dataexposedAre you a database, business intelligence professional? Are you has excited as I am about data, relational and non-relational, on-premises and in the cloud, big and small? Hope you all have heard and know about Channel 9, the site that keeps you up to date with videos, discussions, blogs, screencasts and interviews from people behind the scenes building products at Microsoft and what about the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) which offers online Microsoft training delivered by experts to help technologists continually learn, with hundreds of courses, in 11 different languages… If not it’s never to late too get yourself exposed!
The following is a small subset of BI and Cloud related content. I strongly recommend you further explore and immerse yourself.

[Business Intelligence topics to explore on Channel 9]
Excel 2013 Power BI Fundamentals

Designing BI Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server

Implementing Data Models & Reports with Microsoft SQL Server–Reports-with-Microsoft-SQL-Server

Implementing Tabular Model Solutions

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals

[Worthwhile training to consume on Microsoft Virtual Academy]
Data Platform Immersion v3.1

Business Intelligence

Microsoft Azure

Lastly you need to start watching this show Data Exposed where Scott Klein and his guests demonstrate features, discuss the latest news, and share their love for data technology including SQL Server, HDInsight, and more!

Introduction to Azure Data Factory

Here is my End of Year Presentation and Training Schedule:
sqlsatwinnipegI will be presenting at SQLSaturday #350 about “Graph Databases for SQL Server Professionals”. SQLSaturday is a training event for SQL Server professionals and those wanting to learn about SQL Server. This event will be held Nov 22 2014 at Red River Community College – downtown, 160 Princess St., Winnipeg, MB R3B 1K9, Canada. Admittance to this event is free register here
it-camp-bannerOn December 5 I will be teaching a free 1-day course “IT Camps: SQL Server 2014 and Power BI” at the Ottawa ctc TrainCanada offices. This 1-day hands-on technical training workshop focuses on scenario or lab based learning. This course enables database administrators (DBAs) to explore SQL Server 2014, In-Memory for OLTP and DW, Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure for backup and DR, and Power BI. For more information and to register click here
I will also be hosting our monthly Ottawa SQL Server User Group (Ottawa PASS Chapter) meetings.

Configuring SharePoint 2013 as a BI Platform

Thursday, Nov 27, 2014, 6:15 PM

151 Slater St., Suite 1010, Ottawa, ON Ottawa, ON

21 Members Attending

Presentation: Configuring SharePoint 2013 as a BI PlatformWith SharePoint as the business collaboration platform of choice for the enterprise, it has become an important piece in the overall Microsoft BI stack. However, deploying and configuring it to support Microsoft BI solutions has become a cumbersome task for the IT professional.In this sess…

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SQL Server Lightning Talks Night

Tuesday, Dec 9, 2014, 6:15 PM

Pythian Office
1200 St. Laurent Blvd #261 (in the St. Laurent Shopping Centre) Ottawa, ON

8 Members Attending

With just a few weeks before the holidays, let’s make this a fun and relaxed evening!Participants (Yes you!) speak about their ideas and personal or professional passions about SQL Server and related technologies.Kinda like Ignite talks -> “Enlighten us, but make it quick!”Lightning Talks Format: max. 5 to 10 minutes each presentation (slides n…

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Lately been experimenting and playing around with different javascript data visualization libraries and found this interesting one Vis.js, a great dynamic browser based visualization library that can handle large amounts of dynamic data. A Visual Interactive System, which the library consists of the following components; Dataset, Timeline, Network, Graph2D and Graph3D.

So I built this Network Graph… Astérix Network Graph, about characters and albums.
(Yep, you must have figured out by now that I am a fan… and that I have data!)

The result can be viewed at the following GitHub page ->


  • Vertices (Nodes) : Characters, Albums
  • Edges (Links): fellow_companion, appeared_in

GitHub Repo:


Astérix, all characters and images are © 2014 Les Editions Albert René

When I am on the hunt and scouting for some data, either to prepare and use for a demo or to help me learn new technologies these are the following resources, listing of public datasets I consult;

[Some contain redundant links, if you have others that you use please share and I will gladly add them to the list]


  • – Open Data (contains list of Canada – Open Data Cities, Provinces, Feds + International)
    1. KDnuggets – Data: Government, State, City, Local and Public
    2. KDnuggets – Datasets for Data Mining and Data Science
    3. Kevin Chai’s Dataset list
    4. Microsoft Azure Marketplace
    5. Yahoo! GeoPlanet Data
    6. OSDC – Public Data Sets
    7. figshare – store, share, discover research
    8. Quandl – Find and Use Data. Easily.
    9. Enigma – Navigate the world of public data
    10. Datahub – The easy way to get, use and share data
    11. Linked Data – Connect Distributed Data accross the Web
    12. IAPR – Public datasets for machine learning
    13. CRAWDAD – A Community Resource for Archiving Wireless Data At Dartmouth
    14. The R Datasets Package
    15. R Datasets
    16. inside-R – Finding Data on the Internet
    17. Gephi sample datasets
    18. Stanford Large Network Dataset Collection
    19. Tableau Public – Sample Data Sets
    20. Tableau Public – Viz of the Day