Sixth Blog Birthday

Every year on December 30th (or thereabouts) I write a blog post summarising what I’ve been up to this year, to mark this blog’s birthday. Today is my blog’s sixth birthday which, to be honest, I find pretty amazing – but then every year I’m amazed at how long I’ve kept at this! I only wish I could apply the same kind of willpower to making cash (I’d be a billionaire by now) or dieting, exercise or anything else…

From a blog point of view, the big change this year was moving away from Windows Live Spaces, where I’d started out, to WordPress. I’d been wanting to make the move for ages but had been too lazy to do so, and also unwilling to lose all my old posts and traffic; luckily when MS made the decision to retire Live Spaces they made sure it was very easy to migrate all my old content to WordPress and for that I’m very grateful – it almost makes up for the shabby treatment Live Spaces users had been getting in the preceding years.

I also got one of my biggest ever days from a blog traffic point of view during the controversy over the future of SSAS at PASS; I’m not even going to link to that particular post because it still gets plenty of hits and it’s something I’d prefer to move on from. It’s better to look forward to the undoubtedly cool stuff that will be coming with Denali rather than brood over any disappointment about what has happened, and one thing I’m certainly relieved about is that in 2011 there will be lots of cool stuff to blog about – at some points in the last year I’ve struggled to find anything new or interesting to blog about for SSAS (although as Greg Galloway has just shown, there’s still lots of interesting SSAS topics to blog about if you look). Bring on BISM!

Professionally things go from strength to strength and I’m going to be busier in the first half of 2011 than I’ve ever been in January/February, which are usually relatively quiet times for me. Again, with significant new technology arriving in the BI stack in Denali I would expect a lot of consultancy and training work to follow; I’m going to be expanding my training activities in other ways next year too, and I’ll be making a separate announcement about that here any day soon. SQLBits also continues to grow and grown, and I’m really excited about the plans for SQLBits 8 in Brighton this April. Since it doesn’t look like there’s going to be a PASS Europe this year I would say that anyone who’s serious about SQL Server in Europe should plan to come to what’s going to be the biggest and best SQL conference in Europe bar none; and even if you live outside Europe, but fancy a vacation, why not come too? We have an ever increasing number of US attendees and speakers!

Anyway, it’s time for me to go and do some real work and stop being self-indulgent. I hope everyone reading this has a great 2011. Thanks for reading!

6 thoughts on “Sixth Blog Birthday

  1. jason – Charlotte, NC – MCSE in SQL Server BI 2012 MCITP in SQL Server BI 2008 BI Microsoft Community Contributor Award 2011 Passionate technologist, basketball player and a wannabe guitarist... Pretty much sums me up! :) Follow me in twitter at @SqlJason
    Jason Thomas says:

    Here’s wishing you a VERY happy new year and for purely selfish reasons, an inspired one too! (so that we get to read more of your magnificent blogs)

  2. ellisg1980 – Newport – Gethyn is a SQL Server consultant and trainer and has wporked with SQL Server for over 10 years. He specialises in High Availability and Virtualisation with numerous clients in both the private and public sectors in the UK. He teaches SQL Server courses for Learning Tree and is course author for two courses SQL Server 2012 DBA skills upgrade and SQL Server Virtualisation and Consolidation
    Gethyn Ellis says:

    Hi Chris,

    Happy Birthday Chris’ the blog!

    You don’t seem to be on my list of UK based SQL bloggers, although I am subscribed to your feed.

    I’m 80% sure that you are UK based, but apologies as I don’t know for sure. If you would like to be included then let me know. The link to my post is here: http://www.gethynellis.com/2010/12/select-from-sqlbloggers-where-location.html

  3. tommartens – Germany – For a couple of years (trying to conceal that I'm not any longer in my early twentieth), not to say my complete professional business life, I tried to transform data into actionable information, and succeeded very often (I think there were one or two situations where I failed). My personal feeling is that now are the most exciting times ever (at least so far) in the realm of Data Processing (sometimes called Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, Business Analytics, or something completely different). There are so many fascinating tools that enable us to get meaning out of our data. I'm still thrilled by plain SQL statements, MDX statements, and also DAX statements (after conquering the Evaluation Context), that reveal secrets inside myriads of data (provided that technology is at hand that answers my questions fast enough). And with the possibilities to access Big Data stores not just with Map & Reduce scripts but also with SQL or for example with R in combination with analytical methods to provide information for different contexts make me feel that there are no limits to gain insight from all this data. This in combination with the mobile access to a broad range of different data stores and the possibilities to visually present data in compelling and revealing forms are exciting. I really like to wade through tons of data and look at this data from many perspectives trying to reveal important (what ever important really means) insights, but of course I'm trying to always be aware of what John W. Tukey once said: "The combination of some data and an aching desire for an answer does not ensure that a reasonable answer can be extracted from a given body of data." After all, if there are some findings in my data that I want to keep or share, I'm always trying to make these findings shine and special. Due to the fact that our visual system is one of the most effective data processing systems (we are still alive because of the fact that we were able to detect the sneaking tiger in the grass) most of the time I will visualize my findings in one way or another. Hence I will write most often about data visualizations, maybe sometimes from a more general perspective, and sometimes there will be a lot of R code involved. I have to admit that R is my favorite tool, for many reasons, starting with its capabilities to scrape information from websites, combine this with data from traditional data stores, use some funny algorithms on this data and finally visualize the results with one of the powerful charting packages available. One reason, why I'm started blogging is that I learned a lot from the writings of other people sharing their insights with the community and if there is at least one reader who will also learn something from this blog I would be honored (so, this my attempt to paying back to the community). Another reason why I'm writing is that I want to resolve my puzzlements about the things happening in this data driven time, so every comment is welcome (I guess most of them :-)). And the final reason why I started writing is that from my personal point of view there is much writing where I totally disagree, trying to provide a different angle to a special topic. Please keep in mind that this blog only represents my personal point of view and does not necessarily correspond to the current or a future development of the company I'm working for (even if I'm trying to make the company adopt my point of view :-)) Currently I'm working for Alegri International Service GmbH (www.alegri.eu) in a great team of data driven people. As a Principal Consultant for SQL Server & Analytics, I'm focussing on Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, and Analytical challenges as well as the Visualization of Data.
    Tom Martens says:

    Happy birthday!

    Please keep up your work, I would not be there where I am now without your blog.


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