The Dream Team: Synapse Analytics Serverless SQL Pools and Pipelines with Andy Cutler

Date: 23 Feb 2022

Time: 18:00 UTC

Presenter: Andy Cutler

Registration Link:

The Dream Team: Synapse Analytics Serverless SQL Pools and Pipelines

Azure Synapse Analytics brings together big data processing, data warehousing, data integration, and data visualisation services into one seamless ecosystem.
The Serverless SQL Pools service within Azure Synapse Analytics allows querying data in Azure Storage, Data Lake Gen1/2, Cosmos DB, and the Dataverse. We can query this data without moving or transforming it to other destinations, increasing time to insight. However, the source data may not be in the best possible format for analytical workloads…
In this session we’ll be looking at the concepts of a Logical Data Warehouse and how Synapse Analytics Pipelines and Serverless SQL Pools are the dream team when it comes to transforming and delivery big data analytics.

We’ll be covering the following areas:
• Setting up an Azure Synapse Analytics workspace
• Introducing our example Website Event telemetry data for Retail Analytics
• Creating Synapse Analytics Pipelines to load and transform source data in the Data Lake
• Creating a Logical Data Warehouse using Views within Serverless SQL Pools

After this technical and SQL-heavy session, attendees will understand how Synapse Analytics Pipelines can be used to move and transform data and the role Serverless SQL Pools plays in connecting to and querying data in a Data Lake

About Speaker: Andy Cutler

Andy runs Datahai, a Microsoft Silver Partner Azure Data Platform consultancy. The Datahai blog contains various posts around the Microsoft Data Platform, Power BI, certifications, and general data.

Andy is a current Microsoft Data Platform MVP.

Find Andy’s blog at

Master Big Data with Databricks and Apache Spark SQL with Bryan Cafferky

Date: 19 May 2021

Time: 18:00 UTC

Presenter: Bryan Cafferky

Registration Link:

Master Big Data with Databricks and Apache Spark SQL

Databricks is a user interface wrapper for Apache Spark, the world’s most popular open-source Big Data platform.  Did you know the most important language on Apache Spark is Structured Query Language (SQL)? That’s right, you can jump into the world of big data using your current SQL knowledge. In this presentation, Bryan will show you how to use SQL with Databricks notebooks with real world scenarios.  Come to this presentation and learn how to jump into the big data!

About Speaker: Bryan Cafferky

Bryan is the author of Master Azure Databricks Step by Step and the creator of a data and artificial intelligence YouTube training channel. He had decades of experience in multiple industries and was a Microsoft Worldwide Learning Data Science content creator.

Find Bryan’s channel at

Beginner’s Guide to Publishing and Sharing Content in Power BI with Shabnam Watson

Date: 6 May 2021

Time: 18:00 UTC

Presenter: Shabnam Watson


This introductory session focuses on teaching you the basic concepts of publishing and sharing content in Power BI Service. You will learn about different types of workspaces (My Workspace, Shared Workspace, Premium Workspace) and different user types (Free, Pro, Premium Per User) who can publish content to these workspaces. Next you will learn how you can share your reports either directly out of a workspace or with a Power BI App and when you should be using which method. Finally, you will see examples of sharing in Teams and SharePoint and using subscriptions.

Shabnam Watson

BI Architect
Shabnam Watson is a Business Intelligence consultant and Microsoft Data Platform MVP with 20 years of experience developing Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence solutions. She has worked across several industries including Supply Chain, Finance, Retail, Insurance, and Health Care. Her areas of interest include Power BI, Analysis Services, Performance Tuning, PowerShell, DevOps, Azure, Natural Language Processing, and AI. Her work focus within the Microsoft BI Stack has been on Analysis Services and Power BI.
She is a regular speaker and volunteer at national and local user groups and conferences. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering, a master’s degree in Computer Science, and a Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP) certification by The Data Warehouse Institute (TDWI).

Practical Application of Storytelling Techniques in Power BI with Meagan Longoria

Date: 22 April 2021

Time: 18:00 UTC

Topic: Practical Application of Storytelling Techniques in Power BI


In data visualization, we are inundated with the idea that we should be telling a story. But what is a story? And how do you use visual properties and navigation to tell a story? Join Meagan Longoria for this virtual discussion of storytelling in data visualization and demonstration of storytelling techniques.


Meagan Longoria is a business intelligence consultant with Denny Cherry & Associates who lives in Denver, Colorado. She is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP. Meagan spends a lot of time thinking about how to use data integration, data modeling, and data visualization techniques to make data useful for people. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences at conferences and user group meetings, as well as through her blog (

R and Python Integration in Power BI with Markus Ehrenmüller-Jensen

Date: 8 April 2021

Time: 18:00 UTC

Topic: R and Python Integration in Power BI

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Both, R and Python, are very popular languages among data scientists. And both are integrated into Power BI: As source and transformation in Power Query and as standard visual in Power BI.
If Power BI’s standard or custom visuals cannot satisfy your need to present the data in a certain way, or if you already have a data visualization script written in either R or Python at hand, then the R visualization and Python visualization are your friends. 

The same applies to Power Query: Power BI, R, and Python have in common that they are heavily used to ingest, transform, and prepare data. All three come with very helpful ways of achieving such tasks. You can use Power BI’s core functionalities to transform data either via the graphical interface or by writing M code. If you hit the limitations of Power Query, you can use a transformation written in R or Python, or even reuse one you already have, inside Power Query.


Markus Ehrenmüller-Jensen is the founder and business intelligence architect of Savory Data. He works as a project leader, trainer & consultant for data engineering, data science and data visualization since 1994. He is an educated software-engineer, graduated business educator and professor for databases and project engineering at HTL Leonding (technical college) and certified as MCSE Data Platform, MCSE Business Intelligence, and MCT. Markus speaks regularly on international conferences (eg. PASS Summit, Power Platform World Tour, Intelligent Cloud Conference, SQL Saturdays, SQL Days, SQL PASS Austria, …) and writes articles for well-known journals. In 2013 he co-founded SQL PASS Austria, in 2015 Power Platform Usergroup Austria and he organizes SQL Saturdays in Austria since 2014.

Power BI report design Tips and Tricks with Prathy Kamasani

Date: 16 March 2021

Time: 18:00 UTC

Topic: Power BI report design Tips and Tricks


A demo’s filled session packed with tips and tricks to show how to transform usual Power BI reports into stunning reports; by using some of my old favourite tricks and brand new suggestions.

In this session, you’ll learn about:

  • How to use background images to create templates for both web and mobile layouts.
  • How to use Bookmarks, buttons and navigation techniques to create App look and feel.
  • Use of colours, dynamic formatting, and how a combination of both can make regular key metrics more insightful
  • Various DataViz resources and tips for choosing the right visuals


Prathy Kamasani – Prathy is a Group Manager at Avanade with Power BI, Power Platform and Microsoft BI consultant with over ten years of experience delivering innovative and easy to use BI systems in a broad range of sectors. She combines a flair for design and user experience with the ability to use her strong technical skills to solve the most complex of problems. With a BSC and MSC in Computer Systems, her technical experience has evolved with the Microsoft BI platform, focusing on Power BI and the complimentary PowerApps and Power Automate tools. Prathy has worked with many clients across sectors. Prathy is a regular blogger at, a well-recognised speaker and holds a coveted Microsoft Data Platform MVP award.

It’s just a SQL – Crash course on Synapse Serverless for T-SQL Ninjas! – Nikola Ilic – 2 Mar 2021 18:00 UTC

Date: 2 March 2021

Time: 18:00 UTC

Topic: It’s just a SQL – Crash course on Synapse Serverless for T-SQL Ninjas!


Are you a seasoned T-SQL developer, used to solve each and every challenge by writing plain old SQL? But, now you need to leverage data coming from semi-structured or unstructured sources?
What if I tell you that you can get your mission accomplished by writing your favorite T-SQL syntax?

In this session, you will learn what is a Serverless SQL pool within Azure Synapse Analytics, how it works behind the scenes, 
and how can you preserve your “T-SQL Ninja” status even when dealing with the data coming from CSV and Parquet files, or from NoSQL database.

About the presenter: Nikola Ilic

Passionate about Data Analysis, Data Modeling, and extracting knowledge from raw data. Extensive experience in Banking Business and Online Gaming industry, combined with broad IT knowledge. Curious by nature, always motivated to learn the latest technologies and tools and work with talented people. Blogger @, speaker, Data Engineering, and Business Intelligence enthusiast, interested in mining useful information from structured and less structured data. True football/soccer (and Barca) fan!

A first look at Azure Purview with Azure Synapse Analytic – Simon Whiteley – 19 Jan 2021 18:00 UTC

Date : 19 Jan 2021

Time : 18:00 UTC

Topic : A first look at Azure Purview with Azure Synapse Analytic

The data industry has come a long way in the past few years, we’re seeing the massive growth of data lakes, data mesh architectures, distributed data stores and an explosion in self-service analytics. But how do you govern this sprawling array of desperate data stores? How can you be certain you’re adhering to data sensitivity guidelines? How do your users know where to find the right dataset for their analytics?

True Data Governance has long been a missing piece of the Azure landscape, but with the preview release of Azure Purview, we now have an answer. This tool allows you to scrape metadata from a whole range of sources, automatically classify and catalogue the data within and present it to your users as a one-stop data catalogue & security management service.

This session will take you through a first look at the tool, how we go about basic operations and begin to implement purview in our environment. We’ll look at several different governance scenarios, use several different data sources and give you a good initial impression of where the tool fits in your organisation. As this is a preview tool, we won’t have all the answers – but bring along your questions & scenarios and we’ll see what we can do!

About Simon Whiteley

Data Platform MVP. Cloud Architect, Nerd

Director of Engineering for Advancing Analytics Ltd and Microsoft Data Platform MVP. Simon is a seasoned solution architect & technical lead with well over a decade of Microsoft Analytics experience. A deep techie with a focus on emerging cloud technologies and applying “big data” thinking to traditional analytics problems, Simon also has a passion for bringing it back to the high level and making sense of the bigger picture. When not tinkering with tech, Simon is a death-dodging London cyclist, a sampler of craft beers, an avid chef and a generally nerdy person.

Introducing DirectQuery for Power BI datasets and Analysis Services – Alberto Ferrari – 16 Feb 2021 18:00 UTC

Date : 16 Feb 2021

Time : 18:00 UTC

Topic : Power BI Composite Models

Register here


“New composite models” is the friendly name for “DirectQuery for Power BI datasets and Analysis Services”, a feature that will have a huge impact in corporate and self-service BI in the coming years. In this session you see how this feature work, you learn several examples of adoption, and you have an overview of the challenging ahead for governance and development.

About the presenter: Alberto Ferrari

Alberto started working with SQL Server in 2000 and immediately his interest focused on Business Intelligence. He and Marco Russo created, where they publish extensive content about Business Intelligence.

Alberto published several books about Analysis Services, Power BI, and Power Pivot. He is a Microsoft MVP and he earned the SSAS Maestro title, the highest level of certification on Microsoft Analysis Services technology.

Today, Alberto’s main activities are in the delivery of DAX and data modeling workshops for Power BI and Analysis Services all around the world. Alberto offers consulting services on large and complex data warehouses to provide assessments and validation of project analysis or to perform specific problem-solving activities.

Alberto is a well-known speaker at many international conferences, like PASS Summit, Sqlbits, and Microsoft Ignite. He loves to be on stage both at large events and at smaller user groups meetings, exchanging ideas with other SQL and BI fans. When traveling for work, he likes to engage with local user groups to provide evening sessions about his favorite topics. Thus, you can easily meet Alberto by looking up local Power BI user groups during scheduled courses.

Outside of SQLBI, most of Alberto’s personal time is spent practicing video games, in the vain hope of eventually beating his son.