Book Review: The AI Playbook
Thomas LaRock - Author, Speaker, Data Expert, and SQLRockstar
by Thomas LaRock
2M ago
Imagine you conceive an idea which will save your company millions of dollars, reduce workplace injuries, and increase sales. Now imagine company executives dislike the idea because it seems difficult to implement, and the implementation details are not well understood. Despite the stated benefits of saving money, reducing injuries, and increasing sales your idea hits a brick wall and falls flat. Welcome to the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), where the struggle is real. At some point in your career, you have experienced a failed project. If not, don’t worry, yo ..read more
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Export to CSV in Azure ML Studio
Thomas LaRock - Author, Speaker, Data Expert, and SQLRockstar
by Thomas LaRock
4M ago
The most popular feature in any application is an easy-to-find button saying “Export to CSV.” If this button is not visibly available, a simple right-click of your mouse should present such an option. You really should not be forced to spend any additional time on this Earth looking for a way to export your data to a CSV file. Well, in Azure ML Studio, exporting to a CSV file should be simple, but is not, unless you already know what you are doing and where to look. I was reminded of this recently, and decided to write a quick post in case a person new to ML Studio was wondering how to export ..read more
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Azure ML Studio Sample Data
Thomas LaRock - Author, Speaker, Data Expert, and SQLRockstar
by Thomas LaRock
4M ago
This is one of those posts you write as a note to “future you”, when you’ll forget something, do a search, and find your own post. Recently I was working inside of Azure ML Studio and wanted to browse the sample datasets provided. Except I could not find them. I *knew* they existed, having used them previously, but could not remember if that was in the original ML Studio (classic) or not. After some trial and error, I found them and decided to write this post in case anyone else is wondering where to find the sample datasets. You’re welcome, future Tom! First, you need to login to Azure ML Stu ..read more
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Microsoft Data Platform MVP – Fifteen Years
Thomas LaRock - Author, Speaker, Data Expert, and SQLRockstar
by Thomas LaRock
9M ago
I am happy, honored, and humbled to receive the Microsoft Data Platform MVP award for the fifteenth (15th) straight year. Receiving the MVP award during my unforced sabbatical this summer was a bright spot, no question. It reinforced the belief I have in myself – my contributions have value. Microsoft puts this front and center on the award by stating (emphasis mine): “We recognize and value your exceptional contributions to technical communities worldwide.” I’m running out of room. I recall the aftermath of my first award, when I was told I was the “least technical SQL Server MVP ever awarded ..read more
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Pro SQL Server 2022 Wait Statistics Book
Thomas LaRock - Author, Speaker, Data Expert, and SQLRockstar
by Thomas LaRock
1y ago
After many months of editing, revising, and writing, my new book Pro SQL Server 2022 Wait Statistics: A Practical Guide to Analyzing Performance in SQL Server and Azure SQL Database is ready for print! You can pre-order here: https://amzn.to/3fQr7hz I thoroughly enjoyed this project, and I want to thank Apress and Jonathan Gennick for giving me the opportunity to update the previous edition. It felt good to be writing again, something I have not been doing enough of lately. And many thanks to Enrico van de Laar (@evdlaar) for giving me amazing content to start with. The book is an effort to h ..read more
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Stop Using Production Data For Development
Thomas LaRock - Author, Speaker, Data Expert, and SQLRockstar
by Thomas LaRock
2y ago
A common software development practice is to take data from a production system and restore it to a different environment, often called “test”, “development”, “staging”, or even “QA”. This allows for support teams to troubleshoot issues without making changes to the true production environment. It also allows for development teams to build new versions and features of existing products in a non-production environment. Using production to refresh development is just one of those things everyone accepts and does, without question. Of course the idea of testing in a non-production environment isn ..read more
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Microsoft Data Platform MVP – A Baker’s Dozen
Thomas LaRock - Author, Speaker, Data Expert, and SQLRockstar
by Thomas LaRock
3y ago
No Satya, thank you. And you’re welcome. Let’s do lunch next time I’m in town. This past week I received another care package from Satya Nadella. Inside was my Microsoft Data Platform MVP award for 2021-2022. I am happy, honored, and humbled to receive the Microsoft Data Platform MVP award for the thirteenth straight year. I still recall my first MVP award and how it got caught in the company spam folder. Good times. I am not able to explain why I am considered an MVP and others are not. I have no idea what it takes to be an MVP. And neither does anyone else. Well, maybe Mi ..read more
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Twenty Years
Thomas LaRock - Author, Speaker, Data Expert, and SQLRockstar
by Thomas LaRock
3y ago
My life changed twenty years ago, this very month. I was a developer, working for a small software company outside of Boston. Our product was a warehouse management system, built with PowerBuilder on top of Oracle. We had a handful of large customers helping to keep the lights on, but a few went dark at the start of the year, casualties of the dot-com bust.  We were soon a casualty as well, forced to sell to a competitor at the start of the year. And despite their promises and assurances about not making changes, the layoffs started within the first few months.  They hit about a doze ..read more
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Twenty Years
Thomas LaRock - Author, Speaker, Data Expert, and SQLRockstar
by Thomas LaRock
3y ago
My life changed twenty years ago, this very month. I was a developer, working for a small software company outside of Boston. Our product was a warehouse management system, built with PowerBuilder on top of Oracle. We had a handful of large customers helping to keep the lights on, but a few went dark at the start of the year, casualties of the dot-com bust.  We were soon a casualty as well, forced to sell to a competitor at the start of the year. And despite their promises and assurances about not making changes, the layoffs started within the first few months.  They hit about a doze ..read more
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SET NOCOUNT For SQL Server
Thomas LaRock - Author, Speaker, Data Expert, and SQLRockstar
by Thomas LaRock
3y ago
Last week I was reviewing an article and found myself needing information on the use of NOCOUNT as a standard for writing stored procedures. A quick internet search found this old post of mine, written back when I used to work for a living. Apparently, I was once asked to enable NOCOUNT for a specific SQL Server database. As the post suggests, this is not possible. The options for NOCOUNT are to set for the entire instance, for your specific connection, or within your T-SQL code. Since the post was written well before the new-ish ALTER DATABASE SCOPED CONFIGURATION statement, I was hopeful ena ..read more
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