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Spanish Point Newsletter May 2012

- May 31, 2012
Spanish Point Newsletter May 2012

In this issue

  • Spanish Point hosts first BI Bootcamp
  • Spanish Point attends SQL Saturday #105 as a Silver Sponsor
  • Donal’s Piece
  • Webinar: Introducing SQL Server 2012 Data Quality Services (DQS)

Hello and welcome to the Spanish Point May newsletter!

The purpose of this newsletter is to keep our customers and friends up-to-date with all that is going on in Spanish Point, to communicate advice and tips on our areas of expertise in Microsoft Technologies, and make you aware of improvements and advances in our product and service offerings. We will also be providing information regarding upcoming webinars, courses and bootcamps.

This month we focus alot on Business Intelligence.

We hope you find it informative and always welcome any feedback you may have,

Donal Cullen,
CEO Spanish Point

Spanish Point Hosts first BI Bootcamp


Last month Spanish Point Technologies held its first BI Bootcamp. This innovative idea invites people with different levels of experience with BI technologies and exposes them to the power of BI. Spanish Point have been heavily promoting these free one day bootcamps at various events this year such as SQL Saturday #105 and have received an overwhelming response.

BI Bootcamp is a one day intensive course covering the following topics:

  • An overview of the Microsoft Business Intelligence stack of products
  • The steps in building a complete BI solution using SQL Server 2012 and SharePoint 2010
  • Building your own Data Cube and Dashboard reports
  • New features in SQL Server 2012
  • Power Pivot for Excel for self-service data analysis
  • Building a Power Pivot report

The bootcamps are delivered by our Senior Consultant, Daire Cunningham who is an expert in building BI technologies. BI Bootcamp is a hands on course where participants will gain real experience in building BI Solutions.

Spanish Point received some great feedback from the first event:
“I found it very useful and very well presented and delivered.”

We will be holding our next BI Bootcamp at the end of May for the next batch of lucky winners. If you would like the chance to win a place at BI Bootcamp just follow this link:

Spanish Point Attends SQL Saturday #105 as a Silver Sponsor

Dublin played host to the first Irish SQL Saturday event on the 24th of March and Spanish Point were very excited to be a Silver Sponsor. This was a very important day in the Irish technology community’s calendar as it was also the official Technical Launch of SQL Server 2012 in Ireland. SQL Saturday is an initiative of SQL Pass that has been running successfully since 2007. It was started as a platform for free one day training events for SQL Server Professionals.

SQL Saturday is a one day training event for SQL Server professionals and those wanting to learn about SQL Server. There was an array of high profile speakers at the event including Karen Lopez, Bill Pearson and Jen Stirrup amongst others. The topics included upgrading to SQL Server 2012, PowerPivot 2.0 and data management however there was a distinctive SQL Server theme throughout the day.

Spanish Point had a very positive day at SQL Saturday #105. We got to speak with many people from various professional backgrounds from DBAs to BI Developers to people who were curious to see the features of the new SQL Server 2012. Just for fun Spanish Point was giving out free ice cream for the day which went down a treat.

The event had three tracks: DBA, Developer & BI with SQL Server 2012 featuring across all three tracks.

DBA Track – aimed at delegates who have responsibility for the infrastructure, operations, maintenance and support of SQL Server environments.

Developer Track – aimed at delegates whose main responsibilities include the development and tuning of SQL Server databases and applications, covering both on premise and cloud.

BBI Track– A track aimed at members of the IT and business teams involved in planning, designing or implementing Data Warehouses, Cubes, Reporting and Dashboards in their organisation.

The feedback from the event has been all positive and we would like to thank the organisers and the Dublin Hilton for all of their help on the day.


SQL Saturday #105 enjoying some Ice Cream courtesy of Spanish Point

Enterprise Information Management – High Value Solutions for Your Business 

  By Donal Cullen, Spanish Point CEO

Spanish Point are experts at exploiting Microsoft’s commodity products to deliver high-value solutions for customers. One of the main reasons for Microsoft’s success is their strategy of commoditising the market – often including high-value offerings within their existing products.
At Spanish Point, we have been evaluating Data Quality Services, a new service that Microsoft has quietly included in the latest version of SQL Server.

What is Data Quality? Why Would I Need It?
Data Quality Services is a user-driven, computer-assisted solution to identify incorrect or incomplete data and modify, remove, or enrich that data to resolve data quality issues.
Many companies have similar data about people in a number of different systems e.g. banks may want to have a single view of a customer, but they may not be sure if John Brown with a personal current account is the same as John S. Brown with a savings account and the same John Brown with a business account under a company name. The same could be the case for a retailer receiving orders from customers, manufacturers dealing with suppliers, and every other sector. You may want to compare your list of creditors with debtors, to offset a debt against a credit due.
Data Quality is a business issue – one that is a pain point for sales, operations, finance, HR and many other business departments. Increasingly, organisations are aware that properly managing and mining their data gives them a clear edge in the market – enabling them to differentiate themselves in the market, provide a better service, reducing time to market with compelling offerings and reducing operational cost.

How Can Data Quality Services Help My Business?

Is all the required information available? Are data values missing, or in an unusable state? In some cases, missing data is irrelevant, but when the information that is missing is critical to a specific business process, completeness becomes an issue.
Example: if you have an email field where only 50,000 values are present out of a total of 75,000 records, then the email field is 66.6% complete.

Are there expectations that data values conform to specified formats? If so, do all the values conform to these formats? Maintaining conformance to specific formats is important in data representation, presentation, aggregate reporting, search, and establishing key relationships, for example, the Gender codes in two different systems are represented differently; in one System the codes are defined as ‘M’, ‘F’ and ‘U’ whereas in the second system they appear as 0, 1, 2.

Do values represent the same meaning?
For example, is revenue always presented in Euro or also in Dollars?

Do data objects accurately represent the “real-world” values they are expected to model? Incorrect spellings of product or person names, addresses, and even untimely or not current data can impact operational and analytical applications. For example, a customer’s address is a valid USPS address, however the ZIP code is incorrect and the customer name contains a spelling mistake.

Validity Do data values fall within acceptable ranges?
For example, salary values should be between 60,000-120,000 for position levels 51 and 52

Are there multiple, unnecessary representations of the same data objects within your data set? The inability to maintain a single representation for each entity across your systems poses numerous vulnerabilities and risks. Duplicates are measured as a percentage of the overall number of records. There can be duplicate individuals, companies, addresses, product lines, invoices and so on. The following example depicts duplicate records existing in a data set

Name Address Postal Code City County
Mag. Smith 54 Hill D. No. 136 Dublin 3 Anytown Dublin
Margaret smith 54 Hill Drive unit 136 Dublin Anytown Co. Dublin
Maggie Smith 54 Hill Drive Anytown DUB

Data Quality represents the degree to which the data is suitable for usage in the required business processes. The quality of data can be defined, measured and managed through various data quality metrics such as completeness, conformity, consistency, accuracy, duplication etc.

How Can You Ensure Data Quality

Data Quality Services (DQS) is a new offering as part of SQL Server 2012 enabling you to cleanse, match, standardize, and enrich your data to deliver trusted information for business intelligence, data warehouse and transaction processing workloads. End users can even cleanse their personal files in unmanaged documents. SQL Server Data Quality Services (DQS) provides an approachable data quality solution for organizations of all sizes to help improve the quality of their data.
The best knowledge of your data comes from the users of the data, not the IT department. DQS embraces the expert business users through a straightforward wizard-based tool to build knowledge that will populate the data quality knowledge base and enhance subsequent data cleansing operations.
Data stewards can quickly provide an assessment of the likelihood that data is incorrect through a straightforward wizard-based too to add further rules to the knowledge base.

Knowledge-Driven Data Quality

DQS is a knowledge-driven solution. Knowledge can be provided out-of-the box, be generated by your users, or be integrated from the Windows Azure Marketplace Data Market.

Complete Enterprise Information Management (EIM) Platform

Finally, SQL Server 2012 has made significant investments for Data Quality Services (DQS) and Master Data Services (MDS) providing the foundation for an end-to-end Enterprise Information Management (EIM) platform. You can integrate DQS as a component of SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) and into Master Data Services (MDS) workflows.
Master Data Services (MDS) is the SQL Server solution for master data management. DQS has been integrated into MDS to perform data de-duplication within MDS workflows ensuring the accuracy of master data across the enterprise.

Upcoming Webinar: Introducing SQL Server 2012 Data Quality Services (DQS)

This webinar will provide an introduction to SQL Server 2012 DQS

This webinar will be presented by John Corley, CTO of Spanish Point Technologies.

Date: 14th of July
Time: 10am
Duration: 1 hour

SQL Server 2012  Enterprise Edition introduces new technologies to Master Data Management including  SQL Server Data Quality Services (DQS).  DQS is a knowledge-driven data quality product. DQS enables organisations to build a knowledge base and use it to perform a variety of critical data quality tasks, including correction, enrichment, standardization, and de-duplication of your data.

The webinar will cover the following:

  • Data Quality Basics and Introducing DQS:
  • Knowledge Management and Data Cleansing in DQS:
  • Data Matching in DQS:
  • DQS Integration with SSIS: Data Cleansing using SSIS
  • DQS Integration with MDS: Data Matching using MDS

If you would like to register for this webinar please click the link below:

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