Music Tracking Post 01 – A fake business problem

I have looked for ways in which to show off some tutorials for some time now.  I don’t want to possibly give away any intellectual property from any of the businesses for whom I have worked, as I don’t think that that would be fair to them.  I also don’t want to just put packages up that are only useful for tutorials and have no real world application. 

Enter my realization recently that one of the music services to which I subscribe spits out xml files that relay information on tracks to which I have been listening.  This, to me, is a great source of information since it seems like every few months or years this data is reset within my music library with no hope of actually storing what I have listened to long term.  Furthermore, I think that this is also nice, in that the data is targeted by user and can be aggregated and reported on as trending across users, genres, artists, etc.  A practical application, even if it will never be used in a professional environment.  I think that I should be able to drum up some items that will be useful as guidelines or examples for similar items that WOULD be used in professional environments.

So, over the next several posts I will be looking at a number of SSIS packages and the database objects which go with them that we can use to help “solve” this problem.  After the ETL work is accomplished we should be able to work through examples of setting up an OLAP cube in SSAS and finally reporting on both the database and cube through SSRS.

Without further ado, here is the fake business problem:

The business would like to track the genres, artists, albums, and tracks to which users listen and on what type of device the particular items were played.  We would further like to report on the artists, albums, tracks, and genres listened to over time, by user.  If possible we should be able to report by demographics and device.

Music Tracking Post 02 – Looking at the Input Data
Music Tracking Post 03 – A Simple Relational Database Design

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2 Responses to Music Tracking Post 01 – A fake business problem

  1. Marat says:

    Very good start … 🙂 The most complicate problem in the any BI project is to determine what the business people actually want.

  2. Eric says:

    Thanks Marat. I will get back to these posts very shortly as I have been out of town at the PASS conference and then on vacation for a few weeks (coupled with feeling a bit under the weather once I got back). I hope it will be helpful.

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