Latest Blog Posts
The best way to develop Microsoft Power BI reports for schools
The best Microsoft Power BI reports and dashboards are simple. They turn large sets of tabular data into user friendly, interactive visualisations that make it easier to spot data trends and other useful insights.
Simplicity really is the key. Just like with other kinds of software, users want an intuitive design that requires little or no effort to understand. Less is nearly always better.
Here are 5 things to consider when you’re building reports in Microsoft Power BI:More
Marsden Connect - Bluetooth enabled weight tracking mobile app development
The latest version of Marsden’s new weight tracking app is now live in the Google Play and Apple app stores. The app was designed and developed by Sheaf Digital.
The Marsden Weighing Group is based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. For over 90 years, Marsden has been supplying high quality, accurate sales to the UK medical profession and industry. Marsden now sells a range of Bluetooth enabled scales. The Marsden Connect app can connect directly to one of these scales - weights can be downloaded and recorded without the need for manual input, thereby reducing errors and increasing data accuracy.More
How to automatically backup a PostgreSQL database to Microsoft Azure
I wanted to backup a PostgreSQL database automatically to some offsite storage/server.
The first thing I had to do was decide where to put the backup. In the end I decided to use Azure as part of the solution. I know people say Azure’s expensive, but you can get a 12 month free trial. So at the time of writing, this solution doesn’t cost anything.
Let’s start with the Azure end of it. There are lots of options in Azure and it can take a bit of time to work where you should store the backup file. I knew nothing about Azure when I started, but I worked out that the best option was to use blob storage.More
What's the difference between measures and calculated columns in Microsoft Power BI?
Power BI calculated columns and measures can be confusing at first - they seem to do almost the same thing. In the following example we use some simple school attendance data to explain why calculated columns and measures are different and we show you which one to choose when you want to do more analysis of your data.More
Build a simple interactive school student satisfaction survey report with Microsoft Power BI
Power BI is a great tool for visualising data and finding useful insights, particularly when you use it to then share your insights with colleagues and other stakeholders.
This student satisfaction report is an example of an interactive report built on top of some very simple data in MS Excel. The report illustrates a couple of fundamental lessons:More
How do you choose between Dynamics 365 or bespoke CRM development?
How do you choose between Microsoft Dynamics 365 and a bespoke customer relationship management (CRM) solution if you want a new back office system to collect and manage information about customers, products and orders? Perhaps you want to capture new leads, allocate them to your sales team and then track sales conversations. When is a bespoke CRM system a better long term solution?More
The hardest part of software development - identifying and prioritising business requirements
Writing software isn’t difficult when you know what you want to do. Coding is the easy bit. The tricky bit is working out what your end users and your customers really need. And when you think you’ve done that, you’ve got to document it and communicate it in a way that makes it as easy as possible for your development team to design and build the best solution.More