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Many, if not most, of the SSRS reports I write end up being exported to Excel. But unfortunately, many reports don’t export cleanly. More often than not, you wind up with merged cells and blank spaces you don’t want.

In this blog post, I’ll show you how to build your report correctly for a cleaner export to Excel.

Exporting to ExcelRead More

Over the course of the last seven years, I created over 300 posts for my blog. These posts were written sporadically. Some years, I wrote over 100. This year, I’ve written maybe two.

But as I focus my business on “helping social service agencies maximize revenue and results with data,” I find myself answering the same set of questions. Some questions are strategic, (“How do we become more data driven?”).… Read More

An article in Politico caught my attention recently. It was about the Health Homes program and some of its problems.

For those of you not familiar with this program, here’s a brief explanation from the article:

Health homes are not brick-and-mortar buildings. They are a concept based on the idea that if several providers work together to coordinate care for the most expensive Medicaid patients, they can provide better care at a lower cost.

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Several of my clients are New York-based social service agencies. As such, much of their income depends on Medicaid reimbursement. The problems they face are two fold: First, they need to make sure staff members document client work in a way it can be billed. That’s important, but it’s not something I deal with.

Second, they need to figure out how much they’re billing and collecting—and where the differences lie.… Read More

Many nonprofit agencies have reporting requirements that go beyond GAAP. For example, in New York State, social service agencies depend on state funding to serve their clients. To get this funding, they must submit various CFRs (Consolidated Fiscal Reports) to various NYS departments, including the OPWDD, OMH, OASAS, and OCFS (i.e. Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, Office of Mental Health, Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Service, and Office of Children and Family Services).… Read More

Anyone who’s in software development, and works directly with business users, knows that no matter how much things change, one rule remains: You never get credit for what’s hard. You may, however, get credit for what’s pretty. In that spirit, I’m going to write a few posts on making things prettier in SSRS. And today, I’m going to discuss conditional formatting. By conditional formatting, I basically mean making things turn red when there’s a problem. I’m not talking about fancy charts. I’m talking about basic operational reports where you want users to know where there’s a problem. For example, one of my clients uses Dynamics NAV. The “joy” of NAV is that it lets you enter data incompletely—and then only warns you when you post. That’s sub-optimal. Instead, we’ve built messages in our reports to alert users before they post, such as when they miss a value or a transaction is not in balance. Using Conditional...

In an earlier couple of posts, I had described three critical elements of SQL Server security: pieces, people and permissions. For a non-technical person (such as, perhaps, an auditor) to understand SQL Server security, they need to have a grasp of all three elements. You can read more about the four pieces of SQL Server as well as the different types of people (i.e. logins). In this post, I’m going to cover the third essential element: Permissions. Part III: Permissions Now we have the pieces and the people. But how can they do anything? In other words, what can the people (the logins/users) do to the pieces (the databases/schemas and views)? For our purposes, we care about their abilities to add or change data in the database. We can grant that ability in two ways: Through a direct permission In a database, someone has a permission when they can something to something. For example, they can insert (i.e....