Possible downtime – Hosting Migration

Yet again I’ve let things slide and haven’t posted in a while.  This one’s nothing exciting.  I’m currently migrating to a new hosting provider, so any weirdness can be attributed to this.

Server migration in progress

I’m hoping to be back soon with some more up to date posts!

Power BI iOS app

Impressions of Microsoft’s new-look Power BI

A couple of months ago, Microsoft’s new-look Power BI Preview rolled out globally.  Ditching the Office 365/Sharepoint Online requirement, the new Power BI is a streamlined, simplified version of the product that attempts to lose some of the bloat and give users a focussed, easy-to-use, self-service BI platform.

So has it worked?

Continue reading “Impressions of Microsoft’s new-look Power BI” »

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from picnicerror.net!

2014 has been a very quiet year on picnicerror.net.  Since moving job in April, things have been rather hectic, which has meant I’ve not had much time to post, despite having lots of good ideas for content.  I’m hoping to pick things back up over the holidays and get some content ready for the new year.  In the meantime though:

Merry Christmas ya filthy animal!

Merry Christmas to all, and here’s to a fantastic 2015!

Data Quality Services SSIS component error

Debugging Errors in SSIS Data Quality Services Cleansing Component

As part of Microsoft’s push to include business users in the Business Intelligence space, the addition of Data Quality Services to SQL Server’s feature set opened up the ETL process to the people who, arguably, know the data best.  Integration with SSIS was a great move, meaning that this user control extends to automated processes, further closing the gap between data and the business.

However, like most new components, Data Quality Services has some teething problems, and these can be quite hard to find when debugging your SSIS packages.  Here’s a quick tip that should help solve some of those tricky to find DQS issues. Continue reading “Debugging Errors in SSIS Data Quality Services Cleansing Component” »

Cortana's response to asking "what is rampancy"

Windows Phone, meet Cortana (just watch out for Halo spoilers)

Warning: This post contains spoilers regarding the ending of Halo 4.  You’ve been warned.


I’ve been spending some time with a special lady lately.  She’s always with me, and has been helping me organise my life.  She’s not all work though, and has shown that she knows a joke or two, she’s sassy, and she loves to talk about Halo.  I am of course, talking about one of Windows Phone 8.1’s killer features: Cortana. Continue reading “Windows Phone, meet Cortana (just watch out for Halo spoilers)” »