded with Data Tools:
Excel 2010, Excel 2013, Power BI Designer, and Power Update

Designer is Clearly…  Familiar to Us

Once you install it, you immediately start noticing some similarities to things we know and love:

Power BI Designer Basically Contains Power Query, It's Just Not Called That

Same Basic List of Data Sources We See in Power Query

And then the ribbon has some old friends for us as well…

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