Author Archives: Scott

FREE Power BI Resources

This is just an assortment of learning resources for Power BI and associated technologies that I have found helpful.

  1. Power BI Guided Learning from Microsoft’s Power BI team
    Will brings you a huge video series and they’ve dropped it in YouTube to increase the exposure. Get started at https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/guided-learning/ 

    Your video tour guide is Will Thompson, a Program Manager on the Power BI team at Microsoft. There are a few guest guides too, a little later on in the course.

    Your video tour guide is Will Thompson, a Program Manager on the Power BI team at Microsoft. There are a few guest guides too, a little later on in the course.

  2. Guy in a Cube
    Adam & Patrick, both Microsoft Employees, deliver exceptional short videos on various BI and Data Platform topics.  These guys do a GREAT job of tackle some of the most complex architectural issues like Kerberos troubleshooting and just make it make sense.  Adam started things off and has even done some sessions on how he produces his videos.  They do Tech videos on Tuesday and Wednesdays, Wisdom Wednesdays and a weekly round up every Thursday.  Adam started posting videos to his YouTube channel almost 3 years ago!  Great work Guy In A Cube!

    Helping you, and your business, gain insights by learning and exploring Microsoft Business Intelligence

    Helping you, and your business, gain insights by learning and exploring Microsoft Business Intelligence

    Along with his YouTube Channel, they leverage Social Media to announce their new videos and, of course, have a fantastic website to complete the circle.  https://GuyInACube.com 

There are more to come, so check back here!

There are paid resources that provide a more holistic perspective, and potentially help you to focus on putting other things aside while you focus on your learning… because, Hey… You paid for it!

 

 

Another 7 Things to Consider for #SQLSaturdayVancouver

Yesterday I sent a message entitled Six things to consider for #SQLSaturdayVancouver which I re-posted on my blog in case you couldn’t find it in your email…

But, here are 7 MORE things to consider!

  1. Sign up for “Power BI: Dashboard in an Hour!”
    1. Register on the Eventbrite site to reserve a seat –

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/power-bi-dashboard-in-an-hour-presented-by-sophie-marchand-tickets-37301476721

  1. Bring your notebook
  2. Install Power BI Desktop

 

  1. Cellular Signal / Roaming / WiFi

WiFi at the venue is LEGENDARY!  Really, it is excellent.  Please don’t be a bandwidth hog though…  watch you Power BI YouTube videos at home or at the office. 😉

 

  1. Getting To #SQLSaturdayVancouverhttp://robsonsquare.ubc.ca/find-us/
    1. Additional info on Parking impark lot (0110)  $6.00 for the day  (6AM – 6 PM)  –
      1. Parkopedia: https://www.parkopedia.mobi/parking/underground/robson_square_lot_110/v6z/vancouver/?arriving=201708230030&leaving=201708230230
      2. Impark site: https://lots.impark.com/imp#details=1,110
  • You can pay with cash by credit card or with the PayByPhone Mobile App
  1. You need to know your license plate when you park, not a stall, so nothing needs to go back on your dash
  2. Take elevator to lower Classroom level

 

  1. Floor Map for SQLSat at UBC Robson Square  http://scottstaufferdotca.azurewebsites.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/UBC-Robson-Square-SQLSat-Setup.png

 

  1. Bring a water bottle – there are watercoolers in most rooms – hydrate people!

 

  1. Bring a friend – Learning is more fun when you can share the experience with a friend or coworkers.  Get them to register too!  –  http://www.sqlsaturday.com/635/RegisterNow.aspx

 

  1. There are plenty of Prizes – Make sure you visit the Sponsor booth and insert your SpeedPASS raffle tickets in the box.  You have to be there during the draw at the end of the day to win!

Want Lunch for SQLSaturdayVancouver?

I sent the following earlier this week:

Buy the Lunch – Invest in the lunch to feed your body while we feed your mind!
There will be conferences in town and 4 cruise ships – street food vendors will have line-ups and you will miss out.

  1. We have Lunch time vendor sessions!  AWS, Microsoft & CozyRoc
     – You don’t want to be out looking for something to eat and miss these sessions! 
  2. PayPal $15 – easy
  3. Boxed lunches include a Sandwich, Salad, Cookie and Drink
  4. We will send out a link to purchase if you initially chose not to purchase the lunch, but you changed your mind and would like to do so.

 

Soooo… In order to buy lunch, you will need to:

    1. Click this link – https://www.pass.org/MYPASS.aspx?viewctl=MySQLSaturday
    2. Log in
    3. Under Event Registration; Show Upcoming Events; SQL Saturday #635 – Vancouver 2017
    4. There will be a button at the bottom to “Pay Lunch Fee”
    5. You will be re-directed to PayPal to finish the transaction

 

Six things to consider for #SQLSaturdayVancouver

Six things to consider for #SQLSaturdayVancouver

  1. Register for the All-day Friday Power BI Pre-con
    1. Discount Offer – Save 10% with discount code! (Saturday is Free, Friday is paid) http://scottstaufferdotca.azurewebsites.net/2017/08/14/master-your-data-for-power-bi-sqlsaturday-vancouver-pre-con-session/
    2. Further Details https://www.excelguru.ca/content.php?303-Master-Your-Data-Power-BI
    3. Register (make sure you use discount code SQLSAT) –  https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?c=cart&ejc=2&cl=160142&i=1545452
  2. Buy the Lunch – Invest in the lunch to feed your body while we feed your mind!
    There will be conferences in town and 4 cruise ships – street food vendors will have line-ups and you will miss out.

    1. We have Lunch time vendor sessions!  AWS, Microsoft & CozyRoc
       – You don’t want to be out looking for something to eat and miss these sessions! 
    2. PayPal $15 – easy
    3. Boxed lunches include Sandwich, Salad, Cookie and Drink
    4. We will send out a link to purchase if you initially chose not to purchase the lunch, but you changed your mind and would like to do so.
  3. Bring your SpeedPASS – This makes Registration a breeze! 
    We email you a link to a PDF file which contains a registration ticket, lunch ticket, raffle tickets and name badge for you badge and lanyard we provide to you at registration

    1. Download it, Print it out, cut it up, bring it along;
    2. “Scissors of Shame Table” is available if you’ve printed it but didn’t get around to cutting
    3. $2 donations to BC Children’s Hospital for having your SpeedPASS printed by us!
       – fee is optional, but MUCH appreciated.
    4. Link to your personal SpeedPASS will be mailed shortly
  4. Sign-up to Volunteer
    Give back to the community volunteer a little bit of time – Earn Karma Points!

  5. Plan your day; Build your schedule – on the day, check back for last minute changes.
    You can plan your day so that you won’t be racing around on the day!

  6. Download the PASS Events Mobile app (for IOS and Android; by Guidebook)
    You can see the schedule and plan which sessions to attend, display abstracts and speaker bios and more!

Master Your Data for Power BI – SQLSaturday Vancouver Pre-Con Session

One of the local Sponsors to SQLSaturday #635 – Vancouver, BC is Excelguru.

Ken, founder of Excelguru, will be delivering a “Pre-Conference” session on Power BI!  Here are some of the details, and a link to further details and a registration page.

Friday, August 25, 2017

The sad reality is that not all data we need for our reports is stored in nicely curated databases. While some of the data may be, the reality is that we also need to piece together data provided in text files, Excel files, web pages and even the body of emails in order to build the complete business intelligence solutions we need. Until now this has been a painful process with a great deal of cutting and pasting into Excel files. Updates have been tedious and error prone, if the solution isn’t abandoned outright. That stops today.

This course is about Data. It’s about getting, transforming, cleaning and reshaping your data. It’s about turning awkward data into shiny golden tables that are perfect for analysis.

You’ll learn how Power BI can clean up, reshape and combine your data with ease – no matter where it comes from. And the best part? While we’ll be focusing on these techniques in Power BI desktop, they are also 100% portable to Excel 2010 or higher via the Power Query add-in.

In this hands-on workshop, Ken will cover:

  • A quick review of Power BI report basis
  • Importing basic data
  • Appending and merging tables
  • Pivoting, un-pivoting, and transposing data
  • Conditional logic, and
  • Other techniques such as structuring and grouping queries, and understanding query folding and the formula firewall

Register Today and Save:

As an exclusive offer for the SQL Saturday Vancouver mailing list, register before 6:00pm on Friday, August 18, 2017 and save 10% on the registration price! Simply enter discount code SQLSAT at check-out to redeem this offer.

Full course details and registration at http://xlguru.ca/datamaster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SQLSaturday #635 – Vancouver, BC coming August 26th

This Summer, Vancouver data professionals welcome the 5th iteration of the global phenomenon that is SQLSaturday!

Critical Facts

 

what?   SQLSaturday #635 – Vancouver 2017

where?  UBC Robson Square Downtown Campus – Vancouver, BC

when?   Saturday, August 26th, 2017 (All day! – Schedule coming soon)

who?    500 attendees (it’s our goal!) – professionals who work with data

why?   For the love of data!

how much?  it’s FREE!  – Purchase of a boxed lunch is optional ($15) after registration is complete, you will be directed to PayPal to purchase the lunch, if you want it.  

How do I find out more? Go to… 
http://www.sqlsaturday.com/635/EventHome.aspx 

 

Our goal this year is to break the 500 attendee ceiling.  How do we do that?  We open up more tracks and invite other technical communities to talk on data focused topics.  The Azure community will have a track to talk on the current offerings that the Microsoft cloud offers in way of Data Platform capabilities.  The Office 365 / SharePoint Community will also be invited to submit sessions on unique offering in the data space that their community can share.  With MySQL and PostgreSQL now being offered in Azure, we may still see more presentations from OpenSource communities.  In addition to “R” the statistical analysis language that is a key language of the Data Scientist community, we can also expect to see presentations on Python as both “R” and Python now able to be called from T-SQL Stored Procedures.

 

 

 

A History of the first 4 SQLSaturday’s held in Vancouver, BC

Vancouver was the first SQLSaturday outside the USA back in 2011 with SQLSaturday #65. It was an event held the weekend before the Microsoft MVP Summit in Bellevue Washington, so the event was infused with speakers from around the Globe. The event took place at a swanky hotel in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The event was a smashing success. Michael Lato was the main organizer, but Rich Baumet and I did a lot to make the event successful as Michael was on the other side of the country.

Rich Heigis wrote a blog that can be found here.  Aaron Bertrand wrote his blog post here.  Michael Lato blogged multiple times here. Donabel Santos also wrote a blogpost here.  

Vancouver’s 2nd SQLSaturday (#114) found a new suburban home in BCIT’s Burnaby’s Campus.  A more modest sized budget and with fewer attendees, the event was once again orchestrated by Michael Lato, and I popped by the day before the event to help out with the onsite event execution.  Not being on the 

 

Autumn is here – Let’s Connect, Share & Learn

There are a number of exceptional events taking place close to home (Vancouver, BC, Canada) over the next few weeks… here are just 5 Data-centric events to excite the senses!

  1. New Era of Data Warehouse Design – with ColumnStore technology  (Free event)
  2. Operationalize Power BI  (Free event)
  3. PASS Summit 2016  (discount code provided!)
  4. Columnstore & Memory-Optimized Workshop  (discount code provided!)
  5. Vancouver SQL Camp  (Free event)

 


September 28th (Wednesday Evening!)

Vancouver BI PASS Chapter presents (Free event):

“New Era of Data Warehouse Design – with Columnstore technology”

by Sepand Gojgini, Lead Business Intelligent Developer DATATEAM services

Having a robust data warehouse and analytical platform is a great competitive advantage, however, many organizations lack one due to complexity and cost associated with developing and maintaining one. In this session, we will share a, proven, new data warehousing approach that can help you take advantage of advancements in Microsoft SQL Server.

for FULL details: http://vancouverbi.sqlpass.org/
to RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-era-of-data-warehouse-design-with-columnstore-technology-tickets-27796447924

 


October 13th (Yup another Thursday Evening!)

Vancouver Power BI User Group Meeting & Vancouver BI PASS Chapter presents (Free event):

“Operationalizing Power BI for the Enterprise”

by Scott Stauffer, Independent Data Consultant

“How do I take my Power BI Solution and pass it over the wall to IT to manage? … How do we take what we’ve developed and make it more “-able”? … Come join us as we look at some solutions that we think might help transition your desktop solution to the enterprise.

for FULL details http://vancouverbi.sqlpass.org/Home.aspx?EventID=5948
Meetup Page: http://www.meetup.com/Vancouver-Power-BI-User-Group/events/234126999/
to RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/operationalize-power-bi-tickets-27937072536

 


October 25 – 28th (Starts on the 24th if you want to take in the preconference sessions)

PASS Summit 2016
at the Washington State Convention Center

4,000 of my closest friends get together each year to Connect, Share & Learn!

2 days of half and full day preconference sessions & 3 days of general sessions

Seattle, WA

Save $150 with the Chapter Discount Code: LC15CJQ9

Full details & to register: http://vancouverbi.sqlpass.org/LinkClick.aspx?link=http%3a%2f%2fwww.sqlpass.org%2fsummit%2f2016%2fWelcome.aspx&tabid=8129&portalid=261&mid=57792

 


October 31st – November 2nd (Monday – Wednesday)

ColumnStore & Memory-Optimized Workshop
in Redmond, WA (Microsoft Campus)

This 3-day workshop put on by Niko Neugebauer (Data Platform MVP), of OH2data, will be just what your boss ordered to help improve your database performance!

Discover the two of the most important & revolutionary technologies for Data Warehousing, Operational Analytics and OLTP – the Columnstore Index and In-Memory Tables!

– Niko’s Columnstore blog series includes over 90 posts over the last 3 years!

Save $200 with the Chapter Discount Code: VANCANSQL16

Full details & to register: https://oh22workshop.eventbrite.com/

 


November 4th (Friday Afternoon)

Vancouver SQL Camp

This Free event is hosted by the DevTeach Community & Microsoft – Pizza & 4 technical SQL sessions by Rich, Scott, Florian and Jean-René on a Friday afternoon

for FULL details: http://www.devteach.com/Community/
to register: http://www.devteach.com/wconnect/wc.dll?FournierTransformation~1,26,1,46

SQL Server 2016 General Availability and Community Launch event in Vancouver

Grab and Evaluation Edition or FREE Developer's Edition of SQL Server 2016

Grab and Evaluation Edition or FREE Developer’s Edition of SQL Server 2016

Well, on June 1st, Microsoft delivered a new version of its “Enterprise Class” Database, SQL Server.  Why should you upgrade?  There are so many reasons that I can think of, but likely you’ll be interested because…
SQL Server Developer’s Edition is now FREE! … so why not take it for a spin…
Need resources to get you started… Yup, we can help there too…

tl;dr? – Make your way to the end to link to the resources 😉

 

Why not join 1 of the Vancouver PASS Chapters? - Click the Logo above and fill select the appropriate region info.

Why not join 1 of the Vancouver PASS Chapters? – Click the Logo above and fill select the appropriate region info.

Vancouver hosted the LARGEST Community Launch event in Canada, thanks to the support of Microsoft, PASS and Swim Recruiting.

swim recruiting

swim recruiting

Our sponsors threw some cash our way to feed the attendees with some snacks, coffee and boxed lunches.  The Swim Team was helping out with registration and talking to you about career opportunities in the Vancouver area.  PASS dropped off a load of DVDs “Top 10 Sessions of PASS Summit 2015.”  These recorded sessions give you an idea of what you simply DO NOT want to miss out on… Are you sold on the PASS Summit?  Go to Vancouver BI Chapter site and grab the discount code to save $150 on registration for the PASS Summit 2016 coming to Seattle in the fall.

Microsoft was at the SQL 2016 Community Launch Event too, represented by Andrew Boudreau.  Andrew played double duty delivering 2 sessions – You Rock, Andrew!  Andrew started the show off sharing the pieces of SQL Server that he is PASSionate about – Azure Data Warehouse and Polybase to name two.  I followed up with “Visualization & Reporting Options on the Microsoft Data Platform” talking about what’s new with SSRS and a few things on Power BI too… Andrew, graciously agreed to fill the lunch slot and filled in the gaps that I left out on Power BI, in addition to launching into some Power BI demos to delight the audience.

After Lunch, Rich Baumet jumped into DBA enhancements and new features.  [On a side note Rich is once again doing the Ride to Conquer Cancer.  Why not make an investment in a Cancer free future… Click here to help him meet his fundraising goal!]

After Rich, Todd McDermid jumped into share some In-Memory topics, along with some T-SQL features, Always Encrypted, and even a few SSIS pieces, because we asked him to…

A great day was had by all… It is tough to know exactly how many people showed, as some people only came for half a day and others didn’t register, they just slid in, but best estimates based on check-in is 125 – 130 attendees.  Not bad for a community driven event.  For the next SQL Launch, though… Microsoft Canada needs to step it up and have a bigger Launch event here in Vancouver.

The Resources?

Right, you probably want the slide decks…

Todd’s slide decks and demo files are available here:
https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=C76C3CBDB305921%21119651

My slide decks, in addition to Andrews, can be found here:
https://1drv.ms/f/s!AgxiYutcvpJCgrwxStCiDrdz4R6fRg

Here is a fancy poster to print out and hang in your office!

SQL Server 2016 Technical Overview poster

SQL Server 2016 Technical Overview poster

 

Call to Sponsors – SQL Server 2016 Community Launch Event – Vancouver, BC

Okay, this is pertaining my LAST blog post, “SQL Server 2016 Community Launch Event – Vancouver, B.C.”  a.k.a. The Event

As Vancouver is one of the TOP 10 most expensive cities to live, it’s reasonable to expect that it is also one of the TOP 10 most expensive cities to host an event… Community event, or not…

That is why we are reaching out to YOU, our partners in making the  SQL Server community awesome.

We are offering sponsorship opportunities at 3 levels:


Disclosure monies collected will go towards Event, revenue after expenses doesn’t make it to my pocket but goes towards food and beverage for the local Vancouver SQL PASS Chapters meetings.


 

Bronze Level $375 (a.k.a. – I want to help the community!

show me a little love, but don’t make me stand behind a booth all day…)

  • Thank you at beginning and at the end of the day on stage
  • Logo on Slide Deck / Eventbrite Site
  • Logo on Vancouver PASS OR PASS BI Chapter site for 6 months

 

Silver Level $750 + Bizcard draw prize (a.k.a. – I’m a Marketing Geek!

I need a little separation from all the excitement of SQL in the form of a table as a platform for my Marketing Magic! [okay, seriously, those SQL people are a little strange, the table is my protection])

all the benefits of the Bronze level in addition to…

  • a table for your marketing stuff – let me know if you don’t have a table cloth it seems most companies do now-a-days. (Yes, we have power cables and chairs too)
  • Logo on Vancouver PASS AND PASS BI Chapter site for 6 months
  • 1 mailing – sent by us, on your behalf; before or after The Event
  • 30-second elevator pitch on stage at the beginning of the event inviting attendees to come talk with you at your booth.
  • you do your business card draw on stage and another short elevator pitch opportunity

 

Gold Sponsor $2000 (a.k.a. Lunch is one me!)

(Come hear us Roar, we are an MS Partner with Data Platform competency; OR, we sell 3rd part software that makes the Microsoft Data Platform sing; OR, we sell Enterprise hardware that makes SQL Server hum along [Singing or Humming – it’s all good…])

You want the top spot?  First come, first served for this prize sponsorship level; but move fast, there is only one spot!

So again, you get all the benefits of the Bronze & Silver levels in addition to…

  • You have us for the lunch hour – we’re all yours.

UPDATE – April 3rd:  

We have room C300, the theatre, that now comfortably seats 175 people.  We had 100-110 attendees for the launch in 2014, so with a bigger venue, and more hype, we expect 125 – 150 attendees.

There is only 1 Gold Sponsorship opportunity as we only have the 1 room, but you would have the attention of the entire audience as they chow down on their boxed lunches.

Silver and Bronze offerings are not really limited, but practically, we only have enough space for 5-6 booths comfortably