How to create a sequence number in SAS – Beware the Monotonic

Drop if exists considered harmful

I read lots of examples on the internet that check if an object exists, and then drop it before creating it. You'd be excused for thinking that this is good practise. It's not. Dropping an object has negative side effects: Fisher emphasizes that all of the GRANTs and...

Show and Know beats Care and Prayer

As a consultant I rarely see systems that are operating well. People don't take their cars to the mechanic when they are functioning properly. I appreciate that this colours my experience. Still, I'm continually surprised to find smart people working in the "Care and...

The Exec Exec trick

SQL Server's Transact SQL has some weird constraints. One of which is that certain statements must be the first one in their batch. This causes all kinds of head-aches for dynamic SQL. I start with a statement that I want to execute, that I have generated dynamically....

How to make an infographic

Infographics are a fun and unique way to visualise your data, but how do you make one? Here are a few things that I consider when building my infographics: 1. Who is the audience? The first step in their creation, is to characterise the audience for the visualisation....

BEAM and the Agile BA

A while back we had a problem, a disconnect between what people were asking for and what they really wanted. At Optimal we're all about data but more importantly how people get insight from it, if a customer doesn't get value from what we've provided then we're not...

My New Favourite Shortcut

Recently I've been doing a bit of development work in the MS SQL space and one of the frustrations I had was (my) inability to quickly show the schema information for a specific table within Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio - I'd got use to Oralce's SQL...