How does Internet of Things (#IoT) impact data professionals?

Internet enabled computers to be connected with each other.

Internet enabled Mobile Devices to be connected with each other.

Now, Internet will be used to enable physical things to be connected with each other. This is what is called “Internet of things” (IoT).

So what happens?

since more devices are connected with internet – we will able to generate more data! This is usually good if there’s a business vision around how to make sense of data to increase efficiency of all these things.

Here’s a nice case study from Microsoft (focus on the business case – the things in this case is “elevator” to drive reliability)


This is all good news for data professionals! There will be increased demand for professionals who can help businesses make sense of data generated via IoT.

Also beware of the “hype” around this technology. It’s important to take incremental steps to achieve the vision – Instead of trying to analyze data from ALL devices in your organization, start with one physical thing that matter the most for your organization or start with data that you have and take incremental steps to spread data culture in your organization!

Now that Big Data has become a mainstream word in IT and business, we have a new buzzword to learn/talk about IoT – but remember it’s all about making sense of data and your skills would be more valuable than ever!

PASS Business Analytics VC: Insider’s Introduction to Microsoft Azure Machine Learning (#AzureML). #sqlpass


Session Abstract:
Microsoft has introduced a new technology for developing analytics applications in the cloud. The presenter has an insider’s perspective, having actively provided feedback to the Microsoft team which has been developing this technology over the past 2 years. This session will 1) provide an introduction to the Azure technology including licensing, 2) provide demos of using R version 3 with AzureML, and 3) provide best practices for developing applications with Azure Machine Learning.
Speaker BIO:
Mark is a consultant who provides enterprise data science analytics advice and solutions. He uses Microsoft Azure Machine Learning, Microsoft SQL Server Data Mining, SAS, SPSS, R, and Hadoop (among other tools). He works with Microsoft Business Intelligence (SSAS, SSIS, SSRS, SharePoint, Power BI, .NET). He is a SQL Server MVP and has a research doctorate (PhD) from Georgia Tech.


Hope to see you there!

Paras Doshi
Business Analytics Virtual Chapter’s Co-Leader


Back to basics: Multi Class Classification vs Two class classification.

Classification algorithms are commonly used to build predictive models. Here’s what they do (simplified!):

Machine Learning Predictive Algorithms analytics Introduction

Now, here’s the difference between Multi Class and Two Class:

if your Test Data needs to be classified into two classes then you use a two-class classification model.


1. Is it going to Rain today? YES or NO

2. Will the buyer renew his soon-to-expire subscription? YES or NO

3. What is the sentiment of this text? Positive OR Negative

As you can see from above examples the test data needs to be classified in two classes.

Now, look at example #3 – What is the sentiment of the text? What if you also want an additional class called “neutral” – so now there are three classes and we’ll need to use a multi-class classification model. So, If your test data needs to be classified into more than two classes then you use a multi-class classification model.


1. Sentiment analysis of customer reviews? Positive, Negative, Neutral

2. What is the weather prediction for today? Sunny, Cloudy, Rainy, Snow

I hope the examples helped, so next time you have to choose between multi class and two class classification models, ask yourself – does the problem ask you to predict two classes or more? based on that, you’ll need to pick your model.

Example: Azure Machine Learning (AzureML) studio’s classifier list:

Azure Machine Learning classifiers list

I hope this helps!

Business Intelligene Dashboard for Quality Managers

Business Intelligene Dashboard for Quality Managers

Business Goal:

Need to understand the patterns in Quality test results data across all plants.


- The solution involved creating a Business Intelligence system that gathered data from multiple plants. I was involved in mentoring IT team, development and end-user training of a Business Intelligence Dashboard that used SQL server analysis services as it’s data source.

- Dashboard development involved multiple checkpoint meetings with business leaders since this was the first time they had a chance to visualize quality test results data consolidated from multiple plants. Since they were new to data visualization, I used to prepare in advance and create 3-4 relevant visualization templates to kick off meetings.


(it is intended to look generic since I can’t discuss details. Also, drill down capabilities had been added to the dashboard to go down to the lowest granularity if needed)

Quality Test Results Dashboard

Achievement Unlocked: Tableau Desktop 8 Qualified Associate!

To test my Tableau knowledge, I attempted the Tableau product certification and got the “Tableau Desktop 8 Qualified Associate” certificate.

Tableau 8 Qualified associate Certificate paras doshi


Back to basics: continuous Vs. Discrete variables and their importance in Data Visualization.

Take a look at the following chart, do you see any issues with it?

month trend chart line chart string to date

Notice that the month values are shown as “distinct” values instead of shown as a “continuous” values and it misleads the person looking at the chart.  Agree? Great! You already know based on your instincts what continuous and discrete values are, it’s just that we will need to label what you already know.

In the example used above, the “Date & Time” shown as a “Sales Date” is a continuous value since you can’t never say the “Exact” time that the event occurred…1/1/2008 22 hours, 15 minutes, 7 seconds, 5 milliseconds…and it goes on…it’s continuous.

But let’s say you wanted to see Number of Units Sold Vs Product Name. now that’s countable, isn’t it? You can say that we sold 150 units of Product X and 250 units of product Y. In this case, Units sold becomes discrete value.

The chart shown above was treating Sales Date as discrete values and hence causing confusion…let’s fix it since now you the difference between continuous and discrete variables:

Statistics Discrete Continuos Variable Data Visualization


To develop effective data visualizations, it’s important to understand the data types of your data. In this post, you saw the difference between continuous and discrete variables and their importance in data visualization.

PASS Business Analytics VC: 7 Ideas on Encouraging Advanced Analytics by Mark Tabladillo #sqlpass

Thu, Jul 17, 2014 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

Many companies are starting or expanding their use of data mining and machine learning. This presentation covers seven practical ideas for encouraging advanced analytics in your organization.

Mark Tabladillo is a Microsoft MVP and SAS expert based in Atlanta, GA. His Industrial Engineering doctorate (including applied statistics) is from Georgia Tech. Today, he helps teams become more confident in making actionable business decisions through the use of data mining and analytics. Mark provides training and consulting for companies in the US and around the world. He has spoken at major conferences including Microsoft TechEd, PASS Summit, PASS Business Analytics Conference, Predictive Analytics World, and SAS Global Forum. He tweets @marktabnet and blogs at


hope to see you there!

Paras Doshi
Business Analytics Virtual Chapter’s Co-Leader

SQL server analysis services MDX: Current Fiscal Period vs Previous year same Fiscal Period Query


Comparing data current fiscal period vs previous year same fiscal period query is a very common problem. Here’s a sample query.


Please use the query as a staring point for current fiscal period vs previous year same fiscal period. I used the Contoso Cube to come with the query. The key part is to use the PARALLELPERIOD function.

with member [Sales Amount Previous Year Fiscal Month] as
SUM(ParallelPeriod([Date].[Fiscal Month].[Fiscal Month],12,[Date].[Fiscal Month].CurrentMember ),[Measures].[Sales Amount] )

{[Measures].[Sales Amount],[Sales Amount Previous Year Fiscal Month]} on 0,
NON EMPTY {[Date].[Fiscal Month].[Fiscal Month]} on 1

[Date].[Fiscal Year].&[2008]

MDX current year vs previous year same fiscal periodConclusion:
In this post, I shared a MDX query that you can use for current fiscal period vs previous year same fiscal period.

Business Metrics #3 of N: Inventory Turnover


In this post, we will a common metric used in inventory management called Inventory Turnover


In simple terms,

Inventory Turnover = Sales / Inventory

why do we want to measure this?

A business manager can analyze this metric to figure out the efficiency of sales and efficiency of buying.

A high over turnover equals strong/efficient sales OR inefficient buying process. It can also show loss in business due to lack of goods supply.

A Low turnover equals inefficient sales or marketing efforts and excess inventory.

How do you benchmark inventory turnover?

usually, it’s bench-marked against Industry average. You don’t want to benchmark a company selling Auto Spare Rates versus a company selling dairy products because company selling dairy products (perishable goods) would have a high turnover ratio since they move inventory fast.


This was a high level discussion of a business metric “Inventory Turnover” commonly analyzed by business managers to keep an eye on their sales and buying efficiencies. of course, the use of the formula would involve interviewing business managers to understand how they measure inventory turnover but whatever the formula may be it should ideally be consistent across the organizations.

Here are some links if you want to research further:

SQL Server reporting services: How to Add Trademark special symbol in Text?

Problem Statement:

The goal of this blog post is to share a quick tip on SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS): How to add Trademark TM special symbol in Text?


In SSRS, you can put following code in the Expressions:

="Text"& ChrW(8482) &" Dashboard"

SQL Server Reporting Services SSRS Trademark special symbol