Aug 28 2009

Time-Sliced Measures Part II: Time Slice Calendar Table

Categories: 2008 GBN - Dallas, Universe Contexts, Universe Design Dave Rathbun @ 6:51 am

In the first post in this series I defined what time-sliced measures are and why they can be useful in a universe. I also shared the design requirements for a particular project I was on. The requirements included:

  • Each report is expected to have multiple time-sliced measures
  • Users must be able to select the type of calendar during the refresh process; calendar types include Monthly and Fiscal
  • Users can provide any possible date as the “to date” for the time slices
  • The process of splitting each time-slice time period into its own SQL statement should be completely transparent
  • The resulting SQL should be as efficient as possible

In this post I am going to cover the design of a special table that we built in order to support our solution for these requirements. After I talk about the table design I will cover how I use it in the universe, as well as provide a few pros and cons about this solution as I have outlined it so far. Just to prepare you, this post is a bit longer than most that I write, and gets fairly detailed. This post will cover slides 23 through 25 from my 2008 GBN Conference presentation. There is a link to download the file at the end of this post. Continue reading “Time-Sliced Measures Part II: Time Slice Calendar Table”

Aug 25 2009

What Are Unbalanced Data Providers And Why Should I Care?

Categories: Full Client, Report Techniques, Web Intelligence Dave Rathbun @ 9:31 am

One of the more powerful features of Web Intelligence (Desktop Intelligence as well) is the ability to combine data from more than one source into one document. This is done by creating multiple data providers, linking them up, and using the combined results in a report block. However, everything has to work out just right. Sometimes it doesn’t. :)

Merging Data Providers in Web Intelligence

Dimensions are the “keys” of a data provider. When two database tables are linked in a universe, certain columns are used to join them together. Dimensions serve this role in linking two data providers. When two (or more) data providers are built in Web Intelligence from the same universe they are automatically linked together using any common dimension objects. What happens when two different data sources are used? In that case, the report writer has to merge the information manually. And if the dimensions from each data provider are not identical, the report has what I call “unbalanced” data providers. That’s what I want to describe in this blog post. Continue reading “What Are Unbalanced Data Providers And Why Should I Care?”

Aug 17 2009

Why Are Gauges Important?

Categories: Dashboard Techniques Dave Rathbun @ 1:53 pm

Here is a number: 50

Here is a gauge:

Gauge image

Which is more effective? Which conveys more information, and why? Continue reading “Why Are Gauges Important?”

Aug 08 2009

Time-Sliced Measures Part I: Defining the Problem

Categories: 2008 GBN - Dallas, Universe Design Dave Rathbun @ 10:05 am

During the 2008 GBN Conference in Dallas I delivered a presentation related to universe design. The last third of the presentation demonstrated a solution for time-sliced measures that I have used on a couple of different projects now. After the presentation I had two different people make suggestions that were proposed as being easier to implement than what I showed.

In each case I was able to tell the person that we had considered and perhaps even tested their suggestion and found it lacking in some way. I didn’t have time to present all of the different options during the one hour slot that I had at the conference, but I have unlimited time to explain options here on my blog. :) But before I go back and detail things that we tried that did not work out so well, I am going to have a few posts (it’s too long for just one) about the solution we did implement.

This blog post will cover slides 19 through 22 from the 2008 GBN Conference presentation. Continue reading “Time-Sliced Measures Part I: Defining the Problem”

Aug 01 2009

News Post – Introducing the Dagira Group

Categories: General Dave Rathbun @ 12:15 pm

I am proud to introduce the Dagira Group. *sound of crickets chirping*

What the heck is the Dagira Group? Astute readers (and that would be all of them, far be it from me to think anything less :) ) will recognize that “dagira” is the domain name for my blog. At the moment the “group” is relatively exclusive, as it consists of exactly one person.


Why is that?

Fastback Plus Cover
Here is something I don’t get to say very often… I resigned from my job yesterday. :) In over twenty years I have only worked for three different companies. In the late 80’s I started in the technical support department of a software company named Fifth Generation Systems and eventually made my way into the IT group there. They made the top-selling personal computer backup program called Fastback, later followed by Fastback Plus. Yes, that is a highly-collectable still shrink-wrapped package from my computer museum that I have scanned and posted. (I say “museum”, my wife says “junk”, but to each their own, right?) :lol:

I worked for Fifth Generation Systems until 1992. At that point I moved to Dallas to join a consulting firm where I continued to work until the end of 1994. I joined Integra Solutions and started learning Business Objects in January of 1995. That was a long time ago. :) In 2007 Integra Solutions merged with Quorum Business Solutions but I’m going to still count that as one company.

So that means from 1988 to 2009 I only worked for three companies. What’s next?

First I am going to take some time off, as I already had some vacation scheduled. (I am going to get out of this Texas heat and go somewhere much cooler.) When I come back, I have some preliminary ideas about a universe review service that I would like to offer, as well as some other things that have been floating around in my brain for a while. I will be posting more details as they get finalized. I will still be doing the presentations that I was selected for at the GBN conference coming this fall, and I will continue to remain active on BOB. Those things won’t change.

The services that I have in mind will be provided by a new company named the Dagira Group, and ultimately this blog site will contain more information about the services that I hope to offer.

So as I said earlier in this post, I am proud to introduce the Dagira Group. *sound of much applause*

There, that was better. 8-)

By the way, I have several blog posts written up and scheduled to be published while I am on vacation. You’ll never even know I am gone.