SQL Saturday #296, Melbourne 2014

You may have probably heard that SQL Saturday is more than spending a whole day at a university, a Microsoft campus or class rooms learning SQL Server. Yes, you have heard it right. It is a community celebration – celebrating about how much we care for our learning and career path with a group of like minded people – at least on the fact that we want to learn more, outside business hours. It is also a reunion with friends or present/former colleagues and a way for you to meet a potential employer, employee or colleagues.

Luckily, the next and closest SQL Saturday in Asia Pacific area is in Melbourne. It’s just less than one week from now.

When? Where?

Visit SQL Saturday #296, Melbourne Australia official website.

When: 5 April 2014

Where: Monash University, Caulfield

Schedule: 5 Tracks, 20 sessions all in one day. http://sqlsaturday.com/296/schedule.aspx

Special Features:

  • Keynote session by Microsoft on SQL Server 2014, Power BI and Azure!
  • MVP Round Table Discussion at lunch time – bringing you 9 Australian SQL Server MVPs all in one location to answer questions you’ve been pondering about and to network with you.



Register here (please pay $15 for your lunch – I promise it won’t be pizza! And $15 for quality sessions for a whole day is really good value!)

Once you have registered, you can use the Schedule Builder feature to choose the sessions that you are planning to attend.

I’ve Registered, Now What?

You can follow on progress of the event by checking the website or following / tweeting with hashtag #SQLSatMelbourne on Twitter.

Please feel free to spread the words to your colleagues via social media or your blog. Below are some handy examples:

LinkedIn – I am looking forward to SQL Saturday #296 in Melbourne, Australia …

Why attend?  20 sessions on SQL Server 2014, BI, Data Warehousing, DBA, Database/Application Development and Database Administration.  International, regional, and local speakers to learn from.  Exhibitors with useful products, information to share, and job opportunities.  Interaction with other data professionals.  Free swag and lots of fun.

Twitter –  I am looking forward to #SQLSaturday 296 Melbourne, AU … 

Please take the opportunity to say “Thank You” for SQL Saturday #296 Melbourne Sponsors. They are the reasons why this fantastic learning and networking event is offered for free (with low cost of Lunch). First and foremost, I would like to personally thank Microsoft for sponsoring us and opening the event with a Keynote session.  as well as Varigence Australia for sponsoring us and speaking during lunch time. Next I would also like to thank Wardy IT, LobsterPot Solutions, DWS, CGI, CU2 Global and Wrox.

See You Soon In Melbourne!

Hope to see you there and perhaps at my “Building Your Myth Busting Lab With Power BI” session on the day.



Upcoming SQL Server Presentations – Nov to Dec 2013

I am very delighted to announce that I have been selected as a speaker in the following events:

1. SQL Saturday 265 – 16 Nov 2013, Oregon

Understanding Query Modes in Tabular Model

2. Auckland Business Intelligence User Group – 27 Nov 2013

From Impaired to Insightful: Analysis with Geospatial Data

3. Canberra SQL Server User Group – 3 Dec 2013 (to be confirmed)

Understanding Query Modes in Tabular Model


I have also been busy organising a number of webinars for PASS DW/BI Virtual Chapter for November, December and January. If you would like to speak or to volunteer for the Virtual Chapter, please let us know at passdwbivc at sqlpass dot org.


Hope to catch you in one of my sessions or PASS DW/BI VC sessions!





Insightful Geospatial Reporting

Thank you for those who attended my “From Impaired to Insightful Geospatial Reporting” session at beautiful Orange County SQL Saturday 201. We started early at 8:30AM on April 20, 2013 which did not deter a lot of you to come in and learn more about Geospatial Reporting.

Below are brief details on my session:

From Impaired to Insightful Geospatial Reporting

Slide Deck


It is expected that business reports be insightful and engaging. Region based reporting can be transformed from boring grids to visually interactive maps. This session will describe how to embark upon self-service and mobile BI solutions that are available within the Microsoft BI stack for analytical geospatial reporting. You will learn the basics of geographical data, including GIS, Longitude-Latitude coordinates and free form text. Using these different data types, we will discuss SSRS 2012, Power View and Excel 2013 tools that can leverage insightful analysis. Finally and most importantly, attending this talk will get you started in learning the essential techniques to deliver geospatial reports that tell meaningful stories for users.

Geospatial Reporting Tools by Maturity

From left to right: GeoFlow Public Preview for Excel 2013, Geographic Heat Map app for Excel 2013, Bing Map app for Excel 2013, Power View and SSRS.


Feel free to leave comments. This session is a brief summary of my view of the Geospatial reporting tools that are available on Microsoft platform.

Slide decks for other SQL Saturday 201 sessions can be downloaded here: http://www.sqlsaturday.com/201/schedule.aspx. The sessions marked with asterisk (*) on the schedule are those with downloadable materials.


SQL Saturday 211 – Geospatial Reporting

Thank you to those who attended my session at SQL Saturday Chicago (#SQLSat211) in Chicago on the weekend. I really appreciate the feedback from you.

The complete demo files are located here:

SQLSat211 – Analytic Cartography – Julie Koesmarno

In this presentation, I discussed from the mature Traditional BI tool such as SSRS to self service BI using Power View and GeoFlow. to mobile BI solution in a small scale such as Excel Apps: Heat Map and Bing Map. Using Earthquake incidents we learned what tools were best at, from data exploration to visually captivating view. Coupling the correct tool with a good story line, we can achieve effective geospatial reporting.

Special thank you to SQL Saturday 201 Organizers, Volunteers and attendees for making it happen!


Further Reading

Power View Map in Excel 2013 Preview  by Julie Koesmarno

Plan a Map Report (Report Builder and SSRS) by Technet Microsoft

Introduction to GIS by University of Missouri – St. Louis

Public Preview GeoFlow for Excel 2013 by Julie Koesmarno

Shape2SQL by Morten Nielsen

Spatial Data Series (SSRS) by Jeffrey Verheul

ArcGIS Tectonic Plate Lines by ArcGIS

SSRS Tips / Tricks by Jason Thomas

Don’t Drive Your DBA Crazy!

“Don’t Drive Your DBA Crazy!” – that was my message today at PASSWIT session hosted by Pragmatic Works. The idea is quite often we concentrate on business requirements (which is superb by the way) and often forget about what is going to happen when we deploy this solution to our Production servers. This session reviews some areas that database developers should be aware of when developing solutions. It also provides common techniques to tackle high volume data processing challenges, that are kind to our production environment (i.e not driving our DBA crazy). Both SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2012 features that are useful for high volume data processing are compared and highlighted.


Where Do I Go From Here?

Slide deck is available here:

High Volume Data Processing Techniques without Driving Your DBA Crazy


In addition to the links that are mentioned in the slide deck, here are some more pointers for your further research.


Break Large Delete Operations Into Chunks by Aaron Bertrand


Columnstore Index FAQ

Better Together: Merge, Partitioning, ColumnStore by Greg Low

Inside the ColumnStore Index by Hugo Kornelis

Columnstore Index – Index Statistics by Ted Krueger

Winter 2012 Performance Palooza (special SQLPASS Performance Sessions)


SSIS Operational and Tuning Guide

Top 10 SQL Server Integration Services Best Practices by SQL CAT

Balanced Data Distributor For SQL Server 2012

Balanced Data Distributor For SQL Server 2008

Outside the scope

Partitioning is a powerful technique or feature of SQL Server for high volume data processing. It is only available in SQL Server Enterprise edition. Some say it’s tricky, I think it is elegant as a divide and conquer method. Here is a great article by Kendra Little: How To Decide If You Should Use Table Partitioning.

Wrap Up

The recorded session will be made available on Pragmatic Works site by end of the week.

Lastly and most importantly, thank you Pragmatic Works for hosting PASS WIT sessions in March and for having me as a speaker.

Remember: Use the right techniques for the right situations!



SQL Saturday 198 – Calling SQL, Data and Snow Enthusiasts

There are 42 amazing sessions lined up for SQL Saturday 198. There will be a lot of speakers and attendees from different continents, America, Europe as well Australia! So, if you are a SQL Server professional or Data is your bread and butter, this is the event you would not want to miss this month! Register and build your schedule now.

If that doesn’t entice you, SQL Saturday 198 organizers sure know how to throw a great event. They are also organizing a ski trip on Friday, Feb 15, 2013. Check it out at Scott Stauffer’s website.

Josh Fennessy and I are providing you tips and tricks in “The Essential 8: Narrative Reporting Techniques“. This will be a preview to our PASS Business Analytics Conference in April 2013.

I am also honored to showcase “Power View for Geographical Analysis” next week at SQL Saturday 198. A sneak-peek interview video podcast, titled “The Power of Power View in Excel 2013″, with Karen Foster (Director | Microsoft) and me is available from Microsoft Technet Radio site.



A Lightning Talk demonstrating an upcoming GeoFlow add-in for Excel 2013 is also in the schedule. Here’s a little teaser from me:



And last but not least,, SQL Saturday 198 is fantastic way of networking with other passionate SQL Server and Data Professionals at both local and international level.

Hope to see you in beautiful Vancouver next week!


Malibu SQL Server User Group

SQL Community in Malibu!

Great news for new and experienced SQL Server professionals! Malibu SQL Server User Group will be having our first meeting in March 2013. We are currently finalizing the event and would be announcing the speaker / presentation details.

Please visit our website on: http://sqlmalibu.sqlpass.org

Our initiative survey is also available for you to fill in.


Join SQL Malibu

By joining, you can get an up to date info about our User Group meetings. If you are not a PASS member, you can register first.

Once you have registered or if you are an existing PASS member, you can add us to your chapter membership through the dashboard.

Join Local Chapter via Dashboard



Simply type “Malibu” on [Filter by Keyword] field to find us.


Speakers wanted!

If you are interested in speaking or have any questions about the Malibu SQL Server User Group, please contact me on sqlmalibu at outlook dot com

Are you new and wanting to test what it feels like to be a speaker? Give me a shout, I have plenty of ideas to ease you in to speaking at our friendly Malibu SQL Server User Group!


Hope to see you there in March!



24HOP Back Again With Business Analytics

In 12 hours back to back live sessions and 12 hours on-demand reply, industry experts will take to the virtual stage to deliver a series of one-hour webcasts focused on data analytics and visualization, big data innovations and integration, information delivery, advanced analytics, and much more! This 24 Hours of PASS event is a preview of PASS Business Analytics Conference to be held in April later this year.

Starting at 1:00 PM GMT / 8:00 AM EST /  5:00 AM PST on Jan 30th 2013 (or midnight on Jan 31st, 2013 Sydney), the live sessions are listed below:

January 30th, 2013 13:00 GMT
Session 01 Live: PowerPivot for Excel 2013 in Action
Presenter: Alberto Ferrari

January 30th, 2013 14:00 GMT
Session 02 Live: Putting the Business into Business Analytics
Presenter: Jessica Moss

January 30th, 2013 15:00 GMT
Session 03 Live: Big Data on the Microsoft Platform
Presenter: Andrew Brust

January 30th, 2013 16:00 GMT
Session 04 Live: Why? Where? Spatial Analysis in Excel 2013
Presenter: Peter Myers

January 30th, 2013 17:00 GMT
Session 05 Live: Finding Rare Needles in the Haystack – Predictive Modeling with Unbalanced Data
Presenter: Paul Bradley

January 30th, 2013 18:00 GMT
Session 06 Live: Ensuring Compliance of Patient Data with Big Data and BI
Presenter: Denny Lee

January 30th, 2013 19:00 GMT
Session 07 Live: Dashboard Design Dos and Don’ts
Presenter: Stacia Misner

January 30th, 2013 20:00 GMT
Session 08 Live: What Is Big Data?
Presenter: Mark Whitehorn

January 30th, 2013 21:00 GMT
Session 09 Live: Marketing Forecasting with Excel
Presenter: Wayne Winston

January 30th, 2013 22:00 GMT
Session 10 Live: Visualizing Data with Power View
Presenter: Sean Boon

January 30th, 2013 23:00 GMT
Session 11 Live: Analyzing Data with Power View
Presenter: Jen Stirrup

Date/Time: January 31st, 2013 00:00 GMT
Session 12 Live: From Data to Insight – Views from Microsoft Finance
Presenter: Marc Reguera



I am very excited to host not one, but two 24 Hours of PASS Sessions tomorrow. The sessions I’ll be hosting are two of my favourite topics, Putting the Business into Business Analytics (Jessica Moss) and Why? Where? Spatial Analysis in Excel 2013 (Peter Myers).

See you there!




Starting 2013 with BI Talks

After the great PASS Summit 2012 finished, I have been counting down to the next SQL community events. Partly because I have learning withdrawals, and mostly because I miss my SQL Family!

Luckily, there are two SQL Saturdays scheduled near* my area. One of them is SQL Saturday #198 in Vancouver, Canada (16 Feb 2013) and another one is SQL Saturday #177 in Silicon Valley, US (23 Feb 2013). What I love the most about SQL Saturday is that it’s the best bang for your buck! If you look at the schedule for SQL Saturday #198 (Vancouver) here, you can immediately recognize many of the speakers are MVPs! Same goes to SQL Saturday #177 (Silicon Valley), the Partial List of Speakers shows that you will be in for a treat.


Also, if you are in the Business Analytics arena, the PASS BA Conference 2013 in Chicago is surely not to be missed. It’s a one stop shop for business analysts, data scientists, data architect and BA/BI practitioners. Not convinced yet? Twelve of these talks are going to be previewed for free on the upcoming 24 hours of PASS.  So check them out!


I am very delighted to also announce that I will be speaking at all those three events with the following topics:

1. Power View for Geographical Analysis for SQL Saturday #198.

2. The Essential 8: Narrative Reporting Techniques, with an expert BI architect and a friend, Josh Fennessy, for both SQL Saturday 198 and PASS BA Conference.

3. Analytic Cartography: Master Geospatial Reporting for SQL Saturday #177.


That’s my way of starting 2013!

Hope to see you, SQL Family, in some (or all!) of these events.


SQL Server Virtual Presentations

23 Oct 2012 Ready, Steady, Catch! hosted at SQL Lunch

SQLLunch.com Session Recording - available soon

Slide Deck


1 Nov 2012 Power View for Geographical Analysis hosted at PASS DW/BI VC

Coming soon