Thursday 14 February 2008
Since some months now, the Hanzehogeschool in Groningen organizes weekly guest lectures about various IT related topics. I am not always available to visit these lectures, but recently I visited one given by Fernanda Barbosa, MSc from the Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Coimbra ISEC Coimbra in Portugal on Business Intelligence and SQL Server 2005.
Very few people showed up, there were only 4 people attending the class (a previous lecture had an audience of 60 people). The lecture consisted of showing more than 120 Powerpoint sheets full of text in just 90 minutes.
The first part of the presentation was about what Business Intelligence (BI) is and what parts is consists of (copying data from OLTP systems using ETL to a data warehouse, then use OLAP cubes to report the information), and the difference between data warehouses and datamarts (datamarts are typically used by one department, data warehouses span the complete company). She also spoke about typical BI problems like denormalisation, drill-across, data quality problems, surrogate keys, Star and Snowflake schema's, etc.
The second part was about Microsoft SQL Server 2005. This part was actually not much more than a recap of some Microsoft sales factsheets. She presented the various parts of SQL Server related to BI (like Analysis Services, Reporting Services and Integration Services) and what they do. Because SQL Server 2005 is from, well, 2005, this is also not very innovative, a focus towards the new possibilities of the forthcoming SQL Server 2008 probably would have been a bit more interesting.