Weekly Wrap Up – Coursera and Customer Service

One Thing I Learned

File this under a ‘Duh!’ moment – Every January we spend the month archiving a year’s worth of data from all cubes, cleaning up unused tables and procs, and doing of review of data to ensure that we’re still using the most accurate measure and that our dimensions are sound. This year I added some performance and tuning to the list, double checking existing indexes as well as looking at where we should add new ones. Normally I’d simply execute procs for reports and build processes and check the query plans, this year I thought I’d try using the activity monitor instead and found it to be far better than I’d anticipated, the amount of info available under Recent Expensive Queries is fantastic. It may not replace the knowledge needed to make good decisions but it helps narrow the field of issues quite a bit. For someone who has been doing this work for more than 15 years, it makes me positively giddy how easy it is become.

 

Three Things I’m Grateful For

Solid Helpdesk & Desktop Support – I’m a fairly technical person and a top notch Googler, it’s not often that I encounter a problem I can’t solve at work. This week was an exception, my computer wasn’t responding at all and I was out of options. I asked for assistance and not only did they fix it within a few minutes but they also came back to me a few days later an explained what the issue was (network). I know this is customer service and it’s easy to take for granted when it’s good BUT it did make my Monday easier and for that I’m grateful.

Coursera – I’m always looking for ways to improve my skills. Trying to fit in classes or programs when you work full time, volunteer part time, have a family and a social life AND try to write regularly AND have hobbies AND need time to yourself is next to impossible – or at least it seems just overwhelming. So I often feel that I’m stuck with just reading and dabbling. This year I decided to suck it up and take some certification classes and found that Coursera fits my schedule really well, so far the material is challenging but I can take on as much or as little as I am able at a time. Here’s hoping that I still feel the same in a few months.

Five Things I Accomplished

This week was all about data hygiene and performance and tuning; I retired 50 stored procedures and 17 tables that were outdated or no longer in use, removed 2 jobs out of the schedule that were no longer needed, created 6 new indexes to help 32 reports run faster and I solved one minor data issue that pops up a couple of times a year (ignore dupes indexes are my new favorite). That was all on a single server with six individual warehouses, I can call this one ready for archiving!

 

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