New Course: Statistics – SQL Server’s Guessing Game

SQL Server
Closed captioned for your statistical pleasure
Closed captioned for your statistical pleasure

You have to make queries go faster, and you suspect that outdated or inaccurate statistics are hurting your execution plans.

Doug Lane is here to help with his new video course, Statistics: SQL Server’s Guessing Game.

It’s phenomenally detailed – every single person on our team learned stuff from this class (me for sure!), and I know you will too.

Here’s the modules he covers:

  • A Tale of Two Plans (7m) – We look at two execution plans for the same query, talk about why they’re different, and figure out which one makes the most sense.
  • Getting to Know Statistics (15m) – We pop open SSMS to look at what statistics drove an execution plan’s estimates. First, we use a query to find which statistics focus on which columns, and then bust out DBCC SHOW_STATISTICS to understand statistics contents.
  • Combining Multiple Single-Column Statistics (8m) – In the last module, we looked at statistics independently. Now, what happens when our query references multiple columns, and we have to combine multiple statistics to guess how many rows will return. You’ll also see how both the old (pre-2014) and new cardinality estimators shape up.
  • What is the Cardinality Estimator? (5m) – The CE’s job is to use statistics to determine how many rows will come back for any given operation in a query plan. SQL Server’s Cardinality Estimator changed a lot in 2014, and you need to understand which CE you’re using before you analyze your statistics.
  • Multi-Column Statistics and the Cardinality Estimators (14m) – In the real world, your indexes often cover multiple columns. We’ll see how the density vector has multiple rows now, and see how the pre-2014 and 2014+ cardinality estimator have huge differences.
  • Filtered Statistics: ENHANCE! (15m) – Filtered statistics help you get ENHANCED statistical coverage of small parts of your table.
  • The Ascending Key Problem (11m) – In data warehouse scenarios where you constantly load in new data every night, and then go query the data you just loaded, you often get really bad execution plans.
  • 10 Rules for Managing Statistics (12m) – Now that you understand how SQL Server uses statistics, we need to cover how to manage your statistics.

And just like Doug’s T-SQL Level Up course, it’s beautifully shot, and explains some really challenging topics with great visual examples.

Head on over and check out the trailer.

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8 Comments. Leave new

  • This is my absolute favorite topic to talk about. Excited to see how you folks tackle this issue. The presentation I saw by Joe Sack at SQL Sat Madison 2014 changed how I look at execution plans forever.

  • Do we get to keep the video for reference or is it a one time only viewing?

  • Having watched about 80% of this thus far, I recommend it to anyone who is serious about understanding execution plans. The level of detail is excellent. I have always wanted to know how SQL comes up with it’s query statistics. Nice going Doug.

    July 13, 2016 8:44 am

    Doug did a great job on the videos. My knowledge regarding SQL server stats at best were entry level, after investing my time with Doug I can honestly say my confidence level increased. Now I have a better understanding on how execution plans work.

    Great Job. I look forward for more videos.

  • Is he on the price is right stage in that screen capture?

  • I Thought you need to use Maria DB Instead


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