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I work as SQL Server DBA / Developer and BI Consultant in Toronto, Canada.Canada Flag More...
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PowerPivot Tips and Tricks for IT Pros

October 26th, 2013 by Vidas Matelis

On Oct 26, 2013 I presented at “Big Data Saturday” event in Toronto, Canada. Here I am posting my session key points and notes.

Power Pivot Database

  • Make a copy of your workbook and change extension from .xlsx to .zip. Inside zip file in the folder “xl\customData” there is file item1.data that is backup of Power Pivot database.
  • When Power Pivot engine starts it restores database backup on your machine in the folder %temp%. Power Pivot will create sub-folder “Vertipaq_<GUID>” where in .db sub-folder you will find folder for each table in your model. Tip – go into biggest table folder, order files by size and see if you really need columns that use most of the space.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Portfolio Slicer – free BI application to track your investments in Excel with PowerPivot

May 30th, 2012 by Vidas Matelis

Yesterday I published Portfolio Slicer application that lets you track financial investments (stocks, ETFs, mutual funds) in Excel. I used Excel 2010 with PowerPivot 2012 to create PowerPivot database with over 90 DAX calculations and I could not be more happier with results. In the past I tried to use existing online services to track my investment accounts, but none of them would completely do what I wanted. So I decided to build investment tracking BI application using PowerPivot. Read the rest of this entry »

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XL Cubed

Videos from SQL Server 2012 Launch event

March 7th, 2012 by Vidas Matelis

Today SQL Server 2012 was launched and Microsoft posted on their website set of videos that would help you to understand what is new or improved in this release. For my blog readers I would recommend watching at least following videos (all under “Breakthrough Insights” tab):

  • “Rapid Data Exploration: Empowering End User Insight Through Rapid Data Exploration and Visualization with Power View” by Carolyn Chau, Lead Program Manager
  • “Managed Self-Service BI: End User Created, IT Managed” by John Hancock, Principal Program Manager Lead
  • “Credible, Consistent Data: Going Under the Hood with the New BI Semantic Model” by Ashvini Sharma, Principal Program Manager Lead
  • “Big Data Analytics with Apache Hadoop and SQL Server 2012″ by Saptak Sen, Senior Product Technical Manager
  • “Breakthrough Insights with Microsoft Big Data” by Dave Campbell, Microsoft Technical Fellow

These are short presentations (about 20min each), you can watch them here.

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SQL Server 2012 RTM

March 6th, 2012 by Vidas Matelis

Great news – Microsoft just announced SQL Server 2012 RTM.

You can already download SQL Server 2012 Data Mining Add-in for Microsoft Office 2010, SQL Server 2012 RTM Evaluation and Microsoft SQL Server 2012 PowerPivot for Excel 2010 . Other download will appear shortly.

Also, for more information make sure to attend SQL Server Virtual Launch event – should be very interesting.

I am especially excited for new SSAS Tabular release. For past few months I started to use DAX more and more and with every day I like it more – it is very powerful and flexible!

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Computer Power Plan impact on PowerPivot DAX query performance

February 20th, 2012 by Vidas Matelis

I was working recently with PowerPivot 1.0 workbook and was using it on my desktop and on my laptop. I noticed that there was  big performance difference when I was refreshing my Pivot Tables between these 2 machines so I did more tests to figure out why this is happening.

Here are specs on my machines: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in PowerPivot | 1 Comment »

I will be at SQLPASS 2011

October 7th, 2011 by Vidas Matelis

This year I’ll be attending SQLPASS 2011 in Seattle.
I am scheduled to volunteer at Expert Pods on Wednesday, October 12th between 10am and 12pm.
On Friday I’ll be acting as a host for one of “Birds of a Feather” lunch tables. Topic for my table will be “SSAS Management Using Scripts”.

Looking forward to meeting there my blog readers!

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I am a SSAS Maestro!

September 19th, 2011 by Vidas Matelis

I already wrote about my experience in the SSAS maestro program and today I can share with you that I am one of the first 11 SSAS Maestros!  The official announcement on the first wave of SSAS Maestros was posted on the SQLCat.com website today. I am very happy to have received this award as it was a very challenging but worthwhile experience .

A big congratulations to all of the SSAS Maestro recipients: Ulf Ackerman, Alberto Ferrari, Greg Galloway, Darren Gosbell, Dirk Gubbels, Michael Horne, Marco Russo, Harlan Smith, Chris Webb and John Welch.

Posted in SSAS, SSAS Maestro | 5 Comments »

SSAS Maestro program – my experience so far

May 2nd, 2011 by Vidas Matelis

This blog post is about my experience in the SSAS Maestro program. As I am writing this post (May 1st, 2011), I still don’t know if I passed all of the necessary requirements to become a SSAS Maestro, and it will take a few more weeks or even months till the lab, exam and case study results will be available. There is a very good chance that I have not achieved the SSAS Maestro requirements, as this course and the tests were very difficult. However, I still want to share my experience, as I strongly believe that this was by far the best training on SSAS that I have ever participated in. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in SSAS, SSAS Maestro | 14 Comments »

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