Custom chart for Power BI: an aquarium!

We’ve all seen Bad Boys 2 🙂

That’s a nice fish, big fucking eyes… but a nice fucking fish.





Well…someone was so creative to actually create an aquarium-chart-type-ish for Power BI! Didn’t know that that was even possible, but it does make an impression!:

The aquarium is designed to be on a dashboard screen in a room where everyone can see it and notice changes day to day and empathise with the data to rally efforts.








How to design your SSRS or Power BI dashboard

Here’s how you should design your SSRS of Power BI dashboard (thanks to Julie Koesmarno).
More info on her blog:
http://www.mssqlgirl.com/power-bi-in-a-jiffy-composition-in-power-view.html


To my delight, she mentioned about composition, in particular Fibonacci Spiral. It reminded me of one of the fundamental things that I have learned in photography (as a hobby). So this weekend, I spent a bit of time reviewing some of the data visualisations in Power View that I have created in the past. Instead of just looking at it as just data and information, I put my “amateur” photographer eyes on this. I begin thinking about design, technical and most importantly business components and how to put them together.

Here are a couple of Before-And-Afters, where I have revisited the objectives and composition aspects of these data visualisations in Power View.

Before and After

Before-and-After-design-ssrs-power-bi-dashboards

Fibonacci spiral is a pretty cool thing to use / apply in composition. Use it wisely and when it works, it works really well. Not all visualisations have to fit Fibonacci spiral though 🙂


Another example based on a photo:

how-it-is-done-in-photography

More tips for photography (and dashboards):
http://photo-typ.blogspot.nl/2013/08/golden-rule-of-thirds-and-fibonacci.html


Another interesting blog post by Jason Thomas (also HowTo’s):
http://www.sqljason.com/2013/05/a-sample-ssrs-dashboard-and-some-tips.html

Dashboard-design-nice








Report Server Analytics with Power Pivot & Power View

Amit Banerjee blogged a very usefull article about how to analyze the performance and usage of your Reporting Server (SSRS) with Power Pivot and Power View:
http://troubleshootingsql.com/tag/executionlogstorage/

I recently needed to query report execution statistics for a SQL Server Reporting Services instance where the number of rows were quite large. So I decided to use Excel 2013 and PowerPivot to analyze the data. This would allow me to directly pull all of the data into an Excel sheet and then perform analysis on the extracted data without having to query the Report Server database repeatedly.

Leverage PowerView’s interactive capabilities to view the Report execution statistics, the report processed status (failure or success) and the processing, rendering and data retrieval times for each report.


report-server-execution-statistics-power-view
More info: http://troubleshootingsql.com/tag/executionlogstorage/








Power BI (Office 365) pricing has been announced

Many thanks to SQL Chick (Melissa Coates) for the news!

The features you have end up being the same (more on that below). The differences shown below are only related to what prerequisites you already have in order to determine pricing.

Power-BI-Pricing-without-E3-E4

Pricing for the E3/E4 plans is shown in the next screen shot. The importance of E3/E4 is that they come with Office 2013 Professional Plus and SharePoint Online (SPO) Plan 2 – both of which are important prerequisites for Power BI features and functionality.

Office-365-E3-E4-Pricing

Let’s say you are an E3 subscriber at $20/month. Add the $20/month special offer price for Power BI and it’s a total of $40/month per user. That’s much better pricing than the $52 shown in the far right hand column of the pricing chart. Hmmm…sounds like a price break to entice more customers to the Enterprise Office 365 plans.

Good tip! 🙂



Join us at LinkedIn!
Don’t forget to join the ‘Microsoft Power BI‘ group on LinkedIn and stay updated!:
linkedin-microsoft-power-bi-group








Power BI for Office 365

Power BI for Office 365 is a cloud-based business intelligence (BI) solution that enables our customers to easily gain insights from their data, working within Excel to analyze and visualize the data in a self-service way.

People love Excel for analyzing data, so we’ve built Power BI for Office 365 right into this experience, making it an even more powerful tool. You may have already seen the Power Pivot and Power View capabilities in Excel and today we continue to extend our BI offerings. Power BI for Office 365 now includes:
Power Query, enabling customers to easily search and access public data and their organization’s data, all within Excel (formerly known as “Data Explorer“).
Power Map, a 3D data visualization tool for mapping, exploring and interacting with geographic and temporal data (formerly known as product codename “Geoflow“).
Power Pivot for creating and customizing flexible data models within Excel.
Power View for creating interactive charts, graphs and other visual representations of data.

Power-BI-for-Office-365-Tablet

We know that it’s not only essential for people to have the ability to easily identify new insights from their data, but also to collaborate and provide access to that data in a trusted environment. That’s why Power BI for Office 365 extends beyond your existing on premise systems to deliver value within an already trusted service, providing:

Power BI sites, dedicated collaborative BI workspaces in Office 365 for sharing data and insights with colleagues. The Power BI sites also keep customers’ data up to date with connectivity and data refresh back to their on premise data sources.
New natural language query capabilities that allow customers to ask questions and get answers. They simply type their question into a dialog box and the system interprets and automatically generates interactive charts and graphs based on available data.
Connected BI experience, dedicated native apps for Windows 8, Windows RT and iPad to stay connected with your reports and data wherever you are as well as HTML5 support for browser based viewing on any device.

Nice huh? Don’t forget:

Power Map (formally known as ‘Geoflow’)

Power-BI-for-Office-365-Power-Map-Geoflow

Power View in SharePoint

Power-BI-for-Office-365-Power-View

Microsoft Power BI for Windows or Microsoft Power BI for iPad

Power-BI-for-Windows

Want to signup for the preview this summer?

Power-BI-for-Office-365-Signup-Preview

Thanks to Chris Webb:
http://cwebbbi.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/some-thoughts-about-power-bi/

More info about Microsoft Power BI?:
http://blogs.office.com/b/office-news/archive/2013/07/08/announcing-power-bi-for-office-365.aspx
http://blogs.office.com/b/office365tech/archive/2013/07/07/what-powers-power-bi-in-office-365.aspx
http://blogs.technet.com/b/dataplatforminsider/archive/2013/07/08/introducing-power-bi-for-office-365.aspx
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel/power-bi-FX104080667.aspx
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/powerbi/archive/2013/07/07/getting-started-with-pq-and-pm.aspx



Join us at LinkedIn!
Don’t forget to join the ‘Microsoft Power BI‘ group on LinkedIn and stay updated!:
linkedin-microsoft-power-bi-group








Slowly Changing Dimensions (Type 6) the basics

Preserving historical data in a Data Warehouse (DWH – Business Intelligence)
Slowly Changing Dimensions (Type 6)

For business users or data analysts that directly access data marts in Excel or directly from the database/cube, it can be hard to understand how Slowly Changing Dimensions (SCDs) work.
To make things easier, I wrote this small ‘whitepaper’ about the In’s and Out’s of Slowly Changing Dimensions.

Let me know if I’ve missed anything 🙂

Preserving historical data in a Data Warehouse