I’m really looking forward to speaking at SQL Saturday in Orange County, California this weekend. I’ve spoken at 5 of other SQL Saturday events during the past year, but this is a repeat of my first one ever. I spoke at the one held one year ago in Huntington Beach so I have a soft spot for this event. I’m delivering two sessions, Business Intelligence for Managers/Decision Makers and The Data Mining Lifecycle. For those of you who attended my Data Mining presentation last year, the one this year is not the same one. This one gets into the weeds a little more as to the process you would go through to create a valuable and successful data mining model. Make sure you check out the rest of the schedule since there are so many good speakers and sessions happening this Saturday near the corner of I-405 and Beach Boulevard.
If you haven’t been to a SQL Saturday, you’ve been missing out. These events have become gatherings of networking and knowledge exchange like no others I’ve seen. In fact, the dynamics that make these events so successful deserves a blog post by itself. Where else can you get 6 sessions of training, a panel discussion at lunch, great prizes, and fun, friendly networking with your peers…all for free?
I had the privilege of speaking at the Rocky Mountain Tech Tri-Fecta this past Saturday so I did two sessions on BI. The sessions were variations of other sessions I had presented, but they were still new as I targeted a different audience than the DBA crowd I normally speak to. The Tri-Fecta is meant for anyone doing work in the Microsoft environment and attendees include a broad spectrum of developers and other people working in the Windows world.
My morning session, The .NET Developer meets Business Intelligence, was intended as an introduction for software engineers who wanted to know more about BI. I had a good set of demos that showed how to use BI from your .NET code, and I felt well-prepared. But after 20 minutes into the talk and several questions from the audience, I had to take a step back. I was flabbergasted to see how little knowledge they had of even the fundamental parts of BI, even in Microsoft terms. While I planned to demo how to make your applications use Analysis Services, Integration Services and Reporting Services, instead I had to take some time to explain what a cube and a dimensional model are, describe what I meant when I mentioned a Kimball methodology data warehouse, and I spent time describing what data mining is used for.
I learned a lot in this session, maybe more than the audience.