Tag Archives: Power BI Website

Azure SQL Data Warehouse and Power BI

Azure SQL Data Warehouse and Power BI

Without a doubt cloud computing is going to change the future of data analytics and data visualisation very significantly. Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse recently released for public preview. Combining Power BI as a powerful data visualisation tool with Azure SQL Data Warehouse will give the users the ability to see data insights of their data stored in Azure Data Warehouse very easily. In this post I explain how to install Azure SQL Data Warehouse and the the way it works with Power BI. Before going any further I’d like to have a look at the Azure SQL Data Warehouse very briefly.

What Is Azure SQL Data Warehouse?

Based on Microsoft documentation a SQL Data Warehouse is

Azure SQL Data Warehouse is an enterprise-class distributed database capable of processing petabyte volumes of relational and non-relational data.

Azure SQL Data Warehouse supports stored procedures, user-defined functions, indexes and collations. It uses columnstore index technology which significantly improves query performance as well as getting you up to 5 times compression in compare with traditional row based indexing.

I leave it to you learn more about Azure SQL Data Warehouse. But, it is important to keep in mind that there are some features like primary keys and foreign keys that are NOT supported in Azure SQL Data Warehouse which affect the way we use Power BI as a data visualisation tool over Azure SQL Data Warehouse. Without primary keys and foreign keys there is no physical relationships between the tables so Power BI service cannot detect any relationships by itself. There is a workaround for this that we can create some SQL views in Azure side to make it work. This can be an expensive solution. The other way is to load the data warehouse into a Power BI Desktop model which can detect the relationships automatically.

Now you know a bit bout Azure SQL Data Warehouse let’s get back to the subject and talk more about Power BI and Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

First things first. You need to have a Microsoft Azure subscription. If you don’t already have it you can use it for a one month trial here. You’ll also get $250 credit. But, remember that if you succeed the $250 in less than a month then you’ll need to pay for it if you want to use it longer.

Install Azure SQL Data Warehouse

After you get your Azure subscription, login to your account and you should see a dashboard like this

Install Azure SQL Data Warehouse

I’m not going to explain the above dashboard as it is out of scope of this article.

  • Click New

Install Azure SQL Data Warehouse 01

  • Click “Data + Storage” then click “SQL Data Ware House”

Install Azure SQL Data Warehouse 02

  • Enter a name for your database
  • Select a performance value

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Power BI and Active Directory for System Administrators

Active Directory and Power BI

One of the most interesting things about Power BI is that it covers a wide range of areas. Therefore, it can help a wide range of different users to analyse and understand their businesses easily. For instance system administrators can use Power BI to analyse  their Microsoft Windows Active Directory. As a matter of fact, Power BI and Active Directory can work together very nicely so that a system administrator can create high level reports and dashboards.

In this , we’ll create a report of the following charts:

  • Total number of computers by Operating System/Service Pack
  • Total number of  computers by year and Operating System
  • Total number of computers
  • Print pages per minute by printer
  • Total number of printers by year and driver name

As a system administrator you can create heaps of other useful reports.

Get Data

  • On Power BI Desktop click “Get Data” then click “More”

Power BI and Active Directory 01

  • Click “Other”, click “Active Directory” then click “Connect”

Power BI and Active Directory 02

  • Enter a Domain name then click OK

Power BI and Active Directory 03

  • As you can see there are 374 tables you can select to create heaps of reports. In this post I use “Computer” and “PrintQueue”

Power BI and Active Directory 04

Continue reading Power BI and Active Directory for System Administrators