Recap of a Terrific SQL Rally Event

The May 2012 SQL Rally in Dallas was everything I'd looked forward to. A huge thanks to Sri & all the other organizers.

Tim Mitchell has lots of pictures posted on Flickr.

Sessions I Delivered

I was lucky enough to have two sessions on the schedule, both from community voting. (I still claim there must have been some data quality issues with the community voting data!)

Dashboards…How To Choose a MSBI Tool.  My first session on Thursday was about comparing and contrasting Microsoft BI tools.  It was very much oriented towards if you have a specific requirement, which tool might be most suitable. I was thrilled to have a full house for this session.  Seating in the room was about 100 & a few folks milled around the back too. This session was a great learning experience for me - it was the first time I'd worn a microphone, had more attendees than I'd spoken to previously, and had a creaky platform that I could have lived without. <grin>  I am told one of the SQL Rally goals is to give a speaker like me experience in a bigger venue – I’m quite appreciative!

Managed Self-Service BI and Data As A Service.  My second session was in the dreaded final slot on Friday. Still had about half the room full, so I was quite pleased with that given the time slot. In this session we talked about the Self-Service BI tools in SQL Server 2012 & SharePoint 2010, as well as how to manage the Self-Service environment in SharePoint (with most emphasis on PowerPivot for SharePoint). Since I'd had the luxury of delivering another presentation the previous day, I started this one far more comfortably with respect to the mic & the platform.

Both sessions had tons of interaction with the audience, which makes me have way more fun.  As a speaker, the only thing I wished for that was a wider podium - there wasn't enough width to use my mouse. Other than that very small thing, I thought the venue was very good.

Sessions I Attended

Mark Tabladillo - Social Marketing for Microsoft Professionals

Bill Pearson - Overcoming Barriers & Avoiding Mistakes with BI

Tim Mitchell - Intro to Data Quality Services

Andy Leonard - SSIS 2012 Instrumentation and Logging

Jen Stirrup - Business Intelligence in Azure

Adam Saxton - Digging into SSRS 2012 with SharePoint 2010

Greg Galloway - Making Heads or Tails of SSAS Storage

John Welch - SSIS Performance Tuning

Adam's & Greg's sessions both were highlights for me from a technical perspective. Mark's session gave me some great food for thought on blogging, videos & sharing slides.

The Fun Stuff

The Meet the SQL Professionals event on Wednesday night was so much fun - I can't even begin to list how many new people I met. And of course, the best part was catching up with friends.

Sadly I missed SQL Karaoke in order to work on my VM to make sure it was all good for the next day. I would have been a crazy woman had I waited to get things all fixed up, so I stayed in. As a bonus, I avoided a hangover!

On Friday night I went to dinner with a bunch of people. That was one of the highlights of the trip for me.

So, that's a wrap for SQL Rally. Looking forward to the Summit!