Tallan Blog

Tallan’s Experts Share Their Knowledge on Technology, Trends and Solutions to Business Challenges

Category Archive for "Data & Analytics"

Machine Learning Getting Started Guide

It’s taken a year for me to feel confident enough to even chime in, on a high level, about the products we’ve created, and the platforms we utilize.  I can dabble in conversation about chatbots and Microsoft’s Cognitive Services.  I understand now, more or less, what ‘the cloud’ is and its benefits.  But, this is why teamwork makes the dream work, you know.  My colleagues can build you a solution to any business challenge. Anything.  You’ve got a problem, they’ll solve it.
But, now it’s my turn. I am going to express why what they can do matters.
You’ve all heard of Machine Learning.  We partnered with RetailWire to produce a Webinar on ML for Retail back in April and that’s where my understanding really began to take shape.  In a nutshell, Machine Learning can be set-up and do in minutes and…

AlwaysOn Backup and Other Tips

Introduction
SQL Server’s AlwaysOn technology (available since SQL Server 2012) provides high-availability and disaster-recovery database functionality which largely supplants mirroring and log-shipping – in fact, mirroring is now deprecated.  Exactly what functionality is available and how robust it is, varies by release (2012+), edition (Standard versus Enterprise) and the physical infrastructure devoted to it.  AlwaysOn is fairly easy to set up (though it requires cooperation from both Windows Server and networking admins) and, relative to the required effort, provides exceptional durability for SQL Server databases.  AlwaysOn is not a complete OOTB durability solution and has significant gaps – e.g. it does not maintain SQL Server logins and roles synchronized across multiple servers – but it is an excellent start for the needs it caters to.
This post assumes the reader has at least a basic familiarity with SQL Server backups, as well…

Row-Level Security in Power BI: Part 1 – Roles and Users

Securing Reports
Let’s say the Finance Department of a clothing retailer has some great reports that let them see all the sales across the United States; so great, in fact, that they want to share them with all Regional Managers so they can communicate about the hot spots in their region. The problem is the Regional Managers aren’t permitted to see data outside their region, and giving them access to these reports would allow them to filter to any region they wanted. We could create separate Datasets and reports filtered to the region for the manager that is given access to them, but that would be time-consuming, and a nightmare to maintain. Luckily, Power BI provides the ability to implement Row-Level Security (RLS).
So, what is RLS? Simply put, it controls a user’s access to each individual row of the Dataset. In…

Introducing the ‘Calendar by Tallan’ Power BI Custom Visualization

The Microsoft Office Store contains a growing library of custom Power BI visualizations developed by Microsoft and the community. While Power BI offers built-in visualizations, custom visuals can be downloaded for free and are used to enhance the way you display your data within reports and dashboards. Tallan has now taken its Power BI expertise to the next level by contributing our very own custom visual. Introducing the ‘Calendar by Tallan’ Power BI Custom Visual!

When associating dates with data, the first real-world visual that comes to mind is a standard 12-month calendar. While other custom calendar visuals exist in the Office store, the offerings did not portray the dates in this familiar manner or display the range of data desired. Tallan’s Calendar visual enables you to view the aggregation of data across a range of dates in a standard calendar…

Here’s How Microsoft Executives are Using Power BI

The Customer Data and Analytics (CDnA) team at Microsoft enables strategic data insights that shape the entire organization, from high-level leadership policies to small product decisions. At its core, CDnA creates and monitors indicators, known as “Power Metrics,” for some of the key divisions and businesses in Microsoft. CDnA delivers Power BI dashboards to several teams, including the Windows and Devices Group (WDG), Office, Bing, Cortana and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT). The SLT leverages the Power BI dashboards to monitor progress on strategic initiatives at the company.
Both CDnA and the Power BI product have mutually benefited from a close relationship since the Power BI public preview in 2015. In fact, the early and ongoing input from this internal Microsoft team and its users has helped make Power BI the “enterprise ready”, robust, and feature-rich platform it…

Sports Performance Platform Puts Data into Play – and Action – for Athletes and Teams

Seattle Reign players, coaches and staff celebrate a win over the Portland Thorns.
Sports ignite peoples’ passion like nothing else. Standout athletes become legends through their performance on the field. But what sets them apart often comes down to decisions made off the field, such as diet, mental and physical preparation and the frequency or intensity of practice. The difference between a win or a loss can be decided by an extra five minutes of wind sprints, levels of hydration or getting to bed 30 minutes earlier the night before.
At Microsoft, they believe sports provide a tremendous opportunity to use technology to transform how individual athletes and teams push the limits and gain the edge they’re looking for in the most challenging of circumstances. Imagine making clutch decisions that are based on insight, rather than gut. And what if coaches could…

Data Virtualization: Unlocking Data for AI and Machine Learning

For reliability, accuracy and performance, both AI and machine learning heavily rely on large sets. Because the larger the pool of data, the better you can train the models. That’s why it’s critical for big data platforms to efficiently work with different data streams and systems, regardless of the structure of the data (or lack thereof), data velocity or volume.
However, that’s easier said than done.
Today every big data platform faces these systemic challenges:

Compute / Storage Overlap: Traditionally, compute and storage were never delineated. As data volumes grew, you had to invest in compute as well as storage.
Non-Uniform Access of Data: Over the years, too much dependency on business operations and applications have led companies to acquire, ingest and store data in different physical systems like file systems, databases and data warehouses (e.g. SQL Server or Oracle), big data systems (e.g….

The Associated Press Takes its Data Storytelling to the Next Level with Microsoft Power BI

The Associated Press delivers 2017 Virginia gubernatorial primary results with Microsoft Power BI publish to web.

For more than 170 years, The Associated Press (AP) has told the world’s biggest and most important stories, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln to the fall of the Berlin Wall, and more recently Brexit and the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Today, when news is frequently accompanied by massive quantities of data, reporting means making sense of all that data, and AP continues to lead the way in data journalism. The news agency, with locations in more than 100 countries, provides newsrooms worldwide with data-driven reporting on everything from politics, business, environmental science and public safety to sports, education and more. Recent AP data journalism efforts uncovered water quality issues in public and private water systems, analyzed the history of refugees from the seven countries included…

Keeping Freight Moving in Denmark with SQL Server 2016

Efficient data management keeps goods flowing smoothly in Denmark. Danske Fragtmaend, the country’s largest national transport and distribution firm, has been moving freight for more than a century. Today, Danske Fragtmaend delivers more than 40,000 consignments each day throughout Denmark, and businesses from small mom-and-pop operations to factories rely on its services.
The firm handles logistics in a central location, where 200 dispatchers keep an eye on the movement of thousands of trucks and their cargo. Both drivers and dispatchers need the latest information to operate efficiently, so they rely on a data platform based on SQL Server 2016. The storage system includes 160 terabytes of flash memory for fast I/O and high uptimes. Throughout the day, drivers continually scan transactions with PDAs and send shipping information including GPS coordinates to the data platform. Fast access to information is essential. Ulf…

Microsoft Accelerates Modern BI Adoption with Power BI Premium

Power BI was first made generally available in July 2015. Since then, Microsoft’s driving vision for Power BI has been to enable users across roles, disciplines and industries to sign up for the service in seconds and get business value by drawing insights from their data within minutes. Microsoft’s relentless focus to drive access to insights at scale has helped Power BI reach more than 200,000 organizations, and the breadth of this global community continues to directly contribute to Power BI’s evolution – to date more than 400 features have been added to the service as the result of input from more than 50,000 users.
Introducing Power BI Premium
Today Microsoft is taking the next step in its commitment to empower people and organizations with access to critical intelligence: introducing Power BI Premium. Power BI Premium builds on the existing Power BI…

\\\