PowerPivot Succinctly – new eBook by me!

Want to learn more about PowerPivot? Syncfusion have published a new eBook “PowerPivot Succinctly” written by my good self.

A quick overview of the contents:

  1. PowerPivot Model Basics
  2. Using your PowerPivot Model
  3. Sharing your PowerPivot Model
  4. A Note on Instability
  5. Deep Dive: The xVelocity Engine

It’s a free download – so go help yourself!

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SQL Server Data Warehouse Training in Sydney – July 28

The eagle eyed among you may have noticed I’ve added a big countdown banner to the right of the page announcing a course “Build your Data Warehouse in SQL Server & SSIS with the BI Monkey“, running for 2 days from July 28.

The course is aimed at giving an overview of how to build and manage a Data Warehouse using the SQL Server platform as a base. It’s aimed to be a solid mix of Data Warehouse theory and hands on development to get the concepts locked in. For full details see my new “Training” page, but the key outcomes are:

  • Learn how to get the Architecture right and keep your solution flexible
  • Understand the whole lifecycle of a DW project
  • Get hands on with the tools you need to move data


The high level agenda is:

  • The Three Main Data Warehouse architectures – Kimball, Inmon & Data Vault
  • SSIS Basics – Projects, Control Flows and Data Flows
  • Moving Data with SSIS
  • ETL Control Frameworks
  • Database considerations
  • How HDInsight (Hadoop) fits in
  • Code Management with Team Foundation Server
  • Testing
  • Build Automation
  • Deployment
  • Management
  • MDS, DQS and other useful Microsoft Toys

Click the button to register now – look forward to seeing you!

Eventbrite - Build your Data Warehouse in SQL Server & SSIS with the BI Monkey

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What’s new in SQL Server 2014 – Full Day Workshop in Sydney

Shameless plug time – I’ll be demoing HDInsight at the event below in Sydney on May 28th – grab a ticket here. The text below is pretty much a straight copy from the event website, so hop over there for up to date details. There’s some great and knowledgeable speakers… and me :)

SQL Server 2014 Jump Start

Mission Critical Performance, BI, Big Data and Cloud

When: 28th of May, 9:00 AM to 5 PM

Where: Saxons, Level 12, 10 Barrack Street, Sydney NSW 2000

  • Discover the impact of cloud technologies on Business Intelligence
  • Accelerate your solutions with in-memory databases
  • Enable analytics for your users with the latest wave of self-service solutions

Register today and join our special event featuring SQL Server experts and guest speakers from Microsoft.

In this full day event, you will learn about the new features and enhancements to Microsoft SQL 2014 and Power BI, as well as how to create business value through features such as in-memory databases and Power BI reporting.


Who Should Attend:

  • IT professionals or DBAs using SQL Server Enterprise, with multi-terabyte OLTP or OLAP databases, interested in increased scaling, high availability, and performance
  • BI developers or administrators interested in an overview of the SQL Server big data analytics platform
  • Data professionals interested in the options for SQL Server hybrid solutions both on premise and in the cloud



  • Victor Isakov (MVP, MCT, Microsoft Certified Master, Microsoft Certified Architect: SQL Server)
  • James Beresford (www.bimonkey.com)
  • Iman Eftekhari (MCSE, MCITP: Business Intelligence)
  • Dean Corcoran (Microsoft)
  • Shashank Pawar (Microsoft)



  • 09:00 am: Opening by Microsoft
  • 09:30 am: Session 1: SQL Server 2014 editions and engine enhancements
  • 10:30 am: Morning Tea
  • 10:45 am: Session 2: Data analytics and BI
  • 11:45 am: Session 3: Cloud and Big Data
  • 12:15 pm: Lunch
  • 01:15 pm: Demo 1: Database enhancements
  • 02:45 pm: Demo 2: Self-service BI in the Cloud
  • 03:30 pm: Afternoon tea
  • 04:00 pm: Demo 3: Big Data

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BI Monkey goes independent!

After many years working as a consultant for a number of providers small and large, and servicing clients across a broad range of industries, I have now taken the plunge and decided to operate independently.

I’ll be providing independent Business Intelligence Consulting to organisations across Australia, focusing on:

  • Strategy Creation and Review
  • Solution Architecture
  • Data Warehousing and ETL
  • Microsoft Business Intelligence technical support
  • Microsoft Business Intelligence training
  • Agile Enablement

Full details can be found at my “Consulting and Technical Services” page

Some of this decision was supported by some reading of James Serra’s posts from his master post “Blueprint for consulting riches” – which is ironic given his recent move to Microsoft as an F/T employee. Either way, his series is well worth a read for those mulling over their approach to work.

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TechEd 2013: I’ll be presenting!

I’ll be presenting at TechEd Australia 2013 on “Big Data, Small Data and Data Visualisation via  Sentiment Analysis with HDInsight

In the session I’ll be looking at HDInsight – Microsoft’s implementation of Hadoop – and how to leverage that to perform some simple Sentiment Analysis, then link that up with structured data to perform some Data Visualisation using the Microsoft BI stack, especially PowerView.

Hopefully this will also tie in with the release of a White Paper on the subject so anyone with deep technical interest can get hands on with the experience.

I’m excited to get a chance to present again – look forward to seeing you there!

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Sydney BI Social is Thursday 22nd Aug – “Mini Sessions”

This Thursday 22nd August Sydney BI Social presents “Rapid Fire Mini Sessions” – presented by a range of experienced BI professionals giving a quick overview of a topic they are experts in. The sessions are:

Session 1: Power BI in action, the exciting new BI functionality in Excel 2013 and Office 365

Session 2: 5 tips for better data visualisation

Session 3: A day in the life of an SQL DBA

The venue as usual is City Hotel – Pizza is being provided courtesy of our sponsors Citi Recruitment – come and join the 22 BI professionals who have already decided to join us!

Also – for those with an eye further on the horizon, on Weds Sep 18th we have Stephen Samild presenting on “The Data to Decision Landscape”.

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Sydney BI Social is Wednesday 17th – “BI & NoSQL”

This Wednesday 17th June Sydney BI Social presents “BI & NoSQL” – presented by Stephen Young, CEO of GraphBase and architect of the GraphBase DBMS. Steve will give an overview of the various classes of NoSQL database, their advantages and disadvantages, with an emphasis on Graph Databases and the novel ways that they can be used for Business Intelligence purposes.

The venue as usual is City Hotel – Pizza is being provided courtesy of our sponsors Citi Recruitment – come and join the 33 BI professionals who have already decided to join us!

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Sydney BI Social group is TOMORROW – Wednesday 19th June

Reminder the Sydney BI Social group is TOMORROW!! http://lnkd.in/Gf8j9y – the topic: “When Projects Go Bad” – 29 attending, 21 slots left – for a chance to learn from others (and get some Pizza from our sponsors Citi Recruitment). We have Mikkel Kristiansen of Crossjoin.net and Paul Fuller providing some of their stories – both experienced professionals who will have a lot to share!

Look forward to seeing you there tomorrow :)

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Sydney BI Social Group (SYBIS) – Wednesday May 15th

I’m pleased to say that we now have a second session of SYBIS scheduled, with the topic of “Agile BI“. As a reminder, the aim of the group is focused more on networking rather than technical knowledge sharing, so if you like to talk BI (among other things) – it’s a great opportunity to meet some new faces and reconnect with others.

I’ll be there at the next event – from 5.30pm, Wednesday May 15th at the City Hotel (349 Kent Street) – and this time listening to Iman Eftekhari talk about Implementing BI solutions using Agile/SCRUM methodology. Some expert panel members will help liven up the discussion, names TBC.

More details can be found in this LinkedIn group and please RSVP using this MeetUp – 10 attendees already confirmed so don’t be shy!

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Sydney BI Social Group (SYBIS)

The first SYBIS (Sydney BI Social Group) took place a couple of weeks ago now and we had a great session with a good turnout, and a lively panel featuring Viktor Isakov and myself speaking about Big Data.

Please join the LinkedIn group and MeetUp and keep an eye out for the next session in May – date to be announced soon!


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