10 Misconceptions of Hiring a Virtual DBA

10 misconceptions of hiring a Virtual DBA

Leaving your mission critical databases in the hands of a third party can be daunting. With the right service provider, there’s no need to be concerned.

At WARDY IT Solutions, our objective is to allow our customers to totally forget about their SQL Server environment. We know that might sound hard to believe but after reading this post, you’ll understand why the Virtual DBA Service is different.

#1: I’ll need to sack my DBAs

#2: I can’t trust external consultants with company data and servers

trust external consultants with company data and servers

#3: My IT team won’t know what’s happening with our databases

#4: I’ll be tied into a long term contract

#5: Virtual DBAs are reactive not proactive

#6: A Virtual DBA will cost me more in the long run

#7: I’ll have to permanently upgrade my plan to cover short term work

#8: A different person will be working on my database every week

#9: I’ll lose visibility of my servers

#10: I won’t get my money’s worth

 





Learn more about our Virtual DBA service




Do I really need a SQL Server DBA?

Do I really need a SQL Server DBA?

Data has become the lifeblood of almost every organisation today and timely access to this data is the key for providing insight and making business decisions. For many organisations data not only provides insights but is also the key to enabling business transformation. This transformation was recently summarised by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella when he described “data as the new electricity”. Many industry analysts describe data as one of the most important assets that an organisation has and as a result appropriate management of data is paramount.

As the data for most business systems is stored in a database there is a need for a coordinated role to manage the data, this is fulfilled by a Database Administrator (DBA). Broadly the role of a DBA includes a number of functions broken down into the broad categories of capacity planning, installation, configuration, database design, migration, performance monitoring, security, troubleshooting and data recovery. While holistically all of these are important responsibilities of a DBA, where production databases are concerned, performance and data recovery are key. These two functions alone affect overall productivity and will directly impact the businesses ability to operate.

When you first take a car out of the showroom it runs perfectly; it starts first time, there are no strange noises and none of the warning lights are on. However, over time if the car is not maintained and serviced the performance deteriorates and the reliability is significantly reduced. Similarly, without regular maintenance and ongoing tuning database systems performance will deteriorate over time. This is where an experienced DBA is key to the operation of the businesses data systems, they ensure that performance and reliability are maintained and adapt the environment to meet changing usage patterns and scalability requirements along with any other organisational requirements.

Another function of a DBA and arguably the most important is that of data recovery. All too often when organisations think about recovery they are only focused on backup strategies; however, a backup isn’t successful until you have been able to successfully restore from it, reliably and within appropriate timeframes. The DBA ensures that the businesses data recovery time and recovery point objectives are exceeded whilst optimising the total cost to the organisation to deliver the required high availability and disaster recovery solutions. In short, down time equates to lost revenue, if you need to insure your data is available in a timely manner to allow you to make informed business decisions or close transactions then you need a DBA’s expertise to design and manage your data recovery solutions

In short, if you are using any form of business system in your organisation and the data stored within that system is of value, a DBAs expertise will help you to manage the cost effectively whilst maximizing the value you can obtain from your data assets.

Using Storytelling in Business Intelligence

Using Storytelling in Business Intelligence

Data Storytelling

Rudyard Kipling once wrote, “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” The term ‘storytelling’ is used to refer to techniques used in order to unfold or disclose the narrative of a story. Throughout time, storytelling has proven to be a powerful delivery mechanism for sharing insights and ideas in a way that is memorable, persuasive, and engaging. This mechanism of conveying a message in a memorable way can also be applied to data.

During a 2009 interview, Google’s Chief Economist Dr. Hal R.Varian stated, “The ability to take data—to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it—that’s going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades”. One of the most important functions of business analytics software is to find things a human would not be able to see in data. Gartner Research VP Neil Chandler calls these “hidden truths,” but says those truths are only useful if they can be properly conveyed to people in decision-making positions.

Data will not be remembered unless it is presented in a memorable way and the traditional approach of using a PowerPoint slide or a spreadsheet is not memorable; a story is. Data can be utilised to tell a meaningful story that resonates both intellectually and emotionally with an audience. Presenting data creatively can make numbers seem more human and turn statistics into stories. Data visualization expert Stephen Few said, “Numbers have an important story to tell. They rely on you to give them a clear and convincing voice.”

The types of stories that can be told depend on the type of analytics being used. ‘Descriptive’ ones use historical data to paint a picture of the past, whilst ‘diagnostic’ ones are more narrative, exploratory stories, Chandler says. Meanwhile, ‘predictive’ stories look to the future and identify possible courses of action. Finally, ‘prescriptive’ stories explain the actions that should be taken.

Too often data storytelling is interpreted as just visualizing data effectively, however, it is much more than just creating visually-appealing data charts. Data storytelling is a structured approach for communicating data insights and unlocking value in data which involves a combination of three key elements: data, visuals, and narrative.

How we can Help you with Data Storytelling

Who Are We? WARDY IT Solutions:

  • Is a premier Australian provider of Microsoft SQL Server trainers and consultants as well as Business Intelligence specialists.
  • Is one of the country’s leading Microsoft Power BI Partners.
  • Have a rich an understanding of utilising the Microsoft platform for Data Storytelling.

What Do We Do? WARDY IT Solutions uses a diverse range of expertise to:

  • Assist clients in unlocking the value of Big Data
  • Develop a data driven culture to tell meaningful stories.

Contact WARDY IT Solutions to find out how SQL Server, Azure and Business Intelligence can work together to optimise your business and tell meaningful data stories.

How Brisbane Catholic Education Maximises Their SQL Server ROI

BCE Students

Overview

Brisbane Catholic Education’s IT administrators found that managing multiple complex database systems was consuming inordinate amounts of their time. The minutiae of overseeing and maintaining system operations demanded constant attention. Staff were kept too busy keeping their applications at peak performance and lacked the time to glean insights from the data and present it in a meaningful way to teachers and school management. They partnered with WARDY IT Solutions to help them manage their systems and maintain optimal performance on the SQL Server database that powers the second largest SharePoint implementation in the southern hemisphere. The IT departments time is now spent adding value to the business by analysing and transforming the data in ways that helps deliver better student outcomes.

How WARDY IT Solutions helped:

  • Virtual DBA has increased the uptime of vital database systems, improving overall productivity
  • Data can now be analysed in greater depth, helping stakeholders to modify school processes and syllabus to improve student performance
  • High level expertise that was previously unavailable because of staffing and budget constraints is now on call around the clock
  • Student records are securely backed up and replicated automatically, minimising the risk of data loss
  • SQL Server powered applications SharePoint and Dynamics AX operate at consistent and predictable performance levels

WARDY IT Solutions assumed responsibility for providing 24×7 SQL Server support. Because of the rich analytical tools that SQL Server Analysis Services provides, outcomes can be benchmarked and compared, and data-sets modelled to gauge how student and teacher performance compares with local and international criterion.

Read the Full Case Study.

WARDY IT Solutions improves A2 Milk Company International Sales ROI

WARDY IT Solutions A2 Milk Case Study

WARDY IT Solution’s Business Intelligence consultancy has partnered with the A2 Milk Company to help them implement services, improve efficiencies and reveal deep insights into international sales performance.

The solutions package delivered insights across global sales revenues and analytics, a business intelligence platform, training and technical (knowledge) transfer and a complete QAD ERP to Microsoft SQL Server data translation solution.

Peter Ward, Managing Director of WARDY IT Solutions said, “We are extremely proud to partner with the A2 Milk Company and create tailored solutions that enable them to maximise returns. Helping businesses unlock the value of big data is important to us, and helps them turn growth challenges into opportunities.”

A2 Milk now benefits from detailed sales reporting across their global organisation which includes sales across USA, UK, China and Australasia.

Click here to read the full Case Study.

Database Lifecycle Management Partner for Redgate Software

Database Lifecycle Management

WARDY IT Solutions is excited to announce that we have been appointed as the first Database Lifecycle Management (DLM) partner for Redgate Software in Australia.

WARDY IT Solutions is already Australia’s’ leading Microsoft SQL Server and Business Intelligence specialists and the establishment of a DLM practice now enables us to help organisations establish continuous integration and continuous delivery practices for their databases.

Redgate software plugs into the tools application developers already use for source control, CI, and release management. The big difference is that it enables organisations to reduce risk, improve efficiency, and deliver value as part of the database lifecycle as well.

If you’d like to know more, get in touch, or visit the Redgate website.

Celebrate Ada Lovelace Day with WARDY IT Solutions

Celebrate Ada Lovelace Day

October 14 is Ada Lovelace Day, an international day celebrating the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. And WARDY IT Solutions – Australia’s leading SQL Server consultants, trainers and business intelligence specialists – is hosting Tech Girls Movement founder, Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen, to share how the Tech Girls Movement helps companies to diversify their IT workforces and create better technology for society.

Ada Lovelace Day allows us to celebrate women’s achievements in science, technology, engineering and maths by recognising inspirational women.

WARDY IT Solutions is hosting a Free afternoon tea to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day.  The event will be held on Tuesday October 14 from 2.30pm – 4.30pm in the North Stradbroke Island Room, Level 28 of Microsoft’s offices at 400 George St, Brisbane. It’s free but please RSVP here.

Power BI for Office 365

Power BI for office 365

Power BI for Office 365 is now generally available.

With Power BI for Office 365 you get complete self-service BI for your on-premises and cloud-based data by using the new data discovery and analysis features with the collaboration capabilities in the new Power BI for Office 365 online service.

Contact WARDY IT Solutions to find out more how you can leverage Power BI as part of your Business Intelligence solutions.

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