Activities / Whitepapers / Events

PASS Summit & SQL Saturday Charlotte (BI Edition) 2013

PASS Summit & SQL Saturday Charlotte (BI Edition) 2013

In less than a week, I will be joining the biggest gathering of my #SqlFamily in my own place of residence – Charlotte, NC. The PASS Summit is easily the best conference for SQL Server professionals and is worth every single cent that you paid (or are thinking of paying). If you haven’t registered, make sure that you register for it now by following the link below- REGISTER NOW for PASS SUMMIT 2013 This year, we have also extended the #SqlFamily experience by conducting a SQL Saturday the day after PASS Summit in Charlotte. There is a balanced spread of BI, DBA as well as non-technical sessions and the schedule can be found here. So if you are here for the Summit, don’t forget to register for a FREE day of training and an extended experience with our #SqlFamily. The link to register is given below REGISTER NOW for SQL Saturday Charlotte (BI Edition) SQL Saturday Charlotte BI Edition 2013 And if you are at either one of the events, don’t forget to say a hi to me at any of the below places:- – Pretty much floating all around the place during the Summit (Oct 16 – 18). – Oct 16 – Room 202 A-B 10:15 – 11:30 AM : Visualizing John Snow’s Cholera Map Using Microsoft BI  – Oct 17 – Room 203 A – 1:30 – 2″:45 PM : Geospatial Analytics Using Microsoft BI – Oct 19 – Find me in the White Organizer shirt during SQL Saturday Charlotte BI edition Hope to see a lot of you pretty soon! Smile

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And I’m Speaking at the PASS Summit 2013!

And I’m Speaking at the PASS Summit 2013!

10 days back, I was attending the speaker dinner for SQL Saturday Atlanta when I got a mail with the subject line – PASS Summit 2013 – Call for Speakers Results. Speaking at the PASS Summit was one of my goals for this year and I had submitted three abstracts. Holding my breath, I opened up my mail and guess what?  SQLJason - I'm speaking at the PASS Summit 2013 Yes, I am speaking at the PASS Summit 2013!!! And to make it doubly sweeter, I got two of my sessions accepted. Being a business intelligence professional, it was hard for me to ignore the parallels between SQL Saturday Atlanta and the PASS Summit
I was speaking at SQL Saturday Atlanta for the first time and I will be speaking at the PASS Summit also for the first time
I submitted 3 session abstracts for SQL Saturday Atlanta as well as the PASS Summit 2013.
Both SQL Saturday Atlanta and PASS Summit selected two abstracts, the only ones from over 15+ events that I have done so far. PASS Summit is the world’s largest, most-focused, and most-intensive conference for Microsoft SQL Server and BI professionals. Organized by and for SQL Server and BI users, PASS Summit delivers the most technical sessions, the largest number of attendees, the best networking, and the highest-rated sessions and speakers of any SQL Server event in the world. For a SQL Server speaker, the PASS Summit is the mother of all events and every year, top speakers from all over the world submit abstracts for this annual event. To cut it short, I am honoured to be among the chosen ones for this year (although I am a little sad that some of my favourite speakers are not there in the list) and am extremely thankful to the abstract review team as well as PASS for choosing my sessions. Now that the sessions have been made public, feel free to visit this link to see the amazing line-up of speakers and sessions for the event. Also, if you haven’t registered for this event, it is still not late – Register for PASS Summit 2013. My session abstracts are given below

Geospatial Analytics Using Microsoft BI

Speaker(s)Jason Thomas Duration: 75 minutes Track: BI Information Delivery

In this age of Big Data, location matters more than many people imagine. Almost every set of data has some geographic information tied to it, and it’s all the more pertinent to understand and unravel the patterns and trends behind that data. This session will start by explaining why geospatial analytics is important in today’s world and then continue by exploring how we can share, analyze, and visualize data using the comprehensive Microsoft BI toolset, including Power View, GeoFlow, SQL Server Reporting Services, and more. The session will feature practical demos for each of these tools, during which we’ll work on some of the publicly available data sets to uncover some interesting facts.
Visualizing John Snow’s Cholera Map Using Microsoft BI

Speaker(s)Jason Thomas Duration: 75 minutes Track: BI Information Delivery

Back in 1854, London was developing into one of the world's first modern cities, although without the essential sanitary infrastructures. This along with the increase in population made it the perfect breeding ground for many diseases, such as cholera. Around the same time, physician John Snow explored the correlation between diseases and contaminated water supplies and came up with one of the most famous maps in history. Relive the adventure of John Snow as we follow his journey in this session using Microsoft BI tools. As we recreate his map, we’ll also talk about the  steps and best practices for exploring geospatial data.
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Ehh, What’s up, SqlJason?

Ehh, What’s up, SqlJason?

It’s been more than a month since the last post and you might be wondering – what’s up with SqlJason? Well, let me tell you that the last one month has been really busy and I thought of filling you guys in with some of the juicy stuff that’s been happening! Ehh, What’s up, SqlJason? 1) Speaking Events
Last year April was when I started my first speaking assignment in the USA and it was great to have so many different opportunities to present last year. This year April also turned out to be the starting month for my presentations, and I can’t believe that I already presented at five different places this month. Speaking events in April The PASS BA Conference was the first stop, and this was my first experiencing presenting in a big stage. Looks like it went good from the session evaluations (got a 4.6, my session ranks in the top 15 out of the 60+ sessions in the conference) Session Evals sorted by session ratings The attendance was also pretty decent, managed to pull in 98 people which is the highest I have ever got in any of my sessions. Session Evals sorted by attendance I had lots of fun with my #sqlfamily and also got to meet a lot of new people. Overall, a very fun experience and I am definitely going to attend PASS BA Conference next year. Next stop was SQL Saturday Chicago and this was just the next day after PASS BA Con. After all the partying and the awesome speaker dinner at the previous night, speaking was always going to be difficult task but luckily, everything including the demos went fine. I also got to see some great sessions by Mark V & Doug Lane, Julie Koesmarno, Leonard Murphy. In short, another great experience and a very well organized event. Next on the list was SQL Saturday Jacksonville which took place 2 weeks after the Chicago event. The Jacksonville event was one of my favourites from last year and it turned out to be even better this year as it was the first time all four of us CBIG buddies (me, Javier, Melissa and Rafael) got selected to speak at the same event. And I must say Jacksonville didn’t disappoint me, great crowd as usual and highly interactive (and very generous with the session evals too hehe). A couple of days later, I started off for my first user group speaking event of the year – Triad SQL BI User Group at Winston Salem. A big thanks to the user group leaders (Katherine Fraser and Doug Purnell) for giving me the opportunity, really enjoyed interacting with the user group members there. The next speaking event was the Carolina Code Camp 2013 which was in Charlotte itself (finally a home event! Open-mouthed smile). Unlike the other four events, the majority of the attendees was from a non-SQL Server background. So it was fun speaking to a different profile of attendees and I must say that this was one of those sessions where the attendees laughed at all of my jokes (either they got all of my jokes or were being REALLY nice with me Smile). I remember someone saying that event speaking is really addictive, I couldn’t agree more! Just to prove that, I have 2 more events coming up in the next week:- a) SQL Saturday Atlanta – I will be speaking on the topic “GeoSpatial Analytics using Microsoft BI” at 1 pm, this weekend. This is going to be another really great event with registrations hitting record levels for a SQL Saturday (800+ including waiting list). If you are coming for the event, definitely drop by and introduce yourself, I would love to meet you. b) Mariner Webinar – If you are not able to attend my session at SQL Saturday Atlanta, don’t worry. I am doing the same session (“GeoSpatial Analytics using Microsoft BI”) as a Webinar for my company – Mariner on May 21, 2013 12:00 PM-01:00 PM Eastern. You can register for this FREE event by clicking on this link – Click to Register  2) CBIG Updates As some of you recall, me and three others (Javier, Melissa and Rafael) started a new BI user group this year in Charlotte – CBIG. We are having a great run with attendees steadily increasing from 35 in the first meeting to 50+ in the last meeting (65 being the highest as of now). Even though five meetings are too early to call the user group a success, the popularity of CBIG is evident from the 87 registrations (including waiting list) we received in our fifth meeting (where our seating capacity is only 60). We had already moved from the initial meeting room after our second meeting (where our seating capacity was 30) and now, due to the increasing number of registrations, we are moving our venue from New Horizons to the Microsoft Campus (which has a seating capacity of 85) in July. That said, the numbers are secondary. The primary aim for us is to cultivate a culture in CBIG which mainly revolves around the community spirit as well as a passion for technology. If you are in or around Charlotte, don’t miss out on our user group meetings on the first Tuesdays of every month. We have got meetings lined up till September as of now and the RSVP links can be found at Also, don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to speak at our user group, we are always looking for speakers! 3) SQL Saturday Charlotte – BI Edition Announced And yes, we have also announced the date for SQL Saturday Charlotte – BI Edition. The event will take place on Saturday, October 19, 2013 (which happens to be the Saturday after the PASS Summit 2013, which also is in Charlotte). The planning is going on full steam and we are confident that we will have a great event laid out for all of you guys. Ensure that you register today to extend your PASS Summit 2013 experience.   4) And now the BIG one – Personal Updates For those of you who know me personally, this might be old news. And for the others, you might recall me saying at the start of the year that I might not match up to my previous year’s activities this year due to personal reasons. Well, the personal reason is given below. Me & my wife with the baby bump Yups, I am going to be a father to a baby girl this August 12 and I have no shortage of adjectives to describe my condition right now – excited, anxious, nervous, hyperactive, charged and so on. I am looking forward to those sleepless nights and all the other joys that come with parenthood. For the moment, I am going to stop writing and enjoy a good night’s sleep when I can.

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I’m speaking at the PASS Business Analytics Conference

I’m speaking at the PASS Business Analytics Conference

The speaker lineup for the PASS Business Analytics Conference has been announced and I’m really excited to see my name in the list. In case you haven’t heard, PASS BA Conference is the premium conference for business analytics professionals. If you’re a business analyst, data scientist, architect, or BA/BI practitioner, you can’t afford to miss this conference. Attendees will be exposed to an unparalleled range of information —with over 60 sessions to choose from—covering data discovery, data exploration and visualization, predictive analytics, content management and architecture, collaboration, information strategies, and much more. You can register for the conference by clicking on this link. PASS BA Conference I am speaking I am really honoured to be presenting along with such an impressive list of speakers. My session details are given below

GeoSpatial Analytics Using Microsoft BI

Speaker(s)Jason Thomas Duration: 60 minutes Track: Data Analytics and Visualization In this age of big data, location matters more than many people imagine. Almost every set of data has some geographic information tied to it, and it is all the more pertinent to understand and unravel the patterns and trends behind them. This session will start by explaining why GeoSpatial analytics is important in today’s world and then continue by exploring how we can share, analyze, and visualize data using the comprehensive Microsoft BI toolset, including Power View, GeoFlow, SQL Server Reporting Services, and more. The session will also feature practical demos for each of these tools, during which we will work on some of the publicly available datasets to uncover some interesting facts. Don’t forget to drop in and say a hi to me, in case you are attending the conference.

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How to Go About Choosing a Luxury Watch?

How to Go About Choosing a Luxury Watch?

How to Go About Choosing a Luxury Watch?

We all are highly receptive to the word luxury- luxury cars, luxury house, luxury vacations. All of these come attached to visions of instant status recognition and high-end quality. Included in these sought after luxury world is the luxury watch- the best style accessories. The inception of the wristwatch owners has found impressive ways to showcase its beauty. Some of them are adorned with gems, some encased in diamond while others are wrapped in gold and silver variety. As these luxury watches are held in high esteem, its purchases are considered as an investment.

Luxury Watch

Luxury watch is simply about style. They are classic accessory that goes with everything and anything. Moreover, these unique timepieces act as an heirloom that can be handed down from generation to generation. In such cases, the watch is esteemed for emotional bonding and also for monetary value. Consequently, buying a luxury watch is more about commitment from the manufacturers to uphold their standards by maintaining the high quality operation of their watches. So when you wish to add a luxurious timepiece to your collection you may have some questions in your mind. And yes, those questions are definitely answered by the information provided in the wristwatch buying guide.

Have you decided on your budget?

Watches are often compared to other luxurious items because of the mechanics and technology used. But the comparison could also just as well apply to your spend. As an exclusive watch can be quite expensive, so it is better to start your search based on how much you wish to invest and then stick to it. Check out these replica watches deals.

Are the investments protected?

There are no hidden extras beyond what you see. However, do not forget that buying a luxury watch specifically a mechanical one will need as much attention as a car require. The brands also recommend you to get your new watch serviced every three to five years. Over a period of time, the lubricants vitiate and need replacing before all the moving parts of the chronograph start to wear out. This is worth remembering before you buy a watch to protect your investment for a prolong period of time.

Does the size matters?

Yes it does. They are available in all manner of case size. Luxury watches for ladies-particularly the cocktail pieces-can be as small as 20mm in diameter while some men watches can be as big as 50mm mark. With the passage of time, case sizes have changed. People want variation. Some say, a classic Patek Philippe with 39mm is the ultimate size while others prefer 42mm Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore. Well, the thickness cannot be avoided. Anything deeper than 10mm can start to play havoc with a cuff. That’s one of the reason why until recently ultra-thins have grabbed the attention of its fans.

Do you take a look under the dial?

In the broadest category, there are two types of watch those powered by mechanical movement and those by a battery-powered quartz movement. Mechanical movements are more expensive as they are assembled by hand and each movements comprises of hundreds of parts. Watch lovers admire the mechanical movement which are either automatic or manually wound as they feel this particular characteristics make the timepieces more romantic and have longer value which is why the top brands still manufacture them even though the technology is years old.

Is it complicated?

Mechanical watches get really interesting once you start adding in complications. In layman’s term almost every luxury timepieces comes with complicated functions. Among these, what you might call convenient complications are second times zones, annual calendars that show the day, date and month of the year and chronograph. Some of the most illustrious horological complications are intensive more on rejoicing the art and craft of the great mechanical watchmakers.

Have you taken the plunge?

The water-resistance quality is often misunderstood-the case back and the numbers on the dial should not be taken literally. To make it more precise, watch with 30 meters water-resistance will deter rain but should not be submerged in water. Similarly a watch with 50 meter water-resistance is ideal for swimming and 100 meters for snorkeling and 200 meters for other extreme water sports. However, watches for diving should have a 500 meters water-resistance capacity. To your surprise, there are specially designed professional watches for Scuba diving with 1000 meters or more on the dial. But water-resistance is not permanent. If you use them regularly under water you will need to get it reproofed every couple of years.

Rolex, Tag Heuer, Omega, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, Panerai Luminor and the list is endless. If your passion gets really serious you can turn your attention to horological wonder of these endless lists as you now know your checklist.

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SQL Saturday Charlotte Journal

SQL Saturday Charlotte Journal

Focus on dietary patterns, not specific foods, American Heart Association says

veggie bowl
Photo: anilakkus/iStockphoto

Dallas — When it comes to heart-healthy eating, balance is key, the American Heart Association says in a scientific statement published Nov. 2.

In its first updated guidance since 2006, the organization encourages broad eating habits in lieu of a narrower focus on single foods. For example, instead of adding one vegetable or vitamin to your diet, focus on the “whole package” of your daily or weekly diet, Alice H. Lichtenstein, leader of the writing committee for the statement, says in an AHA press release. Read more from these phenq reviews.

“The emphasis is on dietary patterns, not specific foods or nutrients,” said Lichtenstein, also a Tufts University professor of nutrition science and policy as well as the director of the school’s Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory. “And it’s not just about what people shouldn’t be eating. The focus is really on what people should be eating, so they can customize it to their personal preferences and lifestyles.”

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Along with achieving and maintaining a “healthy body weight,” a heart-healthy dietary pattern includes:

  • Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Choosing whole grains rather than refined grain products.
  • Choosing healthy sources of proteins, mostly from plant sources (legumes and nuts); regularly eating fish and seafood; substituting nonfat and low-fat dairy products in place of full-fat versions; and for people who eat meat, choosing lean cuts rather than processed forms.
  • Using liquid plant oils instead of tropical oils (coconut, palm and palm kernel) and animal fats (lard and butter) or partially hydrogenated fats. Check out the latest alpilean reviews.
  • Choosing minimally processed foods over ultra-processed foods.
  • Minimizing foods and beverages with added sugar.
  • Choosing foods with little or no added salt.
  • Limiting alcohol intake.
  • Adhering to the guidance regardless of where food is prepared or consumed, including restaurants.

“It’s not all of one thing and none of another,” Lichtenstein said. “It’s the balance among your choices in terms of diet and, ultimately, lifestyle.” This is how metabo flex works.

She adds that, “You can eat what you enjoy,” but choose “a little more carefully, consider frequency and adjust serving sizes.”

The scientific statement was published in the AHA journal Circulation.

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Pivot Training

Pivot Training

The back pivot is used to create space. Why is this important to understand? The goal of the offense is to score. The easiest way to create an opportunity to score is to create space. The opposite is true for the defense. The defense’s goal is to prevent the offense from scoring. The defense’s best method of preventing this possibility is to take away the offense’s space.

This yin and yang are a key to understanding individual offensive and defensive decision making. An offensive player who understands how to create space will create, and convert a higher percentage of scoring opportunities. Improve your training results by reading these reviews.

The back pivot individual offensive scoring move can help an offensive player create space. This is particular important vs. good defensive teams because good defensive teams give up fewer uncontested lay-ups at the rim. In fact, I would go so far as to argue that a good defense rarely gives up a one foot lay-up in the half-court. For improved results check out the latest biofit customer reviews.

The rise of the back pivots importance to players of all levels is proportional to the improvement of team and individual defense. It is hard to score against good defense, but the back pivot can give an advantage to the offense at the rim.

Another important reason to teach the back pivot, especially to youth basketball players, is that it is a direct application of basketball footwork. It is a more “exciting” way to work on footwork. Important aspects of footwork are applied in the back pivot. These include running and stopping, dribbling and stopping, balancing, staying low in a ready position, maintaining a wide base, incorporating front and reverse pivots, movements into space, and creating a shoulder to chest advantage.

What is the Back Pivot

There are other names for this move. We have called it a “Nash” in the past after Steve Nash, who I first learned it from. The back pivot is by definition a front pivot on the back foot. A front pivot is when a player leads with their nose, instead of their butt like would happen with a back pivot. The move is applied from a shoulder to chest position with a defender or the basket. This means that the offensive player stops with their shoulder facing the rim rather than being square, or chest to chest with the basket, this is the best way aside from practicing a sport to be in good shape use Pelvic floor strong.

Back Pivot

Uses of the Back Pivot

The back pivot can be used to create space for a shot or a pass. It is most often applied on a dribble drive. It can also be used off of a catch or an offensive rebound. A cutter on an off the ball cut, or on a pick and roll can use a back pivot without a dribble to shoot. Similarly, without a dribble a player who gets an offensive rebound can rebound the ball and back pivot to shoot or pass. Learn more about exercises and supplements at

When to Use a Back Pivot

The back pivot is best applied within the scoring area near the rim. You can define this however you want, but we generally say it is with at least one foot in the key. It can be used when the defender covering the ball cuts off the path to the basket. It can also be used the a help side defender rotates to cut off the offensive player’s path to the basket.

What is the Decision Cue to Apply the Back Pivot

Reading advantage and disadvantage comes back to understanding whether an offensive player has space or not. As discussed in a previous blog one of the decision cues for a player is to read whether they have a shoulder to chest or chest to chest relationship to the defender.

  • If an offensive player who is dribbling gets cut off early by a defender, they apply a dribble counter.
  • If an offensive player gets cut off late by a defender, either their check or the help side defender, they apply a back pivot.

Back Pivot Counters

A counter is a secondary move applied to an offensive move to counter a defensive coverage. Improve your results after reading these Carbofix reviews.

  • If the defender jams the back pivot, the offensive player can apply an up and under or reverse pivot counter.
  • If the defender recovers to take away the up and under move, the offensive player can apply a third pivot. A third pivot is a continuation of the up and under with another front pivot to a shot.
  • If the defender recovers to take away the reverse pivot counter, the player can use a front pivot to come back to the shot.
  • Lastly an offensive player can use a fake double drop to counter a defender who anticipates the back pivot move.
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SQLBits 9 – Hangover

SQLBits 9 – Hangover

At the time of writing this post, I can see yellow leaves falling to the pavements and feel the cold breeze kissing my cheeks. No matter how hard I try to resist it, reality is dawning on me that the summer has gone by and that the winter is finally settling in (yeah, I know some of you might argue that we never had a summer. After all, it’s been the coldest summer in 18 years). Can’t believe that it was only a week before many of us were sweating in the big halls of the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool. Oh sheesh, I did it again! I tried to avoid it but just like the winter, here comes the familiar feeling of hangover. SQLBitsLogo
This was my third SQLBits and like always, I had been counting down the days from the time SQLBits was announced. Well, this time I had an additional reason – I was presenting a session at SQLBits. More than that, I had also got a free entry on Friday because I was a speaker (now that calls for a big HURRAY!). Even a loss of pay on Friday couldn’t deter me from attending the conference on Friday (I had already exhausted my annual leaves for my wedding in JulySad smile) and I reached there right in time for the keynote. Even though the agenda suggested that I would be seeing cloned versions of Steve Tramack in both the Aintree and Lancaster halls using the latest Microsoft & HP technologies (check the agenda here), all I got to see was a bigger room with the wall removed and one Steve Tramack. Or wait, I thought I saw two people on the stage and it definitely wasn’t two Steves. Being a victim of the hardships involved in installing and configuring SharePoint myself, I totally appreciated the idea and thought behind the HP Fast Track Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server. The best part is that you can configure a system within a couple of hours what would have definitely taken some weeks. Overall, it was a brilliant start to SQLBits. SQLBits Keynote After that, I went to Matt Masson’s (twitter | blog) session on ‘What’s New in SQL Server Denali for SSIS’. The Facebook social life manager demo was really cool and unique, and also had a peek at many of the new features of SSIS. Matt Mason on SSIS DenaliMatt Mason on SSIS Denali Next on my list was ‘Basic BISM’ by Chris Webb (blog). This was an introductory session on Business Intelligence Semantic Model and was extremely helpful to people like me who were more or less on the start of the learning curve. Chris also touched upon the advantages and disadvantages of the tabular mode in this session. Chris Webb on BISMChris Webb on BISM Then I went for the ‘Myths and Monster of Flash’ session by Fusion-IO where Steve Wharton (twitter | blog) presented some of the characteristics and mechanics of the NAND flash. Steve Wharton - Fusion io Later I spent some time walking around the stalls and talking with the exhibitors. It was so interesting and informative at the same time that I actually spent a lot more time than I intended to and missed the next session as a result. SQLBits exhibitor space The next session was one of my most awaited ones – ‘iPad and Powerpivot-Mobile Business Intelligence in action’ by Jennifer Stirrup (twitter | blog). I had been planning to catch hold of Jen’s sessions for a long time and finally made it this time. Not to say, I had a great time learning about mobile BI and some of the best practices in visualizations. IMG_0103IMG_0104 One of the other things I was really looking forward to was meeting Hrvoje (twitter | blog) and Tomislav Piasevoli (twitter | blog) who were coming down to SQLBIts all the way from Croatia. So after the sessions, I met up with the Piasevoli brothers and we headed to the Cavern Pub for washing down our throats. Had an extremely great time with them as is evident from all the photographs. Tomislav, me and Hrvoje at Cavern Pub We were keeping a tab on the time as we did not want to be late for the much anticipated event of the night – James Bond Casino Night. For how many years we have only been playing in starslots for slot games, we have experience that night going out and experiencing the land-based casino. It really was a great experience walking in to the hall which had now transformed into a casino with games modeled after the ones seen on and we started gambling with the fake money provided to us. Most of the people were appropriately dressed in their James Bond attires also, which made the experience even better. I am sure all of us would have left the place declaring this as the best post event party in SQLBits till date. SQLBits James Bond Casino Night The next day, I had to wake up at an unearthly hour as I had to rush for my 8.10 am session on ‘Fast Track to Spatial Reporting’. The demo material for my session are available for download here. Got a few pics of my session too, thanks to Tomislav. Jason on Spatial ReportingJason on Spatial Reporting The next three sessions I attended was definitely the highlight for many in this version of SQLBits. The first of the series was ‘Building Great Models for Crescent’ by Kasper Jonge (twitter | blog). His session was jam packed with demos and being a reporting person myself, it was really nice to watch all the new features in Crescent. Kasper Jonge on CrescentKasper Jonge on Crescent The next of the series was ‘Vertipaq vs. OLAP: Change your Data Modelling Approach’ by Marco Russo (twitter | blog). Most of the perceptions that I had built about data-modelling was challenged and I was forced to see them in a new light when I am modelling in Vertipaq. DSC_0138IMG_0111 Alberto Ferrari (twitter | blog) was next on the stage with ‘Many-to-Many Relationships in DAX’ and I was seriously amazed at how he presented such a complex topic in such an easily understandable format. This was one of the moments where I wished if only I had such people as my professors when I was studying in my University. DSC_0144IMG_0115 I checked in to the ‘Lightning Talks’ soon after, something which I wanted to do in last time’s SQLBits itself but couldn’t because it was clashing with another session. It was great to see the likes of Kasper Jonge, Martin Newman, Andrew Fryer, Richard Douglas, Ed Vassie, Neil Hambly and Tobiasz Koprowski share the same stage. IMG_0117IMG_0118 The last session of the day was kept aside for Duncan Sutcliffe’s (twitter | blog) session on ‘Kerberos-All You Need to Know in One Hour’. As usual, Duncan just blew everyone apart with his unique presentation style and all in all, it was one of the most comprehensive sessions on Kerberos that I have seen. IMG_0119 Soon we had the customary post event party and lots of prizes were announced from Kindles to Xboxes. A big thanks to all the sponsors without whom SQLBits would not have been possible. Sponsors Also a moment thanking all the guys behind this – Simon Sabin, Christian Bolton, James Rowland-Jones, Martin Bell, Darren Green, Chris Webb, Allan Mitchell, Tim Kent, Chris Testa-O’Neill and all the helpers. A big, BIG, BIG thanks to all of you guys. Once the party was over, all that was left for us to do was to reminisce the last two three days and wait eagerly for the next version of SQLBits. Well, myself, Hrvoje, Tomislav and Kasper also found something else to do while reminiscing Winking smile, see below for a hint. Jason, Kasper, Hrvoje and Tomislav As for the winter, I would like to borrow a few lines from Percy Shelley – If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

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SQL Server BI Quiz 2011 & The Analysis Services 2008 R2 Operations Guide

SQL Server BI Quiz 2011 & The Analysis Services 2008 R2 Operations Guide

June is the month which has the longest daylight hours of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. So all you guys in this half of the world, its time to make use of the extra daylight and try to win yourself an Ipad. Yes, BeyondRelational is back with their next edition of quiz – SQL Server BI Quiz 2011SQL Server BI Quiz 2011As usual, BeyondRelational has coordinated with 30 Microsoft MVPs / experts and come up with this SQL Server BI feast for all you guys. You get to answer questions from some of the best SQL BI brains out there – every day of the month. And oh, in case you didn’t notice, I have also put together something for you on June 17. Hope to see a lot of you answering them. Now people in the southern half of the world, you don’t need to sulk, this is open for you guys too SmileAnother useful way to spend your extra time would be to go through the Analysis Services 2008 R2 Operations Guide. A must read for every SSAS enthusiast out there, this has been written by Denny Lee, John Sirmon and Thomas Kejser. If this isn’t enough to make your mouth water, just check out the long list of contributors in the article. image

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SQLBits 8 – Hangover

SQLBits 8 – Hangover

Yups, 10 days have passed since I attended the SQLBits by the Seaside, and I am yet to recover from the hangover. And nopes, I am not talking of the hangover from the beer I drank (though I must admit I did guzzle down a few too many, thanks to all the wonderful sponsors who were way too generous handing out free coupons). SQLBitsLogo I had become a big fan of the SQLBits conferences, ever since I attended the last one in York. But this time, I was even more excited because it was going to be held in Brighton. Sunny forecasts and the prospect of lunch at the beach just made me count down the days till April 3. In a sadistic sort of way, I was even more pleased with myself on registering pretty early because many people could not get it done on account of the registration being fully booked. In fact, I had to use some native Indian yoga tricks to restrain myself from flaunting it off in front of my poor colleagues who couldn’t get a reservation. Due to work reasons, I had only gone for the free community day sessions on Saturday. I reached Brighton by 8.55am and straightaway jumped into Marco Russo’s (blog | twitter) session on Analysis Services Advanced Best Practices. IMG_0043IMG_0044 Even though it was a level 400 session, Marco explained the concepts in a very simple way so that everyone could understand and the session was pretty captivating. In the end, I took away some very nice design related tips for SSAS dimensions for scenarios like SCD type 2, parent-child, etc. Next I went for John Stevens-Taylor’s (blog | twitter) session on Data Modelling for a Flexible Cube. The room was so jam packed with people that I had to stand at the back and even then, people were pouring in. Since I had sprained my ankle the other day, I couldn’t stand for long and I came out rueing on not coming early to the room. This feeling was compounded when I came to hear the amazing feedback on the session. After that, I was double minded on whether to go for the SQL Product Team Panel session by the SQL CAT Team or for Vincent Rainardi’s (blog) session on Advanced Dimensional Modelling. I decided to go for Vincent’s session and had a very enriching time there learning about  Fact Table Primary Key, Vertical Fact Tables, Aggregate Fact Tables, SCD Type 6, Snapshotting Transaction Fact Tables, Dealing with Currency Rates, When to Snowflake, etc. IMG_0049IMG_0048 Soon after the session, I was able to materialize my dream of having lunch at the Brighton beach side, soaking up the warm sun and watching the surfs getting washed up the shore (ok, I admit, and some hot chicks in bikinis Flirt male) The next one I attended was Jamie Thomson’s (blog | twitter) session on SSIS Dataflow Performance Tuning. Though I am more of a SSAS/SSRS person than SSIS, I just couldn’t stop myself from attending Jamie’s session, I had attended one of his sessions in a Local User Group meeting, and have remained a big fan of his presentations after that. IMG_0050IMG_0051 His session was heavily based on demos which made it very interesting and I had some great takeaways from his session on performance tuning and execution trees. Next on my list was Alex Whittles’ (blog | twitter) session on Automating SSAS cube documentation using SSRS, DMV and Spatial Data. Now if you are one of those who follow the SQL world in twitter, you would be already aware of the ‘Spatial Art’ tweets being passed around by Alex, Alastair (blog | twitter) and Simon (blog | twitter). This got me hooked and I was waiting for the session to actually see it live. IMG_0053IMG_0054 Alex’s slides were so beautifully done and I was so much in awe of his presentation skills. The topic was like a breath of fresh air and to top it all, I won a book on Microsoft SQL Azure during his session. Soon we had the customary post event party and lots of prizes were announced from 50” plasma TV to Xboxes. Everyone I spoke to had lots of fun and a big thanks to all the sponsors without whom it would not have been possible. Sponsors A special mention for Fusion-IO for successfully conducting the Crappy Code Games in Manchester, London and Brighton, was really an awesome event. Totally loved it! (Click here to read my London experience). Now this post would not be complete without thanking the people behind it – Simon Sabin, Christian Bolton, James Rowland-Jones, Martin Bell, Darren Green, Chris Webb, Allan Mitchell, Tim Kent and Chris Testa-O’Neill. A big, BIG, BIG thanks to all of you guys. Now for those who missed SQLBits 8 (and those who are still in the hangover like me), what better way to relive the experience than Jamie’s videos. Catch them right here – Reflections on SQLBits 8

Posted by SQLJason, 1 comment