Keynote Speakers

Explore speakers' bios and topics.
English
Alberto Ferrari

Alberto started working with SQL Server in 2000 and immediately his interest focused on Business Intelligence. He and Marco Russo created sqlbi.com, where they publish extensive content about Business Intelligence. Alberto published several books about Analysis Services, Power BI, and Power Pivot. He is a Microsoft MVP and he earned the SSAS Maestro title, the highest level of certification on Microsoft Analysis Services technology. Today, Alberto's main activities are in the delivery of DAX and data modeling workshops for Power BI and Analysis Services all around the world. Alberto offers consulting services on large and complex data warehouses to provide assessments and validation of project analysis or to perform specific problem-solving activities. Alberto is a well-known speaker at many international conferences, like PASS Summit, Sqlbits, and Microsoft Ignite. He loves to be on stage both at large events and at smaller user groups meetings, exchanging ideas with other SQL and BI fans. When traveling for work, he likes to engage with local user groups to provide evening sessions about his favorite topics. Thus, you can easily meet Alberto by looking up local Power BI user groups during scheduled courses. Outside of SQLBI, most of Alberto's personal time is spent practicing video games, in the vain hope of eventually beating his son.

MVP 2023

Keynote session #1

Details for Alberto’s keynote session are nearly complete. Get ready for his inspiring presentation

English
Pawel Potasinski

Member of the Microsoft Fabric Customer Advisory Team (CAT). In his professional career Pawel has always been associated with data engineering and analytics (SQL, BI, Big Data). Founder of the Polish SQL Server Users Group (PLSSUG), today known as Data Community Poland. Regular speaker at conferences, community events and user groups. Former Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP).

Keynote session #2

Details for Pawel´s keynote session are nearly complete. Get ready for his inspiring presentation

Speakers

Explore speakers' bios and topics.
English
Gregor Brunner

Working with Power BI for over 7 years | Power BI External Tool | Measure Killer

Power BI

Best practices for developing Power BI reports

In this session we will look at the most important best practices when developing a Power BI report and how these best practices can improve our life as developers.

We will differentiate best practices in the following three areas:

  • Power Query / M
  • Data modeling & DAX
  • Visualization

Within these areas, we will see which best practices have an impact on performance and which ones help you to better organize your artifacts and improve usability of the report and readability of your code.

Remember that best practices are mostly not for you, the developer who has built this report. The main benefit is if we open a report from someone else or inherit one from a colleague, that is when you will start appreciating people following best practices.

Won’t you appreciate being handed over a nicely organized report that fullfils the most important best practices? Make it your mission to stand by them when you build Power BI reports.

English
Benni De Jagere

Benni is a Senior Program Manager in the Fabric Customer Advisory Team (Fabric CAT) at Microsoft. Aspiring to be top notch in his field, through continuous personal development, on both technical and soft skills. He strives for maximum results in his tasks using team play, communication, thinking outside of the box, and (endless) motivation. Benni is always ready to tackle the unknown, or pick up fresh ideas to broaden his range. Building on past experiences, he continuously tries to find new, more efficient ways of obtaining results, and improving the process along the way. Loving (almost) every day of it, he’s fascinated by the value of data, sometimes flabbergasted by the lack of awareness, and intrigued by the endless possibilities whilst discovering new ways of looking at data. He thrives on unfolding new insights for customers whilst using an open and transparent communication. On a daily basis he turns (large amounts of) coffee into insights for customers, and references witty British comedy, lame dad jokes, and obscure facts way too often. Overly enthusiastic about anything data related, he’s trying hard to keep up with all things new and shiny. When not working, blogging or reading, you’ll likely find him out and about being his weird self. Rumour has it that he’s also involved with a ragtag band of data enthusiasts, enjoying themselves whilst organising cool community things. They go by the name of .. dataMinds!

Power BI

Star Schema ALL the things! But why?

Perhaps you’ve seen “Star Schema ALL the things!”, “Never use Calculated Columns”, or “Bi-Directional relationships suck” before when thinking about design considerations for your data model, but you’ve never really stopped to think about the specifics behind them and why exactly they could benefit or hurt your model. Who knows, maybe that specific advice doesn’t even work out for the scenario at hand and you might not be aware because you’ve skipped a few steps in the process.

Come along in this journey from source to model to report using a practical mindset, thinking about the design decisions and ramifications along the way. At the core of the session lies the message to think about best practices, with the added step to test, assess, and benchmark what exactly they do for you.

Whether it be the decision of where your transformations need to be done, how exactly the data and tables need to be modelled or what you allow the end users to do with your model these are all important steps to take, preferably without shortcuts. We’ll take the steps on a moderately complex data model, and measure as we move along.

Meaning, at the end of the session we’ll have discussed why Star Schema’s can help you, and how you can assess for yourselves if they are beneficial for your use case.

English
Sally Dabbah

Meet Sally! Sally serves as a Data Engineer with an expertise in Azure Cloud Analytics Services, with years of experience under her belt. Since earning her B.Sc. degree in Software Engineering, Sally has become a significant voice in Azure Cloud Analytics Services, publishing over ten blogs on Microsoft's Tech Community blog. What excites Sally most about her work is the opportunity to build Proof of Concepts (POCs) that help Microsoft customers unlock their business potential – by doing so, she remains true to her ultimate mission: to empower innovation through Azure's boundless possibilities. Away from her professional endeavors, Sally finds joy in baking pastries, a hobby she shares with her followers on Instagram for inspiration.

Fabric

Efficient Data Partitioning with Microsoft Fabric: Best Practices and Implementation Guide

Imagine having a vast encyclopedia, and your task is to find a specific page containing a particular word. Instead of searching through the entire encyclopedia, you opt to navigate directly to the relevant section that might contain the desired information. This approach allows you to narrow down your search scope and quickly find the page you need. This concept of narrowing down the search space by dividing data into manageable sections is precisely what partitioning entails.

English
Erik Svensen

Microsoft Data Platform MVP, ex-Leader of Power BI Usergroup Denmark - Huge Power BI fan and :o)

MVP 2023

Power BI

A delightful Power Concert

In this session I will show you different ways of building a Power concert where we make the different instruments in the Power Platform band play together in a perfect harmony.

I will demo how can we make Power Apps and Automate drive actions from directly in Power BI and how we can connect Power Apps to Power BI reports and how to get data from Power BI into Power Automate.

Combining these instruments will enable you to play power full tunes that will make your users sing along.

It will be a demo heavy session that should give you inspiration to compose your own power tunes 🙂

English
Nikola Ilic

I'm making music from the data! Power BI and Microsoft Fabric addict, Microsoft Data Platform MVP, Pluralsight Author, blogger, speaker...Interested in everything related to data - always eager to extract valuable info from raw data in the most effective way. Multi-year experience working with (predominantly) Microsoft Data Platform (SQL Server, SSAS, SSIS, SSRS, and Power BI). Father of 2 and true football (and Barca) fan!

MVP 2023

Power BI

From XL to S – Reduce your Power BI model size by 90%!

Have you ever wondered what makes Power BI so fast and powerful when it comes to performance? So powerful, that it performs complex calculations over millions of rows in a blink of an eye.

In this session, we will dig deep to discover what is “under the hood” of Power BI, how your data is being stored, compressed, queried, and finally, brought back to your report. After the session, you will get a better understanding of the hard work happening in the background and appreciate the importance of creating an optimal data model in order to get maximum performance from the Power BI engine.

Finally, you will see a real use-case demo showing how the Power BI data model was reduced by 90%!

I will demo how can we make Power Apps and Automate drive actions from directly in Power BI and how we can connect Power Apps to Power BI reports and how to get data from Power BI into Power Automate.

Combining these instruments will enable you to play power full tunes that will make your users sing along.

It will be a demo heavy session that should give you inspiration to compose your own power tunes 🙂

English
Bernat Agulló

Passionate about Power BI in general and DAX and Calculation Groups in particular. Strong background in Excel, T-SQL and SSIS. Stints in Tableau and Qlik. Coming from Engineering background and working with consulting companies I like understanding the business problem working directly with the customer.

MVP 2023

Power BI

C# Scripts for Tabular Editor are not that tough: Bringing Visual Studio into the party

If you are not a C# Jedi, trying to write C# scripts for Tabular Editor in Tabular Editor 2 is quite of a challenge. At least it was for me. With time I found out how to bring development over to Visual Studio, and how to bring the code back easily into tabular Editor. In this session I demo how to set up the environment and start coding away in a much more confortable way.

English
Augustin Dokoza Bukvic

Augustin is an Analytics Architect, Microsoft Certified Trainer, Speaker, and Power Platform User Group Stuttgart founder and leader. Working as a CoE lead and a Solution Architect with the main focus on the Power BI platform and Data Governance. Working with Power BI since the public preview version and delivered multiple large-scale enterprise analytics projects for Fortune 500 companies. Passionate about data culture and governance. Currently working as a Director Analytics Center of Enablement at Thrasio a next-generation consumer goods company reimagining how the world’s most-loved products become accessible to everyone.

Power BI

Citizen data analyst hitchiker guide to Power BI

You are passionate about data analysis and ended up installing Power BI, but what now? where to go, and what are all those terms?
Don’t worry, this session will guide you through the Power BI language.

What’s the difference between the Direct Query and Live Connect? Then…Data…Dataset – Dataflow – Datamart…What are all these?! “I’ve created a wonderful dashboard”. You mean, report? No…yes…I don’t know the difference ☹

Can I use DAX to create calculated columns in Power Query? And, how to create measures in Power Query? (No, you can’t do that, it’s a different language). I’ve installed the data gateway, now I need to choose the proper mode – I should go with personal, right?

In this session, we will demystify the most common sources of confusion among Power BI practitioners and explain differences and similarities between various Power BI terms and concepts. You’ll walk away with a clear understanding of the terminology and feel more confident talking Power BI!

English
Marc Lelijveld

Data Platform MVP, FastTrack Recognized Solution Architect, Microsoft Certified Trainer, Power BI enthusiastic, public speaker and passionate for everything which transforms data into action! Working at Macaw in the Netherlands as Data & Analytics Solution Architect. What I like the most? Sharing my thoughts, experience, best-practices and enthusiasm about Microsoft data platform with others. I mostly do this in public speaking at usergroups, conferences, customer presentations and end-user training.

MVP 2023

Fabric, Power BI

Exploring Fabric Semantic Link for Power BI folks!

If you’re coming from a Power BI world, the whole Fabric thing might scare you a bit. Then suddenly, there is something called Semantic Link, which allows connections from Fabric Notebooks to read both data and meta data from your Power BI Semantic Model (dataset).

You might wonder, what’s all this? How does it work and how to take benefit from it? Especially when you’re not familiar yet with notebooks at all.

In this session we will explore what Semantic Link is, how you as Power BI developer/engineer can make use of it and how it will strengthen your solutions in the end. Together, we will explore various aspects like:

  • Warming up your data in direct lake datasets
  • Querying Dynamic Management Views,
  • Reading Semantic Model meta data to generate documentation
  • Extend or even forecast your data using Semantic Link

By the end of this session, you will not only grasp the basics of Semantic Link but also gain practical insights into its application so you can bring it to practice directly!

English
Johan Ludvig Brattås

Johan Ludvig Brattås is a director at Deloitte, and a dedicated community guy. He has worked with MS SQL server since late 1999, mostly with BI in one form or another. Since 2015, most of his work has been in the cloud working on data platform services such as Snowflake, Databricks and Synapse. Combining his passion for MS SQL Server with his passion for sharing knowledge, he started speaking at various events in the SQL Community. This is also a way to give back to the community for all the things he has learned over the years. When not working, Johan Ludvig either spends his time with his kids, playing with new technology or teaching coeliacs how to bake glutenfree food.

MVP 2023

Fabric

Make Fabric the Gold layer of your multi-cloud medallion architecture!

While Microsoft Fabric is a full-blown data platform in its own right, you might allready have invested in a modern data platform allready.
You still use Power BI of course – because that is the best tool out there.
That might come with a cost – such as slower reports or egress costs. Or you might miss out on some new functionality in your current solution that Fabric promises to deliver.

Microsoft has got you covered!

Come join me to see how Fabric can be positioned as your gold layer – or part of the gold layer in your data platform.
We will look at data mirroring, shortcuts, and all the nice little tricks available to get the best of both worlds: Your existing data platform and Microsoft Fabric!

Key take-aways:
Learn how Fabric can integrate with solutions such as Databricks, SQL dwh or Snowflake to give you the best of both worlds.
Learn how data mirroring works in the different systems.
Understand how shortcuts and OneLake APIs can help you.

English
Kevin Chant

Data Engineering manager for Avanade Netherlands. Originally from the UK and now living in the Netherlands. Microsoft Certified Trainer and dual-category Microsoft MVP for both Data Platform and Developer Technologies. Many years experience in the IT sector, including supporting companies in the top 10 of the fortune 500 list. In addition to a lot of experience with the Microsoft Data Platform, also has over twenty Microsoft Certifications. Real life experience with various Microsoft Data Platform offerings and Azure Devops. Held various roles; including Team Leader, SQL Server Product Owner, certification coach and Solution Architect. In addition, involved with Data Platform Community in various ways. Including blogs, MVP videos, event organizer and sharing various repositories in GitHub.

MVP 2023

Fabric

Prepare Azure DevOps for your Microsoft Fabric needs

Join me for a session where I cover how you can prepare Azure DevOps for your Microsoft Fabric needs.

Topics covered include:

  • Configuring Azure Repos for Microsoft Fabric Git integration
  • Preparing Azure Pipelines to perform CI/CD for Data Warehouses
  • Considerations to perform CI for Power BI reports within Azure DevOps
  • Demos are shown during the session.

Even though this session focuses on Microsoft Fabric you can use a lot of the concepts in this session for other Microsoft Data Platform services. For example, you can apply some items covered in the CI/CD for Data Warehouses section to SQL Server of Azure Synapse Analytics SQL Pools.

At the end of this session you will walk away with a better understanding of how to do prepare Azure DevOps for your Microsoft Fabric needs.

English
James Bartlett

James D. Bartlett III is a Senior Business Intelligence Analyst and Microsoft Fabric Administrator at Des Moines University in Iowa, USA. He started working in IT way back in 2002, while he was a student in the Business Administration program at Colorado State University. After graduation, James dabbled in banking, real estate, healthcare, and even had a short stint as a resident DJ at Denver's top nightclub, before finally stumbling upon his true calling in the Business Intelligence field in 2018. James is a blogger and co-developer of the Business Ops app on PowerBI.tips, co-leader of the Iowa Power BI User Group, and recently completed his Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst Associate certification. In his spare time, James enjoys longboarding, playing the guitar, and producing electronic music in his home studio.

MVP 2023

Power BI, Fabric

The Data Dojo: A Power BI Community of Practice

One of the best ways to improve data literacy and foster an active, passionate data culture within an organization is to establish a “Community of Practice” around the technologies the organization uses to process, store, analyze, and consume data.

In this session, we’ll learn about “The Data Dojo: A Power BI Community of Practice,” which was established at Des Moines University to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experience among faculty and staff interested in analyzing the data generated by their teams and departments.

We’ll also talk about the Data Dojo’s egalitarian founding principles and unconventional structure, some of the topics we’ve covered at our workshops, what has gone right, what we could have done better, and what we’re planning for the future.

And finally, we’ll discuss how you can encourage data literacy and foster a vibrant data culture within your organization by establishing a Data Dojo of your own!

English
Jens Vestergaard

Jens is hands-on partner at CatMan Solution, driving the BI as a Service team as well as custom build & deliver projects. The tech stack is wide, as Jens has a couple of decades in the industry, focusing on mainly Business Intelligence tools, but is also keen on Powershell, C# and Azure in general. Jens is 7 years in a row Microsoft Data Platform MVP and a frequent speaker at both local and international events.

MVP 2023

Fabric

Using Azure EventGrid w/ Fabric Notebooks

In this session we’ll cover how Azure Event Grid can be used to unify and automate your data loading workflows using Fabric Notebooks, including how messages can be utilized to communicate changes in state in the flow of data. Azure Event Grid can for instance be used to monitor changes in the layers of a data lake and trigger downstream processing tasks, handle logging, telemetry and much more. By utilizing messages to communicate actions within the workflows in the data lake, Azure Event Grid enables a more efficient and streamlined data processing pipeline. Data loading workflows can be automated and triggered in real-time, reducing manual intervention and improving overall efficiency.

In the context of a Fabric Notebook, we will cover the steps needed to configure and setup the “backend Azure stuff” as well as configuring the workspace to enable the link to Azure Event Grid.  Once that is configured, we will explore some of your options given this capability.

In specific, we will look at how to use Azure Event Grid for

  • Logging data processing events
  • Logging telemetry
  • Logging sample data, data statistics etc. (leveraging features  from spark)

Attending this session will leave you with an introduction to Azure EventGrid and the message structure. You will also learn how to utilize this to create a framework for automating data processing in Fabric Notebooks as well as reporting statistics on top of the flows of data in you workspace.

Join me to learn about scalable automation in Microsoft Fabric using Axure EventGrid.

English
Mathias Thierbach

In 2015, after having spent over ten years as a Software Developer and Architect with Microsoft technologies, Mathias Thierbach moved into the Microsoft BI space. He soon landed on Power BI, but also realized quickly that the development and engineering tools and practices were nothing like the ones well established in software development. This is how pbi-tools started as a project, the only complete source control solution for Power BI. During seven years of leading a data management team at YouGov, he experienced the benefits of those efforts every day. Having open sourced the project in fall of 2021, Mathias spends a lot of his free time bringing source control and DevOps practices to the wider Power BI community now. In addition to his open source engagements, Mathias cares deeply about his role as an enterprise technology leader. Like many, once having started as a single contributor technologist, he had to pivot significantly when he moved into a manager role, responsible for building, stabilizing and growing a team of data engineers, analysts and architects. Mathias is now passionately sharing the many experiences and learnings that came out of that journey with the community.

MVP 2023

Power BI

Deep Dive into Power BI Source Control

2023 has brought significant new capabilities to Power BI for source control and deployment automation – Developer Mode, TMDL, and Fabric Git Integration, to name a few. Features many Pro users have been demanding for years.
With further extensions to those technologies planned for early 2024, this session is your opportunity to learn about the current state of source control for Power BI in a deep-dive workshop.
The session will focus on professional development patterns in a collaborative environment. It will explain and show how all the latest Pro Dev features in Power BI can be utilized to set up practical team development workflows.
Furthermore, attendees will understand where Microsoft’s tooling still has gaps, and how external tools can be brought in to help.

English
André Melancia

Developer / DBA / Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) focusing on Microsoft's Data Platform, AI, Azure, IoT and Security. Developing information and multimedia systems, DBA, project and IT management, for over 24 years. Speaker with over 250 sessions delivered since 2015 at international conferences and community events (mostly in-person before pandemic times) on multiple technologies, Internet Governance and Human Rights, as well as volunteer and moderator. Organiser and founder at technical communities: IT Pro Portugal, PowerShell Portugal, Data Community Portugal, and multiple other online communities such as IPv6 Portugal, DNSSEC Portugal, etc. Organiser of technical events: Global AI Bootcamp Lisboa, Global PowerPlatform Bootcamp Lisboa, Global Diversity CFP Day Lisboa, Power BI Roadshow Lisboa, Programar Saturday, Ctrl-Alt-Shell, Community Evenings, etc.

Fabric

Synapse vs. Fabric: An Azure Fight

You have data. Microsoft has technologies to process your data. But which ones are better for you?
In this fight hub, you’ll witness the major strengths and weaknesses of these technologies, as well as other technologies in the Microsoft ecosystem.
Disclaimer: Don’t forget the first rule of fight hub, you always talk about the fight hub.

English
Anu Singh

Anu is a Data Engineer in the FastTrack for Azure team at Microsoft, with a passion for helping organizations build powerful analytics solutions on Azure. With years of experience in the field, Anu has a strong understanding of the latest trends and technologies in Azure data and analytics. She has worked with several organizations to help them leverage the power of Azure for their data needs. As a passionate advocate for Azure data and analytics products, Anu is always eager to share her knowledge and insights with others.

Fabric

Supercharge Your Data Analysis with Azure Databricks and Microsoft Fabric Integration

In this session, we’ll explore the powerful combination of Azure Databricks and Microsoft Fabric. Many organizations are already using Azure Databricks for their data needs, and with Fabric, they can access and analyze that data even more efficiently. Specifically, we’ll cover how to:

  • Access Azure Databricks Delta Tables in Fabric: With this, you can quickly create shortcuts to read the data and analyze it in Power BI via DirectLake.
  • Analyse OneLake data in Azure Databricks: This seamless process lets you access Fabric Delta tables in Azure Databricks that can be easily read and modified via Azure Databricks.
  • Execute Azure Databricks notebooks from Fabric pipelines: Just like in ADF & Synapse, you can execute Azure Databricks notebooks from Fabric pipeline.
  • Use Dataflow Gen2 to ingest data from Azure Databricks: With this approach, you can ingest and prepare data managed by Azure Databricks.

Once you have your data or shortcut in OneLake, you can easily build insightful dashboards that help you make better business decisions. Join us to learn more about this exciting integration between Azure Databricks and Microsoft Fabric!

English
Marián Žabka

I first started my journey into the world of Data as a part of Controlling team in Amazon where I was able to take a peak under the hood and get a clearer understanding on how data might help us in business. Now with 3+ years of experience under my belt, I work as a Data Analyst, Consultant and Solution Architect for Bizztreat s.r.o a BI and Data Consulting company that aims to help build healthy data driven businesses.

Fabric

End to End DnA Pipeline Project on Data Fabric

In this session I would like to showcase the approach that we, Bizztreat team, have taken while building an end to end Data and Analytics project built for a Microsoft FastTrack partner – Zeelandia. The project was built with the intention to replace an older solution and provide a single source of truth for the company using Microsoft Data Fabric as the heart of the solution.

I aim to showcase the hurdles that we have encountered on the way, from the point of building the solution architecture all the way to the point of implementation, and how we managed to leverage our custom ETL solution that helped us overcome some Data Fabric shortcomings that we have ran into.

English
Mathias Halkjaer

Mathias is a data enthusiast with a great passion for the synergy between data analytics and cloud data platforms. As a Principal Architect at Fellowmind he works with building up clients' data capabilities, implementing data platform technologies and all-in-all maximize the impact of their their data. Being a Microsoft Data Platform MVP, he is very passionate about sharing anything with community, especially something around turning data into impact! With a background in Product Development and Innovation, Mathias brings a unique 'Data Product' perspective to the realm of data architecture, and is obsessed with the bigger picture. With his slightly rebellious attitude, he's not afraid to challenge the status quo and break industry norms to find new and better solutions.

MVP 2023

Fabric, Power BI

Real-Time Reporting in Fabric

In the fast-evolving landscape of data analytics, staying ahead with data insights is crucial for businesses to make informed decisions swiftly. Microsoft Fabric offers new methods of analyzing data in real time.

In this session, we will explore the various options for designing real-time datasets and reports—mainly focusing on the new tools at our disposal. We will cover topics like: DirectQuery for KQL, Eventstream, KQL Databases, Direct Lake, and more.

Attend this session to upgrade your toolbox with knowledge of what Real-Time Analytics in Fabric has to offer. After attending this session, you should be able to utilize and evaluate the different real-time possibilities in Microsoft Fabric and Power BI.

Topics:

  • Real-time Analytics in Fabric
  • Real-time reporting in Power BI
  • Real-time storage modes
  • Event-based architecture