SQL Saturday St Louis - Feb 8, 2020

Hi folks!

I've been invited to speak at the upcoming SQL Saturday event in St Louis MO on Feb 8, 2020. It's happening at the Microsoft Technology Center from 8:00 am - 5:15 pm. 

SQL Saturdays are free training events that happen all over the world, and it's a great way to learn how data professionals use the current technologies around not just SQL Server but all the data-related technologies around it, like Power BI, Azure, Databricks, Python, data lakes, PowerShell, DevOps, and many more. You need to register because seats are limited, so follow the link above. 

I have three topics I'm presenting. 

Introduction to Power BI will show you an overview of Power BI Desktop and the Power BI Service. I'll show you how to import data from several sources, then perform some cleanup and transformation of the data. I'll build a model from the data and some visualizations of it. Then I'll publish the mdel to the Power BI Service and build a dashboard from it.

Hopefully we'll have some time to look at how it can be used in collaboration scenarios and distribution in your organization. This session is almost entirely demo-based; I might have a handful of slides at the beginning but then it's right into the demo.

If you're new to Power BI or have just heard of it and wonder what it might do for you, come to this session to see how you can start with it yourself.

Using tSQLt unit testing with SSDT Database Projects 

Unit testing is a key part of a DevOps process that helps to improve code quality (and increase your confidence).

Using tSQLt, a unit testing framework for SQL Server databases, you can create "mock" tables that contain test data and have powerful comparison assertions to validate your merge logic for more complex data change scenarios - beyond simple Type I and Type II Slowly Changing Dimensions.

This session will show how to write basic unit tests for a data warehouse/mart project, with a focus on unit tests for stored procedures that merge staging tables to dimensional and fact tables.

In this session I'll show how to structure your database projects in Visual Studio (SQL Server Data Tools, SSDT) to separate your test code from your database structures and the unit test framework (in this case, tSQLt). 

Anthony Mendoza has another session on Test Driven Development (TDD) for T-SQL Database Development that will talk about the benefits of using TDD so if this is new to you, or you want to see how TDD is used for SQL databases, you might want to attend his session as well.

My session will be specifically about tSQLt at its basic level, and how to use it with SSDT database projects. At the end, I'll show an Azure DevOps build pipeline that automates the execution of the unit tests. 

Azure Data Explorer: Bringing Visibility to the Data Lake

Is this familiar?

  • you have a bunch of XML, Json, CSV, or other text-based files that contain raw data that might be interesting
  • you want to isolate your business or data analyst users from needing to know the physical structure and format of the files or where they are located and how they are organized
  • you don't have time or resources to do a full ETL process, or you don't know if the files contain data of sufficient value to warrant that effort

If so, then Azure Data Explorer might be a service you should consider. 

In this session, I'll show you how to use Azure Data Explorer to add enough structure to the files in a data lake (in Azure Storage) that someone can use Power BI or Excel to explore the data without knowing the structure or format or location of the files. 

I'll show you the some of the Kusto Query Language (KQL) that is the basis of Azure Data Explorer, then I'll show how an Azure Data Explorer virtual database can be queried by tools like Power BI. 

There are many other good speakers at this event, and in particular I urge you to attend to see the special session by LaShana Lewis on Data-Driven Diversity. In this presentation, LaShana Lewis talks about the importance of diversity in business and how to consider data through the lens of diversity and inclusion.

If you haven't attended a SQL Saturday event before, you'll find they are a very welcoming environment, and the speakers and attendees are all peers - we all want to learn new technologies and practices, and we want to share our knowledge and experiences to help each other. Please say hello to any speakers or attendees and ask questions or share your own experiences. 

I hope to see you there! Register now.

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