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«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!

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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:


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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

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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:

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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

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Looping Through Variable Values with a ForEach Loop Container

  • 16 August 2013
  • Author: ShawnHarrison
  • Number of views: 30943

Have you ever done something in SSIS that you wish you had a need to do more often? That happens to me on occasion. I have a tendency to test out random scenarios when I get bored. You read correctly, I play with SSIS when I am bored. Between my PS3 and SSIS, my Saturday nights are insane!


This is a little tutorial on looping through variable values; one of the little things that will make you feel rather awesome.


The first thing I am going to do is drag an execute SQL task into this empty SSIS package, and pull in some email addresses from table in the AdventureWorks2012 database. Create a connection manager and be sure to set the 'Result Set' property to 'Full Result Set'.



Click 'Result Set' on the left side of the window.



Click the 'Add' button at the bottom of the window. This is how you will assign a variable to contain the results return by a query. It creates a default entry called 'NewResultName'.



Change the result name to 0. In the 'Variable Name' field, select . This opens the 'Add Variable' window. Enter a name for the variable (for example, objEmailAddress). In the 'Value Type' drop down list, select object. Click OK.



Use this as your SQL statement?

   1: Select emailaddress
   2: from person.EmailAddress
   3: where EmailAddressID between 10 and 20


Click OK again to close out the task editor.


Now, I need a variable that will hold each individual email address. Open the variables window and click the new variable icon.



It creates a default variable called 'Variable1'. Click on the name and change it to strToAddress. In the data type drop down list, choose 'String'. Don?t worry about the value for now.



Now, add a ForEach Loop container and connect the execute SQL task to it. Drag in a script task and drop it in the container.



Double click the container to open the editor.  Click 'Collection' on the left side of the window and in the 'Enumerator' drop down list, select 'Foreach ADO Enumerator'. For the 'ADO object source variable' selection, choose the object variable that contains the result set. In my example, it's objEmailAddress.



On the left side of the window, click 'Variable Mappings'. In the 'Variable field', open the drop down list and select the string variable. Mine is called strToAddress. The index is set to 0 by default. Leave that as is. Click OK to close the editor.



Open the script task. The language I am using for this is Visual C#. In the 'ReadOnlyVariables' field, click the ellipses to open the variables list. Select the check box next to the string variable (strToAddress) and click OK.



Toward the bottom of the window, click 'Edit Script'. This is where the fun starts. I will add a script that displays a message box that shows the value of the strToAddress variable. Toward the bottom of the editor, you will see a comment that reads //TODO: Add your code here. This, of course, is where we will add the code. Enter the following code?

   1: MessageBox.Show(Dts.Variables["strToAddress"].Value.ToString());


Close out of the editor. This will compile the script for you and takes you back to the script task editor. Click OK to close it.


Now, execute the package, sit back and watch the magic. The Execute SQL task retrieves all the email addresses and stores them in 'objEmailAddress'. The ForEach loop container reads through the values stored in that variable and rights the first one into 'strToAddress'. The script task displays the current value of 'strToAddress' and then the loop starts again. This continues to the end of the result set.


The script is a way to test to make sure it is working properly. I can replace that with another task such as a send mail task to send emails to each address.




Sometimes, I like to think so?

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