Wise Owl Blogs - Home (page 1 of 18)

Showing blogs 1-20 (out of 344)

Combine all the files in a folder into a single table using Power Query

Posted by Andy Brown on 21 February 2017

Sure, you can use Power Query (or Get & Analyze, as it's now called) to load and transform data, but did you know you can loop over all of the files in a folder, combining their data into a single set of results? This blog explains how to do this for CSV files, and gives a lead for how to proceed with Excel ones.

The new functions in Excel 2016, including IFS, SWITCH and TEXTJOIN

Posted by Andy Brown on 18 February 2017

Excel 2016 has a few interesting new functions! TEXTJOIN allows you to concatenate all the cells in a range, and IFS and SWITCH provide other ways to make choices.

Tags:   Excel | Formulae

Updates made in February 2017 to Power BI Desktop.

Posted by Andy Brown on 16 February 2017

A summary of the most important changes for Power BI Desktop users in the February 2017 update.

Power BI Desktop - January 2017 update

Posted by Andy Brown on 08 February 2017

A summary of the (small) changes in Microsoft's January 2017 Power BI Desktop update.

A list of one owl's 5 favourite system stored procedures in SQL!

Posted by Andy Brown on 03 February 2017

Everyone has a favourite system stored procedure (you do, don't you?). But five? That's the subject of this blog, anyway.

Tags:   SQL | Stored procedures

Wise Owl coding standards for T-SQL (the SQL dialect used in SQL Server)

Posted by Andy Brown on 01 February 2017

A blog setting out an approach to coding in SQL to ensure consistently high standards across your organisation.

Tags:   SQL | General

Want to be get at the file path for an Excel workbook easily? Here's how!

Posted by Andy Brown on 26 January 2017

This short blog explains how you can customise your quick access toolbar to display the path of the file that you are currently working on.

Tags:   Excel | General

Is the new(ish) FORMAT function in SQL Server slow?

Posted by Andy Brown on 16 January 2017

SQL Server 2012 saw the introduction of the T-SQL FORMAT function, making it easier to present dates nicely (no more remembering CONVERT arguments such as 103!). But is it too slow to be really useful? This blog aims to test this scientifically.

Tags:   SQL | Calculations

A summary of the Power BI Desktop Updates going back to November 2016

Posted by Andy Brown on 19 December 2016

This blog differs from the Microsoft update summary in two ways: it omits preview and obscure changes, but goes into more detail (and gives practical examples) on mainstream updates.

The main new features for BI workers in the November 2016 Power BI update

Posted by Andy Brown on 19 December 2016

A summary of the new features in the November 2016 Power BI Update, omitting things which are still only in preview.

How to create running totals or cumulative figures in Power BI Desktop

Posted by Andy Brown on 19 December 2016

There are a host of date-based functions in Power BI Desktop for producing cumulative figures, but how do you get running totals for non-date columns? This blog explains!

Passing parameters to SQL stored procedures in Power BI Desktop

Posted by Andy Brown on 30 November 2016

This blog summarises how to run SQL statements in a Power BI Desktop query, using dynamic SQL to pass in parameter values

How to pick out the first and last dates for a given group using DAX

Posted by Andy Brown on 06 October 2016

It's often challenging working out how to use DAX to solve specific problems. This blog shows how to produce a pivot table showing the first and last instances of any category.

Tags:   Excel | PowerPivot    |    Power BI - Excel 2013 | PowerPivot

How to use the FOR XML keywords in SQL to concatenate ids

Posted by Andy Brown on 27 September 2016

If you want to group items in a SQL query, showing a comma-delimited list of ids for each, generating an XML file is not the obvious place to start - but it should be.

Tags:   SQL | General

How to get Excel to read out cell values on calculation

Posted by Andy Brown on 26 September 2016

A short blog explaining how you can get Excel to read out values in cells every time that you recalculate a worksheet.

Tags:   Writing VBA | Other    |    VBA macros | Working with ranges

How to post comments onto the Wise Owl website

Posted by Andy Brown on 09 September 2016

If you want to initiate (or take part in) a discussion on our website, you'll first need to create a post - and to do that, you'll need to register on our site. This blog explains how to do both these things!

Tags:   Musings | Random musings

Have you got any suggestions for future Wise Owl training courses?

Posted by Andy Brown on 09 September 2016

Please let us know if you can think of any training course that you think we should be offering, but which isn't in our current portfolio.

Tags:   Musings | The future

Which Power BI course should you take - Excel Power BI or Power BI Desktop?

Posted by Andy Brown on 22 July 2016

Microsoft are pursuing two separate BI lines at the moment: one for the Power BI tools which run within Excel, and another for the standalone application called Desktop Power BI. This blog attempts to explain the differences between two applications with such confusingly similar names!

Tags:   Excel | PowerPivot    |    Power BI - Excel 2013 | General    |    Power BI Desktop | General

Using Xamarin to develop mobile phone apps in Visual Studio

Posted by Andy Brown on 12 July 2016

With Visual Studio 2015 you can now develop for a wide range of mobile platforms, including IoS (Apple), Android and even the Apple Watch.

SQL Server 2016 contains lots of new goodies, as this blog explains

Posted by Andy Brown on 11 July 2016

Microsoft have made huge changes to SQL Server Reporting Services and Analysis Services (Tabular Model), and smaller ones to SSIS, SSAS (cubes) and SQL. This blog gives the main highlights, with links to blogs giving the full Monty for each area of SQL Server 2016.

Tags:   SQL Server 2016 | General
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