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Your Power BI guide to SQL PASS Summit 2018

Headshot of article author Adam Wilson

SQL PASS Summit 2018 is here!  The Power BI team is going to have another strong presence at the Seattle Convention Center next week, and we can hardly wait to see you there.

For those who may not be familiar with the event, the SQL PASS Summit is an annual conference bringing together thousands of data professionals to connect, share, and learn about new technologies and services.  There will be tons of sessions and activities to expand your knowledge and skills as well as contribute to the community by sharing your lessons learned and best practices.  If you haven’t already registered, visit PASS Summit 2018 to register today!

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 7)

Day 1 Keynote: SQL Server and Azure Data Services: Harness the future with the ultimate hybrid platform for data and AI

Time: 8:15 AM – 9:45 AM
Speaker: Rohan Kumar
Room: 4A

In today’s world, the forces of Cloud, Data and AI are driving innovation and ushering in the era of the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. Microsoft’s goal is to bring you the best products and tools to tackle these new opportunities—helping you build a data infrastructure that supports your organization now and into the future.

Join Rohan Kumar, Corporate Vice President of Azure Data, as he demonstrates the latest advances from Microsoft across SQL Server, Azure Data Services, Business Analytics and AI. Preview new products and features and see the innovations that make Microsoft the best data partner of any provider– on-premises or at cloud scale.

Day Two (Thursday, November 8)

Microsoft Power BI: The future for modern and enterprise BI

Time: 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM
Speaker: Arun Ulagaratchagan, Amir Netz, Justyna Lucznik
Room: 6B

Come experience the newest capabilities available in Power BI and see what's coming next. In this all-up Power BI session where we’ll show you Power BI’s vision for unifying modern and enterprise BI and expanding self-service BI for big data. Power BI enables you to build a data culture in your organization by empowering analysts and enabling agile enterprise BI.

Microsoft Power BI: Distributing insights and governing self-service analytics with the Microsoft Power BI service

Time: 4:45 PM – 6:00 PM
Speaker: Adam Saxton, Lukasz Pawlowski
Room: Tahoma 4

Join this session to get an end-to-end view of how Microsoft Power BI enables organizations to distribute BI insights to large audiences, to provide users with self-service analytics, and to help admins govern everything users do. Learn what’s new in collaboration, distribution, workspaces, and beyond. We also cover configuring governance policies, usage monitoring, and provisioning of licenses, capacities, and organizational resources. Walk away knowing how to make business users productive and ensure security and compliance with laws and regulations. We cover the typical admin tasks and tools, such as Power BI admin portal and Office 365 Admin Center, and how to automate them by using administrative APIs and PowerShell cmdlets. We also discuss our roadmap for these areas.

Day Three (Friday, November 9)

Introducing advanced data preparation using Power BI dataflows. Simplify and unify data to create modern and powerful enterprise insights.

Time: 8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Speaker: Cristian Petculescu, Roy Gal, Adi Regev
Room: 604

Preparing and defining ETL for insights is significant challenge for businesses today—ingestion, cleansing, transformation, and enrichment are labor-intensive and time-consuming tasks, which require deep technical skills. Power BI now introduces advanced data prep with dataflows—a suite self-service low-code/no-code features and capabilities for business analysts to easily process and unify their data and store it in Azure-based data-lake storage. With these new capabilities, Power BI offers a solution for any business need—whether you want to prep your data with ease, using a familiar built-in Power Query experience, or to leverage the full Azure stack for more advanced use-cases. Join this session to learn how to easily prep your data, leverage Microsoft’s standardized schema, improve time-to-value, eliminate data silos, and create one source of truth for your organizational insights.

Building enterprise-grade BI models with Microsoft Power BI

Time: 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM
Speaker: Christian Wade, Josh Caplan
Room: TCC Skagit 4

Enterprise-grade intelligence is no longer out of reach! In this session we will take a look at the new enterprise modelling capabilities in Power BI that can help you unlock new insights from your data including some of the latest features such as aggregations for big data which enables interactive analysis over petabyte scale datasets, incremental refresh for faster refreshes, composite models to combine Import and DirectQuery, XMLA Endpoints for connectivity and programmability, and tooling for complex models.

Modern enterprise reporting with Power BI Report Server & the Power BI service

Time: 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM
Speaker: Chris Finlan
Room: 2AB

Come to this session to understand how the new enterprise paginated reporting capabilities can help you modernize existing BI approaches and move to the Power BI service. We'll cover how you can reuse your existing RDL investments wherever your data lives; on-premises using Power BI Report Server or in the cloud with Power BI.  You will also learn how implementing a modern BI platform enables you to implement, extend, build, deploy, share and manage your end-to-end business intelligence requirements whilst still leveraging familiar tools, knowledge and processes.

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: Shaping the Future of Power BI

Date: Friday, November 9
Time: 2:15 PM – 3:15 PM
Speakers: TBD
Room: 201 (WSCC)

We are enabling self-service and enterprise BI in Power BI.  The first part of this session will focus on Analysis Services (AS) features in Power BI.  We want your feedback on the set of AS features to bring to Power BI.  The second part of this session will be on application lifecycle management (ALM).  We want your input on the features you need to enable comprehensive ALM in Power BI.  Come join us and shape the future of Power BI.

Power BI Focus Group: Paginated Reports in the Power BI service

Date: Wednesday, November 7
Time: 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM
Speakers: Chris Finlan
Room: 201 (WSCC)

Do you use SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) today?  Would you like to see your SSRS reports in Power BI?  What SSRS features do you want us to bring to Power BI, improve, or remove?  How do you author reports today and in the future?  Come join the SSRS team to discuss your thoughts on this new capability in Power BI.

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 7 from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Thursday, November 8 from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Friday, November 9 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!