Join us at the PASS BAC Unconference Pizza Night

I’ve seen a lot of interesting sessions and gatherings at industry conferences but this is one of the best ideas so far:

Introducing… The Unconference!  …the anti-conference within a conference

Aside from the outstanding value I get from going to hear leading experts share their experience in structured sessions, some of the greatest learning comes from side conversations and informal encounters with people between the sessions.  For me, a lot of those conversations happen when I bump into someone whose blog I’ve followed or book I’ve read with just a few minutes to spare between sessions.  Unless we chat off-hours, we’re always rushed to get to the next scheduled event.  And then to chat with a session speaker after their session to try to get an answer to that one critical question (you know, the main reason you went to the conference)… The way that usually goes is that at the end of a good session, everyone with questions runs up to the front of the room and lines-up to talk to the presenter as he or she packs-up and tries to get out of the way of the next presenter preparing for their session.  You’re lucky to get 2 minutes of time with the expert before the next person in line.

The Unconference gives you two hours with the experts and no rules.  No rules!  This is an outstanding opportunity to spend some quality time with people who have real-world answers and deep insights in their respective fields of interest.  For a lot of us, the most important reason for coming is to get quality face-time with the right people

There is limited space so sign-up to reserve your spot on Thursday, 8 May 2014 from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM

This event is led by Denise McInerney, Data Engineer at Intuit, the agenda is created at the start of the evening. Anyone who wishes to initiate a discussion on a topic can claim a time and a space. Attendees are encouraged to share thoughts in open discussions with community-proposed topics.


Self-Service BI Breakfast Panel at PASS BAC

If you’re attending the PASS Business Analytics Conference in San Jose, please join us on Friday morning for a special expert panel discussion on self-service BI.  It’s sponsored by SQL Sentry and they’re even footing the bill for breakfast!  According to Kevin Kline who also officiated the event last year, “I have plenty of people tell me that our panel discussions are one of, if not the most favorite and practical of the event”. 

Title: Lessons Learned in Self-Service BI; Friday, May 9, 6:45am – 7:45am, Room 230A

Abstract: For years, when it comes to self-service BI the automatic assumption was the Microsoft Excel was the tool of first and last resort. Now, after many years of enriching the features of the data stack, Microsoft offers many different ways and tools to perform business analytics. Some approaches require heavy involvement from DBAs, SharePoint administrators, and other data and business specialists. Other approaches enable end-users to process their own analytics much more quickly and with less interaction from the IT organization. Which is most effective? Which is the easiest to rollout and maintain? There are pros and cons to each possible approach, as well as hidden and repeating patterns, that are hard to foresee unless you’ve actually been through multiple implementations.

Panel: SQL Sentry’s panel of renowned data analytics and business intelligence experts will discuss a variety of real-world obstacles and accelerators to a strong self-service implementation of business intelligence and analytics that is both useful, effective, maintainable, and inexpensive. This year’s panel includes: Chris Webb (b | t ), Jen Stirrup (b | t ), Paul Turley (b), and Stacia Misner ( b |t ).

From Kevin’s blog:
Come Join Us!

You can see the registration page at or by clicking on the image below. Two quick reminders. One, I know it’s ridiculously early. But the content is always great and you get a high-quality hot breakfast. Two, I strongly encourage you to register since seating is limited and it always fills up.


If you have any questions you’d like to ask a panel like this, feel free to plug them in here. I’ve got plenty of questions queued up already. But I’m always open to more.  I hope to see you there!

PASS Business Analytics Conference Discount from Oregon SQL

The 2014 PASS Business Analytics Conference is just a few weeks away and you know you want to go to see top speakers give over 70 sessions on how to use all the new BI tools and technologies that could make you the most important person in your organization.  This year the PASS BAC is May 7-9 in San Jose, California.  You can save $150 by using this discount code provided by the Oregon SQL PASS Chapter: BA4K8P.  Enter this when prompted on the registration page.

Aside from the great content, the greatest value I get from these conferences is networking with community leaders, authors, speakers, attendees and product developers.  Please stop me and say Hi


SQL Saturday Lisbon Portugal

We’re on our way home from Lisbon, Portugal after speaking at SQL Saturday #267.  Having had the pleasure to attend and speak at quite a few SQL Saturday events over the years, I’ve never seen a group of event organizers work so tirelessly with as much passion and dedication.  Thanks to Niko Neugebauer, Vitor Pombeiro, Paulo Matos, Quilson Antunes, Murilo Miranda, André Batista and Paulo Borges for the late nights and long hours you all invested to make this a very special SQL Saturday.  The event was a great success; as well as a special day of sightseeing the day afterward for all the speakers.  After recruiting an impressive list of speakers from all over the globe, these volunteers went well beyond the call of duty to chauffer speakers from the airport to hotels, the event venues and around the city.  It was quite a treat.  Thank you!

SQL Saturday Preconference Optional System Requirements

If you are attending the preconference session on Building a Complete BI Solution on April 11 in Lisbon at SQL Saturday #267, I will provide all of the project and data files that I will be using at the beginning of the session.  You are welcome to follow-along with the finished project files but this is not a requirement to attend the session.  You are also welcome to simply attend and take notes and then you can download the samples later.

We will be using a fairly large volume of data for a laptop machine which increases the system requirement but you can load a subset of the data files if you prefer.  There are two different demo solutions and the system requirements are different for each.

system requirements

participation options:

  • watch & take notes
  • download workshop files & work with them later
  • follow along with all or part of the demonstrations, using the finished solutions*

Personal BI solution

  • Office 2013/365 ProPlus edition
  • Power Query
  • Power Map

Enterprise BI solution

  • SQL Server 2012 Developer edition
    all features installed
  • SSAS tabular instance
  • SSRS in native mode
  • 20 – 40 GB of disk space
    (whether you load part or all data)

* please use provided solutions rather than building as you go.  we can’t provide support or troubleshooting for your development environment.