Welcome

Passionately curious about Data, Databases and Systems Complexity. Data is ubiquitous, the database universe is dichotomous (structured and unstructured), expanding and complex. Find my Database Research at SQLToolkit.co.uk . Microsoft Data Platform MVP

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing" Einstein



Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Data Toboggan - Slide Preparation

We have been working behind the scenes and are so excited to launch Data Toboggan - Slide Preparation our usergroup arm.

We're working on some great content, but as this is our first one we wanted to test the water, so our first evening session will be just 1 hour (speaker* permitting - overruns are not uncommon in our line of fun), and we hope you'll join us at the top of what we're hoping will be a great run :-)

Later editions will vary in length and start time. Hey, we're new at this and don't know what works yet. It'll be top class, though. Promise.

We are cloud born and welcome local, national and international speakers and attendees.

The first Azure Synapse virtual meetup is Thursday March 25, 2021 5:00 PM GMT http://bit.ly/DT-SPMeetup

Data Toboggan-Cool Runnings

Don't forget our next main 12 hour summer edition conference is on 12 June 2021.

Call For Speakers is Open. Submit now http://bit.ly/DT-CRCFP Register Now http://bit.ly/DT-CRRegister

We hope you have been enjoying the session videos from the January 2021 Data Toboggan event http://bit.ly/DataTobYouTube

Sunday, 28 February 2021

UK Research and Data Research Centres

I have been watching the research industry grow in the UK. Having a research industry is really important to drive innovation. There is a UK research development roadmap.  UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is a key enabler for Research and Development centers. 












Above are the UK government’s Public Sector Research Establishments and UK Research and Innovation-funded Institutes. 

The UK funding landscape












There are many other places where data, machine learning, and AI  are a core part of research and innovation centres. Here are a few UK based places.

UK Health Data Research UK

UK Research Data Discovery Service

Consumer Data Research Centre

National Innovation Centre for Data

The National Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence

Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence

UK Data Archive

The Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems

National Quantum Computing Centre

Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation

The Open Data Institute

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Azure Data Community Announcement

A special announcement was made by Buck Woody on Data Exposed. Microsoft expands on its announcement  last year following the collapse of PASS that is committed to the Data Community and say local users groups are the life blood of the community. The announcement is here 

Assets have been created that are Community-owned and Microsoft-empowered. These are resources and benefits to enable local community leaders to run their groups. 

Assets, Resources and Benefits 

Azure Data Community Gateway

It is a gateway not a destination. This resource is for community events, finding MVPs in the Azure data area and other resources such as diversity and inclusion that the community may find interesting.

Access to Meetup Pro

For qualified community groups to schedule, track events and for implementations of our local events

Microsoft Teams for Community Groups

Providing a full community Teams edition to qualifying community group leaders for chat, video, voice, file storage and applications. It comes with a predefined community template. It also allows you to connect with other community groups.

Community Leader Collaboration

Also Microsoft will be facilitating a periodic meeting of community group leaders to enable sharing of practices.

Resources for Self-Directed Local Groups

This is for established groups.

These resources and tools are for technologies focusing on











Effective community groups make it local, make it helpful for local jobs and improving your career and being champions for diversity and inclusion. Effective community groups are impactful.

The url is aka.ms/datacommunity

In summary this is an amazing resource for local community user groups to thrive, expand and encompass diversity and inclusion.

Azure Data Community FAQs

For answers to your questions 



Tuesday, 16 February 2021

PASS Data Community

Redgate has been amazing taking over the data community flag of PASS. They are sharing resources at speed with the community.

PASS Summits

Redgate commits to the future of PASS

They feel in-person events aren’t going to be an option for a while, so they are thinking about planning the Summit as a virtual community conference again this year.

“PASS Pro” Educational series 

Redgate announce that the expert-led educational training courses covering the following four topics are available to all: Data Modernization, Azure Migration, Azure Synapse, Azure SQL. Watch the sessions and learn from a range of experts online here

PASS Summit 2019 Learning Pathway 

These videos are arriving on PASStv on Youtube

Monday, 15 February 2021

Data Toboggan-Cool Runnings



We are really excited to announce our summer edition of  Data Toboggan-Cool Runnings on 12 June 2021. 

The summer edition is named after Cool Runnings,  a 1993 American comedy sports film. A Jamaican bobsleigh team fights many odds, including a reluctant coach, to compete in the 1988 Winter Olympics. 

The phrase 'cool runnings' is defined in the film to mean: peace be the journey.  As well as it being an enjoyable film it contains some life lessons

  • Believe in yourself. The underdog can win 
  • Create your own way forward
  • Have a positive self image
  • Being yourself is important
  • Have conviction to follow your own path
  • Don't let winning change the person you are
  • Everyone deserves a second chance
  • Have perseverance to reach the end

Our summer edition of Data Toboggan-Cool Runnings is on 12 June 2021 Call For Speakers is Open http://bit.ly/DT-CRCFP Register Now http://bit.ly/DT-CRRegister #AzureSynapse @Azure_Synapse

In our Call for Speakers we are accepting two types of sessions;

1) 45 min - live talk on an aspect of Azure Synapse.

2) Upto 5 min pre-recorded talk. We will play these in between the sessions. These could be on anything Synapse related, tips & tricks, etc.

Submit your sessions and or register for the event. We would love to see you there. 



Sunday, 31 January 2021

Creating a Conference

What a few weeks this has been. I have had an amazing amount of fun working on this new conference idea. A specialist conference. I have been amazingly lucky that two of my friends, Mark and Richard, have been so kind to help me bring this conference to light. From creating the logo, excellently designed by Nightingaleai, to the design of the the structure of the day, the speaker liaison, to registration and of course the platform presentation layer, there was a lot to be done.  

Creating a conference from scratch in 2 months with 2 weeks off for Christmas was rather ambitious. I had an idea about the brand due to my love of snow and having fun in the snow. I wanted the conference to be fun, sharing and inclusive just like making snowmen, sledging, skiing and ice skating. These are all best done in a group. I had a chat with one of my friends and the conference was born.

These are things we did











We didn't know how well the conference would be received. Whether a specialist conference was the right way to go or not. We were completely blown away by the response by the speakers agreeing to give their time to share their knowledge and the attendees. From the stats we have the attendees stayed with us most of the 12 hours. Some got up at 2.30am to start watching, some stayed up into the early hours of the morning.  To you who attended we thank you for attending. 

A few of the comments which made our day for our first event

"Brilliant all day today; content, speakers and for the most of it, the technology."  
"Looking forward to the next one"
"It was nearly like attending a SQL Saturday or Data Relay event. Without the coffee & biscuits, and hotel bar."
"excellent conference. Thank you so very much for all your work in this. Intro sessions were well pitched but I got loads out of the more in depth sessions."
"The quality of all the sessions was astonishingly high - I was amazed during the whole day... And huge congrats to the organizers!"

We had a dedicated chat channel for attendees to have a general chat, ask speakers question. We ran with 45 minuet sessions  starting on the hour with built in gaps for overruns, Q& A, Coffee and there was space between the sessions for Mark and his amazingly fun puppets.  

I think an element of fun is what is required.

We also had lightning sessions to enable new talent and did manage diversity in our speakers and organizing team.


So for a few of high level statistics
Last of all we do have a conference survey to complete. It is a very short 6 questions. Thank you again from all of us for your support.


Thursday, 14 January 2021

Data Toboggan 12 hours of Azure Synapse

Data Toboggan are running a 12 hours of Azure Synapse conference touching on almost every aspect of it, Workspace Dedicated Pools, Serverless Pools, Spark, Integrate Synapse Link and more.   

Register now : 30 Jan 2021 (8am-8pm GMT) http://bit.ly/datatobregister 

The Agenda:  http://bit.ly/datatobagenda

Read the blog Get to grips with Azure Synapse with this free digital event to find out more about the event.