dataMinds Connect Precons - 15-10-2018

The timings for each preconference sessions are as follows :
08:00 - 09:00 - Welcome and registration
09:00 - 12:30 - Morning Session
12:30 - 13:30 - Lunch break
13:30 - 17:00 - Afternoon Session

Coffee breaks will be held at regular intervals.

During the lunch break, there will be a panel of experts available in our 'Ask the Expert' booth. Between 12:45 and 13:15 you can ask our experts (listed below) for their practical advice and/or tips & tricks.


Applied Data Science for BI Professionals and DBAs - Enrico van de Laar



Data plays an ever-increasing role in today’s society and provides a wealth of possibilities for you and the organization you work for. As a BI professional and/or DBA you are probably used to working with data every day, but what if business requirements can no longer be met through traditional solutions? In those cases, more-and-more organizations look to data science to provide a solution.

But how and where do you start with things like exploratory data analysis or machine learning? Thankfully as a BI professional or DBA you have a head start when it comes to data, and through this full day workshop you will learn the skills you need to take your first steps in the area of data science!

What you will learn during the day:

  • Understand the basic concepts of data science processes and why its different than traditional approaches
  • Get more familiar with statistical terms and techniques and learn why they are important
  • Making a start with programming in the R language
  • How to use R and Azure Machine Learning to build your first machine learning models
  • Operationalizing your models through various methods like in-database R using SQL Server 2016
Enrico van de Laar  Precon 
Ask the Expert (Monday) - Ásgeir Gunnarsson, Koen Verbeeck, Pinal Dave, Wesley Backelant

During the lunch break, there will be a panel of experts available in our 'Ask the Expert' booth. Between 12:45 and 13:15 you can ask our experts (listed below) for their practical advice and/or tips & tricks.

Feeding them will influence the quality of feedback you'll receive..


Koen Verbeeck

  • BI
  • SSIS
  • SSAS (Mainly Tabular)
  • SSRS
  • Power BI
  • (Dimensional) Data Modelling


Pinal Dave

  • SQL Server Performance Tuning Expert


Wesley Backelant

  • (Azure) Data Platform


Ásgeir Gunnarson

  • BI
  • SSIS
  • SSAS
  • SSRS
  • Power BI


Ásgeir Gunnarsson Koen Verbeeck Pinal Dave Wesley Backelant  Precon  200 
Execution Plans in depth - Hugo Kornelis



For troubleshooting slow queries, looking at the execution plan is a good starting point. But sometimes, just looking at the plan does not help. Sometimes you need to dig deeper.

In this full-day workshop, you will learn everything you need to be take your understanding of execution plans to the next level. For almost every operator you can encounter in an execution plan, we will look at the inner workings, and look at properties that can affect their performance. We will also look at how operators in a plan interact with and affect each other.

Aside from explaining all of the common operators, we will also touch on several operators that were introduced or modified in the newer versions of SQL Server, and preview some changes that have been announced for future versions.

In short: After this workshop, you will be better prepared to look at execution plans, find the spo where it hurts, and then rewrite your query to get a faster execution plan.

If you have seen some execution plans but feel you need to bring your understanding to the next level, then this workshop is for you.

Hugo Kornelis  Precon 
Power BI Deep Dive Tips from RADACAD - Leila Etaati, Reza Rad


The team of RADACAD (Reza and Leila) will come to present a full day of deep dive training of Power BI. This day is not a typical training of Power BI. You will learn master tips of Power BI all through demos and hands on examples. We’ll take all 400 and 500 (deep dive) level content from our training and blog posts with live demos for this pre-con training day. Best would be brining your laptop with the latest version of Power BI Desktop installed to get the most of this course. Agenda is included, but not limited to:

  • Power Query advanced data transformations
  • M scripting tips and tricks
  • Custom functions in Power Query
  • Running Machine Learning R algorithms with Power BI
  • Best practices of Modelling in Power BI
  • DAX functions (Filters, Aggregations, Time Intelligence, Path, relationships) Deep Dive
  • Advanced Data Visualization Tips
  • Creating Custom Visuals with R and Power BI
  • R and Power BI Deep Dive
  • Gateway and types of Connections in Power BI; mastery tips
  • Sharing and Row Level Security patterns (Static, Dynamic, Manager level access, users and profile, organizational hierarchy…)
Leila Etaati Reza Rad  Precon 
Protect your data – Security in SQL Server - Uwe Ricken


"In which newspaper can you read that a woman throws her husband out of the apartment?

In "Better Homes and Gardens". What this sentence certainly must do in Microsoft SQL Server can be found in this one-day workshop on the individual security components of Microsoft SQL Server.

Starting with the correct security settings for the service account of Microsoft SQL Server, the same goes on in the staircase of the databases. What rights should you give to a login without endangering the security of the system or securing the data.

Once arrived in the "honourable tenement", one would of course like the nice rented apartment. But stop! - What am I allowed to do in my apartment? A lawyer is no longer required after attending the workshop. In this workshop, the following topics will be taught with examples and exercises:

Proper configuration of the service account of Microsoft SQL Server and SQL Server Agent

TDE and encrypted backup

The special features of sysadmin

Danger and Beauty from "xp_cmdshell"

Minimal Rights principal when creating logins

Database permissions and their consequences

Use of certificates for the execution of stored procedures

Schemes and objects

Owners of objects and access via stored procedures / views / functions


All security aspects of Microsoft SQL Server are covered in detail in this workshop and will be tested on your own laptops with extensive demos and exercises themselves.

Uwe Ricken  Precon 
The Modern Azure Data Warehouse - Paul Andrew, Simon Whiteley


The number of data & analytics components available in Azure has exploded over the past couple of years - understanding which components should be in your toolbelt and what part each plays can be a daunting task, especially given the speed technology is advancing at. However, if you want to meet the challenges of the growing data landscape, you have to adopt distributed cloud architectures!

We have helped many of Microsoft's clients move their BI architectures to the cloud and we can guide you on that journey too, taking you through our recommended architecture and explaining the common pitfalls and mistakes to avoid. There are many learnings of traditional "Big Data" that we can apply when designing our platform, we'll take you through them so you're ready for any data problem - whether it's volume, variety or velocity!

Morning - The Core Modern Analytics Platform

In this first workshop, we want you to leave fully equipped to build a scalable, robust data platform that can support any analytical requirement. We’ll be providing an overview and practical demonstrations of:
• Cloud Architectures & Approaches
• Building and maintaining Azure Data Lakes
• Facilitating & Orchestrating data flow using Azure Data Factory V2
• Designing for performance with Azure SQLDW
These three key technologies will allow you to establish a platform on which many more analytical components can be added, and you will leave this session confident in taking this first step.

Afternoon - The Complete Modern Analytics Platform

The afternoon session will look at additional processing and integration components, enriching and augmenting the data you're collecting and curating:
• Applying the Lambda Architecture with Streaming Analytics
• Serverless Orchestration with Logic Apps & Azure Functions
• Tackling Big Data using Data Lake Analytics & U-SQL
• Reporting & Visualisation in the Modern Analytics Platform
With these sessions combined, you'll have a firm understanding of all the technologies needed to build an end-to-end analytics platform in a modern, scalable manner. This knowledge, and the patterns we will cover, will equip you to design a solid foundation which will support a vast variety of data analytics solutions.

Paul Andrew Simon Whiteley  Precon