Crafting Insights: The Dynamic Appeal of a BI Career

Every now and then I get the opportunity to speak to someone about careers in technology, and I find it particularly interesting to be able to offer the perspective of working in Business Intelligence specifically. It's a field I sort of stumbled into after years of working as a software developer and data professional and I can't say enough good things about it. Here are a few reasons why I love working in BI:

#1: It has impact. Empowering people with insights from data through BI has a profound impact on organizations. When you work in this industry you have the opportunity to very directly feed information to the people who use it to make decisions affecting every aspect of their business. If you like feeling as though your work is making a difference, BI is a great place to be.

#2: It is stimulating and challenging. When you work in BI, you get to dig into and decipher intricate datasets to reveal patterns, trends, and insights that would otherwise remain hidden. This process of analytical exploration aligns perfectly with my passion for problem-solving and strategic thinking.

#3: It's always changing. I'm not a fan of repetition. It gets really boring doing the same tasks every single day. The ever-evolving landscape of technology within BI keeps monotony at bay, offering the thrill of constant adaptation to new tools and emerging innovations.

#4: It's highly collaborative. That stereotype of a programmer sitting alone coding in silence is the total opposite of BI work. Collaboration is a cornerstone of BI, between your own team and clients coming from a diverse range of different teams. That's one of the big advantages of being in this field. Your work can involve people from all parts of your organization, so you get to meet and know a lot of people over the years.

As a whole, a career in Business Intelligence gives you the power of impact, stimulation, evolution, and collaboration, making it a really fantastic field to be working in.
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Zoom: Improve Call Sound Quality

 By default Zoom calls don't have the greatest sound quality, which isn't much of an issue for most spoken conversations but can be problematic if you're using the call for music or some other purpose that requires high quality audio.

To improve the audio you send over a Zoom call, enable high fidelity music mode through the following steps:

  1. Open the Zoom application on your computer.
  2. Click on your profile picture.
  3. Click 'Settings'.
  4. On the left-hand side menu, click 'Audio'.
  5. Check the checkbox next to 'Show in-meeting option to "Enable Original Sound" from microphone'.
  6. Check the checkbox next to 'High fidelity music mode'.
  7. You may also want to check the other checkboxes to 'Disable echo cancellation' and 'Use stereo audio'.
  8. When you are in your meeting, click on 'Turn on Original Sound' in the top left-hand corner.

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Excel: Convert Column of Dates to Text

 If you have a column of date values in Excel but need to convert them into text values, there's a surprisingly simple trick to do so - and it's not exactly intuitive.

Select your column, then go to the 'Data' tab and click on 'Text to Columns'. I know, it's weird. We're not actually trying to split up our data into separate columns and I promise we won't.

On Step 1 of 3, choose 'Delimited'. Click 'Next'. 

On Step 2 of 3, deselect all of the 'Delimiters' so that nothing is selected. Click 'Next'.

Now here is the magic step. On Step 3 of 3, under 'Column data format', select 'Text'. Now click 'Finish'.

All of your dates should be actual text now instead of the integers that represent the dates. Yay!

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SSAS: Count Records in Table

The DAX function to count the number of rows in an SSAS table is COUNTROWS. Here's an example of how you could use it if you had a table called 'Products':

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Power BI: Lock Layered Objects

If you've created a Power BI report with layered objects and don't want background elements to jump to the front when they're selected, thankfully there is an easy solution.

Select the element you want to lock in place, such as a rectangle, and go to the Format tab on the Visualizations pane. Under the 'General' group, turn on the 'Maintain layer order' property. When this setting is enabled, your visualization will stay locked in place instead of moving to the front when it is selected.

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SSRS: Tables in Headers and Footers

I'm going to make this post short and sweet and cut to the chase: no, you cannot insert a tablix table into either the header or footer of an SSRS paginated report.

Sad face.

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