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, 8 June 2021

Data Toboggan - Cool Runnings line up

We have an amazing line up of speakers and subject matter experts. 

We have a a lot of different elements with the summer edition of data toboggan.

  • Our keynote will be delivered by Robin Sutara the Microsoft UK Chief Data Officer. I'm really excited to have the opportunity to listen to Robin kick off out event  
  • Ask the Experts panel from Microsoft and the Community
  • A Cloud Skills Challenge on Azure Synapse between 1st June 2021 and ends 23rd June 2021. The Cloud Skills Challenge is here for UK residents and the terms and conditions are available here 
  • Members of the Microsoft Product group sharing their knowledge of the latest features and more
  • MVPs and community members who are passionate about Azure Synapse
  • Lightning talks for a light break between sessions. We have some fun sessions, short topics and interesting research talks.  
  • And most importantly you the community attending and sharing in our excitement for Azure Synapse.

We hope you enjoy the day around the globe on Saturday 12 June 8am (BST) to 8pm (BST).  

Register now: http://bit.ly/DT-CRRegister 

Agenda: https://bit.ly/DT-CRAgenda

#AzureSynapse @Azure_Synapse #MVPBuzz

Read: Azure Synapse: A Single Pane of Glass

Friday, 4 June 2021

Data Toboggan - Ask the Experts

Data Toboggan are really excited to have an Ask the Experts from Microsoft and the Community session. Submit your questions now http://bit.ly/DTAsktheExperts Register http://bit.ly/DT-CRRegister

The experts

Wee Hyong Tok (@weehyong), Principal Group Program Manager at Microsoft Shirley Wang, Principal Group Program Manager at Microsoft Mark Kromer (@KromerBigData), Principal Program Manager at Microsoft Abhishek Narrain (@narainabhishek), Senior Program Manager at Microsoft Linda Wang, Program Manager at Microsoft Leslie Andrews (@landrews5807), Lead Data Architect at 3Cloud Rayis Imayev (@RayisImayev), Senior Data Engineer, Global Investments at OMERS Kamil Nowinski (@NowinskiK), Group Manager & Analytics Architect at Avanade UK

See the post by Cathrine Wilhelmsen. https://bit.ly/3fO9aO7

To take part in an amazing day of sessions for 12 hours of Azure Synapse on Saturday 12 June r
egister now: http://bit.ly/DT-CRRegister

Agenda: https://bit.ly/DT-CRAgenda

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Data Toboggan Cloud Skills Challenge

Data Toboggan Cool Runnings has it next 12 hour conference on 12 June. To run along side our event we have teamed up with Microsoft to run a Cloud Skills Challenge on Azure Synapse. The details are below.  

Challenge Dates: 1st June 2021 and ends 23rd June 2021

The Cloud Skills Challenge is here: https://aka.ms/Challenge/DataToboggan

The terms and conditions are available here: https://aka.ms/DataToboggan/terms-conditions

Whilst our conference welcomes international speakers and attendees, please only enter  the cloud skills challenge if you are a UK resident. 

Whilst on the learning path please sign up for the conference to help you gain those new skills along the way

Register now: http://bit.ly/DT-CRRegister

Agenda: https://bit.ly/DT-CRAgenda 

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Azure Synapse Microsoft Build Announcements

Apache Spark 3.0 runtime is now available .It has various advantages

  • Performance improvements
  • Adaptive query execution
  • Dynamic partition pruning
  • ANSI SQL support
  • Enhanced Delta Lake support

NVIDIA GPU Acceleration for Apache Spark in Azure Synapse Analytics is available in private preview. Azure recently also announced support for NVIDIA’s T4 Tensor Core Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) which are ideal for deploying machine learning inferencing or analytical workloads. 

Azure Synapse Analytics for data engineers is a new learning path covering streamline pipeline development, orchestrate data integration and simplify security and management.

There is also a new getting started toolkit

Microsoft Build May 2021

The Microsoft Build conference is running 25-27 May 2021. It is the digital event to expand your skills. The aim is to innovate for the challenges of tomorrow.

Satya Nadella talked again about how the world will be transformed through tech intensity and the importance of the environment. Microsoft aim to be the platform for platform creators and are releasing 100+ new updates during Build. The next generation of apps will be proactive rather than reactive.  We are at a pivotal time, multi cloud, multi edge, people centred which enables us to address opportunities to empower us and empower the world. It was another inspiring keynote.

There was a raft of announcements of new technology and enhancements to applications.

The general availability of Azure Cosmos DB Serverless was announced along with other Azure Cosmos DB enhancements.


Azure SQL ledger capability adds tamper-evident capabilities to Azure SQL Databases, available in Preview. Azure SQL Ledger is for sensitive systems enabling rich analytics and is enterprise ready.

Pytorch Enterprise is on Azure 

Azure Database for PostgreSQL has various features

Azure Purview now supports Azure Database for MySQL and Azure Database for PostgreSQL as a source for metadata, classification and lineage extraction

You can read about all the announcements in Harness the power of data and AI in your applications with Azure

Power BI has announced various features which can be read here Posts categorized: Announcements

My favourite announcement is Power BI in Jupyter notebooks . The new package lets you embed Power BI reports, dashboards, dashboard tiles, report visuals or Q&A in Jupyter notebooks easily.

The Microsoft Build 2021 Book of News covers all MS Build announcements. 

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Ethics Self-Assessment Tool

 The ethics self assessment tool helps researchers use an ethics framework throughout their research.

This tool helps shapes discussions and highlights ethical issues. The questions it makes researchers ask is what should be done. Biases in AI research can cause harm or disproportionately weight outputs. Potential biases could come from data sources, methods employed and in the outputs and how the results are interpreted. The framework is here. 

Microsoft is investing in helping with understanding ethics in the business and research arena. The Microsoft ethical rules are based on 6 principles.  To get started with that holistic approach to AI and learning go to the AI Business School for Artificial Intelligence

The principles of responsible AI from Microsoft are

  • Fairness - should treat all people should be fairly
  • Reliability & Safety -  should perform reliably and safely
  • Privacy & Security - should be secure and respect privacy
  • Inclusiveness - should empower everyone and engage people
  • Transparency - should be understandable
  • Accountability - People should be accountable for AI systems