jessegorterJesse Gorter

Principal BI consultant at Rubicon

All articles by jessegorter

 

Power BI release management

Organizations that start with Power BI often ask me "Jesse, how do you go about development, test and production environments when using Power BI?". I have decided to write about my experiences - I have been implementing Power BI since the beginning of the product - and share you my ideas. The reason why this
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The Enterprise Tabular model

In Microsoft BI, a tabular model is often the way to go. OLAP gets more and more often replaced by Tabular cubes and Power BI models. However, it's really hard to create a model that covers the whole enterprise. In this post I propose a solution for doing just that in a simple way. In
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5 lessons for organizations that use Power BI

The last two and a half years I have been helping organizations adopt and implement Power BI. With the right approach Power BI can be a huge success. But if you are not sure how to do it right, you might make the data landscape messier and more confusing. Here are the 5 simple lessons
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Azure Analysis Services on top of Azure Data Lake?

Recently I have seen implementations of Analysis Services that go directly to the Data Lake. In order to speed things up and to remove redundancy, there is no relational data storage even if the data is relational in nature. Data is persisted raw in the lake and goes directly to a user friendly data model
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Power BI apps and workspaces

One of the cool features of Power BI are workspaces. They make it possible to work together on reports, share information, share reports, share datasets, etc. You can add administrators and members. Members can be read-only, or report authors. I often see that members are set to be read-only. There is another way to have
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Power BI dashboard design: charts and color

In this post I am going to discuss how to design a dashboard in Power BI. What makes a good dashboard work? I think a good dashboard tells you immediately how you are doing. Not just "show me the numbers". KPI's are just as important. What is a measure without a target?
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My thoughts on Azure Data lake

I have been very curious about Azure Data Lake. So I started experimenting with it. In this post I share with you my thoughts about it.
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Row level security SQL and Power BI

In my previous post I explained how to enable row level security on your SQL database. However, if you use Power BI as a live connection to your database, it will filter according to the user that is used in the data gateway. This effectively means that you cannot rely on sql row level security
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Row level security on your SQL database

One of the cool new features of SQL 2016 or SQL Azure is that you can add row level security to your database directly. So you don't need to use a cube or a tabular model to implement row level security. Let me show you how you can use it. The example is based on
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Recover the lost query

Just recently I was writing a very complicated query. Took me 2 hours to write. In the end I saved it as a view in the development database. I did not yet synchronize it back to the solution in visual studio, because I wanted to add a few related views for the problem I was
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Trim the fat (put your data warehouse on a diet)

The idea of organizational Business Intelligence was to create "One version of the truth, One Ring version to rule them all" errrr, well that was the idea. Away with all those Excels and bring on the conformed BI reports right? Of course it is a great idea to make sure you have a data warehouse where your data
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Best Practice: no more queries in frontend tools

You may have experienced it: your report was working just fine, untill you published a database change and oops! a report doesn't work anymore. Especially when you have about 70+ reports running their own queries, this can be a pain. Why would a report contain a query? Well, because it is easy, quick to develop,
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Azure Data Factory, first thoughts

I have been trying out Azure Data Factory. You can wonder if ADF is more like SSIS in the cloud or SQL Server Agent in the cloud. It does not quite feel like a pure ETL tool. Coming from SSIS on premise this is a completely different experience. My first impression is that the UI is
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Sharing your Power BI reports

If you are using Power BI, you may want to consider how you are going to share your reports and dashboards. Should you share your dashboards? Should you use groups or content packs? There are several ways to do this.   Share your Dashboards: open your dashboard and click on the "Share" Icon. Your recipients
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Power BI desktop or online?

When you are creating Power BI reports. Do you develop them online or in desktop mode? If you are doing pure self service BI for quick prototyping, it doesn't matter all that much. However, if you use live connections, you may want to use Desktop since you can easily switch between test and production servers.
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Your data is going places

There are still a lot of people who do not believe BI and cloud go together. "My data is too valuable to store anywhere else but on premise!". Most of the times we are talking about gut feeling here. It is not a strange thought either. But the funny thing is: maybe your data is
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A drive with Cortana

Sometimes innovations take you by suprise. I just started using a Windows Phone and I was at my parents, checking out the maps app. I was always a big fan of the Google Maps app on Android and how well it predicts traffic jams, so I was curious to see how Bing would handle this.
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Choosing the right tool

I once heard someone say: if you use SSIS to do ETL, you are just not a good enough programmer in SQL. Needless to say I had some thoughts about that! We had a discussion about ETL and what tool is the most suited for that task. In the end it came down to the fact that
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Unable to establish server mode?

"Unable to establish server mode". *Blink* I admit I was a bit puzzled when this message showed up. I tried to connect to Analysis Services and this message came up. "Why would it be unable to detect the mode of the server? The Server is just fine and so is the mode in which it
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Using views as a source

"Is it ok to use a SQL Server database view from the source system as the source for your DWH, or is it better avoid views as a source, using only tables?".
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Power View in Excel 2013 and errors

Sometimes you get an error message that doesn't make any sense. "PC Load Letter" is quite a good example (Office Space, a great movie, shows how users react to such messages 😉 ). Here's an interesting one that I got when using Power View in Excel 2013 based on a tabular model: System.Reflection.TargetInvocationException: System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception (0x80004005):
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Configuration Manager doesn't work for Tabular

Visual Studio's configuration manager is a beautiful thing to have. You set up your connection strings to dev,  test and production (if applicable for a developer) and you can deploy easily to these environments. If you are not aware of this, try it out, it's a great feature.
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Should you call it a junk dimension?

Datamarts, cubes, tabular models...they all present a dimensional model to the end user that is intuitive. At least, that should be the case. So no abbrevations in the dimensional model. Business users tend to prefer to see the data in the same way they speak about it. So a product is a product, not a
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Reporting Services tip: document outline

If you are relatively new to Reporting Services, it can be difficult to keep track of all the report elements. Your report quickly gets cluttered with elements that are contained within each other. Not a lot of people seem to be aware that there is an option called 'Document outline', that makes it easy to
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Are you doing all the work?

Scenario 1: You're standing in front of the class. The training you're giving is going fantastic...it is your favorite subject and you can easily talk about this for hours on end. After the course your students fill in a survey about how well they like your course and the reactions aren't that great. What's going
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