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BI Platform Architecture, Development and Administration Track

The following sessions were chosen by community vote to be presented at PASS SQLRally Orlando. Click on the links to view specific abstracts or scroll down to see them all:


Title: ETL Head-to-Head: T-SQL vs. SSIS
Speaker: Tim Mitchell
Category: Advanced SSIS
Level: 300
Abstract: In this session, we'll compare ETL strategies between SQL Server Integration Services and plain old T-SQL. Is one better than the other? Should I just use SSIS and skip T-SQL altogether, or vice versa? We'll address these questions and more, and will take a look at some practical examples and a few head-to-head comparisons using both tools.
Session Goals
  • Attendees will gain an understanding of the role of Transact-SQL as part of an ETL strategy.
  • Attendees will gain an understanding of the logistical differences between using SSIS and Transact-SQL for ETL processing.
  • Attendees will learn, through practical demonstration, some situations that may be better served by Transact-SQL rather than SSIS (and the reverse).
Speaker Bio: Tim Mitchell is a business intelligence consultant, database developer, speaker, and trainer. He has been working with SQL Server for over 7 years, working primarily in business intelligence, ETL/SSIS, database development, and reporting. He has earned a number of industry certifications and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M at Commerce, and is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. Tim is a business intelligence consultant for Artis Consulting in the Dallas, Texas area. As an active member of the community, Tim has spoken at venues including numerous SQL Saturday events, Houston Tech Fest, and various user groups and PASS virtual chapters. He is a board member and speaker at the North Texas SQL Server User Group in Dallas, is co-chair of the PASS BI Virtual Chapter, and is an active volunteer for PASS. Tim is an author and forum contributor on SQLServerCentral.com and has published dozens of SQL Server training videos on SQLShare.com. You can read his blog at TimMitchell.net or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Tim_Mitchell.

Title: SSIS Data Flow Buffer Breakdown
Speaker: Eric Wisdahl
Category: Advanced SSIS
Level: 300
Abstract: This session will examine the different types of data flow components, execution trees, data buffers, performance metrics and logging mechanisms. In determining how the buffers are built and used, the developer will begin to understand if, how and why package performance will be impacted when new transformations or columns are added. The developer will further learn how to capture performance metrics to identifiably track these impacts. Finally, the session will take a look at the controls and effects of parallel package and parallel task execution.
Session Goals
  • Understanding of how the data flow data buffers are built and optimized.
  • Understanding of logging events useful for data flow buffer management.
  • Understanding of some of the controls and impacts for parallel execution.
Speaker Bio: Eric Wisdahl is a computer engineer working in the database field. He has held multiple positions in the insurance industry with a focus on Business Intelligence. Currently, he is working as a database administrator in a development role for an e-commerce company. Eric is a moderator on the MSDN SQL Forums, a volunteer for the PASS organization and a frequent speaker at SQL Saturday Conferences. Eric Wisdahl does not like writing about himself in the third person. It is kind of creepy.

Title: Performance Management Scorecards - Building a process to achieve top performance
Speaker: Scott Schledwitz
Category: Analytics
Level: 100
Abstract: Performance Management relies on optimal performance from the repository. Understanding the requirements of the business user and applying it to the process and architecture guarantees a successful deployment. We will step through the delivery of a Performance Management/Balanced Scorecard solution beginning with the business requirements and applying it to our data model as well as the business intelligence tool used to create the front end.
Session Goals
  • Understand the difference between business intelligence and performance management.
  • Understand the requirements for a performance management/balanced scorecard solution from a business perspective.
  • Applying the requirements to the data model and scorecard front end.
Speaker Bio:  

Title: Near Real-Time Data Warehouse
Speaker: Patrick LeBlanc
Category: Data Warehousing
Level: 100
Abstract: Traditionally data warehouses are built, monthly, weekly, and sometimes daily. In today’s ever evolving and fast pace business environment the use of month old or even day old data is becoming less valuable. Company executives are looking for more up to date data to make faster and better business decisions. In this session Patrick LeBlanc and a co-host will explain how to build a complete Near Real-Time Data Warehouse solution using SSIS, SSAS, and SSRS. This is an interactive and demo-centric session so bring your laptop.
Session Goals
  • Explain Near realtime data warehouse needs
  • Develop SSIS package to Incrementally load data warehouse
  • Develop Incrementally loading SSAS cube
Speaker Bio: Patrick LeBlanc, SQL Server MVP and author, is currently a Business Intelligence Architect for Pragmatic Works. He has worked as a SQL Server DBA for the past 9 years. His experience includes working in the Educational, Advertising, Mortgage, Medical and Financial Industries. He is also the founder of TSQLScripts.com, SQLLunch.com and the President of the Baton Rouge Area SQL Server User Group. Patrick is a regular speaker at various SQL Server community events, including SQL Saturday’s, User Groups and the SQL Lunch.

Title: Helping Your Data Warehouse Succeed: 10 Mistakes to Avoid in Data Integration
Speaker: Rafael Salas
Category: Data Warehousing
Level: 200
Abstract: You may have heard this: Data integration is the most difficult part of a data warehouse project. But, do you know why? Or better yet, do you know what could increase your chances of success? With data being the focal point of a data warehouse, its data integration component becomes a critical point of failure of the whole system, and to make matters worse, we, as developers, face increasingly complex scenarios and requirements such as larger number of systems and volumes of data, data quality problems and complex business logic. In this session Rafael will share a compilation of pitfalls and mistakes he has seen –and made!– across many implementations, and offers recommendations to avoid them. We will look at problems related to metadata, data quality, monitoring, system reliability and some SSIS specific issues among other common problems. And while this session won’t get you the magic formula for ETL perfection, it will get you one step closer in the right direction.
Session Goals
  • Identify common ETL and data integration pitfalls
  • Offer solutions and recommendations to avoid them.
  • Learn about good and no-so good practices around SSIS
Speaker Bio: Rafael is an accomplished professional with more than 12 years of experience helping Fortune 500 companies and public agencies to improve decision-making, financial management and customer engagement processes by harnessing the power of their data using Business Intelligence and data warehousing technologies. As Manager of Professional Services Consulting at Quaero, a CSG Solution, he provides technical leadership in BI and data warehousing architecture, data integration, OLAP, and Dimensional Modeling. Rafael is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP since 2007 and an active member of the SQL Server community. He speaks frequently at events such as SQL Saturdays, Code Camps and local users groups meetings, and is also an article author and blogger. www.rafael-salas.com

Title: The Data Mining Lifecycle
Speaker: Carlos Bossy
Category: Mining
Level: 200
Abstract: Modern day computing power and SQL Server makes it possible to add sophisticated data mining models to our applications that forecast and predict, perform anomaly detection, and classify data. This presentation will demonstrate how to use Analysis Services by going through a live demo of the data mining lifecycle and to incorporate these complex algorithms seamlessly into your databases. Attendees will be shown how to create, train, test and deploy a data mining model using SSAS, how to use SSIS to query and load mining forecasts, and a sample web application that seamlessly uses a mining model. Take a step forward towards making BI pervasive in your organization by integrating data mining into your company’s applications...and learn how to win your fantasy football league and beat the stock market too!
Session Goals
  • Create a data mining model by going through the data collection, training, testing, and deployment processes.
  • How to incorporate a data mining model seamlessly within a web application that makes real-time predictions.
  • Use SSIS to load data while querying a data mining model to forecast the value of missing data.
Speaker Bio: Carlos Bossy is a MCTS SQL Server 2008 Business Intelligence Developer with 25 years of experience in software and database development. Carlos is a consultant for his own company and focuses on developing Business Intelligence solutions including data warehouses, predictive analytics, data integration and reporting. He has been working with SQL Server for 10 years and is very enthusiastic about its powerful features, and enjoys speaking at events such as SQL Saturday conferences, local users groups and for IASA. He has developed data warehouses and business intelligence solutions for several industries and state agencies, including solar energy, manufacturing, education and social services.

Title: Enterprise Data Mining for SQL Server Professionals
Speaker: Mark Tabladillo
Category: Mining
Level: 300
Abstract: This presentation presents SQL Server Data Mining (SSDM) for SQL Server Professionals based on the speaker's past presentations for SQL Saturday. Starting with SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), the demo includes the interfaces important for professional development, including Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS), highlighting Integration Services, and PowerShell.  The interactive demos are based on Microsoft's Contoso Retail sample data. Finally we will evaluate where Microsoft data mining can help you in a practical business environment, which may include Oracle and SAS.
Session Goals
  • Analysis Services provides enterprise-level data mining support.
  • Enterprise Integration Services supports data mining queries.
  • People can implement data mining solutions without taking formal statistics or machine learning classes.
Speaker Bio: Mark Tabladillo provides consulting and training for data mining with Solid Quality Mentors. He has taught statistics at Georgia Tech and for the graduate business school of the University of Phoenix. In addition to his Microsoft certifications (MCT, MCITP, MCAD .NET), Mark has presented at many local, regional, and national technical conferences. Mark produces a data mining resource and blog at http://www.marktab.net

Title: Reporting Services R2 Administration
Speaker: Michael Davis
Category: SSRS
Level: 200
Abstract: In this session, Mike shows how to manage your report server and your reports in Reporting Services R2. You will learn how to use the report parts shared across multiple reports. You will also learn how to set up regular subscriptions, data-driven subscriptions, snapshots, cache refresh, processing options, and security using all the best practices. 
Session Goals
  • Learn how to administer SSRS 2008 R2.
Speaker Bio: Mike Davis, MCTS, MCITP, is a Senior BI consultant at Pragmatic Works. He is an author of two Business intelligence books. Mike is an experienced speaker and has presented at many events such as several SQL Server User Groups, Code Camps, SQL Server Launches, and SQL Saturday events. Mike is an active member at his local user group (JSSUG) in Jacksonville, FL.

Title: SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse - Under the Hood
Speaker: Brian Mitchell
Category: New Technology
Level: 300
Abstract: Parallel Data Warehouse is a complex product that is often misunderstood. This session will go deeper into PDW architecture than in previous sessions. Primarily through the use of demos the attendees will be exposed to the PDW service and how it interacts with multiple compute nodes to provide superior performance. The session's reliance on demos will allow the attendees to understand PDW in concrete terms what is usually described in abstract terms. We will spend a good deal of our time examining the tools in PDW available to the DBA to manage this complex appliance.
Session Goals
  • The attendees will get a firm understanding of how PDW is architected from the ground up using technologies familiar to them.
  • The attendees will be exposed to the additional DMV's added to PDW to
  • The attendees will understand how to use the administrators console to quickly understand complex parallel query plans.
Speaker Bio: Brian Mitchell is a MCM - SQL 2008, with a MBA from the University of Florida. In his current position at Microsoft, he is a Senior Premier Field Engineer dedicated to the support of SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse. Brian has extensive experience creating and delivering advanced training for the full range of the Microsoft BI stack. Specifically, he has great passion for Analysis Services and Reporting Services. Additionally, Brian has spent countless hours onsite at customers delivering proactive and reactive support on the whole range of SQL Server products. Brian previously contributed at SQLSaturday, SQL Server User Groups, and Code Camps.

Title: Business Intelligence with SharePoint 2010 and PowerPivot
Speaker: Jen Underwood
Category: Sharepoint/PowerPivot
Level: 200
Abstract: This presentation covers SharePoint 2010 Business Intelligence technologies and new features including: - New Chart Web Part - Business Intelligence Center and PerformancePoint Dashboards - Simple KPIs and Status Lists - Visio Services Visualizations - Reporting Services and Report Builder - PowerPivot and the Management Dashboard - Business Connectivity Services (former BDC) A wide variety of live demonstrations on where to configure the features in SharePoint and how to use them will be shown. In addition, lessons learned and installation tips will also be shared.
Session Goals
  • Introduce Business Intelligence features in SharePoint 2010
  • Demonstrate usage of the new features
  • Share installation and configuration tips from field implementations
Speaker Bio: Jen Underwood has over 15 years of database and reporting solution experience specializing in the Microsoft platform. Career highlights include global military, retail, financial, healthcare and supply chain industry projects for well-known clients including the Department of Defense, Bloomberg, Walmart and Teradata. She participated in Microsoft TAP programs for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, PowerPivot and SharePoint 2010. She is actively involved in local SQL Server user groups and has presented at multiple, regional SQLPASS events in Georgia, Florida and California. She has a Bachelors degree in Business Administration and post-graduate certification in data mining.

Title: Performance Tuning Analysis Services
Speaker: Devin Knight
Category: SSAS/MDX
Level: 200
Abstract: In this session, you will learn how to split your measure group data in to more manageable pieces using partitions. Then designing aggregations on your partitions will be discussed including how to create aggregations using Usage Based Optimization (UBO) to speed up query time. Lastly, Devin will walk you through other alternatives for Performance Tuning like Cache Warming and better cube design.
Session Goals
  • Understand use for Partitions and Aggregations
  • Understand how to better design a cube and dimensions for performance
  • Understand how to design a Cache Warming SSIS package cache MDX queries
Speaker Bio: Devin is a Senior BI consultant at Pragmatic Works Consulting. Previously, he has tech edited the book Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services and was an author in the books Knight's 24-Hour Trainer: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services, Knight's Microsoft Business Intelligence 24-Hour Trainer and a soon to be released SharePoint BI book. Devin has spoken at past conferences like PASS, SQL Saturdays and Code Camps. He is a contributing member to the Business Intelligence Special Interest Group (SIG) for PASS as a leader in the SSIS Focus Group. Making his home in Jacksonville, FL, Devin is the Vice President of the local users’ group (JSSUG).

Title: Unlocking the Mystery of MDX
Speaker: Bryan Smith
Category: SSAS/MDX
Level: 200
Abstract: Despite widespread adoption of Analysis Services, the MDX query language remains a bit of an enigma. It’s not until a very simple but seldom explored concept is understood that the power and elegance of the language is revealed. Join Bryan Smith, co-author of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 MDX Step by Step, in exploring this central concept, providing a foundation for your success with the MDX language.
Session Goals
  • Learn the fundamental concepts behind MDX
Speaker Bio: Bryan is a Database Technology Specialist with Microsoft in Dallas, TX. Prior to his current role, Bryan served as a consultant and trainer with Hitachi Consulting, assisting a variety of customers in designing, implementing, and supporting Business Intelligence solutions. He is co-author of several books on Microsoft technologies including Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services Step by Step, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 MDX Step by Step, and Professional SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services.

Title: Cool Tricks to Pull from your SSIS Hat
Speaker: Julie Smith
Category: SSIS
Level: 200
Abstract: SQL Server Integration Services--Variables, For Each Loops, and the SSIS Expression Language. This presentation is geared toward the developer who is relatively new to SSIS, has mastered the basics of the dataflow, and is now looking for elegant ways to automate his/her solutions. It introduces essential components to sophisticated ETL design. The presentation demonstrates several uses of variables, types of variables (including the SSIS workhorse ado.net object), and various ways to populate them. The session will also cover the basics of the SSIS Expression language. This session is demo intensive, using three case studies of real business problems.
Session Goals
  • Attendee should know by the end of the session how to: 1. Create a variable. 2. Understand and use the variables window. 3. Understand variable scope.
  • Understand various ways to dynamically populate a variable. 1. Through an Execute SQL Task 2. Through an SSIS Expression 3.Through the properties of a For Each Loop Task
  • Learn two ways to manage your control flow. 1.Through precedence constraints and 2.Through the "Disable property" of a task.
Speaker Bio: Julie Smith works as a Business Intelligence consultant for Key2 Consulting, LLC in Atlanta, GA. She has implemented increasingly complex ETL solutions for over a decade at various financial institutions and call centers. In addition to Business Intelligence Solutions she has worn many other Database “hats” in her career: Production DBA, Database Development, and Data Modeling, but ETLs are her true passion. She is an MCP in SQL Server 2000 and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of South Carolina. She and Audrey Hammonds co-created The Datachix Blog located at http://datachix.com

Title: Reporting Services Boot Camp
Speaker: Brian McDonald
Category: SSRS
Level: 200
Abstract: Do you need to report your business data to users across your enterprise? Have you heard of Reporting Services, but are not sure what it has to offer? Do you have reporting services installed in your environment, but are unsure how to make use of it? All of these questions and many more will be answered in this one hour Reporting Services Boot Camp! Jammed with walk-throughs and demonstrations, this dynamite session is a SQL Saturday favorite and should not be missed. SQL Server Reporting Services is a fundamental part of Microsoft’s Business Intelligence suite of products which provides a robust and centralized reporting platform for organizations. Using a familiar development environment we can create exciting reports that can be delivered in a variety of ways. In this level 200-300 session, I will: • Introduce and Provide an Architectural Overview of Reporting Services 2008R2 • Provide examples loaded with the awesome new features included in SSRS 2008R2 • Demonstrate how easy it is to deliver the full lifecycle of report development • Show how to deliver reports on the web, through applications and exciting other ways
Session Goals
  • Introduce and Provide an Architectural Overview of Reporting Services 2008R2
  • Provide examples loaded with the awesome new features included in SSRS 2008R2
  • #NAME?
Speaker Bio: Brian K. McDonald, MCDBA, MCSD is a Business Intelligence consultant for Pragmatic Works. Brian has experience in Database Administration, SQL Server Reporting Services, SQL Server Integration Services and Analysis Services. He has worked as an Application Developer, Network Administrator and a Database Administrator throughout his 11 years in the IT industry. He even spent a year on a large Help Desk operation a long, long time ago. Brian takes pride in all his projects and diligently works to not only meet expectations, but greatly exceed them. Brian has written articles for industry websites and continually strives to learn more and become a better version of himself. Brian is an active member of the Jacksonville SQL Server User's Group and has presented at User group meetings, Code Camps and various SQL Saturday events across Florida.

Title: Data Visualizations in SSRS 2008 R2
Speaker: Stacia Misner
Category: Summit Spotlight
Level: 200
Abstract: Reporting Services 2008 R2 includes several new data visualization features - sparklines, data bars, indicators, and maps. In this latest release, you now have a wide range of options for helping viewers to better understand data through visualization. In this session, you learn what's new, how best to use these new features, and how to avoid common design problems by properly applying principles of visual design.
Session Goals
  • Introduce data visualization features in SQL Server 2008 R2
  • Demonstrate how to use these features effectively
  • Explain how visual design principles impact understanding of data
Speaker Bio: Stacia Misner is a MCIT-BI and MCTS-BI with a Bachelors' degree in Social Sciences. She is a consultant, educator, author, mentor, and principal of Data Inspirations. Her career spans more than 25 years with a focus on improving business practices through technology. Since 2000, she has been providing consulting and education services for Microsoft's business intelligence technologies. In addition, she has authored or co-authored several books covering different components of the Microsoft SQL Server database and business intelligence platform. Stacia has presented at the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS), Microsoft's TechEd, SQL Server Magazine Connections, and various Microsoft events. She currently lives in Las Vegas.     

Title: Zero To OLAP Cubes in 60 Minutes
Speaker: Adam Jorgensen
Category: Summit Spotlight
Level: 200
Abstract: Overcome the barriers of traditional training and seminars with this Quick Start to building a cube. This all demo session will get you started and answer many questions you have about building cubes the right way, the first time. Let’s dive in together and learn about how SSAS and OLAP can make deliver actionable intelligence to your end users in a fraction of the time and effort of traditional reporting techniques. This all demo session will get you started and answer many questions you have about what SSAS is and what it can do for you.
Session Goals
  • Understand the goals of OLAP in an environment.
  • Hands on understanding and explanations of SQL Server Analysis Services development.
  • Dispel myths and accelerate development in Analysis Services 2008
Speaker Bio:  Adam Jorgensen, MBA, MCITP: BI, MCDBA is the President of Pragmatic Works, a global BI Software and solutions firm based on Jacksonville, FL. and has been delivering innovative SQL Server and Business Intelligence Solutions for over a decade. His passion is finding new and innovative avenues for clients and the community to embrace business intelligence and lower barriers to implementation. Adam’s focus is on mentoring senior management and technical teams as he helps them to realize the value in the data they already own, while accelerating the technology learning curve. He works with customers to quickly understand their business models and identify their needs to deliver value as efficiently as possible. Adam is considered by many as a community pioneer. Adam is an active member of the Gold Coast User Group in South Florida and is a featured author on sites such as SQLServerCentral.com SQLShare.com and is a co-founder of BIDN.com (Business Intelligence Developer Network). He is also the co-host of SQLLunch.com, a weekly live presentation series focusing on combining experienced presenters with those getting into the community to help them gain confidence and provide a quick free learning outlet to a global audience.  Adam is a regular contributor to the SQLPASS Virtual User Groups for Business Intelligence and other organizations. He regularly speaks at industry group events, major conferences, Code Camps, and SQL Saturday events on strategic and technical topics.    
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