Opendata and citizen datascience

Data analysis and visualizations are the most useful end products as BI professionals and even data scientists. They give actionable insights to the end user.

With all the data initiatives and people working with it, there are now a lot of examples of government open data being used to better the community.
But I’ve yet to see a lot of  Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) datasets being used or visualized.

This post uses an enriched dataset about the deaths in California Police Custody during the 2013 – 2015 period acquired using the FOIA.

Interested in getting the enriched dataset and analysing it yourself?
Read on!

Read moreOpendata and citizen datascience

PASS Performance – SQLPalooza 2015!

Today I noticed I missed some great sessions from the PASS Performance virtual chapter. I’ll list them all below for you.

Do check for more great sessions!
And don’t forget to follow @SQLPASS_PVC on twitter

#1: Make Your SQL Server Queries Go Faster
#2: Building High Performance SQL Servers Virtual Machines on AWS and Azure
#3: Performing a SQL Server Health Check
#4: Columnstore Indexes – Questions and Answers
#5: Performance Troubleshooting Using DMVs
#6: Maximizing SSIS Package Performance
#7: Troubleshooting Seconday Replica Latency
#8: SQL Server Benchmarking: The Powershell Speedometer

Read morePASS Performance – SQLPalooza 2015!

Huge free dataset with all public Reddit comments

Do you know Reddit?
Did you know all 1.7 billion+ public comments are now available as an open data set?
Are you ready to unleash all your Text Analytics fantasies? 🙂
Check out this post on Reddit!

A friendly user also uploaded this to Google BigQuery.

If you want example queries or visualisations, check out this thread on reddit.

Windows as a Service and Windows as a panic attack

Over the last week I’ve noticed several articles on Windows 10  passing by. I only linked 2, but some of these articles have very suggestive titles. Other articles are just full of suggestive language. Both suggesting that the free update is a trap and that we’ll all have to pay through the nose for Windows 10 after a free period.
It's a trap!

I understand that these major sites run on hits generated by all the fuzz they can create, but this is just starting to seem crazy.

Am I the only one thinking that Windows will just follow the same great path that Office has paved for it?

To me that would be the only logical path, as the Office 365 model is the way to forward. While people not needing all the fancy stuff can just buy each Office version separately. The same will hold true for Windows 10 or Windows 365.

It also will make licensing and managing the computer park a lot easier for a lot of businesses. And the home users will always be safe with the latest and greatest Windows version.

I tend to get bored every now and then

And when I get bored, the internet reaches out to me…
MVA has become a hobby it seems, even more so then browsing LinkedIn Pulse, Twitter, 9GAG, … 🙂


The Know It Prove It Challenge was fun to do in February and I completed the last module of the SharePoint course on the last day of February.

Today, as I started yet another video series (this time a C# for beginners course), I got bored almost when nearing the 1 hour mark. Which isn’t that abnormal, we all need breaks once in a while.

The thing is that I went into my MVA dashboard and noticed that I’m spending waaaaay too much time on there.

MVA Ranking 201503019


Out of 2.880.150 people on MVA I rank #9534.
And out of 12.404 Belgians I rank #76.

Something else I wasn’t expecting is that most (about 2/3rds) completed courses were Azure/cloud related instead of SQL Server!

That only enforces my idea of continuing on the Azure path in my spare time.

So I’ll talk to you soon about some Azure stuff!


Microsoft Virtual Academy – Rock your skills!

MVA - Know it. Prove it.
MVA – Know it. Prove it.

If you’re not already familiar with the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) then this is a great opportunity to get familiar with this incredible resource!

Best of all is, any courses you already completed on MVA will count towards this challenge! 🙂

Personally I will be following the SharePoint track out of curiosity.
It will take me less than an hour every day, so it is very manageable.
These are the covered topics, well worth the time as you can see!

  • Manage SharePoint Online Documents and Lists
  • Support Corner: Configure SharePoint Outbound Hybrid Search
  • Office Guides: SharePoint Online Overview for IT Pros
  • Office Guides: Apps for Office and SharePoint
  • Tuning SQL Server 2012 for SharePoint 2013 Jump Start
  • Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions
  • Developing SharePoint Server Advanced Solutions Jump Start

MVA – The good

MVA basically is the free Microsoft version of Pluralsight/CBT Nuggets/Udemy/..
If you’re looking to learn a new skill, get a deeper understanding or even get certified in a Microsoft technology, this is the place to be!

MVA – The not so good

I’ve found that not all courses contain the content you expect them to contain. Especially not if you want to get certified.
To offset this you should learn to visit (and love) Technet often.

Technet, love it!

A great example of Technet usage is the Books Online feature.
Want to get familiar with SQL Server Data Quality Services (DQS) data cleansing? You got it!
Just looking for an overview of what you can learn about SQL Server? Sure, that’s possible!


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