Wise Owl blogs written by Andy Brown (page 1 of 15)

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How to get rid of lots of blank rows in a Report Builder table

Posted by Andy Brown on 16 February 2018

There seems to be an occasional bug in Report Builder which fills a table with blank rows. Here's one owl's way to get round it.

Tags:   SSRS | Report Builder

Which should you learn: Report Builder or Reporting Services?

Posted by Andy Brown on 16 February 2018

Report Builder and SQL Server Reporting Services are almost identical - which makes the small but important differences even harder to explain.

Tags:   SSRS | Report Builder    |    SSRS | General

Did you know there was an IIF function in SQL to test conditions? We didn't!

Posted by Andy Brown on 16 February 2018

You can use the IIF function in SQL as an alternative to the CASE WHEN statement. We thought we would share this new (for us) discovery with the world!

Tags:   SQL | Calculations

New features in the February 2018 update of Power BI Desktop

Posted by Andy Brown on 15 February 2018

You can now search for formatting properties, have slicers which work across pages and create quick measures, among other new features.

How to use the Windows Magnifier to zoom in on parts of your screen

Posted by Andy Brown on 29 January 2018

If you're trying to project your screen at the front of a class, the Windows Magnifier lets people see what you're doing more easily.

Tags:   Musings | General IT

What's new in SQL Server 2017? For SSAS Tabular, lots, it transpires.

Posted by Andy Brown on 23 January 2018

This blog summarises the main new features of SQL Server for non-administrators (that is, most of us). Most parts of SQL Server get minor changes at best, but SSAS Tabular 2017 gets a host of major improvements.

A summary of the changes introduced in Visual Studio 2017

Posted by Andy Brown on 19 January 2018

Visual Studio 2017 includes some clever new quick coding features, better debugging and a much better installation routine, as this blog explains.

Changes to Wise Owl Excel courses (including a new intermediate course)

Posted by Andy Brown on 15 January 2018

We've revamped our Excel course offerings, to include a new one-day Intermediate Excel course to sit between our introduction and advanced courses.

Tags:   Excel | General

New features in the January 2018 update of Power BI Desktop

Posted by Andy Brown on 11 January 2018

This month introduces a smorgasbord of small but useful updates, including the ability to hide pages, colour data labels and to set the anchor (from) date for a relative date slicer.

How to use an unpivot transform in Power BI Desktop (or PowerPivot) Query Editor

Posted by Andy Brown on 04 January 2018

If you get data in pivot (two-dimensional) form, you can unpivot it to get the underlying rows, and hence produce charts and visuals. This blog shows how!

New features in the December 2017 update of Power BI Desktop

Posted by Andy Brown on 04 January 2018

Field descriptions anyone? This is a fairly minor update, although we like responsive horizontal slicers, and there are some exciting things coming up in preview mode.

How to use a $ symbol to introduce a string expression, and fill in the blanks

Posted by Andy Brown on 22 December 2017

Introduced in Visual Studio, string interpolation allows you to linking different C# expressions contained in curly parentheses, with everything preceded by a dollar sign. This blog explains how to use this handy new short-cut.

Tags:   Visual C# | Variables

A personal take on the best dozen Times crossword clues from the last 5 years

Posted by Andy Brown on 11 December 2017

In addition to computer training, Andy Brown is also an addict of the Times Crossword. In this blog Andy takes a break from blogging on software to list his 12 favourites clues from the last 5 years of puzzles.

Tags:   Musings | Random musings

How to write an M formula to convert Julian dates using Power Query

Posted by Andy Brown on 08 December 2017

This short blog explains how to convert Julian dates to "normal" ones, and how the formula used actually works!

How to create multiple worksheets based on pivot table report filter values

Posted by Andy Brown on 08 December 2017

Did you know that you can automatically generate multiple versions of a pivot table, with each one configured to filter by a different item? We didn't - this blog is an attempt to apologise for our oversight!

How to reuse a query created in Query Editor or Power Query

Posted by Andy Brown on 29 November 2017

This short blog explains how you can copy and paste the steps of a query that you've created in Power Query (within Power BI Desktop). The steps also work for queries created in Power Query within Excel.

Tags:   Excel | PowerPivot    |    Power BI Desktop | Query editor

Create your own snippets of SQL code, and insert them into your queries

Posted by Andy Brown on 23 November 2017

With SQL Server 2012 came the power not just to use pre-defined code snippets, but also to create your own - this blog explains how.

Tags:   SQL | General

A summary of the new features of Power BI Desktop introduced in November 2017

Posted by Andy Brown on 15 November 2017

There's not too much to whet the appetite here: most of the changes are extensions to existing features, such as conditional formatting and column-by-example.

Skills assessment tests are now incorporated within the main Wise Owl website

Posted by Andy Brown on 10 November 2017

You can now test your knowledge of software without leaving our website. The new site is nicer-looking, quicker and more secure, and above all gives much better reports (and makes them easier to save and share).

Tags:   Musings | Random musings

New features in the October 2017 update of Power BI Desktop

Posted by Andy Brown on 09 October 2017

On the minus side, the changes introduced in this update (mainly a selection pane and spotlight facility) are tiny, but on the plus side there is a huge new feature (bookmarks) waiting in the wings in preview mode.

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