News: PASS outstanding Volunteer award & stepping down as Business Analytics Virtual Group Co-leader

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I am honored to get the PASS outstanding volunteer award again for June 2017! It’s been so much fun helping grow the chapter from 1K to 10K members within last 4 years — the PASS HQ Team & Dan English (Group Lead) were great to work with and there’s so much more growth left for the next few years! The Group was recently classified as a “tier-1” group and got new sponsors which mean that group has some funding to pursue paid growth opportunities that weren’t accessible before.

Outstanding Volunteer Award PASS

URL: http://www.pass.org/Community/GetInvolved/Volunteers/OutstandingVolunteers.aspx

So since the group has the perfect platform to continue growing and we have a really good process in place to keep our growth flywheel running, I figured it’s a great time to step down. Over the past few years, my career moved me from Business Intelligence -> Analytics -> Data Science and along with that, I have slowly moved away from Microsoft-centric architectures too. I started out working for a Microsoft Gold Partner and then worked for an Open-source heavy shop at a startup-mode organization in silicon valley and now I work in an organization that uses a little bit of everything. Something like best of both worlds — and so there’s a much bigger gap now between where my career is taking me and the mission of the business analytics virtual group. They don’t perfectly align anymore and even though it’s a very rewarding experience, after some reflection, I figured the group deserves a leader whose mission aligns better than mine does.

Thank you PASS for the opportunity!

And there’s an open position for new volunteers on the Virtual group and so if you like to be involved, reach out to Dan English through the group’s website: http://bavc.pass.org/

PASS Business Analytics VC has grown 123% in a year! #sqlpass @passbavc

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It’s been amazing to see the growth of Business Analytics community over the past couple of years as one of the chapter leaders on the PASS Business Analytics Virtual chapter…Here’s a data viz that I put together to analyze effectiveness of our marketing campaigns:

Here’s the chart: 

PASS Business Analytics Virtual Chapter Marketing Effectiveness Chart

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that an “Analytics” virtual chapter is using data-driven marketing techniques! 😉

Calcs:

May’14 = 100 attendees. Jun’15 = 223 attendees. % Diff = 123%

Projections:

With this growth rate, we should have ~500 attendees in our future virtual chapter meeting in Jun 2016. Can’t wait! 🙂

Credits: 

A lot of work by Dan English (current president) and Melissa Demcsak (Immediate past president) went into growing this chapter!

#sqlpass webinar: “Data Analytics Explained for Business Leaders” on 1/15

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A quick blog post to let you know about a #sqlpass webinar on 1/15.

Data Analytics Explained for Business Leaders

Thu, Jan 15 2015 12:00 (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)

RSVP: http://bit.ly/PASSBAVC011515


Abstract:

Description: The world is becoming more efficient. Today, seventy percent of the companies that graced the Fortune 1000 list a mere decade ago have vanished. Agility and survival are function of innovation, culture, and the ability to predict the future. To that end, data analytics offers a lifeline, a means of survival that will drive productivity and continue to disrupt and redefine business. However, the resources available to today’s business leaders sit on two vastly different ends of the spectrum. On the one hand, highly technical academic resources and on the other largely fluffy overviews of value propositions and potentials. The state of the industry shouldn’t be surprising. The same dynamics played out in early years of the internet. Software providers, technical leaders, and consulting firms greatly benefit from mystifying the world of data analytics into something that is incomprehensible. That lack of conceptual understanding is incredibly risky and propels the cost of analytics initiatives upwards. This webcast aims to bridge that gap between the technical data scientists and business leaders. Ultimately, this understanding will help to: – Connect the strategic goals of business leaders with the capabilities of technical advisers – Focus investments and initiatives within analytics and technology – Distill immensely complex subject matter into comprehensible examples – Accelerate the path to value and increase the ROI of analytics initiatives


Speaker Bio

Alex is a Predictive Analytics Architect in the Oil and Gas industry with a passion for distilling complexity into insights and evangelizing data science. His work has been featured on KDNuggets and he was recognized by DataScienceCentral as a top 180 blogger in 2014.

RSVP: http://bit.ly/PASSBAVC011515

I hope to see you there!

Live tweeted #sqlpass’s Business Analytics VC webinar: 13 Excel Tips!

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I was live tweeting during our monthly PASS Business Analytics VC meeting, Here are the tweets to learn about 13 Excel Tips!

Thanks everyone who attended, I hope it was helpful!

Here are some ways to follow the Virtual Chapter:
Website: http://bavc.sqlpass.org/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOiRAA4gBxEeVxwmEZ1qy1w
Twitter: https://twitter.com/passbavc
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/PASS-Business-Analytics-Virtual-Chapter-6701113

News from PASS Summit’14 for Business Analytics Professionals: #sqlpass #summit14

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This post is a quick summary for all Business Analytics related updates that I saw at PASS Summit’14:

1. Theme of the Keynote(s)/Session(s) seemed to be around educating the community about the benefits of the NEW(er) tools. I saw demos/material for cloud-based tools like SQL databases, Azure stream analytics, Azure DocumentDB, AzureHDInsight & Azure Machine learning. The core message was pretty clear: A data professional does two things – 1) Guards data OR 2) helps to generate Insights from Data – And they will need to keep up-to-date on the new tools to future-proof their career.

Read more about this here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/dataplatforminsider/archive/2014/11/05/microsoft-announces-major-update-to-azure-sql-database-adds-free-tier-to-azure-machine-learning.aspx

2. Coming soon: Power BI will be able to connect to on-premise SSAS data sources (multi-dim & tabular).

3. Coming soon: A better experience to create Power BI dashboards.

Read more about Power BI updates here: http://www.jenunderwood.com/2014/11/05/pass-summit-2014-bi-news/

4. Azure Machine Learning adds a free-tier! You won’t need a credit-card/subscription to sign up for this.

5. I also saw sessions proposing new way of thinking about an architecture for “Self Service BI” and “Big Data” which might be worth following because since these are newer tools, it’s definitely worth considering an architecture that’s designed to make the most of the investments in these new tools. That’s it & I’ll leave you with a quote from James Phillips from Day 1’s keynote:

PASS Business Analytics VC: Insider’s Introduction to Microsoft Azure Machine Learning (#AzureML). #sqlpass

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RSVP: http://bit.ly/PASSBAVC091814


Session Abstract:
Microsoft has introduced a new technology for developing analytics applications in the cloud. The presenter has an insider’s perspective, having actively provided feedback to the Microsoft team which has been developing this technology over the past 2 years. This session will 1) provide an introduction to the Azure technology including licensing, 2) provide demos of using R version 3 with AzureML, and 3) provide best practices for developing applications with Azure Machine Learning.
Speaker BIO:
Mark is a consultant who provides enterprise data science analytics advice and solutions. He uses Microsoft Azure Machine Learning, Microsoft SQL Server Data Mining, SAS, SPSS, R, and Hadoop (among other tools). He works with Microsoft Business Intelligence (SSAS, SSIS, SSRS, SharePoint, Power BI, .NET). He is a SQL Server MVP and has a research doctorate (PhD) from Georgia Tech.

RSVP: http://bit.ly/PASSBAVC091814

Hope to see you there!

Paras Doshi
Business Analytics Virtual Chapter’s Co-Leader

 

#sqlpass #msbi online event: “The Accidental Report Designer: Data Visualization Best Practices in #SSRS”

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PASS Business Analytics VC presents “The Accidental Report Designer: Data Visualization Best Practices in SSRS” by Meagan Longoria. Here are the meeting details:

Date & Time: Thu, June 19 2014 12:00 Eastern Daylight Time

RSVP URL:

http://bit.ly/PASSBAVC061914

Session Abstract:
Whether you are a DBA, a developer, or an analyst, there is a good chance that you will have to create reports for coworkers, company executives, or clients. As with any UI design, careful consideration should be given to your data visualization design to ensure you are effectively communicating the intended message and providing a good user experience. While the principles are applicable across reporting platforms and tools, this session will contain demos and examples implemented in Reporting Services using SQL Server Data Tools. Learn how to make information (not just data) the focus of your report and provide your audience with something better than just shiny!

Session Level:
Intermediate

Speaker BIO:
Meagan Longoria is a BI consultant with Valorem Consulting in Kansas City, Missouri. She has over 6 years of experience with the SQL Server BI stack and enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences at SQL Saturdays. She is also one of the coordinators for SQL Saturday in Kansas City.
Contact URL: http://datasavvy.wordpress.com

See you there!

Paras Doshi
Chapter Co-Leader, PASS BA VC