August 2009 - Posts

To register for SQL Bits V all you have to do is go to and follow the links.

We do hope to see you for the additional days we have lined up. We've got some great content for the Friday and the training day on thursday there should be something for everyone.


We've just announced a competition to win a free ticket for all 3 days of SQLBits. Plus we will put you up in the Hotel on the Thursday and Friday night. So you can choose whatever pre con you want to attend, spend the day getting up to speed with SQL 2008 and then spend the Saturday learning about everything else you wanted to know about SQL. Thats all worth £500 +

All you have to do is take a mug shot i.e. a photo of your mug from SQLBits IV. If you don't have a mug then you can download a picture you can stick on a mug, I'll also be giving some out at events I'm doing in September

The prize is for the most interesting picture, maybe your mug flying a plane or skydiving from 13,000 feet. who knows.

To enter post your pics to

Don't forget to submit sessions for SQLBits V in November.

For anyone that hasn't spoken before as a speaker you will get exclusive access to the speaker dinner, we will cover one nights hotel and provide you with, the best of all, a SQLBits polo shirt.

Its easy to submit a session just complete a profile and then submit sessions if you don't like what you've submitted you can always change it later. (well until its chosen that is).

Submission will close at the end of the month so get submitting soon.

You can now view the videos from SQLBits A - Manchester

We also have download versions as well

We hope you find them useful.

If you are considering coming to SQLBits V then have a look at what you can expect.

Many people believe that if they go ahead and implement a Business Intelligence solution they will suddenly have an intelligent business that will tell them how it is operating and what they need to do. Customers they need contacting will be flagged, orders that are likely to be late are notified so as to keep the customers happy, and the boss is alerted as to the reason profits have fallen from 15% to 10%.

The expectation is that the system, the data warehouse, the reports will provide this intelligence.

This is just wrong.

Just because you give someone a plane and a chisel doesn't make them a carpenter. My wife will confim that.

All that Business Intelligence solutions provide is the ability for the intelligence within the business, the people, to be applied to the data that the business possesses. It also provides the ability for the use their intelligence to further develop their business, where intelligence is so complex that trying to do it by hand is not feasible.

A business intelligence solution is a tool that needs to be used in conjunction with the people within the business. One could say that once implemented, an automated solution doesn't require the input of people, the rules are defined and so we can remove the human element. Whilst that is partly true this doesn't hold tru in the long term. I have not come across  one company that hasn't changed over time, and even if the rate of change of the company not noticeable the ecconomy and environment it is working in will still change. With change your business intelligence solution has to also change and for that you need the people.

This is why I believe Business Intelligence solutions have two problems, one is getting going, and the second is delivering. Getting going is difficult because you need the people in the business with the knowledge of the business to be able to engage with the solution and for many this is a very alien thing and in many cases a fear of what might happen.

Deliverying is difficult because people want a solution that will answer all their problems. As their business is changing, trying to deliver a solution where the goal posts are moving is very difficult and a reason why you need to make sure delivery is long draw out process.

It will be interesting to see how these areas change as people become more used to having Business Intelligence solutions as a matter of course in their business. As with something like search, 10 years ago we didn't have google and bing, but now even my Dad uses a search engine, but interestingly in a very different way to how I do, and that is what needs to be achieved with Business Inteligence. The tool that people use has to be unnoticeable in the way someone does their job. Just like email is just second nature, so should the accessiblity of your companies data. Whats more the ability for you to apply your intelligence to that data in order to answer the questions you have needs to be second nature.

It will be interesting to see how SQL Server 2008 R2, Gemini and Office 2010 will change the picture. If you are in the UK in November then you can't afford to miss Donald Farmer one day seminar atSQLBits on Gemini and SQL Server 2008 R2 I believe this will be the only session of this content in the UK this year.