SQL Server 2016: R Integration Redux

SQL Server 2016 has now reached Release Candidate 3 (RC3). One of the new features that continues to foster interest in the analytics and data mining community is the integration of SQL Server with the open-source statistics toolset R. If you fall into this category, I’m inclined to suggest you remain patient and wait for […]
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SQL Server 2016: Choosing Your R-Chitecture

Enthusiastic data miners are excited about the new possibilities which have opened up with Microsoft R. Not everyone, however, has realized that the so-called “in-database” R is not the best choice for every application of R to SQL Server data. One database administrator expressed concern about R competing with SQL Server for precious RAM. A […]
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Excel: Principal Component Analysis (PCA)

Learning PCA with Excel A student in Learning Tree’s Course 195, Power Excel: Analyzing Data to Make Business Decisions, asked “can you do Principal Component Analysis using Excel?” The answer that popped into my head was, “sure, but why would you want to?” If all you want are the results, you’re much better off using […]
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The Six Challenges of Business Intelligence

  Business Intelligence (BI) is: “The processes, technologies, and tools needed to turn data into information, information into knowledge, and knowledge into plans that drive profitable business action. Business intelligence encompasses data warehousing, business analytic tools, and content/knowledge management.“ —The Data Warehouse Institute Faculty Newsletter, Fall 2002 BI should deliver: Accurate answers to questions about […]
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Excel 2016: DAX Variables

  DAX Variables Well, DAX variables weren’t actually introduced with Excel 2016; they weren’t even introduced in 2016. Come to think of it, DAX variables aren’t even variables. Nevertheless, DAX variables are one of the most interesting and exciting recent additions to DAX. DAX variables were introduced to the Power Pivot engine in 2015, so […]
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