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.


24 Hours of PASS Summit 2012 Preview

How awesome is it to be able to watch 24 out of the 190+ upcoming PASS Summit 2012 sessions from your own home?

Very awesome! I’m excited about the 24 Hours of PASS Summit Preview.  It’s 24 consecutive hours of great sessions for SQL Server Professionals delivered by outstanding speakers in the SQL Community around the world, and best of all FREE!

I am also thrilled to be a moderator for Session 22, with Peter Myers on Big Data Analytics with PowerPivot and Power View.

The tracks in 24 Hours of PASS event include

This event starts on 20 September 2012 at 12:00 GMT. So, be sure you check the schedule in your time zone.

Below is a list that I’ve created for Australia Easterm Standard Time (AEST). Also see more info here: http://www.sqlpass.org/24hours/fall2012/SessionsbySchedule.aspx


** 20 Sep 2012 GMT **

Session 01 (BIA) – Starts at 12:00 GMT (Thu, 20 Sep 2012 at 22:00 AEST)
Choosing the Right Reporting Platform 
Presenter: Brian Knight, Devin Knight

Session 02 (DBA) – Starts at 13:00 GMT (Thu, 20 Sep 2012 at 23:00 AEST)
Best Practices for Upgrading to SQL Server 2012 
Presenter:Robert Davis

Session 03 (AppDev) – Starts at 14:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at Midnight AEST)
Three Ways to Identify Slow Running Queries 
Presenter: Grant Fritchey

Session 04 (AppDev) – Starts at 15:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 01:00 AEST)
Fasten Your Seatbelt – Troubleshooting the Most Difficult SQL Server Problems 
Presenter: Klaus Aschenbrenner

Session 05 (CLD) – Starts at 16:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 02:00 AEST)
SQL Server Private Cloud != Azure 
Presenter: Allan Hirt, Ben DeBow

Session 06 (AppDev) – Starts at 17:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 03:00 AEST)
What are the Largest SQL Server Projects in the World? 
Presenter: Kevin Cox

Session 07 (AppDev) – Starts at 18:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 04:00 AEST)
Practical Demos of Text Mining and Data Mining using SQL Server 2012 
Presenter: Mark Tabladillo

Session 08 (DBA) – Starts at 19:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 05:00 AEST)
PowerShell 101 for the SQL Server DBA 
Presenter: Allen White

Session 09 (BID) – Starts at 20:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 06:00 AEST)
Mobile Business Intelligence 
Presenter: Jen Underwood

Session 10 (BID) – Starts at 21:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 07:00 AEST)
Slow MDX Queries: The Case of the Empty Tuples 
Presenter: Stacia Misner

Session 11 (DBA) – Starts at 22:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 08:00 AEST)
Using SQL Server 2012 Always On 
Presenter: Denny Cherry

Session 12 (PD) – Starts at 23:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 09:00 AEST)
Leadership – Winning Influence in IT Teams 
Presenter: Kevin Kline

** 21 Sep 2012 GMT **

Session 13 (BIA) – Starts at 00:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 10:00 AEST)
BI Architecture With SQL 2012 & SharePoint 2010 
Presenter: Rod Colledge

Session 14 (DBA) – Starts at 01:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 11:00 AEST)
DBCC, Statistics, and You 
Presenter: Erin Stellato

Session 15 (BIA) – Starts at 02:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at Noon AEST)
SSIS Design Patterns for Fun and Profit 
Presenter: Jessica Moss, Michelle Ufford

Session 16 (AppDev) – Starts at 03:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 13:00 AEST)
Characteristics of a Great Relational Database 
Presenter: Louis Davidson

Session 17 (BIA) – Starts at 04:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 14:00 AEST)
What’s All the Buzz about Hadoop and Hive? 
Presenter: Cindy Gross

Session 18 (AppDev) – Starts at 05:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 15:00 AEST)
Taking SQL Server Into the Beyond Relational Realm 
Presenter: Michael Rys

Session 19 (BIA) – Starts at 06:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 16:00 AEST)
Agile Data Warehousing with SQL Server 2012 
Presenter: Davide Mauri

Session 20 (AppDev) – Starts at 07:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 17:00 AEST)
Digging Into the Plan Cache 
Presenter: Jason Strate

Session 21 (BIA) – Starts at 08:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 18:00 AEST)
Introduction to Microsoft’s Big Data Platform and Hadoop Primer 
Presenter: Denny Lee

Session 22 (BID) – Starts at 09:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 19:00 AEST)
Big Data Analytics with PowerPivot and Power View 
Presenter: Peter Myers

Session 23 (CLD) – Starts at 10:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 20:00 AEST)
Best Practices and Lessons Learned Using SSIS for Large Scale Azure Data Movement 
Presenter: Steven Howard

Session 24 (PD) – Starts at 11:00 GMT (Fri, 21 Sep 2012 at 21:00 AEST)
Mentoring for Professional Development 
Presenter: Andy Warren


Also, check out what the PASS Director, Rob Farley has to say about the upcoming 24 Hours of PASS http://sqlblog.com/blogs/rob_farley/archive/2012/09/09/24-hours-of-pass-coming-up-soon.aspx 

See you there!


PASS Summit 2012 - Nov 6th - 9th 2012

24 Hours of PASS – High Volume Data Processing Techniques Without Driving Your DBA Crazy

I have just delivered my presentation on “High Volume Data Processing Techniques Without Driving Your DBA Crazy!” via webinar at 24 Hours of PASS (24HOP) Spring 2012. Thank you for those who attended the session. Hope it was useful for you. If you have any questions, please don’t hestitate to contact me and I will do my best to answer them.


As promised, below is a list of links that I briefly touched on at the presentation.

SQL Server 2012




Paging Function Performance in SQL Server 2012



Columnstore Indexes





The Data Loading Performance Guide



Minimally Logging Bulk Load Inserts into SQL Server




The “Balanced Data Distributor” SSIS



Download Center – BDD



Special thanks to 24HOP team and IBTalk for everything. I hope to present with 24HOP in the near future. The recording will be available in a few weeks time via the 24HOP website.



Sharing with SQL Server Community

I have just attended a local SQL Server User Group in Sydney run by Victor Isakov earlier this month.

In this meeting, Victor went through some updates on SQL Server 2012, the launch date and most notably the changes to the certifications and the courses being offered. More information about the certifications can be found here: http://specialops.sqlpass.org/Certification.aspx#fbid=Z7vC96QRoxV

Special Ops tour is starting in USA from early March. We, in the southern hemisphere, can watch the Launch online on March 7th. Hopefully there is going to be a SQL Saturday event held in Sydney shortly to go through changes in SQL Server 2012.

Also, the 24 Hours of PASS is on next month on 21 March 2012 00:00GMT (check your local time by clicking here). I attended last year’s sessions and they were very impressive. There are 24 back-to-back sessions that you can pick from and I will be presenting one of them with a topic called “High Volume Data Processing Without Driving Your DBA Crazy!”. So, why not Register Now?

SQLRally 2012 is fast approaching. 40 General Sessions have been announced and there is a chance for the Community to vote for the next 20 Sessions. Check out these sessions and hope to see you there!

Edit: ANZ SQL Saturday Tour is here from 12 – 28 April 2012. For more info on the relevant cities, please go to:

Brisbane http://sqlsaturday.com/135/eventhome.aspx
Wellington http://sqlsaturday.com/136/eventhome.aspx
Canberra http://sqlsaturday.com/137/eventhome.aspx
Sydney http://sqlsaturday.com/138/eventhome.aspx
Adelaide http://sqlsaturday.com/139/eventhome.aspx
Perth http://sqlsaturday.com/140/eventhome.aspx

Hope to see you there!

(Special thanks to Rob Farley for letting me know!)