Archive for the ‘Analytics’ Category

BI Benchmarks

February 11, 2012 Leave a comment

If it is not a single click or a double, it is too complex.
If it takes more than a second or two to load, it is too slow.
If it is more than one page, it is too much,
If audiences don’t spend more than 15 seconds on it, it is useless.
If audiences have to spend more than a minute on it, it is still useless.


Different Combinations of Microsoft Products for DW/BI solutions: The hide and seek game never ends.

May 19, 2011 1 comment

It has never quite reached its steady state for DW/BI profesionals since Microsoft released Visual Studio 2008.

1. Visual Studio 2008 worked well with Sql Server 2008, it had support for BIDS (Business Intelligence Development Studio which is essentially SSIS, SSAS and SSRS), but it missed support for SQL Server 2008 Database Projects. It only supported SQL Server 2005 Database projects.

2. So Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 came and nothing changed for DW/BI professionals.

3. And then came  Visual Studio 2008 GDR R2. It fixed all the problems, but it was too late and SQL Server 2008 R2 was ready to kick out Sql Server 2008.

4. Visual Studio 2008 GDR R2 didn’t like Sql Server 2008 R2 for database projects and life was back to mix and match of products; lose some gain some.

5. Visual Studio 2010 came and started working well with Sql Server 2008 R2 database projects. Guess what it stopped supporting BIDS 🙂 They had to do it.

So I now hoping that that Visual Studio vNext will support the upcoming SQL Server 2011 (code named DENALI) and it will also have support for BIDS.

These days, I work on Visual Studio 2008 SP1 GDR2 to be able to connect to SQL Server 2008 R2 for BIDS projects. And I use Visual Studio 2010 for working on the SQL Server 2008 R2 database projects.

So much so for all this product versions from Microsoft.

What is the difference between Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence and Data Mining.

May 14, 2011 2 comments

Often Data-Warehousing and Business-Intelligence are used interchangeably in day-to-day life. There is however a significant difference. Business-Intelligence drives Data-Warehousing requirements and consumes the end product that Data-Warehousing produces. And Data-Mining is an advanced level of Data-Warehousing and Business-Intelligence put together.

Data-Warehousing is the process of centralizing (at the least, the access of) all the data sources available in an organization/company. This centralization, of course, includes history-preservation, removal-of-ambiguities and optimization-for-fast-access amongst other things.  Data-Warehousing produces a Data-Warehouse; a centralized non-ambiguous and easily accessible historical set of all the data-sources.

Unlike commonly understood as an act of creating reports and dashboards, Business-Intelligence is in fact an act of identifying KPIs for various business verticals and their inter-dependence. Business-Intelligence is the guiding force behind the Data-Warehousing requirements. Business-Intelligence is also a process of discovering expected or unexpected actionable data-points from the Data-Warehouse that are of direct benefit to the business. Creation of reports and dashboards falls more under the scope of Data-Warehousing than Business-Intelligence.

Data-Mining begins where Data-Warehousing and Business-Intelligence ends. Data-Mining has not yet been classified into two separate segments like Data-Warehousing (for technical work) and Business-Intelligence (business related work). Data Mining uses the Data Warehouse in addition to preparing its own sets of sparse/dense wide and/or normalized data. Data-Mining may also use publically available data for benchmarking, comparing company data. Like Business-Intelligence, Data-Mining too discovers actionable data-points from the Data-Warehouse that are of direct benefit to the business,  but, in addition, it analyzes all the data using sophisticated mathematical/statistical/algorithmic techniques for making startling discoveries that are used more by the central strategic divisions in the company rather than the individual business units.