Monday, May 11, 2015

SQL Server and R Integration...

One of the most popular languages in the Data Science Paradigm is the R language, there are plenty of resources and online classes being offered with respect to the R language. Once of the main advantages with the R language is that it is open source and can be downloaded on multiple platforms such as windows/Mac/Linux, also there is a very popular IDE for R called the R-Studio. SQL Server has been expanding to get into different domains one of them now being is Data Science. in SQL Sever 2016 there are lot more integration promised between R and SQL Server. In the mean time there are ways to integrate between R and SQL Server, here is a blog article on Simple talk by SQL Server Expert Feodor Georgiev, the article is titled: Making Data Analytics Simpler: SQL Server and R.
https://www.simple-talk.com/sql/reporting-services/making-data-analytics-simpler-sql-server-and-r/.
The article also provides a brief overview of the R language.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

SQL Server 2016 Preview...

I am not sure if I have dug enough into SQL Server 2014 but SQL server 2016 Preview is coming this summer. The pace at which technology has been evolving in DB/BI space has been amazing.
Here are some of the Features mentioned to be available in SQL Server 2016:
1. Always Encrypted:
2. Stretch Database
3. Real Time Operational Analytics & In-Memory OLTP
4. Built-in Advanced Analytics, PolyBase and Mobile BI

Additional capabilities in SQL Server 2016 include:
  • Additional security enhancements for Row-level Security and Dynamic Data Masking to round out our security investments with Always Encrypted.
  • Improvements to AlwaysOn for more robust availability and disaster recovery with multiple synchronous replicas and secondary load balancing.
  • Native JSON support to offer better performance and support for your many types of your data.
  • SQL Server Enterprise Information Management (EIM) tools and Analysis Services get an upgrade in performance, usability and scalability.
  • Faster hybrid backups, high availability and disaster recovery scenarios to backup and restore your on-premises databases to Azure and place your SQL Server AlwaysOn secondaries in Azure.
Please refer to the following link for the full details:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/dataplatforminsider/archive/2015/05/04/sql-server-2016-public-preview-coming-this-summer.aspx

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Data Discovery...

With a slew of tools and vendors coming in the BI Space, there has been one area of BI where there have lot of tools coming. It is the area of data discovery, there is a lot of interest in the business/technology users to discover/profile/analyze the data available. Prior to starting a project users are wanting to look at data available to make decisions on how to move forward. The tools that exists today like PowerBI from Microsoft provides the user a quick start into looking at the data. One of the vendors providing such data discovery and other related tools in the BI Space is BeyondCore. Here is the link for the website: http://www.beyondcore.com. BeyondCore has interesting capabilities like analyzing data within Microsoft Office, they call it the one click automated analytics within Microsoft office. Some of the features claimed by BeyondCore that is not in other virtualization products are:
1. One Click Data Cleansing
2. One Click Hypothesis Free Analysis.
3. Diagnostic and Predictive Analysis.
4. Collaborative Analysis
5. Animated Briefing.
The whole set of advantages are listed here in this link below:
http://www.beyondcore.com/advantages/
There are lot of discovery tools out there along with BeyondCore. The important thing is can these Data Discovery tools answer the questions that the Business/Organizations have  about the data that would be the determining factor.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Happenings in Microsoft BI...

There have been lot of movements, happenings going on in the Microsoft BI space. There is lot of developments happening in the Power BI/Self Service BI Space. Please see the blog post below from BI Expert Jen Underwood: She has summarized the happenings and she also writes very good articles in the BI/Analytics Space.
http://www.jenunderwood.com/2015/04/23/april-microsoft-bi-world-news/

Monday, April 13, 2015

Power View - Analyzing Data...

There have been lot of buzz about Power BI/Power Viewer  and its use for Self service BI, also the options to connect to different data sources have been increasing. Here is a link below which discusses use of PowerView tool for analyzing cricket data as part of the world cup series. It is a fun experiment but at the same time provides insight into how PowerView works.
http://blogs.office.com/2015/04/03/cricket-world-cup-fever-analyzing-the-data-with-power-query/

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Power BI-New Version...

Microsoft is really pushing into the cloud space in a big way, making a lot of investments in the cloud and also related development tools. One of the aspects of cloud that was discussed in the Microsoft earnings report was about the self service BI tools especially related to Power BI. Power BI was a set of tools released by Microsoft to enable users to perform self service BI operations mainly aimed at the power users/systems analyst/financial analyst user base. It was different from the traditional data warehousing/BI tools that Microsoft has. With the recent release of Power BI Microsoft has decided to open up the door in a big way and allows users to play around with Power BI. On going to the web site http://www.powerbi.com, one is asked to enter a work email address and sign up for access. Once you setup an account, one gets to log in to the Power BI public preview page where one can see sample dashboards and charts, also there s a start up video for first time users who would like to go through the capabilities. Please refer to the screen below which shows how it looks when you first log into Power BI Public Review.

There are capabilities to create Reports, DataSets and DashBoards. When you click on the Get Data Option you are presented with the following options:
 The user gets a variety of option to play around with , it is interesting to see that it has connections to repositories like Github. The main purpose of this release seems to be get this in the hands of as many users as possible so that the features can be explored and analyzed, with that also get some serious interest generated around Power BI. Hope this blog article helps in exploring the Power BI and its features.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year 2015...

Wishing all the readers of my blog a happy and prosperous New Year 2015. In this year one can see how the big data technologies mature or adopted within organizations. What happens to predictive analytics/machine learning type of technologies, how well they come into mainstream organizations. How is the role of data scientists going to evolve, along side with the traditional data warehouse technologies. There is a very good introduction course on The Data Scientist's toolbox that covers the foundation required for Data analysis and Data Scientists role.www.coursera.org.