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Your Power BI guide to SQL PASS Summit 2017

Headshot of article author Nikhil Gaekwad

Are you excited for the SQL PASS Summit 2017? We certainly are! The Power BI team is gearing up for another jam-packed conference at the Seattle Convention Center next week and we look forward to seeing you there.

For those who don’t know already, the SQL PASS Summit brings over 5000 data professionals together annually to connect, share, and learn about the latest technologies and services. There will be many sessions and activities for you to grow your knowledge and make a measured impact at work. It’s still not too late to register – find out more by visiting PASS Summit 2017.

For those attending this year, we’ve put together a quick guide to all the Power BI sessions and focus groups that you can look forward to:

Day One (Wednesday, November 1)

Microsoft BI – An integrated modern solution

Time: 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Speaker: Kamal Hathi
Room: 6E

Microsoft has an integrated BI story that spans across cloud and on-premise data. Join this session to get an overview of continued evolution of BI and the approach that’s shaping modern BI today and as we look to the future. Learn about the rapid pace of product innovation in Microsoft BI technologies and new BI capabilities for the enterprise. Learn how IT organizations can enable modern BI for their end users. Compelling technical demonstrations will showcase the potential of data and insights.

Deliver enterprise BI on Big Data

Time: 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Speakers: Bret Grinslade, Josh Caplan
Room: Tahoma 4 (TCC Level 3)

Learn how to deliver analytics at the speed of thought with Azure Analysis Services on top of a petabyte-scale SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Data Lake, or HDInsight implementation. This session will cover best practices for managing, processing and query accelerating at scale, implementing change management for data governance, and designing for performance and security. These advanced techniques will be demonstrated thorough an actual implementation including architecture, code, data flows and tips and tricks.

Unlock the power of your data by integrating analytics into your line-of-business apps

Time: 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM
Speakers: Lukasz Pawlowski, Ali Hamud, Matt Mason
Room: 3AB (WSCC)

Business users need data in their applications. Learn how Microsoft Power BI makes it easy to integrate world-class analytics into your packaged applications, line-of-business applications, and internal or external portals. See how quickly and deeply you can integrate Microsoft Power BI into your application workflows and unlock your data by seamlessly building Data Connectors for Power BI using the Power Query SDK.

Day Two (Thursday, November 2)

Keeping your on-premises data up to date with the on-premises data gateway

Time: 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Speakers: Miguel Llopis, Robert Bruckner
Room: 615 (WSCC)

The session will cover the on-premises gateways and how you can keep your data fresh by connecting to your on-premises data sources without the need to move the data. Query large data sets and benefit from your existing investments. The gateways provide the flexibility you need to meet individual needs, and the needs of your organization

Power BI Report Server: Self service BI & enterprise reporting on-premises

Time: 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM
Speaker: Chris Finlan
Room: 2AB (WSCC)

Love Power BI but need an on-premises solution today? In this session learn more about Power BI Report Server — self-service analytics and enterprise reporting, all in one on-premises solution. Design beautiful, interactive reports in Power BI Desktop, publish them to Power BI Report Server, and view and interact with them in your web browser or the Power BI app on your phone. And since Power BI Report Server includes the proven enterprise reporting capabilities of SQL Server Reporting Services, it can even run your existing Reporting Services reports too. Join us for an overview of Power BI Report Server and demos of its features in action.

Enterprise BI deployments and governance with the Power BI service

Time: 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM
Speaker: Adam Wilson
Room: 603 (WSCC)

Whether you're planning an enterprise-wide reporting deployment or providing structure to self-service BI activities within your teams, Power BI has you covered. Learn about tools for developing, publishing, and managing your BI assets. We cover the data gateway, managing report lifecycle, publishing options, administration and governance controls, and end-user capabilities across devices and platforms.

Effective report authoring using Power BI Desktop

Time: 4:45 PM – 6:00 PM
Speakers: Miguel Llopis, Will Thompson
Room: Yakima 1 (TCC Level 1)

Power BI Desktop is a tool that allows Data Analysts, Data Scientists, Business Analysts, and BI Professionals to create interactive reports that can be published to Power BI. Join us during this session for a deep dive into the report authoring, data preparation, and data modeling in Power BI Desktop. Topics covered include R Integration, third party connectors, data mashups and modeling. Learn about various connectors in Power BI to get data from various data sources to get business insights faster.

Day Three (Friday, November 2)

Creating enterprise grade BI models with Azure Analysis Services or SQL Server Analysis Services

Time: 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM
Speaker: Christian Wade, Bret Grinslade
Room: Yakima 1 (TCC Level 1)

Microsoft Azure Analysis Services and SQL Server Analysis Services enable you to build comprehensive, enterprise-scale analytic solutions that deliver actionable insights through familiar data visualization tools such as Microsoft Power BI and Microsoft Excel. Analysis Services enables consistent data across reports and users of Power BI. This session will reveal new features for large, enterprise models in the areas of performance, scalability, model management, and monitoring. Learn how to use these new features to deliver tabular models of unprecedented scale with easy data loading and simplified user consumption.

Power to the masses: BI, Apps and Bots for the rest of us

Time: 4:45 PM – 6:00 PM
Speaker: Marc Reguera, Olivier Matrat
Room: 6C (WSCC)

In this session, the Power BI Customer Advisory Team (CAT) will present their CATBot solution for helping Microsoft Sales representatives with technical questions on Microsoft Power BI. Based on Microsoft’s QnA Maker, itself built on top of the Microsoft Bot SDK, CATBot provides a fresh conversational end-point for engaging with the team, making it easy to disseminate their internal Knowledge Base (KB) at scale. Further, a mobile PowerApps solution was developed that literally puts the KB and bot at the fingertips of this global sales force, wherever they may be; both the bot and mobile application integrate natively with Microsoft Teams, the platform of choice for community engagement and management. Last but not least, telemetry from all these interactions is collected in Common Data Services (CDS) entities and used to trigger Flows and feed Power BI dashboards, providing both insights into the business, and levers to further curate the KB.

Focus Groups

The sessions listed above are promised to be packed with compelling product demos and exciting new feature announcements. At the same time, the Power BI team is also going to run three engaging focus groups. Join us for these and help us make the product that you love even better!

Power BI Focus Group: Enterprise BI deployments and governance with the Power BI service

Date: Wednesday, November 1
Time: 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM
Speakers: Kathryn Kitchen, Adam Wilson, Sirui Sun, Nikhil Gaekwad
Room: 205 (WSCC)

In this focus group we will discuss your goals, wishes, and pains around managing and governing large-scale Power BI deployments. Topics include: understanding and auditing usage of Power BI in your Enterprise, managing and deploying solutions (ALM, report lifecycle), controlling content distribution, and more. Please come prepared to participate in an active dialog, and provide us feedback on your experiences so we can improve Power BI for you.

Power BI Focus Group: Authoring reports using Power BI Desktop

Date: Wednesday, November 1
Time: 4:45 PM – 5:45 PM
Speakers: Kathryn Kitchen, Will Thompson, Amanda Cofsky
Room: 205 (WSCC)

This focus group is for those currently using Power BI desktop.  The Power BI team would like to hear from you about the challenges and pain points you encounter when using Power BI desktop to author reports, and what can be done to make it better.  Please come prepared to participate in an active dialog, and provide us feedback on your experiences so we can improve Power BI for you. 

Power BI Focus Group: Power BI Report Server and SQL Server Reporting Services

Date: Thursday, November 2
Time: 4:45 PM – 5:45 PM
Speakers: Riccardo Muti, Chris Finlan
Room: 205 (WSCC)

This focus group is for those currently using Power BI Report Server and/or SQL Server Reporting Services.  The Power BI team would like to hear from you about the challenges and pain points you encounter when using Power BI Report Server and/or SQL Server Reporting Services and what can be done to make it better. This is a discussion that requires audience participation.

SQL Clinic and Booths

Finally, the BI team at Microsoft will have a full presence at the in-demand SQL Clinic. If you have a technical question, a troubleshooting challenge, or want to find out about best practices running your BI workloads, the experts at the Clinic will have the answers for you. In addition, if you are passing by the expo hall and you have a product query or want us to dive into your BI solution, BI experts will be available at the booths in the Expo hall at the following times:

  • Wednesday, November 1 from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM and 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (Reception hall)
  • Thursday, November 2 from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM
  • Friday, November 3 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

We hope this will help you plan out your schedule and make the most of your Summit experience next week. See you there!