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Using a Date Table to Track Custom Fiscal Years/Periods

Calendar Tables are only useful if they reflect how your company evaluates its data. Therefore, any company using non-standard financial fiscal years and periods will require customization with their Calendar or Date Table. In this post, I’ll provide an example of how to do so using the M2M ERP System Database. For those who don’t [...]

Calendar Tables - Why You Need One.

*** Note: The code below is for use with SQL 2005 and previous versions. I have written new code to take advantage of the Date Datatype in SQL 2008 and above which can be found here.

What is a Date (Calendar) Table?

For the purposes of this article a Date Table is a dedicated table containing a [...]

I Don’t Know! Deal With It! (Nulls)

This topic has been done to death in many places, but I still get frequent questions about Null field issues in T-SQL. My purpose in this article is not to debate the definition of Null. Smarter men than I have already done so.

SQL Server Books Online indicates “A value of NULL indicates that the [...]

Database Views - Using PowerPivot with Problem Databases Part 2

In the previous post I mentioned the use of views to simplify querying your database in general and PowerPivot in particular.

What are Database Views?

Views are virtual tables, which you can create with a SQL statement. Some of the advantages of using views are:

Simplified Data Access – The view hides the data structure from [...]

Report Guidelines: Exporting Reports

This article is day four in a week of reporting articles.

Most users want to export reports to Excel so they can manipulate the data. If possible, set up the report for the cleanest exporting possible. This process starts when writing T-SQL. For example, one can extract only the date instead of a datetime value when [...]

Report Guidelines: Know What Your User Wants and Your Target Number(s)

This article is day three in a week of reporting articles.

This seems like a no-brainer, but it is not as easy as you would think. Often your users will not know what they want and certainly not where to get it.

Don’t take direction from this guy.

Let’s say Milton, a purchasing agent, [...]

Reporting Guidelines: Standardize Your Layouts

This article is day two in a week of reporting articles.

Create standard layouts for both landscape and portrait reports and have them approved by management. Many larger companies have Corporate Identity Guidelines created by marketing experts with standards already defined for marketing and sales documents. Adhere to the standards religiously. If creating your [...]

Reporting Guidelines: Requesting Reports

This article is day one in a week of reporting articles.

If you are going to become a business intelligence ninja, start at the beginning. You need to develop standard procedures for report creation. They include:

Who can request reports?
Who approves their creation?
Who assigns priority of your work?
How [...]

Basic Reporting Guidelines - Week of Articles

A good percentage of my day is spent writing reports. The report formats could be SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), Crystal Reports, M2M VFP reports, or ODBC Excel Spreadsheets. The latter three methods usually involve T-SQL, which I write by hand using TOAD for SQL Server or the SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). In the [...]

Anybody Using Qlickview?

Dashboards are a hot topic these days and I need to investigate the available options. I had a Qlickview demonstration in person, but I’d like to talk to any of you who are using it.

So, are any of you folks using it? Would you mind telling me your opinions of the product?
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