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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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What three events brought you here?

Recently Paul Randal posted What three events brought you here? He bascially ask "what three life-direction-changing-events" have brought you to where you are today?

Which is a very interesting question that comes up from time to time at the 'After Event' for the Jacksonville SQL Server Users Group.  I'm always interested in people's stories of how they became DBAs.  While most of the stories I hear are of Accidental DBAism, the details of the story are never the same and are very intresting. 

After reading SQLRockStar's blog (Thomas Larock)  I thought I shoud list my three events as well.


Event 1.  My father's interest, a lifelong event. 

Pop is an 'Engineers' engineer.  He can read an electrical schematic like nobody’s business, build anything, and fix anything.  If he doesn’t know it, he just needs a little reading time and a technical manual.  Dad was in the Air Force for 22 years so I grew up in 'on base housing'.  Have you ever over heard little kids bragging about their dad?  Mine's a cop.. Mine's a fireman..  Enlisted Air Force kids do it a bit differently and the measuring stick was what their dad knew and what their dad could fix, from a washer and dryer to the family car to jets and helicopters.  

Craig Gleason 1982 @ Kirtland AFB in New Mexico 
[Show above is a photo take in 1982 of my father leading a team of technicians who are fixing a Jolly Green Giant helicopter.]

I was very influenced by my Dad's interest in the following areas: aviation, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and technology gadgets in general.  When I left home, I joined the US Navy and worked as an avionics tech on S-3 Vikings stationed out of Cecil Field in Jacksonville.  My values and intrest are that of my fathers.  Even my brother is a DBA.

[Shown below is My idea of a *BIG date* for my future wife in 2001: a day flying gliders.]


Event 2. First Coast Medical Group and Frank Nosalek

When I left the Navy, I took a job working as a network administrator for Frank Nosalek, who was the IT Director at FCMG.  He had built a massive IT Knowledge base within Access 95.  He opened my eyes to power of a database by keeping ALL the information IT Support needed in his database.  He taught me one of the greatest and simplest truths.  "A company lives and dies by its data".  Bad data = bad business decisions = failed company.  That was my introduction to databases.


Event 3. The University of North Florida

UNF's Computer Science department hired a very brilliant and young teacher who made our senior project very scary.  Design and Implement an On-line School System using PHP and Mysql.  UNF didn’t have a Php class and our exposure to databases was limited to two classes, Database 101 and database 102.  Our teacher told us that 1. On line, multi tiered websites were the future and 2. in the 'real' world, if you can't adapt to the current technology, you will be left behind.  No one will hold your hand and spoon feed you the knowledge.  He provided all support needed for the project managers portion of the class but, when it came to the technology, he made us "go figure it out" for ourselves.  The result was I taught myself 'mysql' and I haven’t stopped making myself learn about databases since.


Just as Paul did in his post, I'm going to tag a few of my friends to 'go next'.

Brian Knight,

Patrick Leblanc,

Mike Mollenhour,

Jorge Segarra


 I'd like to know "What three events brought you here".

:-) Scott Gleason

Categories: SQL Server
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