Tag Archives: Reports

How to Create Custom Test Execution Reports in Excel from Team Foundation Server – Part 1

Team Foundation Server (TFS) is a Microsoft product which provides source code management, project management, reporting, release management and testing. TFS has a lot of inbuilt reporting and dashboard services available. By connecting TFS to Microsoft Excel, we can use different functionalities of Excel to extend reporting capabilities and be more flexible with creating test execution reports. It is also excellent for users that are more comfortable and familiar with Excel.

The first step to this is setting up queries in TFS. Queries are the basic building blocks for managing work items. For testers generating custom test execution reports, we would be more concerned with TFS Bugs. Queries allow us to filter work items in TFS to be transported to Excel for data sorting, visualization, etc. It is also easier to update queries when work items also change. For example, a bug changes its state depending on the test lifecycle. This could mean that the bug gets removed from an Active Bugs query and gets added to a Closed Bugs query. Queries can simply be refreshed in TFS, which gets updated dynamically in our Excel spreadsheet when clicking the Refresh button under the TEAM tab.

How a user would log and label bugs (using TFS field Title) and group these bugs (using TFS fields e.g. Tag, State, Severity, Assigned To) would determine how bugs are sorted into different queries configured by the user. In this example below, I’ve grouped all my Active Bugs in TFS via the State.

image thumb 4 How to Create Custom Test Execution Reports in Excel from Team Foundation Server   Part 1

The bugs that are logged for this subcomponent in a TFS Team Project must obviously contain these filter criteria to appear under the query. This is entirely up to how the user would set up the query. Below is an example on how I labelled the bug in TFS such that it meets the conditions of the example query. This is done by including a Tag called ‘CRM’ and prefixing the Work Item Title with ‘[Magnetism Sub Group]’.

image thumb 6 How to Create Custom Test Execution Reports in Excel from Team Foundation Server   Part 1

You can be creative in what Work Item fields you are using to differentiate different queries. This added flexibility in TFS allows the user to further modularise different queries. Once I run the example query, this work item gets brought under the query results.

image thumb 7 How to Create Custom Test Execution Reports in Excel from Team Foundation Server   Part 1

Once we can effectively separate and group each different bug accordingly in TFS, we need to establish a connection between the source TFS to the destination Excel spreadsheet. The TEAM tab in Excel allows us to connect TFS with Excel such that we can create a custom report in Excel.  This automatically shows up when Team Explorer or Visual Studio is installed. If it does not show up, the TEAM tab needs to be enabled using the following steps:

  1. Go to File > Options to open Excel Options.
  2. Navigate to the Customize Ribbon.
  3. Click the TEAM checkbox. Click OK.

Once the TEAM tab is enabled in Excel, we can connect to a Team Project such that we can transport work item lists into Excel. Excel gives an option of creating two types of work item lists: query or input flat lists.

image thumb 8 How to Create Custom Test Execution Reports in Excel from Team Foundation Server   Part 1

Using our earlier example query “Active Bugs – Magnetism Sub Group Changes – CRM” and its work item components, it gets transmitted to Excel once we choose the query list. This is shown below. Note that the Refresh button highlighted gets activated once we have connected through our query list and loaded our work components.

image thumb 10 How to Create Custom Test Execution Reports in Excel from Team Foundation Server   Part 1

All done! Part 2 of this blog will cover how we can use Excel to pull in our data from TFS such that we can construct our test execution report and data visualisations.

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China Mobile Reports CNY62.7 Billion Net Profit For H1 2017

China Mobile published its semi-annual report for the first half of 2017, stating that the company realized operating revenue of CNY388.9 billion, a year-on-year increase of 5%; and its net profit was CNY62.7 billion, a year-on-year increase of 3.5%.

China Mobile’s communication services revenue was CNY348 billion, an increase of 6.9%. Meanwhile, its mobile Internet revenue reached CNY187.7 billion, accounting for over 50% of its total communication services revenue.

During the reporting period, China Mobile’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were CNY140.7 billion, marking an increase of 4.7% compared with the same period of last year.

In regards to 4G development, China Mobile revealed in the report that the company’s number of 4G base stations reached 1.65 million during the first half of 2017. At the same time, China Mobile saw a net increase of 58.62 million 4G users, reaching a total of 594 million. Its 4G penetration rate reached 69%.

China Mobile said that they are confident in achieving their development goal for the year, which is to add 100 million 4G users in 2017.

In addition, China Mobile launched VoLTE HD voice services in 313 cities and the number of its VoLTE users reached 98.73 million.

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Teradata Reports 2017 Second Quarter Results

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Embedding Power BI Reports with Power BI Report Server

A common question I get is what will we will be able to do around embedding Power BI reports with Power BI report server. To understand this it is important to look at how the Power BI reports are being integrated into SSRS.

The Power BI reports are really a new type of reports supported by Reporting services. In SQL Server 2016 we added support for mobile reports and now with Power BI Report Server we add support for Power BI reports. This means that the reports will be using the traditional reporting services framework and “content management” system which means it’s existing folder structure including all it’s security features but also it’s existing embedding framework. Now SSRS has several ways to do embedding, one is using the reportviewer control and the other is through iframe embedding. The report viewer control only works for RDL files, not for the mobile reports nor for the Power BI reports, that leaves us with the traditional IFrame embedding.  Let’s take a look at this works.

To try this I started by creating a sample report and upload it to Power BI report server:

 Embedding Power BI Reports with Power BI Report Server

This I can open and see as part of my Report Server:

 Embedding Power BI Reports with Power BI Report Server

Now let’s say I want to embed this into a regular ASP.NET application. I start by creating a blank ASP.NET web app in Visual Studio and remove all the content from my Default.ASPX  within the asp:Content tags and replace it with an asp.net Iframe, leaving my page to look like this:

<asp:Content ID="BodyContent" ContentPlaceHolderID="MainContent" runat="server">
<IFRAME id="frame1" scrolling="auto" runat="server" width="1000px;" height="600px">

Now in my code behind I want to load my report:

protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
frame1.Src = "http://kadejosb/Reports/powerbi/PBItest/pbitest";

Running this will compile and run but will not show anything:

 Embedding Power BI Reports with Power BI Report Server

The trick here is to add the following parameter to the URL: “?rs:Embed=true” as described here in the SSRS team blog. This will generate an embedding-optimized view of the report.

Now the code looks like this:

protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
frame1.Src = "http://kadejosb/Reports/powerbi/PBItest/pbitest?rs:Embed=true";

Now running this again give us what we want:

 Embedding Power BI Reports with Power BI Report Server

And that is it, of course this can be used in a customer application or when you want to embed into SharePoint.

A few interesting things to note here are:

  1. There are currently no ways to add parameters to the connection string, I talked to the team and this is definitely on the road map.
  2. The user who is connecting to your custom app also needs to have access to the Power BI report on the report server, this is great for internal applications but harder for extranet scenario’s. A solution to this is also on the road map.

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Kasper On BI

Tech Tip Thursday: Dynamic Power BI reports using Parameters

Microsoft’s Guy in a Cube has been providing tips and tricks for Power BI and Business Intelligence on their YouTube channel since 2014. Occasionally on Thursdays we highlight a different helpful video from the collection.

Did you know that you can dynamically filter data in Power BI using parameters that are stored in an Excel workbook? In this video, Patrick from Guy in a Cube shows us how, using M Functions within Power Query and a gateway to enable data refresh. Check it out!

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Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

DAX “Reanimator” Series, Episode 1: Dynamic TopN Reports via Slicers

Power BI Report thumb DAX “Reanimator” Series, Episode 1: Dynamic TopN Reports via Slicers

Guess how many articles are here on PowerPivotPro.com?  Go ahead and think of a number, I’ll wait.

The answer, at time of writing, is 923.  Rob alone has published 715 articles!  And these date all the way back to 2009.

A lot of these articles are “old,” but folks, the DAX engine is still 99% the same today in Power BI (and Excel 2016) as it was when it first “hit the shelves” in Spring 2010.

The motivation behind this “Reanimator” series, then, is twofold:

  1. Help newer converts/readers rediscover some of the most-awesome techniques previously covered here (without being so lazy as re-posting them in their original form)
  2. “Refresh” those techniques for the brave new world of Power BI (since the vast majority of old articles were written when we only had Power Pivot)

What better way to do that than to re-create those workbooks in Power BI Desktop and embed the report directly…Within. This. Post! wlEmoticon smile DAX “Reanimator” Series, Episode 1: Dynamic TopN Reports via Slicers

A New Age of Self-Service BI Users

I’ve been fortunate enough to be given the honor of sharing with you, our community, all these wonderful posts written by many of our in-house industry experts. Updated in all their glory into the wonderful world of Power BI. Now you can click, slice, interact, touch (…dirty), and drill (dirtier!) with these reports to your hearts desire. Just as the BI gods intended them to be! My hope is that these updates will instill these tools to the growing number self-service BI users just getting into the field and who want to do AWESOME things with their reports.

Highlights From The Original Post(s)

So this update is actually a continuation of not just one…but TWO posts written by Rob in the distance past of 2012 (in technology years that’s basically forever). The two original posts were:

Dynamic TopN Reports Using PowerPivot V2!

Dynamic TopN Reports via Slicers, Part 2

Excel Report thumb DAX “Reanimator” Series, Episode 1: Dynamic TopN Reports via Slicers

Rob demos some pretty ingenious techniques using his (now prolific) disconnected slicers technique to not only control the Top N Number you’d like to see on charts or graphs, but also the Value that you want to see that Top N Number ranked on. I’ve used it in MANY reports I’ve made over the years, always impressing the customers who used them.

Now I don’t want to give too much away in this post, instead directing you back to the walkthrough via the links above. I’m just here to whet your appetite enough with some fancy Power BI Reports, and if you want to learn the DAX code, hop into Rob’s posts.

This “Picture” Below is an Interactive Power BI!

Isn’t Something Missing?

Some of our more avid blog readers may be thinking “wasn’t there a THIRD post about TopN filtering?”. Yes, in fact there was. It was written by guest contributor Colin Banfield and is called Dynamic TopN Reports via Slicers, Part 3. It’s a fantastic post which covers ways to add BottomN metrics, Month/Year slicers, and more. I chose not to use that workbook since I wanted to capture the core story from the original posts written by Rob. If you’re inclined however, I recommend reading all three as they will add real value to your DAX tool belt. Until next time P3 Nation!

Download the Files!

Download the PBIX files


Get Your Files

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Power BI + ZoomCharts = (Power BI)²: Boost your productivity and add the cool-factor to your reports

As of today, all Microsoft Power BI users can start using dynamic and cool-looking ZoomCharts in reports and dashboards.

With ZoomCharts, you can easier than ever before, explore, present and analyze your data. Full multi-touch support makes interaction seamless across all your devices.

Try it yourself with this Power BI live report to feel the difference:

How do ZoomCharts custom visuals increase your productivity with Power BI?

ZoomCharts is driving innovation in the world of charts and graphs. It’s challenging the very concept of charts by enabling the transition from static data representation to a fully interactive and dynamic user experience. Essentially, charts become alive. Interaction with the charts happens in the most natural way – with a simple click, touch, pinch or swipe. This means that datacan be analyzed and presented in a whole new way on any device. ZoomCharts claims that this approach saves time on report generation, presentation and answer seeking, turning data exploration into an engaging experience.

ZoomCharts combines analysis with presentation, making decision making easier than ever.

Three new custom visuals for data presentation and analysis

ZoomCharts has created three custom-visuals for Microsoft Power BI users:

Drill-down donut chart

Designed for exploring multi-level data in depth and across the level of interest.

Try this visual in a Power BI report and get this custom visual from the store.

Start with the overview and drill-down into details with a tap on a slice. Tap in the middle to return to previous level. “Others” slice is dynamic as well – tap to explore.
223a4112 7cf0 4a50 8cd8 bdd10b7e93bd Power BI + ZoomCharts = (Power BI)²: Boost your productivity and add the cool factor to your reports
In this example, we are looking at sales data. With drill-down you can easily see how profits group by industries, company revenue and size.

Drill-down column/line/area chart for category-based data

Designed for exploration and presentation of category-based data.

Try this visual in a Power BI report and get this custom visual& from the store.

Start with the overview and drill-down into details with a tap to expand a column or area of interest. Swipe up to return to the previous level.
8c47038a 659a 46fc 8072 5ed8c56aed48 Power BI + ZoomCharts = (Power BI)²: Boost your productivity and add the cool factor to your reports
In this example we are comparing revenue, cost and profit by product types and billing frequency.

Drill-down column/line/area chart for time-based data

Designed for exploration and presentation of time-based data.

Try this visual in a Power BI report and get this custom visual from the store.

Start with the overview and drill-down into details with a tap. Swipe up or down to zoom in and out. Swipe left or right to pan the timeline. Filter your report by selecting time range on time-axis.
01a4bc26 85ce 4acc a965 35e948b6d05b Power BI + ZoomCharts = (Power BI)²: Boost your productivity and add the cool factor to your reports

In this example we can see revenue, costs and profits by years. With a touch, you can drill down to month and day level.

Built for productive reports with an engaging cool-factor

As Microsoft Power BI enables filtering through charts, you can combine all three new custom visuals to create even more productive reports. Here is an example of sales data report, where you can see, explore and analyze the sales data by the selected dimensions. Selection of a specific time range in a timeline chart will filter automatically the donut and column charts by the same time range. Similarly, selection of a slice or column will filter automatically the two other charts by the chosen category.

What does this mean for businesses?

With the ever-increasing need to make business-critical decisions, users need to optimize the way they work with reports and dashboards. With the increasing popularity of mobile devices, interactive, multi-touch-ready reports and dashboards is becoming a must-have. Successful businesses are able to make better decisions faster, and ZoomCharts in Power BI enable bussiness users to do that.

What does this all mean to you?

Is ZoomCharts here to change the way we work forever? We don’t know that yet. All we know is that ZoomCharts have customers from more than 35 countries worldwide with companies among the Fortune 500.

If you want to add the cool-factor to your dashboards and double your productivity with Power BI, try the new custom visuals today! Or check them out via Microsoft Office Store.

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Teradata Reports 2017 First Quarter Results

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New Reports From Existing Datasets

I don’t mind being wrong when I learn about something new and great. Currently it is not possible to directly create a new Power BI Desktop report that connects to an existing dataset already loaded to PowerBI.com.  This feature allowing you to connect to an existing dataset in the cloud was delivered in preview mode last week.   Regardless of this new preview feature, over time however there have been a few changes to PowerBI.com that mean it is now quite easy to achieve multiple new reports pointing to the same single dataset.  The key capabilities that have enabled the method I will show you today include:

  1. Good quality “new report” authoring from an existing dataset live on PowerBI.com.  Report authoring wasn’t always this good (in my memory anyway).
  2. Download the new report to your PC as a PBIX file and keep it as a backup.
  3. Make changes to the original data model using Power BI Desktop and make these changes available to the original reports and any new reports that point to the dataset.
  4. As a bonus, it is possible to co-author new reports with others in your organisation and download the collective efforts to a PBIX file.

I’m going to show you how to do these things today.   Incidental, I am using the multi browser tip I learnt from GuyInACube (also Chris Webb) that Adam discussed in this video here to create the screenshots for this post. In short I am able to log into multiple browsers as different users without having to struggle with multiple sign ins etc.  It is very useful.

In short, I am going to

1. Create a Report in Power BI Desktop.

2. Publish to a group workspace.

3. Share the workspace with another user (including edit rights).

4. Create a brand new report using the original data model as the source and co-author the new report.

5. Download the final authored report to the desktop.

6. Enhance the original dataset (created in step 1) in Power BI Desktop and make those enhancements usable in both the original report and the new report created in step 4.

To demonstrate the report authoring capabilities, I logged in as a user (Training20 shown as 1 below) and uploaded a PBIX file to a group called “Report Author Demo” (shown as 2).  You can see the dataset (shown as 3) and also the PBIX report (shown as 4 below).

image thumb New Reports From Existing Datasets

The next thing I did was to share this report with another user so we can author some reports together.    This is easy to do using the inbuilt sharing (Pro) features as shown below.

image thumb 1 New Reports From Existing Datasets

I shared the workbook with another user (training19) and made sure that user can edit the content.

image thumb 2 New Reports From Existing Datasets

I then switched to the other user (Training19) using the Chrome technique mentioned at the start of this post.

image thumb 3 New Reports From Existing Datasets

You can see that I am now user Training19 (shown as 1 above).  I clicked on the shared workgroup (shown as 2) and then selected the dataset (shown as 3).  Note this is a brand new report with new tabs (shown as 4).  I built a quick new report using the data set as shown below.

image thumb 4 New Reports From Existing Datasets

When I clicked Save (shown as 2 above), a brand new report is created that is connected to the original Dataset.  There is no need to duplicate the dataset.

For the demo, I then logged back in as Training20 (shown as 1) and made some minor changes to the new report shown as 3.

image thumb 5 New Reports From Existing Datasets

Of course you can iterate with many users collaborating to build out reports based off the same source dataset.

The next thing I did was  to download this new report as a new PBIX file back to the desktop.  I simply clicked on the new report (shown as 1), clicked file (shown as 2) and downloaded the PBIX to the desktop (shown as 3).

image thumb 6 New Reports From Existing Datasets

This new PBIX file can be opened in Power BI Desktop, and it includes the original data model as shown below as well as the new reports created in the cloud.

image thumb 7 New Reports From Existing Datasets

The next thing I did was to make a change to the original dataset (Adventure Works).  I added a new measure [Total Sales MAT] and republished the original report to PowerBI.com.  Of course the original report was updated as expected shown below.  The dataset (1) was updated, the report (2) was updated and the new measure was visible in the Fields list.

image thumb 8 New Reports From Existing Datasets

And the really good news is the new report I created earlier (shown as 1 below) also now has access to the new measure (shown as 2 below).

image thumb 9 New Reports From Existing Datasets

The implication is that I can create as many new reports online as a like pointing to an existing dataset, and I can update the original dataset and have these changes flow through to the new reports.

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Reading the Tea Leaves of Recent Data Science Analyst reports

tea leaves Reading the Tea Leaves of Recent Data Science Analyst reports

By now, you’ve hopefully seen that RapidMiner was Identified as a Leader in both of the major analyst reports that cover the data science space: Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant for Data Science Platforms and The Forrester Wave™: Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning Solutions, Q1 2017.

It’s a great accomplishment for RapidMiner to be recognized as a Leader in both analyst reports, especially when we compete in the large data science market against much bigger companies like IBM and SAS. It’s a testament to the investments we’ve made over the past couple of years at RapidMiner in areas like engineering, customer success, and new user onboarding.

What follows are my thoughts and opinions on the state of data science / machine learning platforms formed by speaking with customers, prospects, and partners and working with analysts like Gartner and Forrester. I’m speaking for myself not any analyst firm, and you should read their reports and the disclaimers which I included at the bottom of this post.

With that, let’s get started. I believe that the recent success of RapidMiner in the Gartner and Forrester reports reflects our laser focus on the needs of data scientists who want to deliver real data science—fast and simple. That’s our mission statement, and we choose those words carefully.

First and foremost, we stand for real data science, something both Garter and Forrester identified as a strength for RapidMiner. Gartner highlights our “large selection of algorithms, flexible modeling capabilities, data source integration and consequent data preparation” and notes that “the platform’s strength lies not just in particular areas, but also in its all-around consistency.” Forrester called out that RapidMiner “has a comprehensive set of operators that encapsulate a wide range of data prep, analytical, and modeling functionality to increase productivity of data scientists.”

We deliver on the real data science mission through extreme focus, here are some of the many ways we stand out by:

  • Providing a massive library of machine learning algorithms to provide data scientists with a wide variety of choices for different datasets.
  • Offering correct model validation to ensure that a model is validated in the most accurate way possible.
  • Letting developers reuse R and Python code to extend RapidMiner and so that data science teams can incorporate RapidMiner into their workflow.
  • Constantly innovating the platform through cutting edge machine learning algorithms from companies like H20.

Our real data science mission makes it easy to contrast RapidMiner with competitors attempting to capitalize on the momentum around machine learning and data science with products that simply miss the mark.

For example, Alteryx provides a limited set of lightweight machine learning functions for their mostly business analyst audience so Alteryx can check the “we do machine learning” box. But when evaluated against a robust data science platform like RapidMiner, the deficiencies become crystal clear. Forrester didn’t even include Alteryx in their evaluation, which I believe reflects their lack of product depth for data science use-cases. That’s why we talk about real data science at RapidMiner: we build our products to solve the hard problems.

I think this is the same reason DataRobot and others were excluded from both the Forrester and Gartner reports. Data scientists are wary (to say the least) of automated “you give us the data, we’ll give you a model back” approaches. Real data science requires transparency to understand the approach that was used to create and validate the model. Would you trust a mission-critical business decision to a black box that simply spits out number with no insight into how it got there? Neither would I.

Of course, there are other real data science platforms covered by Forrester and Gartner, most notably IBM and SAS. While both continue to be up and to the right in analyst reports, RapidMiner has closed the gap significantly this year. But neither IBM nor SAS are particularly fast or simple, the other important piece of our mission.

To RapidMiner, fast means that a data scientist can be more productive using RapidMiner than they are using other data science approaches and simple means that our product should be approachable for a wide range of users with a diverse set of skills.

Forrester eloquently captured the spirit of fast and simple in their Wave report: “RapidMiner wraps breadth and depth in a beautiful package,” going on to say that “RapidMiner invested heavily to revamp its visual interface, making it the most concise and fluid that we have seen in this evaluation.”

Concise (synonym: fast) and fluid (synonym: simple). Sound familiar? J

SAS continues to be widely used and widely disliked by customers who struggle with both their pricing model and the need to purchase a seemingly infinite set of add-ons and overlapping products. We often see organizations with large investments in SAS use RapidMiner for new projects, steadily increasing their RapidMiner usage while decreasing their dependence on SAS licenses. By the way, it only takes about a week for an experienced SAS user to learn RapidMiner. Contact us if you want to learn more about moving from SAS to RapidMiner.

Finally, I compare IBM’s data science offerings to a buffet in Las Vegas: lots of choices, none of them particularly great. And worse you still must hire the chef (i.e. IBM Services) to cook the food for you.

To me, the primary takeaway from the 2017 editions of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Science Platforms and the Forrester Wave™: Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning Solutions, Q1 2017 was that our placement validates our mission to provide real data science, fast and simple. Our visual approach lets data scientists work faster without compromising the quality of the underlying data science, and RapidMiner frees organizations from the complexity and cost of the legacy approaches that have historically dominated this market.

(Thanks to Darren Guarnaccia of Sitecore for the inspiration behind the title)

*Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

The Forrester Wave™ is copyrighted by Forrester Research, Inc. Forrester and Forrester Wave are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. The Forrester Wave is a graphical representation of Forrester’s call on a market and is plotted using a detailed spreadsheet with exposed scores, weightings, and comments. Forrester does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in the Forrester Wave. Information is based on best available resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change.

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