Business Intelligence Blogs

View blogs by industry experts on topics such as SSAS, SSIS, SSRS, Power BI, Performance Tuning, Azure, Big Data and much more! You can also sign up to post your own business intelligence blog.

«October 2015»

Data Warehouse from the Ground Up at SQL Saturday Orlando, FL on Oct. 10th

SQL Saturday #442SQL Saturday #442 is upon us and yours truly will be presenting in Orlando, Florida on October 10th alongside Mitchell Pearson (b|t). The session is scheduled at 10:35 AM and will last until 11:35 AM. I’m very excited to be presenting at SQL Saturday Orlando this year as it’ll be my first presenting this session in person and my first time speaking at SQL Saturday Orlando! If you haven’t registered yet for this event, you need to do that. This event will be top notch!

My session is called Designing a Data Warehouse from the Ground Up. What if you could approach any business process in your organization and quickly design an effective and optimal dimensional model using a standardized step-by-step method? In this session I’ll discuss the steps required to design a unified dimensional model that is optimized for reporting and follows widely accepted best practices. We’ll also discuss how the design of our dimensional model affects a SQL Server Analysis Services solution and how the choices we make during the data warehouse design phase can make or break our SSAS cubes. You may remember that I did this session a while back for Pragmatic Works via webinar. I’ll be doing the same session at SQL Saturday Orlando but on-prem! ;)

So get signed up for this event now! It’s only 11 days away!

Read more

Create Date Dimension with Fiscal and Time

Here are three scripts that create and Date and Time Dimension and can add the fiscal columns too. First run the Dim Date script first to create the DimDate table. Make sure you change the start date and end date on the script to your preference. Then run the add Fiscal Dates scripts to add the fiscal columns. Make sure you alter the Fiscal script to set the date offset amount. The comments in the script will help you with this.

This zip file contains three SQL scripts.

Create Dim Date

Create Dim Time

Add Fiscal Dates

These will create a Date Dimension table and allow you to run the add fiscal script to add the fiscal columns if you desire. The Create Dim Time will create a time dimension with every second of the day for those that need actual time analysis of your data.

Make sure you set the start date and end date in the create dim date script. Set the dateoffset in the fiscal script.

Download the script here:


Read more

Excel Tip #29: Forcing Slicers to Filter Each Other when Using CUBE Functions

As I mentioned in my original post, Exploring Excel 2013 as Microsoft’s BI Client, I will be posting tips regularly about using Excel 2013 and later.  Much of the content will be a result of my daily interactions with business users and other BI devs.  In order to not forget what I learn or discover, I write it down … here.  I hope you too will discover something new you can use.  Enjoy!


You have went to all the trouble to build out a good set of slicers which allow you to “drill” down to details based on selections. In my example, I have created a revenue distribution table using cube formulas such as:

=CUBEVALUE(“ThisWorkbookDataModel”,$B6, Slicer_Date, Slicer_RestaurantName, Slicer_Seat_Number, Slicer_TableNumber)


Each cell with data references all the slicers. When working with pivot tables or pivot charts, the slicers will hide values that have no matching reference. However, since we are using cube formulas the slicers have no ability to cross reference. For example, when I select a date and a table, I expect to see my seat list reduce in size, but it does not. All of my slicers are set up to hide options when data is available. There are two examples below. In the first, you can see that the seats are not filtered. However, this may be expected. In the second example, we filter a seat which should cause the tables to hide values and it does not work as expected either.



As you can see in the second example, we are able to select a seat that is either not related to the selected table or has no data on that date. Neither of these scenarios is user friendly and does not direct our users to see where the data matches.

Solving the Problem with a “Hidden” Pivot Table

To solve this issue, we are going to use a hidden pivot table. In most cases we would add this to a separate worksheet and then hide the sheet from the users. For sake of our example, I am going to put the pivot table in plain sight for the examples.

Step 1: Add a Pivot Table with the Same Connection as the Slicers

In order for this to work, you need to add a pivot table using the same connection you used with the slicers. The value you use in the pivot table, should only be “empty” or have no matches when that is the expected result. You want to make sure that you do not unintentionally filter out slicers when data exists. In my example, I will use the Total Ticket Amount as the value. That will cover my scenario. In most cases, I recommend looking for a count type valu

Read more

SQL Saturday #453–Minnesota 2015 Session Recap–A Window into Your Data

SQL Saturday Minnesota

TSQL WIndow Functions

Thanks for attending my session on T-SQL Window Functions. I hope you learned something you can take back and use in your projects or at your work. You will find an link to the session and code I used below. If you have any questions about the session post them in comments and I will try to get you the answers.

The presentation can be found here:

The code was put into a Word document that you can get here:

This session is also backed by an existing blog series I have written.

T-SQL Window Functions – Part 1- The OVER() Clause

T-SQL Window Functions – Part 2- Ranking Functions

T-SQL Window Functions – Part 3: Aggregate Functions

T-SQL Window Functions – Part 4- Analytic Functions


MSDN Resources:

Read more

Thank You for Attending my #SQLSatOrlando Session! Slides, Resources, Recording

SQL Saturday #477 in Orlando, FL has come and gone but what a turn out! The event was excellent, we had a great turnout for our session and had a blast! And as a bonus, the BBQ lunch, baked beans, coleslaw, mac n cheese and dessert were amazing. Seriously one of the best lunches I’ve had a SQL Saturday event! Plus, the Lego name tags were epic! 100% without a doubt the coolest name tag ever.

Thank you to everyone that attending my session this past weekend! I apologize for the lack of space but we had quite a turnout for our session. People were sitting in every aisle, piled up in the front, standing along the back walls and windows. You all had some really great questions and some very valid points. Because of you, our session ended up being a great discussion! Thank you so much!

Standing room only!

Download the Session Materials

If you’d like to download my PowerPoint slide deck that I used during the session, you can find the link to that down below. Also, if you’d like to download the notes Mitch and I used to prep and during the session, you’ll also find that link below.

Download Dustin’s and Mitch’s PowerPoint Slide Deck for Data Warehouse from the Ground Up

Download Dustin’s and Mitch’s Notes

Also, in the past I presented this material during an online webinar for Pragmatic Works so if you missed my session or the event entirely, you can watch the session recording for free!

Watch Dustin’s and Mitch’s Webinar Recording for Data Warehouse from the Ground Up

Data Warehouse Design Resources

There’s two books that I highly recommend if you’re looking to learn the tenants of designing a perfect star schema data warehouse database. These books are excellent and should be in every data warehouse professional’s library, in my opinion!

image The Data Warehouse Toolkit: The Complete Guide to Dimensional Modeling
image Star Schema: The Complete Reference


Thank you for all the great feedback we received during and after our session. As speakers and

Read more

Power BI Tips, Tricks & Best Practices Webinar Recording & Materials Now Available


Thank you to everyone that attended my Power BI webinar last month, September 29th. Sorry its taken me a while to finally make the information available, but my schedule has been crazy lately! The good news is, however, the recording is available! So if you weren’t able to watch the webinar live, you can still catch the recording anytime you like.

View the Power BI webinar recording

Also, if you’d like to play along or create your own Power BI dashboards using the temperature and precipitation data I used in the webinar, I’ve made the files available to download in the following link. I’ve also included the .pbix file which includes a few example dashboards I developed using the data. Feel free to download the materials and have a go at it!

Download the Power BI model files and data

Questions & Answers

There were tons of questions I received during the webinar and there’s no possible way I can answer all of them, but I figured I’d at least take a look at a few.

Q: Is Power BI Desktop free?

A: It sure is! And you can download it here.

Q: Where do we begin to learn more information on the setup/security?

A: At this point Power BI is changing so fast that the best resource we have available is the knowledge base at, which you can find here. There’s a Power BI whitepaper floating around out there, but even that is quickly becoming out of date. Microsoft has recommended that the Power BI Knowledge Base be used as the best source of information on Power BI.

Q: Is there a possibility for drill-down in the visualizations?

A: Since my webinar, this feature has been added! Just download the latest version and get crackin’! You can learn more about the drill down functionality here.

Q: How is data refreshed on the Power BI site?

A: Data can be manually refreshed by selecting Refresh Now or the refresh operation can be scheduled. In order to schedule a data refresh for on-prem data sources, its important to note that the Power BI Personal Gateway is installed on the server where the data exists. To learn more about refreshing your data in Power BI, read this.


Thank you again for attending my webinar and viewing my recording. If you have any questions regarding the webinar or Power BI, feel free to leave a question below!

Read more

2010 First Quarter Goals

I have been reading several blog postings about 2010 goals. First, I want to applaud all of you for setting goals for the entire year. Moreover, I would like to say that I admire those that can actually achieve their annual goals, like my good friend Steve Jones. Can you all believe that he ran everyday last year? Congratulations Steve!!.

My goals tend to change as the year progresses. As a result, I decided to focus on setting quarterly instead of annual goals. Some may think that I lack ambition and drive. Well, I laugh in your face. Sometimes setting such long-term goals tend to be overwhelming and often my focus changes therefore my goals change. So here are my first quarter goals:

1. Learn everything I can about SQL Server Analysis Server

2. Two blog postings per week.

3. Publish two articles

4. Speak at a minimum of three events (SQLSaturday, SQLLunch, PASS Virtual Chapter, etc…)

5. Schedule SQL Lunch speakers for the rest of the year (at least 2 per month)

6. Submit 2 videos to SQL Share

7. Submit an abstract to SQL Server Standard (Grant Fritchey)

For some of you more ambitious people this may seem like a short list, but remember this is only for the first quarter of 2010. Every couple of weeks I will post a progress chart from the previous two weeks.

Talk to you soon

Patrick LeBlanc, found

Rate this article:
No rating

PatrickLeBlanc PatrickLeBlanc

Other posts by PatrickLeBlanc

Please login or register to post comments.