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

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.

Sunday 24 January 2021

Data Toboggan Agenda

The Data Toboggan Agenda for Saturday 30 January 2021 is

7:45 AM Keynote

8:00 AM An Introduction to Azure Synapse - What is it? Why use it? And how? - Paul Andrew

9:00 AM Developing HTAP Analytical Solutions with Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Synapse Analytics - Will Velida

10:00 AM Pipelines and Data Flows: Introduction to Data Integration in Azure Synapse Analytics - Cathrine Wilhelmsen

11:00 AM Machine Learning in Azure Synapse - Terry McCann

11:45 AM Lightning Sessions: Building a Data Warehouse Dimensional Model using Azure Synapse Analytics SQL Serverless - Andy Cutler

12:00 PM Synapse SQL Serverless Performance Characteristics - Luke Moloney

1:00 PM Spark Showdown - Databricks VS Synapse Analytics - Simon Whiteley

2:00 PM Automated Machine Learning (AutoML) in Azure Synapse Analytics - Ferenc Csonka

2:45 PM Lightning Sessions: Harnessing Azure Synapse Analytics SQL Serverless in Power BI Dataflows - Andy Cutler

3:00 PM Practical Data Distribution in Dedicated SQL Pools - André kamman

4:00 PM Azure Purview Microsoft's answer to Data Governance and Data Lineage - Erwin de Kreuk

5:00 PM Back the Truck Up: Data Loading Design Patterns for Azure Synapse Analytics - Jason Horner

6:00 PM Azure DevOps duet - Data Toboggan edition - Kevin Chant & Sander Stad

7:00 PM AI powered Analytics using Azure Synapse Analytics - Anupama Natarajan

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.

Friday 8 January 2021

Polaris The Distributed SQL Engine in Azure Synapse

 Very Large Data Base Endowment Inc. (VLDB Endowment) is a non-profit organisation incorporated in the United States for the sole purpose of promoting and exchanging scholarly work in databases and related fields throughout the world. The VLDB conference, usually annually, is an academic conference focusing on data management technology.

The academic papers that they publish are all available online for free. One such paper describes the SQL query engine, Polaris, in Azure Synapse. The academic paper can be read here.

Josep Aguilar-Saborit, Raghu Ramakrishnan, Krish Srinivasan, Kevin Bocksrocker, Ioannis Alagiannis, Mahadevan Sankara, Moe Shafiei, Jose Blakeley, Girish Dasarathy, Sumeet Dash, Lazar Davidovic, Maja Damjanic, Slobodan Djunic, Nemanja Djurkic, Charles Feddersen, Cesar Galindo-Legaria, Alan Halverson, Milana Kovacevic, Nikola Kicovic, Goran Lukic, Djordje Maksimovic, Ana Manic, Nikola Markovic, Bosko Mihic, Ugljesa Milic, Marko Milojevic, Tapas Nayak, Milan Potocnik, Milos Radic, Bozidar Radivojevic, Srikumar Rangarajan, Milan Ruzic, Milan Simic, Marko Sosic, Igor Stanko, Maja Stikic, Sasa Stanojkov, Vukasin Stefanovic, Milos Sukovic, Aleksandar Tomic, Dragan Tomic, Steve Toscano, Djordje Trifunovic, Veljko Vasic, Tomer Verona, Aleksandar Vujic, Nikola Vujic, Marko Vukovic, and Marko Zivanovic. 2020. POLARIS: the distributed SQL engine in azure synapse. Proc. VLDB Endow. 13, 12 (August 2020), 3204–3216. DOI:https://doi.org/10.14778/3415478.3415545 

The paper shares information on the new serverless SQL Pools service within Azure Synapse. It is an interesting read. Simon Whiteley discusses this paper which can be seen on You Tube

Friday 1 January 2021

2021 The year of hope and change

Happy New Year. It is 2021 already with a sense of hope.  The dawn of a new year brings excitement of what lays ahead and what changes we will bring into our lives. The world has changed in incomprehensible ways and i'm not sure it will ever go back to the way it was. A sense of family and local community connectedness has grown throughout last year and I hope this is a positive out of the dark days. A great sense that ripples around us is that protecting the environment should be a core of our everyday lives.  

Whilst we have a difficult few months ahead there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

I watched an inspirational film over Christmas Hidden Figures (2016). I hadn't seen it before. It was about an African American female mathematicians who worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) during the Space Race from a book by Margot Lee Shetterly. I must read the book. 

I wish everyone a safe, healthy and prosperous new year.