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ERP Implementations: 9 Months of PowerPoint; 3 Months of Panic

Adam Jacobson May 19,2016

I once ran a 30-person team that did nothing but software implementations. Happily, software implementations haven’t been my bread and butter for some time. (It’s a lot of effort and stress). But I had a good track record in this area, and I have some proven ideas about how things should be done.

Most of it boils down to one key rule: One hour of entry on the system is worth 20 hours of talking in a conference room. (Although your mileage may vary.)

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Tags: Business Intelligence

SQL for Super Users Part 7: Date vs. Date-Time

Adam Jacobson May 11,2016

If you haven’t read all the other parts in this series, you’ll want to start with the introductory post.

I was initially unsure whether to include the topic of dates and date times in an introductory series. It tends to confuse the heck out of people.

But given how often mistakes are made, it’s an important topic. So let’s give it a go.

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Tags: SQL

SQL for Super Users Part 6: Aggregates and Having vs. Where

Adam Jacobson May 10,2016

New to this series? Start with our intro post.

So far in this series, every query we’ve built has returned details, i.e. one row of output for every row selected in the database.

But sometimes, we want totals only, not details. Or maybe we want the biggest (maximum) or smallest (minimum) value of a column from the rows selected. These are called aggregates.

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Tags: SQL

SQL for Super Users Part 5: The Left Outer Join

Adam Jacobson May 9,2016

If you’re new to this series, you should start by reading our introductory post.

In the previous posts in this series (on single table joins and multi-column joins) we had matching records in our two tables.

But sometimes, you may not have data in your second table. This kind of thing can come up when (for example):

  • All vendors don't have a 1099 code
  • All employees aren’t assigned to a department
  • All GL accounts don't have a sub account or cost center.

And this is where a left outer join comes in handy. We use it when we may or may not have a record in the second table, but we want all the data from the primary table.

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Tags: SQL

SQL for Super Users Part 4: The Multi-Column Join

Adam Jacobson May 6,2016

To read this series from the beginning, start with our intro post.

The previous post in this series gave an example of the simplest possible join—a join on a single column. But life isn’t always that easy. In real-world Dynamics tables, the key often includes multiple columns. (For example, when a customer has multiple ship-to addresses.)

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Tags: SQL

SQL for Super Users Part 3: Adding Another Table Using JOINs

Adam Jacobson May 5,2016

Querying data from a single table doesn’t help much in the real world. We need to be able to query more than one. And to do that we have to use joins.

Joins are a big topic. Even without going into too much detail, I’m going to need three posts to give an overview.

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Tags: SQL

SQL for Super Users Part 2: SELECT Statements

Adam Jacobson May 4,2016

If you’re reading this series for the first time, you’ll want to start with our introductory post. It explains everything you need to know about this series.

In Part 1 of this series, we covered some basic terminology.

In today’s post, we move on to create a couple simple queries using SELECT statements.

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Tags: SQL

SQL for Super Users Part 1: Basic Terminology

Adam Jacobson May 3,2016

As mentioned in my introduction to this series, we’ll be using this series to give super users an overview of some SQL basics. The objective isn’t to turn you into a SQL programmer, but to give you enough knowledge to fix queries and understand what your IT team is driving at.

Throughout this series, we’ll be using the Northwind database. For more info about the series and how to play along at home, do read the introductory post first.

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Tags: SQL

SQL for Super Users: A 7-Part Series

Adam Jacobson May 2,2016

I like my customers to be as independent as possible. I hate consultants who pretend everything they do is brain surgery and beyond anyone else’s capability.

So, when GPUG asked for a volunteer to give a webinar on SQL, I proposed one on SQL for super users.

It’s not that I expect my customers to become programmers. But I believe educated consumers are the best customers. And a little knowledge of SQL can help data jockeys fix simple queries or at least better understand what IT has done to their system.

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Tags: SQL

Yes, I Yelled at You—and I'm #sorrynotsorry

Adam Jacobson April 26,2016

I wrote a while ago about being less of a jerk. And I think I’ve been making progress (although you’d have to ask my team). But this week, I lost it. I raised my voice. I yelled at the project lead of a consulting team I was working with.

It was only for a moment. It felt good. And it got the results I wanted. But that's not how I like to operate.

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Tags: Business Intelligence

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