Sep 21 2009

BI On My Radio

Categories: General Dave Rathbun @ 11:01 am

This morning on my way into work I heard a commercial for IBM Cognos business intelligence solutions on the radio. :shock: This was normal (meaning local) radio, not satellite or anything special like that. The target audience was apparently small business owners. I normally tune out commercials but when I realized they were talking about “business intelligence” I turned up the volume to see just what they were talking about.

They went through most of the 60-second spot without mentioning any product names. Only at the very end did they mention IBM Cognos, a web address, and a toll-free number to call in for more details.

Has anyone else heard this, or something similar?


Sep 18 2009

Use Contexts, Dammit

Categories: Rants, Universe Contexts, Universe Design Dave Rathbun @ 7:27 am

I haven’t had a good rant in a while. I’m overdue.

Here are some real comments that were posted on BOB.

I already have around 18 contexts in Universe and hence I dont want to add any extra

The last two companies I have worked at, forbade the use of contexts

I only create contexts when I’ve got no other choice.

And this one wins the prize:

Here’s a list of what I cannot do (client requirements)

1. Cannot use contexts in the universe.

If you recognize one of your comments, please understand I am not ranting about you as a person, but about the sentiment or opinions expressed in the comment itself.

As a consultant, my job was sometimes to deliver a solution. At other times my job was to provide advice. My advice was based on my assessment of two things: what the client told me they wanted, and what I felt like they really needed. :) Continue reading “Use Contexts, Dammit”


Sep 15 2009

Good Sample Databases Can Be Hard To Find

Categories: General Dave Rathbun @ 12:41 am

It’s really hard to make up reasonable fake data. Or maybe it’s just hard for me, because I have tried and not been very successful. :) For this reason I have typically used eFashion or Island Resorts Marketing for my various technical tips and conference presentations. They’re small enough to be speedy during conference demonstrations, but complex enough to be interesting. For the conference coming next month I am also going to use the “Motors” database provided in the designer training class. I have converted these databases to Oracle because it allows me to have more fun. Microsoft Access is easy and portable but doesn’t provide all of the features that I would like.

Sometimes, though, I want more. Continue reading “Good Sample Databases Can Be Hard To Find”


Sep 11 2009

SAP TechEd 2009 – Phoenix, October 13-16

Categories: 2009 SAP TechEd Dave Rathbun @ 3:15 pm

A post in which I do some subtle ego-bragging while trying to appear to promote an upcoming conference…

I got to go to TechEd last year and really had a good time and learned something along the way as well. I am trying to figure out if I am going to be able to go this year. In order to help justify the cost I went to the web site this morning, and guess who was staring back out at me from the page? :lol:

Me at TechEd

Last year they had a professional photographer taking pictures of all of the mentors, and they told us that they wanted to do that in order to be able to use them for the web site rather than paying stock photography fees. It was a fun idea and obviously I participated. I just didn’t expect to see my face on the web site.

I’m not the only one that was part of the program, so if you go to the TechEd 2009 web site you might very well see Brian, Craig, Gregor, Ingo, Marilyn, or any of a number of my fellow mentors with their smiling faces. As I look at some of the others I seem pretty grim. I will try to smile more this year. 8-)

Related Links


Sep 08 2009

News Post – September 2009

Categories: General Dave Rathbun @ 8:00 am

Last month I wrote a post introducing the Dagira Group. I talked to a few folks about some ideas I had. I filled out the paperwork and registered a basic business in the state of Texas.

Dagira Group Registration

After all of that, it seems that I am going in a different direction instead. What does that mean for me? for this blog? for B :mrgreen: B? Don’t worry, everything is going to be fine. Continue reading “News Post – September 2009″


Sep 07 2009

Making It Easier To Make Better Decisions

Categories: General Dave Rathbun @ 7:11 am

I have been primarily a technical guy. For that reason most of my posts on my blog fall into the same category. There are plenty of other folks that talk about the big picture, many of whom do a great job. I enjoy reading some of these other blogs and one in particular that I like to read belongs to Timo Elliott. He is the source of the bouncing objects Windows cursor that we have available for download on BOB.

animated cursor

Earlier I was reading some of his older posts that I had missed, and found a real gem. If you have a few minutes, trot on over to Timo’s blog and read his recent post about testing your decision making skills. In my opinion it’s not only fun to read, but more importantly, provides some important lessons for BI practitioners.

Moral of the story: it doesn’t matter how accurate your information is if users can’t understand it.


Sep 03 2009

Using ForceMerge() To Fix Unbalanced Data Providers

Categories: Full Client, Report Techniques, Variables!, Web Intelligence Dave Rathbun @ 7:30 am

I have discussed the MultiCube() function a number of times in my series of Variables presentations. In certain situations it allows you to fix measure objects when you have two (or more) unbalanced data providers in a full-client document. ForceMerge() is the equivalent for Web Intelligence.

So how do they work, exactly? What do I mean by unbalanced data providers? How is it fixed with these functions? Are there any special conditions to be aware of? Continue reading “Using ForceMerge() To Fix Unbalanced Data Providers”