T-SQL Tuesday #75 Invitation: Jump into Power BI!

SqlTuesday_thumb.pngThis month the talented Jorge Segarra (B|T) hosts the T-SQL Tuesday block party, and he has chosen the topic of Power BI.

So, what exactly is this thing called Power BI? I admit, I have several friends and colleagues who have dove into this type of technology, but I have not done so in great depth yet.

I think Jorge pretty much summed me up in his first paragraph when he says, “If you’re reading this and thinking ‘crap, I’m not a BI person!’, don’t you fret. My intention is to make folks who normally don’t use BI on a day to day basis try their hand at creating cool new visualizations and reports with Power BI and seeing how the other side lives.”

So what did I do? I think the below tweet sums it all up:

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I downloaded the Power BI Desktop from Jorge’s link and was immediately amazed by the simplicity of ease in working with the utility. I had some dummy data laying around for drive space so decided to hook up to the data source and start messing around with it.

The data set populated through some clicks and a query provided by me led to the data set being available. Great; next what caught my eye was the visualization section; which it would, right? Everyone likes a good picture with analytical data attached.

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Now, in my data set I am capturing dummy data, because we would never use prod data for a post, right? I have 5 drive letters (C,E,F,G, and H); I immediately went for the filters for the visual effects:

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Once my filters were in place for the given time period I could quickly tell what I was dealing with from a visualization form of view:

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In my short amount of time using this product I can definitely see a lot of usefulness that I could get from it. I am beginning to look at ways to incorporate this into some current presentations both in the shop and out of the shop that will better define my data sets to different groups (know your audience).

So Jorge, thank you for motivating me to dive into this a little bit. While I have only just scratched the surface with it, I see glimmers of how powerful this could be in my data professional journey.

What is T-SQL Tuesday?

T-SQL Tuesday is a monthly blog party hosted by a different blogger each month. This blog party was founded by Adam Machanic (B|T). You can take part by posting your own participating post that fits the topic of the month and follows the requirements below. Additionally, if you are interested in hosting a future T-SQL Tuesday, contact Adam Machanic.

Leadership and the Data Professional

 

Leadership

Many traits make up data professionals and the many who find themselves in leadership roles. The traits being shared in this blog post are ones that have helped me on my journey not just in a leadership role, but from a data professional perspective as well.

I debated often on sharing these; maybe even turning them into a session somewhere down the road. Also knowing that these are not set in stone traits for others; each data professional has their own thoughts and the way they conduct themselves on a day to day basis, but if someone can glean any insight or help by this post then it would be worth the share.

Jumping right into it then shall we? Many of you know my sports background; it is something I am not ashamed of nor try to hide. A lot of traits have carried over from my sports background into my career and as I go through these traits you will see some similarities shine through.

The Base – Industriousness, Friendship, Loyalty, Cooperation, Enthusiasm

Building a house means you start with building a solid foundation. These traits are ones that stick out to me as building part of that solid foundation:

  • Industriousness – “Success travels in the company of very hard work. There is no trick no easy way.” – put forth that effort
  • Friendship – “Strive to build a team or be part of a team that is filled with camaraderie and respect: comrades-in-arms.”
  • Loyalty – “Be true to yourself. Be true to those you lead.”
  • Cooperation – “Have utmost concern for what’s right rather than who’s right.”
  • Enthusiasm – “Your energy, enjoyment, drive, and dedication will stimulate and greatly inspire others.”

The Second Layer – Self-Control, Alertness, Initiative, Intentness

  • Self-Control – “Be disciplined” – enough said.
  • Alertness – “Constantly be aware and observing. Always seek to improve yourself and the team.”
  • Initiative – “Make a decision! Failure to act is often the biggest failure of all.”
  • Intentness – “Stay the course. When thwarted try again; harder, smarter. Persevere relentlessly.”

The Third Layer – Condition, Skill, Team Spirit

  • Condition – “Ability may get you to the top, but character will keep you there – mental, moral, and physical.”
  • Skill – “What a leader learns after you’ve learned it counts most of all.”
  • Team Spirit – “The star of the team is the team. ‘We’ supersedes ‘me’.”

The Fourth Layer – Poise, Confidence

  • Poise – “Be yourself. Don’t be thrown off by events whether they are good or bad.”
  • Confidence – “The strongest steel is well founded self-belief. It’s is earned; not given.”

The Final Layer – Competitive Greatness

  • “Perform at your best when your best is required. Your best is required each day.”

Do I follow these principles every day? I wish I could say yes, but nevertheless I do not. I strive for these as in my heart I believe them to be solid foundations for me as a data professional, but I am human.

With success does come failure, but what defines you as an individual is not how many times you get knocked down. Instead it is how many times you get back up from the knockdowns that you will receive on your journey.

I’ll leave you with these lessons I’ve learned both in sports and being a data professional:

  • Good values attract good people
  • Love is the most powerful four letter word
  • Call yourself a teacher
  • Emotion can be your enemy at times
  • It takes all team members hands to make a team; not just one set
  • Little things make big things happen
  • Make each day your masterpiece
  • The carrot is mightier than the stick
  • Make greatness attainable by all
  • Seek significant change
  • Don’t keep a scoreboard of who is right and who is wrong
  • Adversity is your asset

Whatever you build your foundation on as a data professional make it yours and own it. You are the playmaker of your career, and orchestrator if you will.

Coach John Wooden is behind a lot of these thoughts in which I have built these foundations on. A statement he made resonated with me when I heard it, “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”

I ask you, are you becoming the best of which you are capable of?