These are my impressions from the PASS Business Analytics Conference 2014 in San JosÃ©, California.
The first part of this series can be found at PASS Business Analytics Conference 2014 Recap, part 1
On Thursday morning, after keynote I spent all my time preparing for my session together with Scott Stauffer. One of the most awesome part of this time was talking to Matt Mason and Teresa Palmer on some of the issues with Power Query that we were having, plus sharing some thoughts on some further developments of the PowerBI.
Our session was at 13:30 and so we had some time to improve as well as to have a meal right in time to occupy our room before any of the attendees have appeared.
After finishing the session we had some time to talk about what went right & wrong before attending some awesome content from other speakers.
I have attended “BI in Windows Azure Virtual Machines: From Creation to User Access” by Chuck Heinzelman, who as always delivered an awesome session with some very deep examples. While still not using any Virtual Machines in Azure I am definitely trying to look at them regularly since they represent the future.
Chuck is working for Azure CAT team, which means that he is working with some of the most advanced clients & installations using most recent Microsoft Technologies, and so he has the knowledge that all of us mortals are looking up to.
This was the only session I have managed to attend on Thursday, since I had a couple of conversations with some old friends and colleagues.
On Friday morning at 5:50 AM I went straight to the Hilton Hotel lobby for a 5+KM run sponsored by the SQLSentry. It was a very fun experience that I have shared with Olivier Matrat, Craig Ellis, Marco Russo, Rafael Salas and one more gentlemen who’s name I do not remember, but I remember that he was running fast as wind. :)
This run was a great fun and you can see our selfie that even though some of us (me) were quite tired, it was an enormous fun and for those of us travelling across a good number of timezones, is a very nice way to help adapting.
On Friday I managed to attend 4 different sessions –Â the first one was delivered by my colleagues Oliver Engels, Julian Breunung –Â M versus P versus R. I have already seen it a couple of times and because I had a meeting already set up, I did not stay there for a long time.
After some working, personal and sponsor meetings I had a chance to keep on attending the other sessions of the day. :)
The next session I attended was a “Deep Dive into Power Query Formula Language” by Matt Masson & Theresa Palmer-Boroski. An astonishingly awesome session with extremely great amounts of useful information. I am hoping to get to blog about some of the stuff I have learned while attending it.
The power of the M language that Power Query depends on is very impressive and I had a great chance to tell it face to face to Faisal Mohamood (Lead Program Manager for Power Query) after the session.
Microsoft is doing the best job ever on this tool, sky is the limit!
My next session was “Natural Language Data Exploration with Power BI Q&A” delivered by Adam Wilson. Coming up this summer (when exactly is the good question, but I guess that it will be connected to the Partners meeting), the new functionalities in Power BI Q&A will allow to improve the quality of the searches and the possibility to suggest and edit the synonyms is something that everyone will be seeing a great use.
I have had a big number of questions on the presentation and so I am definitely looking forward to see discover how some certain implementations are going to be delivered. Anyway the path looks to be quite clear and correct and so I am excited to see the final result.
The last session of the day and of the conference for me was a session on the “Data Visualization Deep Dive with Power View in Power BI” by Will Thompson.
This session was quite packed with people and overall was a very positive surprise. Besides standard information Will’s session was packed with some very neat tips & tricks on how to improve the visualisations in PowerView, especially when working in the Enterprise environment where templates and corporate standards are the kings.
The unforgettable tip on how to move a PowerView tab inside of the Excel is probably the one tip that has gotten the biggest applause and cheers from the crowd.
After that session there was nothing left to do besides saying some goodbyes and leave the conference centre.
After event’s end I have had a wonderful & unforgettable dinner & drinks at Gordon Biersch with my friends and colleagues from OH22 – Oliver Engels, Tillmann Eitelberg, Julian Breunung, Klaus Hoeltgen, Dejan Sarka, Paco Gonzalez, Scott Stauffer, Grant Paisley, Mark Tabladillo and others.
The social part is always awesome because besides obvious talks you will learn more than by attending any session, especially since everyone was attending different sessions and were sharing their impressions and thoughts.
What an end for an amazing event…
I am definitely hungry for more. PASS Business Analytics 2015 in Santa Clara, wait for me – I am coming!