New Blog

I just saw that John Simon (my boss at Avanade Melbourne) has started his own blog at:

The first four posts offer a description of various approaches to hierarchies. I am looking forward to more good content, which based on John’s career and knowledge in BI is not far away.

2011: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I am on my way out of the office, coming back in early January. Until then I will be camping around Victoria, Australia. It is time for me to recap 2010 and start forecasting and planning for 2011.

Many interesting things happened this year in the world of Microsoft BI and in my personal bubble. We saw the beginning of a new trend around in-memory/self-service BI, the foundations of a new visualisation product – Crescent, SQL Server 2008 R2, the Denali CTP1, Office 2010, etc, etc, etc. 2011 looks promising and exciting in the end of 2010.

In my personal world I moved to Melbourne, presented at Tech Ed Australia, managed to continue my engagement in the Microsoft MSDN forums, learned a lot, became an MCTS and MCTIP in BI, etc, etc, etc. This blog reached over 250 subscribers, 2500 unique visitors per month, more than 20000 raw requests a week and the comments start exceeding the posts with a factor of 2. It is a pleasure to see that you, as my readers, enjoy the content I am sharing and I hope that the upwards trend will continue in 2011.

A very special “thank you” this year go to Darren Gosbell, Paul Hales, Lionel Gomes Da Rosa, Sirish Korada, Nick Barclay, and Maxim Yefremov. All of these guys in some way contributed to making my world a better place during 2010.

To all my readers – Merry Christmas and a Really Happy New Year!!!

Project Phoenix – Spreading the Word

If you have not heard about it – Project Phoenix is a global progam supported by Microsoft MVPs, who are contributing their MSDN subscriptions to noteworthy causes. Recently Rod Colledge has joined the effort and has brought Project Phoenix Down Under. A brief description of the project:

“…The idea is to provide the recipient access to all of the tools needed to improve his/her skills, an opportunity to gain practical experience, the potential to earn a recommendation and/or referral –and to positively contribute to society as a form of ‘give-back’. No free lunch, just sweat equity –the kind that makes us all feel good for the effort…”

I have always been in favour of such initiatives and I would like to see more MVPs doing what Rod is doing, as well as companies and IT professionals joining in and contributing more towards the cause.

For more information, please refer to:

And I will also ask you to help by either contacting Rod, or myself with more info, or at least by spreading the word:

1.      If you know of a suitable unemployed or under-employed software developer that would appreciate and benefit from this initiative,
2.      If you are aware of a non-profit organisation in need of a custom software solution

At least you can help by promoting the project in any way you can.

Tech Ed Online Video Released – Budgeting, Forecasting and Performance Management with the Microsoft BI Stack

Just a quick one – I just noticed that most of the sessions from Microsoft Tech Ed Australia 2010 have been released, including the one from my session. If you don’t mind thick accents (French and Bulgarian) feel free to have a look:

Sneak Peak at my session at Microsoft Tech Ed 2010 Australia

Without revealing too much, if you turn up for the “Budgeting, Planning and Performance Management with the Microsoft BI Stack” on this year’s Tech Ed on the Gold Coast you can expect to see the following:

  1. SharePoint 2010 + PerformancePoint Services + Excel Services in action
  2. Excel 2010 (What-If Analysis in Pivot Tables sourced from write-enabled SSAS cubes)
  3. An enterprise model showing some concepts and ideas
  4. New and enhanced features of the 2010 releases of SharePoint and Excel

Some background knowledge of the Microsoft BI Stack is very much preferable as it can get a bit complex at times, however if you are wondering how Microsoft Business Intelligence can deliver on the keywords in the presentation title you will definitely see some ideas.

  • Seasoned BI professionals will see some new features
  • Inexperienced BI professionals will see a lot of new features and an overall solution architecture which may help them to get further in the area
  • Other IT professionals will see how Microsoft BI is on the way of making their daily jobs obsolete in some areas
  • Business people (especially ones involved in planning and performance management in their organisation) will see how Microsoft can enhance/simplify/make exciting their everyday lives
  • An especially strong warning for senior executives: You may feel like you are currently missing out and experience a sudden urge to allocate more funds to your IT department