Category Archives: Business Intelligence
Check out the excellent, new online course by Peter Myers and Chris Randall for Microsoft Learning Experiences (LeX). Lean how to develop tabular data models with SQL Server 2016 Analysis Services. The complete course is available on edX at no cost to audit, or you can highlight your new knowledge and skills with a Verified Certificate for a small charge. Enrolment is available at edX.
I want to come up with a function, which when given a set of points of arbitrary length, will return a plane which best fits my data. I have tried using
FindFit for 5-dimensional data, but I get the following error:
FindFit::fitc: Number of coordinates (1) is not equal to the number of variables (3).
The 2nd cumulative update release for SQL Server 2016 SP1 is now available for download at the Microsoft Downloads site. Please note that registration is no longer required to download Cumulative updates.
To learn more about the release or servicing model, please visit:
HTC is planning to sell its mobile phone manufacturing plant in Shanghai, and the money gained will be invested into the virtual reality operations of the business.
HTC’s board of directors has decided to sell its Shanghai manufacturing plant to a Chinese mainland company for USD91 million, which is about CNY630 million, with the aim of allocating more money to expand its VR business. HTC emphasized that the sale of the plant would not affect the overall business of its mobile phone unit. The buyer of the factory is reportedly Xingbao Information Technology.
HTC’s Shanghai mobile phone manufacturing plant was built in 2009 with an area of 114,000 square meters and it is mainly engaged in making smartphones sold in mainland China. In 2011, the factory boasted monthly production of two million units. However, with the decline of HTC’s mobile phone business, many product lines of this factory went idle.
HTC sold one factory in Taoyuan, Taiwan in December 2015 for USD183 million. At present, the company still has three factories in Taoyuan.
In 2016, the company’s operating revenue was NTD78.16 billion, a year-on-year decline of 35%, and it was the lowest point over the past 11 years. The company’s operating revenue once reached NTD465.8 billion in 2011.
VR is the future hope for HTC. In 2016, the company’s high-end VR product HTC Vive realized sales of 450,000 units. Statistics from the market research firm Canalys show that China is the world’s second largest market for high-end VR devices in 2016 with a total shipment of about 300,000 units, of which 17.7% were HTC Vive, ranking first in this marketplace.
We’re excited to participate in the Microsoft Data Insights Summit June 12 – 13, 2017 in Seattle, WA. This two-day event is designed to help you identify deeper insights, make better sense of your data, and take action to transform your business.
This year’s Microsoft Data Insights Summit will be filled with strong technical content, vibrant speakers, and an engaged community of experts. The event offers deep dive sessions, hands-on learning, industry insights, and direct access to experts. Join us to expand your skills, connect directly with Microsoft product development teams, and learn how to get the most from the Microsoft BI stack.
The Analysis Services program-management team is excited to deliver the following sessions.
Super Charge Power BI with Azure Analysis Services
Monday, June 12. 11:10 am – 12:00 pm.
Join this session to get a deep dive to how you can scale up a Power BI model by migrating it to Azure Analysis Services. This new service enables larger models and allows fine grained control of refresh behavior. We will cover migration, using the gateway for on-premises data, and new connectivity with Power Query and the M Engine for Power BI compatibility and reuse. Other topics will include creating reports that tell stories, distributing in SPO or PtW, collaborative conversations across teams, data story galleries, custom visuals, Sway, and more.
Creating Enterprise Grade BI Models with Azure Analysis Services
Tuesday, June 13. 11:40 am – 12:30 pm.
Microsoft Azure Analysis Services and SQL Server Analysis Services enable you to build comprehensive, enterprise-scale analytic solutions that deliver actionable insights through familiar data visualization tools such as Microsoft Power BI and Microsoft Excel. Analysis Services enables consistent data across reports and users of Power BI. The demos will cover new features such as improved Power BI Desktop feature integration, Power Query connectivity, and techniques for modeling and data loading which enable the best reporting experiences. Various modeling enhancements will be included such as Detail Rows allowing users to easily see transactional records, and improved support for ragged hierarchies.
Enterprise software giant SAP launched the SAP.iO Fund today to invest tens of millions of dollars in startups making products that call upon SAP platforms, data, or APIs made by SAP.
Starting with an initial investment of $ 35 million, the fund will invest in dozens of enterprise startups in the coming years. SAP also plans to fund startup accelerators in tech capitals cities around the world, like San Francisco and Berlin.
Both the investment fund and accelerator programs will focus on machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and big data, according to SAP chief strategy officer Deepak Krishnamurthy.
SAP.iO Fund will invest in 10 to 15 companies in its first year, 25 to 30 the following year and up to 50 in its third year, Krishnamurthy said.
Each seed round will receive roughly $ 250,000, with additional investment in Series A funding rounds. Applicants will be asked to leverage APIs from SAP Systems.
“We’re at this crossroad now where machine learning, artificial intelligence, the internet of everything, blockchain, the notion of all of these unbelievable market forces and opportunities are going to still require that core system,” SAP CEO Bill McDermott told a crowd at SAP.iO offices in San Francisco Wednesday. “It’s going to be that core system, the inter-enterprise transactions between buyers and sellers in efficient global networks, is ultimately how customers are going to fundamentally rethink business models.”
Apart from the SAP.iO Fund is SAP.iO Foundry, a set of startup accelerators set to take place in Berlin, San Francisco, New York City, and Tel Aviv.
The Berlin and San Francisco accelerator programs will take place at SAP facilities, where startups will work alongside SAP intrapreneurs. The Berlin accelerator will be managed by TechStars, one of the first startup accelerators.
New York and Tel Aviv accelerators will be partnerships powered by the Junction in Tel Aviv and TechStars in New York.
Accelerator programs will last between 13 and 16 weeks.
“We want you to build your franchise and your dreams on our core business offering, and by doing that you can bring your imagination to the equation,” McDermott said. “As long as you’re authentic and you’re really running the software, we’ll put the full weight and power of SAP and all of our friends behind you and your idea.”
The first investment by the SAP.iO Fund is in Parable Sciences, a big data analytics company also known as Paradata.
“They’re very close to what we do from a supply chain and procurement perspective,” Krishnamurthy said.
SAP did not disclose the size of its investment in Parable Sciences.
Achieving quantum leaps through disruption and using data in new contexts, in ways designed for more than just Generation Y — indeed, the digital transformation affects us all. It’s time for a detailed look at its key aspects.
Data finding its way into new settings
Archiving all of a company’s internal information until the end of time is generally a good idea, as it gives the boss the security that nothing will be lost. Meanwhile, enabling him or her to create bar graphs and pie charts based on sales trends – preferably in real time, of course – is even better.
But the best scenario of all is when the boss can incorporate data from external sources. All of a sudden, information on factors as seemingly mundane as the weather start helping to improve interpretations of fluctuations in sales and to make precise modifications to the company’s offerings. When the gusts of autumn begin to blow, for example, energy providers scale back solar production and crank up their windmills. Here, external data provides a foundation for processes and decisions that were previously unattainable.
Quantum leaps possible through disruption
While these advancements involve changes in existing workflows, there are also much more radical approaches that eschew conventional structures entirely.
“The aggressive use of data is transforming business models, facilitating new products and services, creating new processes, generating greater utility, and ushering in a new culture of management,” states Professor Walter Brenner of the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, regarding the effects of digitalization.
Harnessing these benefits requires the application of innovative information and communication technology, especially the kind termed “disruptive.” A complete departure from existing structures may not necessarily be the actual goal, but it can occur as a consequence of this process.
Having had to contend with “only” one new technology at a time in the past, be it PCs, SAP software, SQL databases, or the Internet itself, companies are now facing an array of concurrent topics, such as the Internet of Things, social media, third-generation e-business, and tablets and smartphones. Professor Brenner thus believes that every good — and perhaps disruptive — idea can result in a “quantum leap in terms of data.”
Products and services shaped by customers
It has already been nearly seven years since the release of an app that enables customers to order and pay for taxis. Initially introduced in Berlin, Germany, mytaxi makes it possible to avoid waiting on hold for the next phone representative and pay by credit card while giving drivers greater independence from taxi dispatch centers. In addition, analyses of user data can lead to the creation of new services, such as for people who consistently order taxis at around the same time of day.
“Successful models focus on providing utility to the customer,” Professor Brenner explains. “In the beginning, at least, everything else is secondary.”
In this regard, the private taxi agency Uber is a fair bit more radical. It bypasses the entire taxi industry and hires private individuals interested in making themselves and their vehicles available for rides on the Uber platform. Similarly, Airbnb runs a platform travelers can use to book private accommodations instead of hotel rooms.
Long-established companies are also undergoing profound changes. The German publishing house Axel Springer SE, for instance, has acquired a number of startups, launched an online dating platform, and released an app with which users can collect points at retail. Chairman and CEO Matthias Döpfner also has an interest in getting the company’s newspapers and other periodicals back into the black based on payment models, of course, but these endeavors are somewhat at odds with the traditional notion of publishing houses being involved solely in publishing.
The impact of digitalization transcends Generation Y
Digitalization is effecting changes in nearly every industry. Retailers will likely have no choice but to integrate their sales channels into an omnichannel approach. Seeking to make their data services as attractive as possible, BMW, Mercedes, and Audi have joined forces to purchase the digital map service HERE. Mechanical engineering companies are outfitting their equipment with sensors to reduce downtime and achieve further product improvements.
“The specific potential and risks at hand determine how and by what means each individual company approaches the subject of digitalization,” Professor Brenner reveals. The resulting services will ultimately benefit every customer – not just those belonging to Generation Y, who present a certain basic affinity for digital methods.
“Think of cars that notify the service center when their brakes or drive belts need to be replaced, offer parking assistance, or even handle parking for you,” Brenner offers. “This can be a big help to elderly people in particular.”
Chief digital officers: team members, not miracle workers
Making the transition to the digital future is something that involves not only a CEO or a head of marketing or IT, but the entire company. Though these individuals do play an important role as proponents of digital models, it also takes more than just a chief digital officer alone.
For Professor Brenner, appointing a single person to the board of a DAX company to oversee digitalization is basically absurd. “Unless you’re talking about Da Vinci or Leibnitz born again, nobody could handle such a task,” he states.
In Brenner’s view, this is a topic for each and every department, and responsibilities should be assigned much like on a soccer field: “You’ve got a coach and the players – and the fans, as well, who are more or less what it’s all about.”
Here, the CIO neither competes with the CDO nor assumes an elevated position in the process of digital transformation. Implementing new databases like SAP HANA or Hadoop, leveraging sensor data in both technical and commercially viable ways, these are the tasks CIOs will face going forward.
“There are some fantastic jobs out there,” Brenner affirms.
Want more insight on managing digital transformation? See Three Keys To Winning In A World Of Disruption.
Image via Shutterstock
Custom visuals have come a long way since they were announced as part of the GA of Power BI back in July 2015. From best visual contest, to a new and improved version of the platform and the developer tools, to the recent announcement for the new custom visuals community site, it was always about the community.
The community is the force that drives the success of custom visuals. Developers have contributed more and more custom visuals to the visuals gallery, which now has more than 80 visuals! Report creators embraced custom visuals and made some awesome reports. Also, your focus and passion has helped to improve the platform and make custom visuals what they are today. It was heartwarming to see how much you care and enjoy custom visuals! Thank you!
Custom visuals in the Office store
We are very excited to announce, that as of today, custom visuals are available to discover and download within the Office store.
What is the Office store? Simply put – it is the place to find apps (known as add-ins) for your Office 365 software.
The Office Store connects millions of users of Office 365 to solutions that help them get work done more efficiently, more insightfully or more beautifully than before.
What is changing?
Power BI is now a product in the Office store, listing all Power BI custom visuals. Searching and filtering by categories are available for easy navigation.
The custom visuals gallery is moving to the Office store. Many visuals are already listed in the store, and we are working to onboard the rest of the visuals within a few weeks. The Office store will be the place to discover custom visuals and download them, as well as the place for developers to submit and manage their custom visuals in the store.
The visuals gallery will still be available until we finish moving all of the visuals to the Office store, however new submissions will only go to the Office store. All custom visuals that were ever downloaded from the gallery will continue to work as usual even after the gallery will be deprecated.
Better for users
If you use custom visuals, here is what the integration with the Office store will mean to you.
- An easy navigation experience using categories and search. We created a set of categories just for custom visuals.
- A details page for each visual with high quality screenshots and videos to introduce you to the visual.
- Reviews and ratings are available as a feedback channel to the developer and also a way for you to help others gauge quality of a visual.
For more information about how to discover and use custom visuals in the office store, see Download and use custom visuals from the Office store.
Better for developers
For you custom visual developers, you will be able to use the Office developer center which will bring the following.
- Submit your custom visuals in an easy to use web portal.
- Manage your custom visual submissions.
- Track how many people visited your custom visual page in the store and downloaded it.
- Get direct feedback from users through the review system to help you improve the visual.
In addition to that, you will get broader exposure to a larger user base in the Office store.
For more information about how to submit visuals to the Office store, see Publish custom visuals to the Office store.
Get started with custom visuals
China Unicom’s operating revenue was CNY274.2 billion in 2016, a year-on-year decrease of 1%; and its net profit was CNY630 million, a year-on-year decrease of 94.1%.
China Unicom’s mobile business services realized revenue of CNY145.02 billion, a year-on-year increase of 1.7%; its fixed-line business services realized revenue of CNY94.66 billion, a year-on-year increase of 3.7%; its broadband access revenue was CNY43.87 billion, which was at the same level as that in 2015; and its IDC and cloud computing business revenue was CNY9.45 billion, a year-on-year increase of 33.7%.
In 2016, China Unicom’s total capital expenditure was CNY72.11 billion, which was mainly spent on the construction of mobile networks, broadband and data services, and infrastructure and transmission networks. The company invested CNY27.74 billion in mobile networks, CNY16.84 billion in broadband and data businesses, and CNY19.71 billion in infrastructure and transmission networks.
By the end of 2016, China Unicom’s total assets reached CNY614.15 billion; its total debts changed to CNY386.47 billion; and its asset-liability ratio changed to 62.9%. Meanwhile, the company’s free cash flow was CNY2.48 billion.
China Unicom’s mobile users saw a net increase of 11.51 million to a total of 263.82 million during the reporting period. Its 4G users saw a net increase of 60.4 million to a total of 104.55 million. The number of its 4G base stations reached 736,000, a net increase of 337,000.
In addition, China Unicom’s fixed-line broadband users saw a year-on-year increase of 4% to 75.24 million, of which 71.2% were FTTH users.
This is the second blog about new partitioning functionality in Oracle
Database 12c Release 2, available on-premise for Linux x86-64, Solaris Sparc64, and Solaris x86-64 and for everybody else in the Oracle Cloud .
This one will talk about multi column list partitioning, a new
partitioning methodology in the family of list partitioning. There will be more for this method, coming in a future blog post (how about that for a
Just like read only partitions, this functionality is rather self-explaining. Unlike in earlier releases, we now can specify more than
one column as partition key columns for list partitioned tables, enabling you to model even more business use cases natively with Oracle Partitioning.
So let’s start off with a very simple example:
CREATE TABLE mc
PARTITION BY LIST (col1, col2)
(PARTITION p1 VALUES ((1,2),(3,4)),
PARTITION p2 VALUES ((4,5)),
PARTITION p3 VALUES (DEFAULT))
AS SELECT rownum col1, rownum+1 col2
FROM DUAL CONNECT BY LEVEL <= 10;
Yes, you can have a partitioned table with ten records, although I highly recommend NOT to assume this as best practice for real world environments. Just
because you can create partitions – and many of them – you should always bear in mind that partitions come with a “cost” in terms of additional
metadata in the data dictionary (and row cache, library cache), with additional work for parsing statements and so forth. Ten records per partition don’t cut it. You should always
consider having a reasonable amount of data per partition, but that’s a topic for another day.
When we now look at the metadata of this newly created table you will see the partition value pairs listed as HIGH VALUE in the partitioning metadata:
partition_name, high_value FROM user_tab_partitions WHERE table_name=’MC';
P1 ( 1, 2 ), ( 3, 4 )
P2 ( 4, 4 )
Now, while I talked about a “new partitioning strategy” a bit earlier, from a metadata perspective it isn’t one. For the database metadata it is “only” a
functional enhancement for list partitioning: the number of partition key columns is greater than one:
table_name, partitioning_type, partitioning_key_count FROM user_part_tables WHERE table_name=’MC';
TABLE_NAME PARTITION PARTITIONING_KEY_COUNT
—————————— ——— ———————-
Let’s now look into the data placement using the partition extended syntax and query our newly created table. Using the extended partition syntax is
equivalent to specifying a filter predicate that exactly matches the partitioning criteria and an easy way to safe some typing. Note that both
variants of the partition extended syntax – specifying a partition by name or by pointing to a specific record within a partition – can be used for any
partition maintenance operation and also in conjunction with DML.
SQL> SELECT *
FROM mc PARTITION (p1);
I can get exactly the same result when I am using the other variant of the partition extended syntax:
SQL> SELECT *
FROM mc PARTITION FOR (1,2);
After having built a simple multi column list partitioned table with some data, let’s just do one basic partition maintenance operation, namely a
split operation on partition P1 that we just looked at. You might remember that this partition has two sets of key pairs as partition key definition,
namely (1,2) and (3,4). We use the new functionality of doing this split in an online mode:
TABLE mc SPLIT PARTITION p1 INTO (PARTITION p1a VALUES (1,2), PARTITION p1b) ONLINE;
Table MC altered.
Unlike offline partition maintenance operations (PMOP) that take an exclusive DML lock on the partitions the database is working on (which prohibits any DML
change while the PMOP is in flight), an online PMOP does not take any exclusive locks and allows not only queries (like offline operations) but
also continuous DML operations while the operation is ongoing.
After we have now done this split, let’s check the data containment in our newly created partition P3:
SQL> SELECT *
FROM mc PARTITION (p1a);
That’s about it for now for multi column list partitioned tables. I am sure I have forgotten some little details here and there and I am sure that this
short blog post is probably not answering all questions you are having. So please, stay tuned and if you have any comments about this specific one or
suggestions for future blog posts, then please let me know. You can always reach me at email@example.com.
Another one down, many more to go.