Florida Covid Stats Power BI Dashboard 6/23/2020

Just published my Florida Covid Stats Power BI Dashboard. It's updated daily to track New Positive, New Hospitalizations, New Deaths and Death Rate by Day with trend lines over the last 21 days. Take a look at https://www.homnick.com/hsi/flcovidstats and let me know what you think. You can select which dates to look at. Comment on what other graphs might help in understanding the Covid pandemic effect in Florida.

Bitcoin and Blockchain Popularity

Bitcoin, and the Blockchain technology it is based, upon has seen a huge boost in popularity the last couple of months, due mainly to the fact that it's price  has almost doubled in the last 30 days of this writing. This can be attributed to three factors as I see it.

  1. The Japanese government has officially recognized it as a currency, 40% of the Bitcoin market is Japanese. Additionally, Japanese and Chinese currencies are on a downward price spiral.
  2. Fears of its Blockchain technology being limited to a certain number of transactions has been overcome by a successful split thereby increasing its transaction size, by a sister Blockchain product known as Litecoin. 
  3. Impressive predictions of the Bitcoin price going up by proven visionaries, like the Snapchat initial investor, Jeremy Liew, predicting a price of $500,000 by 2030 http://www.businessinsider.com/bitcoin-price-could-be-500000-by-2030-first-snapchat-investor-says-2017-3 

I first got into Bitcoin back in 2014 when it was first rising in popularity, showing impressive gains in price. I bought some mining machines and generated a few Bitcoins,  however, due to the Mt Gox Bitcoin Exchange scandal where a billion dollars of Bitcoin was lost, the price dropped to a point it didn't make sense to mine anymore.

What really caught my geek interest with Bitcoin is the Blockchain technology it is based upon. Being both a CPA and computer geek, this technology fascinates me. Simply put a Blockchain is a series of unique data transactions (or blocks) secured from tampering and revision that are tied together across distributed systems. Blockchains are suitable for the recording of events securely, like medical records, currencies, voting and really any type of secure transactions.

The Microsoft Cloud Azure now offers Blockchain as a Service, that I am currently investigating https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/solutions/blockchain/. A new Blockchain called Ethereum is being hosted there and it appears to be a more generic implementation, taking into account more varied transaction types than the financially focused Bitcoin implementation. 

It certainly appears that Bitcoin and Blockchain are here to stay and become even a more major player in our day to day life,

GCUG 23rd Annual Geek Holiday Party will be celebrating National Pi day on 3/15/17

Thanks to our sponsors:

• Infragistics

• ACT The App Association

More Info and Register

For our 23rd annual Holiday Party, we couldn't think of a better Geek holiday to celebrate than National Pi Day, even if it will be on the 15th and not the 14th. Pi Day was recognized as a National Holiday due to the work of long time GCUG enthusiast, Jonathon Zuck, now President of ACT The App Association back in 2009.

Back for some killer User Interface presentations are our usual suspects of speakers Tim Huckaby (12th appearance) and Billy Hollis (4th appearance).

A Developers Introduction to HoloLens by Billy Hollis

Windows Holographic and the HoloLens device promises to open new doors for developers and customers. This session will introduce you to the world of Windows Holographic and HoloLens. You'll learn what you need to get started, what programming skills you can already leverage and what you need to learn. Just as the web and WPF changed how applications were designed and built, Windows Holographic introduces additional design and development constraints. You'll see how you can develop for HoloLens even if you don't have a device. You'll see HoloLens in action and have a chance to try HoloLens out yourself.

The Future in UX and Cortana Cognitive APIs by Tim Huckaby

Timmy takes you into future of User Interface design by enabling natural and contextual interaction with tools that augment users' experiences using the power of machine-based intelligence. He shows how to tap into an ever-growing collection of powerful artificial intelligence algorithms for vision, speech, language, and knowledge. 

What is a Microsoft Data Scientist?

One of the hottest IT terms for a work definition being bandied around currently is that of Data Scientist. A somewhat new workplace title that takes in a lot of technical abilities. A nice succinct definition of Data Scientist is "a person that analyzes digital data to assist in making business decisions". This definition has evolved from a Data Analyst or Business Intelligence(BI) Analyst due to applying technologies like Machine Learning, Big Data and statistics. But what does it take to become a Microsoft Data Scientist (MDS)? This post looks at the differing technologies and tools that define the position MDS and gives you links to a couple of free courses to get you started as a MDS.

Core Fundamentals for a MDS include querying relational data with SQL, analyzing and presenting data using Excel and/or Power BI (specializing in at least one) and a basic understanding of statistics. If you took statistics in college, this is the level we are talking about.

Core Data Science skills include the ability to take that understanding of statistics and data and be able to manipulate it in a statistical scripting language to analyze the data. The two most popular scripting languages for this purpose are R and Python. The MDS should have a proficiency in one of these. A basic understanding of Machine Learning (ML) is a core skill. ML is basically the capability of computers to learn with explicit programming with the main uses of predictive analysis, identification of outliers (threats/malfunctions) and pattern recognition such as speech, text and facial. Microsoft tooling around ML is Azure ML Studio, which allows you build ML experiments with supporting datasets, integration with R/Python/SQL and turn your ML models into Web Services.

Applying your Data Science skills requires a proficiency in R or Python. It also takes the capability of building complex Azure ML Experiments in Azure ML Studio which gives you a process design surface to integrate data, the scripting languages referred to earlier and many different statistical algorithms to create sophisticated ML models. Azure ML also gives you the elastic scaling power that the ML models require. Other areas of specialization in applying Data Science with Microsoft tooling are Predictive Models with Spark in Azure HDInsight and developing Intelligent Applications including use of the Microsoft Cognitive APIs.

If you want to get started with the Microsoft tooling around Data Science here are a couple of free EDX courses for you to get started. There will be a complete Microsoft Certified Data Scientist Curriculum in the future.

DAT204x: Introduction to R for Data Science

DAT203.1x: Data Science Essentials

Machine Learning(ML) 101 with Azure ML Studio and R with SQL Server 2016

By Joe Homnick, CPA and Microsoft Regional Director

August 11th at 6PM NSU in Davie

Joe gives an introduction to working with Machine Learning with both Azure ML Studio and the R Language that is now integrated into SQL Server 2016. Azure ML Studio incorporates a visual method to generate ML model integration into apps such as Power BI, while R is a statistical programming language that can call ML Models and is integrated into SQL Server 2016 TSQL. Joe will compare and contrast the two approaches to ML integration and also show how they can be complimentary.

Business Intelligence – The State of the Art by Joe Homnick

SQL Saturday on June 18th at Nova
Register or for more information

Join Joe on a fun and informative session on the current state of Microsoft Business Intelligence (BI) offerings. We will look at the array of tooling around BI in SQL Server 2016, Power BI and Cortana Intelligence. There have been major changes in reporting and cognitive data source capabilities the last few months. This session will get you caught up on your current BI possibilities with many dazzling demos, including delivering a self-service BI Solution through HoloLens!

Data Modeling and Power BI Class

Delivering Business Intelligence Dashboards
with Resilient Data Models using Power BI

3 Day Instructor Led Hands-On Course
May 9-11 in Boca Raton, Florida 


Let us help your enterprise “Deliver a Self-service BI solution”


This Instructor Led Hands-On course will teach IT Staff, Database Developers and Data Scientists how to deliver BI Dashboards supported by resilient Data Models to self-service users. This course is geared towards enterprises interested in creating a self-service Power BI that end users will be able to efficiently use. 


·       Overview of Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence with Power BI

·       Drilldown on Data Discovery using Power Query Integration

·       The Data Stewardship Experience

·       Data Modelling using Power Pivot integration

·       Building visualizations using Power View integration

·       Extending the Model with DAX

·       Natural language Query using Q&A

·       Data Management Gateway

·       Cortana Intelligence and R Data Sources

·       Delivering your Power BI Dashboards to end users


Register or for more information

Courseware by
Joe Homnick, CPA and Microsoft Regional Director

Business Intelligence updates in Microsoft SQL Server 2016

Join Joe to get an overview of the new capabilities and innovations specific to Business Intelligence in the upcoming release of SQL Server 2016. He will cover details of the new features added in SQL Server Analysis Services and SQL Server Reporting Services. Joe will also provide a look ahead outlining Microsoft's future plans for BI capabilities beyond SQL Server 2016.

Homnick Systems and the SharePoint Beast

Organization scenarios where SharePoint and Homnick Systems (HSI) can help:

  • Have you ever found yourself sending the same email attachment over and over again?

  • Have you dug through your emails laboriously, trying to pick up a conversation where you left off?

  • What about tracking changes you made to documents with versions?

  • Would you like to setup approval and/or collect signatures workflows on document creation and changes?

  • Do you have a requirement to control how a document is disposed of?

  • How do we setup a centralized Calendar and Meeting system?

  • It sure would be nice to have a controlled and secure system to deliver Intranet information by our Department without the need for developers or IT workers!

  • Could I be alerted when documents, tasks, calendars, contacts, etc. change?

These are the kinds of problems that SharePoint is designed to minimize. It’s meant to transform intranet communications into a seamless and comprehensive experience. It automates all the redundancy out of your organization’s workflow, so that you can focus on your core organization’s operations. In other words, it’s a way to transform technology from a distraction into a catalyst.

SharePoint’s core functions are to:

1.      Collaborate – Easily create teams that communicate effectively

2.      Organize – Simplify the process of finding information in documents and conversations

3.      Share – Make sure everybody who needs to be up to date on something easily is

4.      Manage – Easily track and manage projects simultaneously

Finally, one of the primary benefits of SharePoint over the alternatives is the fact that it’s powered by Microsoft, so it works together seamlessly with Office and Outlook.



“Homnick Systems helped us to setup an Intranet Portal with SharePoint that replaced our outdated Portal solution. We can disseminate information in a secure and controlled fashion that is driven from data posted from the different departments. This is all accomplished without IT Developers being involved.”


Miami International Airport Director



IoT with Raspberry Pi, Windows 10, Cortana Analytics Suite and Power BI

 By Joe Homnick, CPA and Microsoft Regional Director
Florida.Net @ Cendyn Spaces in Boca Raton Jan 19 6:30pm RSVP
SoFla CodeCamp at Nova University Feb 20 RSVP 

Joe is doing a Hands-on session showing how to setup a Raspberry Pi with Windows 10 and then capture sensor data to Cortana Analytics and Power BI. He will walk you through deploying a Universal Windows App to the Raspberry Pi that will capture sensor data and send that data to a Cortana Analytics Event Hub. Cortana Stream Analytics then picks up that sensor data from the Event Hub and delivers it to a real time Power BI Dashboard. Come join Joe for an informative and fun session.