My PASS Summit 2014 Submission Feedback

3 July, 2014 (16:50) | PASS, Presentations, Professional Development, Summit | By: Mark V

Speakers have been asking PASS for feedback regarding their Summit submissions for a few years. This year, following a bit of a heated “discussion,” PASS announced that session feedback would be available upon request. I, like so many other speakers had done, applaud this decision. PASS did make it clear that the both the quantity and the quality of the feedback varies widely.

I am a big proponent of learning from the experiences of others. As such, in the hopes that someone can learn something from the feedback I got, I hereby share what I received. I want to thank the reviewers who took the time to make these comments.

Analysis Services Terms and Concepts For The DBA (REGULAR SESSION – NOT SELECTED)

ABSTRACT

Despite some overlapping concepts, the worlds of the Relational engine and Analysis Services really are quite different. With more and more organizations realizing the power of Analytics, there is a good chance a BI initiative will come your way at some point.

 

This session is intended for the DBA that wants/needs to learn more about SQL Server Analysis Services. The goal is to provide a meaningful base of knowledge that will allow you to effectively participate in discussions of Analysis Services in your organization.

 

Through both slides and demos, you will learn:

— The differences between SSAS Multidimensional and SSAS Tabular

— Key terms like Measures, Dimensions, and Hierarchies

— Storage options such as MOLAP, HOLAP, ROLAP, and Direct Query

— Monitoring with Extended Events

— Overviews of MDX, DAX, and XMLA

— And more

 

Come take a few steps into the exciting world of Business Intelligence with SQL Server Analysis Services.

FEEDBACK

Seems this may be a 100 level session
Good topic, sounds more like a 100-level session to me.
No need of prerequisites to be SQL Server Administrator. should also focus on OLAP DW part and schema concept, slice and dice part of SSAS OLAP cube if someone wants to show the power of BI Analytics using SQL server analysis services.
Thanks,
Excellent and useful topic!

 

DANGER: The Art and Science of Presenting (REGULAR SESSION – NOT SELECTED)

ABSTRACT

Over the past decade, we have learned a lot about the chemistry of the brain and why humans react the way we do to events in our environment. The idea of Emotional Intelligence – EQ – is a compelling concept that applies this knowledge in a set of learn-able, improvable skills for leading others. Although EQ is often applied to corporate leadership, this session will explain the basics of EQ and demonstrate how you can use it to make your presentations better in the following areas:

 

• Crafting better slide decks

• Preparing yourself for presenting

• Delivering your content

• Dealing with the unexpected

 

Understanding and practicing the concepts of EQ can make your presentations a better experience for everyone in the room – including you.

NOTE

This session was chosen as an Alternate last year and I ended up presenting. It was greatly successful (narrowly missed being in the Top Ten sessions) so I submitted it again, noting to the committee why I was doing so. That should provide some additional context to some of the feedback.

FEEDBACK

Excellent topic. Excellent consistency across session name, abstract, topic and goals. Perhaps, given the topic, some real examples should have been added. Reference to PASS is 2013 should have been avoided.
While the abstract and topic are great I’m not sure that we would want to see a repeat session from last year.
Delivered too recently at the past Summit. Very targeted audience.
The abstract goes too much into EQ and feels disconnected from the title.

 

Keeping the "Business" in Business Intelligence (REGULAR SESSION – NOT SELECTED)

ABSTRACT

It is no accident the term “Business Intelligence” starts with “Business.” Any Business Intelligence initiative should, likewise, start with the needs of the Business. For many years, BI was seen as a technology project. This is one reason why so many BI initiatives fail. Rather than a Technology Project, BI is a Business Program. It must grow and evolve as the Business grows and evolves.

 

In this session, we will discuss the following:

— Why BI is a worthwhile investment (using case study examples)

— What criteria to use in determining the success of a BI initiative

— Several reasons why BI initiatives fail

— Critical Success Factors for BI

 

So much of the success for BI happens before the requirements are even gathered. Come learn how you can set yourself up for success with Business Intelligence.

FEEDBACK

Could be an interesting approach to a rather dry topic
The abstract is clear about what will be discussed as for failures of BI projects. If it has real examples, maybe you can get some demo to demonstrate. You can demo the results in chart, as time and effort, even the results.
Thanks for the abstract.

 

Power Query: Data Chemistry for The Masses (REGULAR SESSION – SELECTED)

ABSTRACT

ETL Developers have being doing chemistry with data for years in tools like SQL Server Integration Services. These tools require training, experience, and time that few business users have. But in the age of self-service BI, those business users need a way to shape data to support their analysis.

 

This session will show how Power Query can be easily used to take advantage of data’s properties to drive the change we need to support our goals.

 

We will discuss/demonstrate:

— The simple process of accessing a wide variety of data sources

— The ease with which simple transformations can be achieved using the Power Query Ribbon

— Power Query’s fantastic ability to travel through time to see every step taken with the data

— The foundations of the Power Query Formula Language, informally known as "M"

— Using "M" to take Power Query WAY beyond what the Ribbon has to offer.

 

Come learn about what may well be the most exciting member of the Power BI family.

FEEDBACK

seems like too much to cover in 75

 

MDX Trek: First Contact (REGULAR SESSION – NOT SELECTED)

ABSTRACT

As with so many aspects of life, a solid foundation makes a huge difference. This Star Trek themed introduction to MDX leads you on a voyage through the terms and concepts necessary for a solid foundation for learning this fascinating language. Terms covered include:

— Measures and Measure Groups

— Attributes and Dimensions

— Hierarchies

— Members

— Tuples

— Sets

 

This session also shows how you can think about the cube space in a way that is very easy to understand. The word "cube" suggests a 3 dimensional object. That way of thinking is fraught with confusion. Forget about the Rubik’s Cube. It doesn’t help.

 

With that foundation, we then dive into MDX syntax and fundamentals including:

— Query Axes

— Slicer Axis

— Tuples and Sets

— Hierarchy Navigation Functions

— Crossjoin

— Functions allowing us to travel through time

 

Come join us for a fun voyage through the cube space and boldly go where no MDX presentation has gone before.

FEEDBACK

Is the topic about MDX or DAX? Just got a little bit confused. The abstract states what will be discussed and what the analogy comes from. About the level, it may be better to be at level 100 since it is an introduction of MDX.

 

Getting Started with SSAS Extended Events (LIGHTNING TALK – SELECTED)

ABSTRACT

With SQL Server Profiler on its way to retirement, our friends on the relational database side of the house have already been taking great advantage of the power of Extended Events (XE). There is a lot of great info out there for using XE against the database engine. For Analysis Services, there is a lot less.

 

This Lightning Talk will demonstrate how easy it is to get started very quickly with SSAS XE once you have some basic information.

 

We will demonstrate:

— Creating an SSAS Extended Events Trace which outputs to a .xel file

— Make sure your trace is running via the DISCOVER_TRACES rowset

— Importing the contents of that .xel file into a SQL Server db engine table for analysis

— Deleting the SSAS Extended Events trace

FEEDBACK

Good topic and the abstract explains exactly what the attendee can expect from the session
Great abstract with details on what will be presented and what to expect to learn!
Thanks for the abstract,It’s good to have someone talk on the  power of Extended Events (XEvents) part.

 

Reporting Services Pagination Triple Play (LIGHTNING TALK – NOT SELECTED)

ABSTRACT

The ability to have some control over the pagination of Reporting Services reports has been around a while. But it never hurts to review the fundamentals.

 

This demonstration will cover:

— Basic pagination in Reporting Services using Rectangles (Love these)

— Adding a page name that carries to Excel exports

— Adding a basic Table of Contents to your multi-page report using Bookmarks

— Adding a more dynamic, data driven Table of Contents to your report using Bookmarks and expressions

 

Come on out to this ballgame where we hit on  SSRS pagination with a report about three of the most famous infielders in the history of Baseball.

 

FEEDBACK

Great abstract
Excellent topic that people always ask about in classes
100 demo!
Level appropriate to content
lots to cover in 10 minutes

 

My Takeaways

Given that there seems to be a wide range in terms of quality and quantity provided to speakers, I have to say that I feel I made out pretty well here. I am pretty happy with both the quantity and quality here.

I am a little puzzled about the confusion over whether my MDX session is on MDX or DAX. And I think MDX is complex enough that any session on it is at least a 200 level, particularly given that almost everyone learns TSQL first and must “unlearn” some things in order to grasp MDX.

Given that the Keeping the “Business” in Business Intelligence is about concepts and ideas, and not technology, I am not sure how I could add demo to it that would not be contrived in an attempt just to say there was some demo.

Overall, I am pretty happy with this feedback and glad PASS made the decision to make it available.

Thanks.

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