My Journey into the Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) in Big Data

  Exploring Big Data with the Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) After the introduction of a very successful online education curriculum focusing on Data Science, Microsoft recently announced its next Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) in Big Data. I absolutely loved the Data Science program and have decided to start on the Big Data courses this week….

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Power BI Troubleshooting Checklist

If you have ever started a sentence with “I’m seeing a strange issue in my Power BI Desktop report” and wondered how to investigate, this article is for you. Over the past few years of troubleshooting Power BI Desktop customer issues, I’ve created a checklist that often helps to identify a root cause within a…

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Importing a .dbf (dBase) file into Power BI

How can I import data from a .dbf (dBase) file into Power BI? Today’s Power BI Mailbag Question comes from a friend who often works with geospatial data and, as a result, ends up with several different shapefile formats, including .dbf (dBase) database table files. There are several blog articles around shapefile mapping options in…

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Understanding the differences between “Power BI Desktop” and “Power BI Desktop Optimized for Power BI Report Server”

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been spending a lot of time discussing Power BI Report Server with my customers and colleagues. One of the most common questions I’m asked is: What are the differences between “Power BI Desktop” and “Power BI Desktop optimized for Power BI Report Server”?   In this blog post, I’ll…

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Help! I can’t close the Power BI Desktop Splash Screen!

Today’s blog entry is a quick tip to get around what appears to be a Power BI Desktop splash screen that won’t go away. This is the first time I’ve experienced the issue and since the window is modal and I couldn’t find a keyboard sequence to close it, I was stuck until I realized…

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Troubleshooting a Power BI Dataset Refresh Error

Troubleshooting a Power BI Dataset Refresh Error I investigated a Power BI Dataset Refresh issue tonight that had been successfully refreshing until earlier in the day, when it began to fail consistently. The report solution is an extension of the Power BI Bing News Solution Template (which is really impressive!). In the Power BI tenant,…

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2017 Year in Review – Blog Stats

Sam Lester’s 2017 Blog Year in Review 2017 was an exciting year for me as I continued to work extensively with Power BI and share my solutions, work with the Microsoft product development team to get several customer bugs fixed in our products and completed the MPP in Big Data. Along the way, I shared…

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Exploring Big Data: Course 10 – Microsoft Professional Capstone: Big Data

(This is course #10 of my review of the Microsoft Professional Program in Big Data) Course #10 of 10 – Microsoft Professional Capstone: Big Data Overview: Course #10 brings the Microsoft Professional Program in Big Data to a close. The capstone project is comprised of three different sections, each making up 33% of the overall…

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SQL Server DBA Morning Health Checks

Introduction: As a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer, I get to work with amazing colleagues who create incredible customer solutions. Patrick Keisler ( blog | | ) is a long time SQL Server professional, who also works as a PFE supporting customers throughout Europe. He recently created a very handy “SQL Server Morning Health Check” solution…

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Exploring Big Data: Course 9 – Developing Big Data Solutions with Azure Machine Learning

(This is course #9 of my review of the Microsoft Professional Program in Big Data) Course #9 of 10 – Developing Big Data Solutions with Azure Machine Learning Overview: The “Developing Big Data Solutions with Azure Machine Learning” course is comprised of four sections of videos and labs, each with a set of 3 quiz…

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Exploring Big Data: Course 4 – Querying Data with Transact-SQL

(This is course #4 of my review of the Microsoft Professional Program in Big Data) Course #4 of 10 – Querying Data with Transact-SQL Foreword: For the “Querying Data with Transact-SQL” course, I have asked my outstanding colleague Steve Taylor to share his experience recently completing the course. As a data professional for my entire…

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