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Some “Biz,” Then Reflection on Connection

Post by Rob Collie


Some Obligatory “Biz” Stuff Today, Then Something “Deeper”

I find myself “stuck” in a thoughtful, somewhat unproductive mood these days.  I think I’ve figured out why, and I think it’s worth sharing.  But first let me get some “biz” stuff out of the way, because that stuff is important too.

Biz #1: Power Pivot / Power BI In-Person Classes:  Dates in DC and Indy.

Power Pivot / Power BI Class Power Pivot / Power BI Class

Today we’re announcing class dates in Indianapolis (Oct 13-14) and Washington DC (Nov 3-4).

Hope to see you there, and at the social gathering on Evening #1 – more on that in “connection.”

Biz #2: DAX 2nd Edition Pre-Order / Fund Color Printing / Cool Perks

Our pre-order campaign is going great, thanks everyone!  We’ve exceeded the original $3k goal already, which we originally set to help us offset the startup costs of printing in color, and because we didn’t dare to expect the response we’re getting.  The full costs of a large color print run, however, are quite a bit higher, and if we hit our stretch goal of $20k, that would cover the entire first print run, so if possible we’d like to “reach” a bit.

And you get something in return, too:  “early-bird” delivery of your printed book, anywhere in the world, long before Amazon will start shipping them.

Plus the cool perks, like the exclusive DAX stickers, posters, and t-shirts:


Biz #3: Introducing the Newsletter

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Some Good Power Pivot / Power BI Computers

Post by Rob Collie

Good Computers for Power Pivot / Power BIA Lot More Work Than Expected!

Last month I posted a survey of computer performance for Power Pivot and Power BI usage.  I underestimated how much work it would be, to synthesize the results into something useful for the community.  At bare minimum, this has been five different tasks:

  1. Throwing out untrustworthy outlier results
  2. Cross-referencing with CPU benchmark sites
  3. Finding computer models that contain those CPU’s
  4. Verifying that those models have good RAM
  5. Pulling together a view different price points
  6. Repeating for Desktop vs. Laptop

So for now, I’ve only managed to pull together options from HP.
(I will add other manufacturers later, but I have always liked HP hardware, especially their laptops, so it’s a great place to start).

Desktops – High End Options

If you want a true beast of a computer that chews through DAX workloads, you might consider something like THIS monster:

 The Z840 Workstation is an Obvious Candidate.
(But the Next One Below is Better AND Cheaper.)

16GB of RAM is more than enough for Power Pivot and Power BI workloads.  Seriously, 8 GB is gonna be enough for most of your needs until/unless you start transitioning into SSAS Tabular because you have too much data for Power Pivot.

Note that this workstation above offers much faster RAM than most other machines, at 2133 GHz.

But it also carries the ultra-premium Xeon E5 2620 v3 CPU – which the test results and benchmarks indicate is a LESS effective processor (for our purposes) than many lesser models of Xeon, such as the E3 family.

So, for $1300 less, you could have the following workstation, which in all likelihood performs even BETTER for our needs:

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Grab Bag of Fun

Post by Rob Collie


Assortment of Quick and Fun Topics

I keep something called Ye Olde OneNote List of Future Blog Topics.  You know, I think of something and go “ooh, that would be a good thing to write about,” so I add it to YOOLOFBT.

Problem is, said list sometimes grows a lot faster than the rate at which I produce finished blog posts.  So…  good topics just get buried sometimes.

Today, let’s make sure a few of those topics get to see the light of day.  Like children who’ve been cooped up in the house all winter, they need to go outside and play in the yard.

#1:  DataZen Post “Wins”

Last week’s post on Datazen positively shocked me with the number of page views it got.  It set the all-time record for single-day views of a given post, AND that traffic also led to the single best day for overall traffic.  (A rising Datazen topic lifts all posts.  Something like that.)

And it wasn’t close, either.  Both new records eclipsed the former records by healthy margins.

The take-away, I think, is that mobile visuals SELL.  This excerpt from last week sums it up nicely:


So if you’re trying to increase Power Pivot buy-in at your company, Datazen is worth a look.  It’s a gateway drug.

#2:  Power Update Passes 2000 Downloads

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