Microsoft Uses Predictive Analytics to Deliver Data Platform Product Documentation! Interview with Carl Rabeler

Carl Rabeler is a Content Strategist on the Microsoft Azure SQL team.  In this role, he is  much more that just a document writer. Carl works closely with the Customer Advisory Team (CAT), the MVP community and TIGER teams who support the most complex enterprise customer solutions.  In this 11 minute interview during the 2017 PASS Summit, Carl shares the teams’ strategies for analyzing content searches, reader and viewership analytics to move ahead of the curve and predict the kinds of learning and support documentation Microsoft users will find most valuable in the future.

He told me how product instrumentation, site search metadata and direct customer feedback allow them to target content that users need now, rather then waiting for comments and revisions.  The primary product documentation store is now hosted in Docs.Microsoft.com, which is an open Git repository where users can contribute and edit existing docs, which are then curated by the Microsoft product teams.  Between timely and aggressive technical content authoring, open source collaborative curation and advanced analytics performed on content search and usage, Microsoft is much better equipped to serve the masses and meet the needs of users who have very specific product usage requirements.

Carl and I have worked together over the past 10-12 years through several Microsoft product team interactions, MVP Summit sessions, and we worked on consulting client projects for a number of years through SolidQ – aka Solid Quality Mentors.  He was the guy we flew out to work on the big architecture configuration solutions when we needed the three-headed dog from Hell to play nicely with SharePoint and every conceivable service connecting through it.

Next time you go searching for how to encrypt a server connection, know that Carl and his team of content curators are looking for the best way to get you the answers you need in the most effective way possible.

Look out, PASS Summit precons attendees

Just a little bit of last minute work to do… loading 196 USB drives with materials for the session. Looking forward to meeting you if you are attending the Tuesday precon.

It's not a requirement for the session to follow along, but if you would like, you may bring a laptop capable of running SQL Server 2017 and Reporting Services to follow along with demos. Some selected lab materials from my 2, 3 and 4-day classes will be provided.

Mobile Reporting in SSRS 2016 and 2017

If you are a Reporting Services practitioner, the Microsoft mobile report story can be a little confusing with two very different choices.  As I’m preparing to deliver a full day preconference session for the PASS Summit on October 31st titled “Modern Reporting with SQL Server 2016 and 2017 Reporting Services” and a general session during the main conference tiled “Clear Skies and Not a Cloud in Sight – Power BI On-Prem”, this has me pondering about what my mobile reporting message will be.  Being part of the Microsoft MVP Program and participating on a number of product team advisory boards provides insight into how things often work at Microsoft and how products tend to evolve and align over time.  I am forever enthusiastic about using and promoting Microsoft BI and reporting tools, but I am not bound by any covenant to adhere to a simplified marketing message from Microsoft or any other company.  To that end, I share some thoughts about the current state of mobile reporting… Continue reading

Implementing Row-Level Security in Power BI

The best method to implement row-level security in a published Power BI model or SSAS Tabular model consumed from the Power BI service will depend to some degree on your data structure and requirements.  The method I demonstrate here is one of the most flexible approaches and one that I commonly use in my projects. Continue reading

Can’t We Just Get Along? Making SSRS, Power BI and Excel Play Well Together

Please join me and other 2017 PASS Summit speakers for 24 Hours of PASS: Summit Preview on July 19th and 20th.  24HOP is a series of 60 minute on-line sessions presented back-to-back for 24 hours, from the same professionals who will deliver preconference and main conference sessions during the Summit the first week of November this year.  These online sessions are free of charge and normally attended by thousands of individuals to gain insight and knowledge about the topics.  24 Hours of PASS features free educational webinars delivered over 24 hours. Topics covered in this edition include Performance Tuning, SQL Server 2017, Linux, DevOps, Azure, PowerShell, SSRS, Power BI and much more. Browse all sessions. These webinars provide a sneak peek at some of the best practices, expert tips and demos you’ll find at this year’s PASS Summit in Seattle. Continue reading

Session Recordings: Advanced Data Transformation Techniques, and Power BI Options for the Enterprise

Absolutely amazing….  The Microsoft Data Insights Summit was a series of one great learning experience after another.  My greatest impressions of the summit were that the Power BI community is coming together as a cohesive group of data professionals.  I think Power BI and Microsoft data platform have a solid story now as a solution rather than just a product and it was apparent that business people and technologies are taking it seriously. Continue reading

From the Keynote at the Microsoft Data Insights Summit

In sitting up front in the Data Insights Summit waiting for the keynote to begin.  It’s Monday, June 12, 2017.  I’ll update this post with announcements.  We’ve been told to expect some important news and announcement today.  Internet connectivity is pretty spotty so you may see some updates later in the keynote session.

I’m sitting in the Press section with fellow bloggers, who are also sending updates from the Summit keynote.  Check out their notes as well. Continue reading