The official PASS Blog is where you’ll find the latest blog posts from PASS community members and the PASS Board. Contributors share their thoughts and discuss a wide variety of topics spanning PASS and the data community.

Privacy, Security and Ethics for the Data-Driven Professional

It’s challenging to talk about Data Privacy without mentioning either Security or Ethics.

Potentially we should also be discussing process and governance – which can go a long way to ensuring that both privacy and security are as tight as possible.

The purpose of this short article is to generate thinking around these concepts and hopefully foster some thoughts into how we might make our industry more secure and less prone to the damaging articles we see everyday concerning data breaches and the misuse of data.

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PASS Summit 2020 Location Announcement

When I announced that PASS Summit 2019 was staying in Seattle last year, I also shared that the conference location is decided years in advance, the result of a complex evaluation process. This process involves considering many different factors impacting our event, including attendee feedback, budget, accessibility, and scale.

When planning started for PASS Summit 2020, we recognized that attendee numbers and the scale of our conference was increasing. This raised concerns that based on the current layout of the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC), these facilities may no longer be suitable for our conference in 2020.

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History of PASS, Part 3: Bylaws Version 1

This blog has been reposted from its original source:

I’ve been taking some spare time, which doesn’t come along very often, to record some of the details of PASS during its very first years of existence. In case you haven’t seen the earlier entries in this series, here they are:

In the History of PASS, Part 1: Foundation, I described how the money, the executive willpower, and the corporate support came together to set the wheels in motion.

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PASS Summit Speaker Presentation Template Updates

By Meagan Longoria and Chris Yates

As you may have already noticed, the speaker presentation template looks a bit different this year. To shed light on how the template was created, the talented Meagan Longoria, PASS HQ, and myself are taking some time to give you a behind the scenes look.

Last PASS Summit, I had the privilege of talking with many of you on a myriad of topics; one of the more intriguing ones was the conversation I had with Meagan. Our discussions focused on the speaker templates currently being used and what can be done to improve them. She has a lot of great content on her blog and one specific post that ties into what we are discussing today can be found here

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PASS FY 2020 Financials

Posting our annual budget and financials each year is an opportunity for us to give our community members transparency into our financial planning and where our money is going in support of the organization.

As an additional layer of clarity to the line items throughout the statement, this year’s financials are once again accompanied by a high-level summary and FAQ document:

View FY 2020 Budget

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PASS Summit Breakfast Options

As a not-for-profit organization, maintaining a balanced budget and providing our members with an outstanding conference experience each year is no easy feat. One of the biggest challenges we have encountered over the years is our ability to provide a suitable breakfast option while increasing the quality of educational content and networking opportunities we offer at PASS Summit.

Returning attendees will have noticed significant changes to our breakfast offerings over the past couple of years. These changes were carefully considered and based on post-event feedback from attendees, however, it’s clear that our community was not happy with the shift from a hot breakfast to a pastry and coffee option. We heard you loud and clear.

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What’s in my Stage? Automating Data Comparison with Biml

When you build an ETL Solution, at some point you will most likely feel the need to compare the data between your source and your staging (or datawarehouse) database. There may be various reasons for them to be out of sync, such as delta loads, aggregations or added business logic, but one day your phone will ring and whoever is on the other end will tell you that the numbers are wrong. While this doesn’t necessarily have to be an issue within your ETL process, it might just as well be the report itself. In many cases, this is a good starting point to look at.

This article focusses on SSIS as your orchestrator, but the same principles could, obviously, also be applied to Azure Data Factory for example. Also, as we want to solve this task as lightweight as possible, we will, demonstrably, use Biml to implement it!

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Re-thinking Types of Execution Plans

A recent discussion on Twitter about the different types of execution plans - specifically estimated vs. actual - got me thinking about how we “define” plans in SQL Server, and I realized we really need one more type of plan. The estimated plan definition needs to be further refined. Rather than two types of plans, I propose we think about plans as one of three types:

  • The estimated plan 
  • The used plan
  • The actual plan

Let me explain…

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How To Start Troubleshooting SQL Server Performance

As a Solutions Engineer for SentryOne, I get to meet SQL Server data professionals daily and talk to them about the challenges that they face. One central theme among all of these conversations is performance troubleshooting. I’d like to take this opportunity to share some thoughts on how to approach a SQL Server performance issue.

When I was formulating this article, I wondered “what do data professionals do FIRST” when faced with a report of an immediate production issue?

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The Importance of Running for the PASS Board of Directors

It's that time of year again; PASS is looking for new leaders to join the Board. You might be asking why you should consider running for a Board seat when you already have a full-time job and a ton of other commitments. I mean, let's face it, attending Board meetings and taking on the responsibilities of a Board member adds to your already busy calendar.

As a sitting Board member, I can tell you that this is time well spent. I have gleaned valuable insights around patience, organizational financial responsibility, and increased knowledge and passion for the community in which we serve.

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