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Posts Tagged ‘sqlsat’

MN SQL Saturday #149 Follow Up

Posted by denglishbi on October 2, 2012

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This past weekend was the big SQL Saturday event in Minnesota and for the first time not only was the event on a Saturday, but we also had a couple of pre-con events.  I was fortunate to be able to conduct one of the pre-cons corey - data herowith Brian Larson.  We did an all day event on “Unlocking Insight – Be a Data Hero.”  I was a little nervous going into the pre-con because I had never done one before and wasn’t quite sure what people’s expectations would be and wanted to make sure that we had enough content.  Based on the classroom interactions I feel that the event went very well.  Brian and I covered the Microsoft BI tools, BI semantic models, PowerPivot, SharePoint, PerformancePoint, Tabular Analysis Services, and Power View.  We also provided each of the attendees a copy of our book Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View.  With all of the content, demos, and questions sqsat149that were asked I think we had a very successful day (next time handing out evaluations would be a good idea).

Then came the speaker dinner at Don Pablo’s and that was a really great setup.  We had a nice patio area all to ourselves and about about 40 people must have shown up.  It was nice to catch of with some familiar faces along with people in the SQL Family that I have never met as well as some of their spouses (even some kids).  All-in-all it was a nice relaxing time and it was fun to not only talking about the work we were all doing along with discussing how our jobs were going, but also to talk about our family lives.  Such a caring and awesome community, I couldn’t ask to be around a better group of people.

Then it was time for a few hours of sleep and the big event down on the U of M campus.  This was possibly my second time on campus and it was a very nice location.  The rooms were great (at least the one I was in, didn’t get a chance to check them all out – lots of tracks and sessions, plus I had to leave early to coach a soccer game).  I had a good crowd based on all of the great sessions going on at the same time and for it being the first one in the morning.  Unfortunately I misjudged my time and the material I wanted to cover.  I should have skipped the PowerPivot and Tabular SSAS project demos and just dived into the Power View ones.  I don’t feel like I did justice to the Power View demo, so need to do a little rearranging of this presentation next time.  I did cover some of the new items coming out with SQL Server 2012 SP1 and Excel 2013 though.  Hopefully everyone got something out of the content and demos and walked away with some new information.  You can download my slides from the SQL Saturday schedule site here – Power View – Bringing your Data to Life!

I really enjoyed the nice speaker blanket, shirt, and the Quest Software swag bags as well:)

sqlsat149 blanket sqlsat149 speaker shirt quest swag bag

I want to thank everyone that was involved in organizing the event (and the volunteers), special thanks to Paul Timmerman who was leading the charge this year.  I know from past experience the time, energy, and sleepless hours that goes into doing these events.  This year I was pretty much hands off with the exception of reviewing and picking the BI sessions.  I hope that everyone had a great time and I can’t wait to do it all over again next year:)

For those that attended our pre-con or my session I will have a couple of blog postings coming up this week to cover a couple of specific items that we talked about or that I did some further research after our event.

Thanks again for those that attended and hope to catch you at one of the PASSMN user group meetings, MN Microsoft BI user group meetings (next meeting Tue, Dec 4), or one of the big events going on nationally. Until next time:)

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MN SQL Saturday 149 Pre-Cons & Main Event Next Week Sept 28 & 29

Posted by denglishbi on September 21, 2012

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Just a quick reminder that next week the MN SQL Saturday 149 takes place.  On Friday, September 28 there are two all day pre-con events.  There is a Business Intelligence pre-con where Brian Larson and I will be going over Microsoft BI including items such as PowerPivot, SharePoint, Tabular SSAS, and Power View.  I also know that there is an added bonus to signing up for our session besides just getting your lunch paid for on Saturday, you will get a copy of our Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power View book!  Down below I have included the tentative agenda for the day as well.  In addition to our pre-con SQL Server MVP Ted Krueger is doing one on T-SQL performance tuning.

9:00 to 9:30 – Welcome and introductions
9:30 to 10:45 – Talk about Microsoft BI
10:45 to 11:00 – Break
11:00 to 12:00 – PowerPivot
12:00 to 1:00 – Lunch
1:00 to 2:00 – Team/Corporate BI: SharePoint and Tabular SSAS
2:00 to 3:00 –  Building the reporting model
3:00 to 3:15 – Break
3:15 to 4:30 – Power View
4:30 to 5:00 – Questions

In addition to doing the pre-con I will also be doing a session first thing the following morning.

  • Power View – Bringing your Data to Life!

The world of self-service BI just keeps getting better. From self-service analysis with PowerPivot to self-service reporting with Microsoft Power View. This session will discuss the new BI Semantic Model concept, show you how to build models with PowerPivot and Analysis Services, and then go over using the new browser based reporting tool Power View to provide highly interactive reporting solutions. There is fun to be had by all and who knew that analyzing data could be so fun, come and find out more and see how it all works and what to expect with the upcoming release of SQL Server 2012 SP1 and even Excel 2013!

So if you are in the area and are available next week, take this opportunity now to review the schedule – http://sqlsaturday.com/149/schedule.aspx

Hopefully you can make it, there is a great lineup and a great opportunity to network with the SQL Family:)

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Pre-Cons at Minnesota SQL Saturday 149

Posted by denglishbi on August 8, 2012

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This year for the first time not only is the Minnesota SQL Saturday on a Saturday, but we are also going to have pre-con events the day before!

Pre-con events are all day long events limited to 20 people for each session and they cost $99.  There will be four pre-cons, two database and two business intelligence related.  If you register for a pre-con you will receive your lunch for the SQL Saturday event for free.  If you have already paid you will be refunded your $10 charge.image


BI1 – Dan English & Brian Larson:  Unlocking Insight – Be A Data Hero

Today, gaining insight from an organization’s data is not a luxury, but a necessity – no matter what that organization’s size and specialty. This all-day pre-conference session will equip DBAs, developers, and BI professionals alike to utilize the powerful data analysis arsenal offered by Microsoft. Together we will learn to use tools such as PowerPivot, Power View, Reporting Services, and the Tabular BI Semantic model in an agile approach that minimizes time to insight and maximizes return on investment. Along the way we’ll explore methods to empower subject matter experts making them partners in this pursuit.

By the end of the day you’ll discover that you don’t need to be a full-time BI specialist to be your organization’s Data Hero!

BI2 – Steve Hughes: Exploring Analytic Data Storage Options On SQL Server

With the release of PowerPivot and SQL Server 2012, Microsoft expanded their analytic data storage options.  Now with in-memory database support in SQL Server 2012, three analytic storage options exist.  This preconference session will explore all three – SQL Server Analysis Services Multidimensional Model, SQL Server Analysis Services Tabular Model, and SQL Server PowerPivot.  In each case, you will learn about design considerations, system impact, performance tuning and data visualization usage within each storage choice.  As part of the session, we will do a quick build with each tool to understand the development differences as well.  Armed with this information, we will compare the platforms and make the case for using each of the options in your environment.  Whether you are new to Analysis Services or have worked extensively with it, this is a great opportunity to learn about the new choices and how they will impact your environment, both from a capability and maintenance perspective.

DB1 – Ted Krueger: Make Me A Tuning Believer

Are you an accidental DBA or developer that has been told to make a T-SQL query run faster?  How many times have you heard complaints from the business about a report taking 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or longer to run?  Did you go to a class, training, or past session and find yourself lost in the mix of execution plan operations and indexing and scans?

Start over. Come to this class to build your query and execution plan tuning skills from beginning to end.  We’ll focus on the everyday DBA’s and developer’s needs for tuning, and build up to more advanced methods which can be taken directly to work and bring immediate improvements in performance.

The workshop will show you skills that revolve around what you will see most commonly in an everyday database shop, such as:
•The life cycle of a transaction
•Preventing bad T-SQL coding practices
•Reading an Execution Plan
•Plan Cache and Monitoring
•Execution Plan Tuning
•Capturing bad execution plans that need to be tuned

DB2 – Jason Strate: Indexing For Performance

This pre-con is a full day session that looks at indexing from the basics down to the internals. With guidance on how to collect statistics on indexes and use that information to drive changes to indexing.

Indexing is an important aspect of maintaining an well-performing database. Without the proper indexes, database will not perform to their potential and users will inevitable help you share their pain. In this session, we’ll take a deep dive into indexes and how they work within the database. We’ll look at the indexes types available to the statistics collected on the indexes. From there, we’ll dig deeper into the internals, maintenance, and tools available for indexing your databases. The session concludes with a walk through of a process for collecting index statistics and using them to validate the indexes in place and drive changes that are needed.


Sessions BI1 and DB2 will be held at Benchmark Learning in Edina.  Sessions BI2 and DB1 will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton, Bloomington.

Please direct any questions regarding the pre-cons to the SQL Saturday #149 team at sqlsaturday149@sqlsaturday.com

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Final Call for the MN SQL Saturday 149 Speakers

Posted by denglishbi on July 27, 2012

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This is the final weekend to submit your sessions for the Minnesota SQL Saturday event coming up in September (and yes, for the first time this is actually on a Saturday).  The speaker abstracts can be submitted through the end of July and then the fun begins to start selecting the sessions and setting up the official schedule.image

So far 85 sessions have been submitted by 36 different speakers and 19 of those submitted more than one session.

If we do a breakdown of the current list that has been submitted it looks like the following so far:


Just a word of warning, if you have only submitted 1 session you might want to review the list that has already been submitted.  If your topic is a duplicate the chances of you making the final cut might be tough, particularly if the duplicate submission speaker only submitted 1 as well:)

So if you were holding out to submit a session to speak your time is up, time to submit.  If you already submitted, time to review the full list and re-evaluate your submission(s) to secure your spot.

Call for Speakers

Submitted Sessions

Good luck to all the speakers that submitted and can’t wait for the big event.

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