14 sessions recommendations to attend at Ignite

03

May

14 sessions recommendations to attend at Ignite

14 sessions recommendations to attend at Ignite

14 sessions I would recommend to anyone at Ignite.

(for data platform and business analytics)

I’ve been to a lot of conferences, so many that I can’t remember how many I’ve been at.
Starting 14 years ago, I attended my first TechED conference as an attendee, and it truly changed and scaled up my career. Throughout the years I had the opportunity to support multiple events as a staffer, a presenter, even up to the point that at TechED 2013 I was a presenter in the keynote at TechED Europe Madrid. So for the past couple of years I’ve been extremely busy with preparing for sessions, or in my previous role as Sr. Technical Product Manager at Microsoft be responsible for sessions, speakers, hands on labs and so much more.

As I left Microsoft in April last year, a lot of that work did fall away and I am actually truly excited to attend sessions and also to support Microsoft as a vendor staffer at the Ignite Expert Booths.
You’ll find me posting my schedule on the Expert application and you’ll see me check in on twitter.

If my staffing schedule permits, here are 14 sessions that I would love to attend at Ignite, and here’s the session list I have on top of my list (sorted by date), based on my personal interest, but also with some strong recommendations.
Have a wonderful conference! And if you are not attending, not you’ll find these sessions online 24 after the event on Channel 9, or by directly following the links as I will add them to our blog.

Stop by at the booth, reach out to me directly on twitter, I gladly spend time with you to discuss some of the sessions or any questions you come up with around SQL Server or Microsoft BI.

Don’t miss the keynote!

Over the past couple of years was involved behind the scenes in building demos for keynotes, or supporting the keynote presenters from behind the curtain of the giant displays.
This year I will be sitting in the crowd as an attendee, an experience I haven’t had before. I am an absolute fan of Satya Nadella, and can’t wait to see him onstage again.

Here are the 14 sessions I would recommend anyone to attend:

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Monday, May 4 at 12:35pm

An insider’s guide to the new Power BI Preview

Power BI’s update adds a number of new capabilities, including dashboards, new visualizations, support for popular software-as-a-service applications, a native iPad app and live “hybrid” connectivity to on-premises SQL Server Analysis Services tabular models. We’ll demonstrate all this and more on the show and explains how to establish a secure connection to on-premises data using Power BI.

Speakers: Jeremy Chapman, Michael Tejedor
Reason why you should be at this session:
Michael has been living and breathing Power BI since Day One, driving the go-to-market strategy, roadmap and he has very deep insights into the capability of the features. I truly enjoy his presentations skills and he never disappointed. I had the pleasure working with Michael on the Microsoft Virtual Academy training on Power BI and would certainly look at future opportunities working with that team on Power BI Preview.

Jeremy is a solid guy that I’ve known for many years as well. I am truly looking forward to seeing them co-present.

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Monday, May 4 at 1:30pm

Data Science with Microsoft Azure Machine Learning, Microsoft SQL Server and R

From the hot topic of machine learning in the cloud with Azure ML, or on-premise with SQL Server, and a touch of highly-visual and easier-than-you-think stats with R, RStudio and Revolution Analytics, this session will take you on a whirlwind tour of data science as it is done on the Microsoft data platform. It is presented by Rafal Lukawiecki, data mining expert who has been practicing it with clients for over a decade. You will even get a taste of some of the key algorithms while focusing on why they are useful to your business.

 Speakers: Rafal Lukawiecki

Reason why you should be at this session:
Rafal is a rock solid presenter, extremely knowledgeable, and just a pleasure to listen to. As I’ve seen him present, and the group of followers that he has at other events I would strongly suggest you to arrive at the session room on-time since it wouldn’t surprise me that this guy would actually pack the room. Microsoft has made significant investments in Machine learning, I would love to see that being captured in this session with experience.

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Monday, May 4 at 3:15pm

The SQL Server Evolution

Everything you want to know about next-generation SQL Server, mission critical performance and scale for transactional, data warehouse and mixed workloads, structured and unstructured data, security innovations, availability and reliability improvements, advanced analytics, business intelligence, world class scale on-prem and to the cloud.

 Speakers: Dean Ivankovich, Lindsey Allen, Rohan Kumar, Shawn Bice, Shawn Hansen

Reason why you should be at this session:
I have high expectations that the team behind Shawn Bice will showcase some of the great capabilities that will become available in the next version of SQL Server. There’s rumors that this will be a GIANT and major release with features that many DBAs, Database Developers have been waiting on. This session, a foundational session, would be the solid foundation you should have before you attend any of the other sessions. As I’ve working with the SQL Database on Azure and some of its currently available features I have high expectations and hopes that this will get into the next release of SQL Server.

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Monday, May 4 at 6:10pm

Real-time Business Analytics- end to end demo scenario

This session is based on a real-world business analytics implementation scenario from a customer (retailer). This demo showcases how the retailer used new Power BI dashboards and the Azure Data Platform to better understand what happened in the past, monitor what happens presently in real-time, and predict what is likely to happen in the future. Products showcased include Power BI, Excel BI, Azure data factory, Azure Stream Analytics, Azure machine learning etc.

 Speakers: Sanjay Soni

Reason why you should be at this session:
Sanjay, a former team member of mine is a hyper-dynamic, extremely energetic speaker. I would never suggest him to drink an energy drink, since no roof would stay on a building if he did. He has a whole lot of passion for everything BI, and look forward to his cool, fun, high energetic demos.

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Tuesday, May 5 at 9:00am

Microsoft BI Overview

Please join this session to get an overview of overall Microsoft BI. It will be about an integrated view with Power BI, Office Excel, SQL SSAS, SSRS, Dynamics integration, Sharepoint BI etc.

 Speakers: John Doyle, Kamal Hathi, Sanjay Soni

Reason why you should be at this session:
I would expect this session to focus on the entire Microsoft BI offering stack coming from a Kamal Hathi and team who’s been leading the Microsoft BI engineering team at Microsoft. Again super solid presenter accompanied by the energetic Sanjay Soni and the rock solid John Doyle.

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Tuesday, May 5 at 9:00am

Overview of Advanced Analytics with Machine Learning and Data Orchestration

Advanced analytics is hot in the industry today and many people are interested in learning how to apply this new technology to their businesses to discover further predictive insights. In this session, we present the newly announced services and features in Advanced Analytics with Microsoft Azure Machine Learning, Data Factory and Stream Analytics, and the business values it provides for industries. This is a demo-heavy session with a real-time predictive maintenance and IOT scenario that covers the integrated technologies for Advanced Analytics based on real data.

 Speakers: Seayoung Rhee

Reason why you should be at this session:
I’ve known Seayoung for a couple of years, he is a great presenter that really drills down into the deepest technical level of the product he has been supporting. It will be great to join this session and look at the advanced analytics feature.

 

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Tuesday, May 5 at 9:00am

Gaining Real-Time Insight from sensors, applications and the Internet of Things

Microsoft Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed real-time stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. Integration with Microsoft Azure Event Hubs and Microsoft Power BI allows for real-time alerting and notifications alongside powerful visualizations over data pipelines. Come to this session to learn how to set up an end-to-end streaming solution via a live dashboard with automated alerting.

 Speakers: Santosh Balasubramanian

 Reason why you should be at this session:
Learn how Microsoft’s stream analytics service in the cloud enables you to rapidly develop and deploy a low cost real-time analytics solution to uncover real-time insights from devices, sensors, infrastructure, and applications. It will enable various opportunities including Internet of Things (IoT) scenarios such as real-time remote management and monitoring or gaining insights from devices like mobile phones or connected cars.

 

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Tuesday, May 5 at 10:45am

In-Memory Technologies Overview for Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Azure

This session provides an overview of all three in-memory technologies of Microsoft SQL Server: In-Memory OLTP, In-Memory Data Warehousing, and Buffer Pool Extension. We cover the motivations, the technology behind-the-scenes, and real-world customer benefits of each.

 Speakers: Kevin Farlee

Reason why you should be at this session:
Kevin has been a SQL Server Program Manager that has been involved with In-Memory in SQL Server from the beginning. I had the pleasure to work with him at multiple events and have seen him pack many rooms to share his in depth knowledge. I would expect this session to be quite technical going into the architecture of in-memory capabilities with SQL Server and Windows Azure

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Tuesday, May 5 at 10:45am

Power BI Overview

Power BI is evolving with lots of new features. This session will cover how enterprises can take advantage of Power BI with dashboards, natural language query, Power BI Designer, data connectivity, mobile BI and more.

 Speakers: Michael Tejedor

Reason why you should be at this session:
Michael has been living and breathing Power BI since Day One, driving the go-to-market strategy, roadmap and he has very deep insights into the capability of the features. I truly enjoy his presentations skills and he never disappointed. I had the pleasure working with Michael on the Microsoft Virtual Academy training on Power BI and would certainly look at future opportunities working with that team on Power BI Preview.

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Tuesday, May 5 at 1:30pm

Microsoft Azure SQL Database: Overview and Customer Scenarios

In this session, we provide an overview and recap of the big investments in Azure SQL Database including the next generation platform that offers near-complete SQL Server compatibility and in-memory columnstore support, elastic scale for scaling out to thousands of databases, and auditing to track all database events, to name a few. Additionally, we cover how customers are: using Azure SQL Database with their business and mission critical Azure deployment, re-architecting their on-premises ISV applications to the SaaS model, migrating existing web and departmental apps, and developing innovating cloud-designed apps to reach customers in new ways.

 Speakers: Tracy Daugherty

 Reason why you should be at this session:
A lot of the database workloads can take advantage of Azure SQL Database, in this session Tracy (who’s been a foundational session and keynote presenter at many events) will provide a solid overview of the capabilities of the Azure SQL Database and platform.

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Wednesday, May 6 at 1:30pm

ColumnStore Index: Microsoft SQL Server 2014 and Beyond

The updateable clustered columnstore in SQL Server 2014 offers a leading solution for your data warehouse workload with order of magnitude better data compression and query performance over traditional btree-based schemas. This session describes columnstore index internals with deep insight into data compression methodology for achieving high query performance. Additionally, we offer a sneak preview of column store investments planned for SQL Server.

 Speakers: Sunil Agarwal

Reason why you should be at this session:
Columnstore Indexing is extremely powerful, and if you haven’t seen this feature, you absolutely should attend this session. While columnstore was introduced as non-clustered in SQL Server 2012, there have been significant advantages and improvements in the implementation of it brought into SQL Server 2014. Sunil is a great presenter, deep technical knowledge, and a SQL Server Program Manager that has been working with features like columnstore from even before the initial presentation.

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Thursday, May 7 at 9:00am

Planning your Big Data Architecture on Azure

Microsoft has improved your ability to effectively move, store, and analyze data within the cloud. We take a look at what to evaluate when designing for Microsoft Azure data insights. We discuss data storage strategies, data partitioning, scalability, and availability options. We highlight the purpose of each of the individual components so you will know where and how to leverage each. Finally, we discuss key components for success on Azure including automation, fault tolerance, and telemetry.

 Speakers: Brian Mitchell

Reason why you should be at this session:
Brian maintains a high quality bar in his work and his presentations, he’s rock solid and has a lot of hands on experience in architecting Big Data solutions for enterprise customers.

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Thursday, May 7 at 10:45am

Microsoft SQL Server Performance Tuning: Live

You want your SQL Server to go as fast as possible, but you don’t have a lot of time or budget money, and you’re not allowed to change the application. This all-demo session explains the most exciting performance tuning features of SQL Server 2012, 2014. See how to measure a running application’s performance, and then simply by turning a few knobs and switches, see how performance improves. Microsoft Certified Master Brent Ozar explains which features are right for your workloads, plus gives you resources you can use when you get back to the office to go faster and learn more.

Speakers: Brent Ozar

Reason why you should be at this session:
Brent Ozar (@brento) doesn’t really need an introduction, he is a TOP rock solid presenter that entertains and packs the room. It would not surprise me that people actually would line up in front of his session and would be in line to ask him for autographs and pictures. He’s GREAT, and presenting on something that he lives and breathes (not to mention the fact that it probably brings the biggest contribution to the success of his company)

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Thursday, May 7 at 10:45am

Advanced Modeling and Calculations Using the Microsoft Power BI Designer

Join us for this session on the Power BI designer where we look at how it can solve complex business problems with ease. This session explores new functionality in the Power BI designer around complex relationships between tables and additions to the DAX language to support new types of business logic. We include several demos using real-world examples to highlight these new features.

 Speakers: Kasper de Jonge

Reason why you should be at this session:
Kasper is incredible, phenomenal! He lives and breathes DAX like no other, it’s second nature to him. I’ve attended many of his sessions and actually have had a lot of advice on how to do things differently to solve my own demos or problems.

 See you at Ignite!

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