Jen’s Diary: The SQLServerCentral Tribal Awards, PASS BA Conference

As always, this is not an official PASS post. I am speaking for myself. I’m deeply humbled to be nominated for one of the Tribal Awards, generously hosted by SQLServerCentral.

My deepest Thank You all who nominated me. I really didn’t expect that at all! I’m in the ‘Above and Beyond the Call of Duty’ category.

Man, you guys are going to make me cry. I didn’t go looking for votes. I’m my own little person. I didn’t play games to get nominations or votes.  It means a lot to me that, whoever nominated me, it came from community members who took the time out of their day to bother to nominate me. I don’t know who they are, but I want to say a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ from me. The fact that you did that actually means more to me, than actually winning. I’ll always feel  like a winner because kind hearts out there did that and I didn’t have to go out looking for it at all.

I’m not going to ask for votes because I think that there are a ton of other people who deserve to win the Award, so don’t worry, I won’t be relentlessly spamming you.

I’ll just continue to thank the #SQLFamily who make it all worthwhile and their love for education, sharing, connecting and learning.

My deepest thanks also to SQLServerCentral for hosting this Award, and for all of the great community support that they give the community every year. If you haven’t registered for their site, please go and do so now. I can honestly say that I’ve been a member/fan of SQLServerCentral for years. As a habit, to learn SQL in the early days of my career, I got into the habit of doing their brilliant Question of the Day along with my team. As I grew in my career, I continued to do QotD and then got my team members to do it as well. I’ve also handed out QotD for interview questions. I’m now a SQL Server MVP, and this is my fourth year of winning the Award. I think doing things like QotD helped me along the road to get the technical integrity and SQL Server knowledge you need to be a SQL Server MVP (well, I think you need it, anyway. The clue’s in the name!) so I’d like to thank the SQLServerCentral community and Steve Jones for all the great work they do every day – don’t take their efforts for granted!

So, if you’re ever thinking of coming to work for me at some point, you are highly recommended to have looked through this site carefully!

The SQLServerCentral Tribal Awards are supporting Computers 4 Africa, along with Red Gate Software I’m not asking you to vote for me at all. Instead, it would be great if people could think of what these donations could do, to empower lives through education. We take our ability to educate ourselves, connect, learn, share, for granted. The recent evil actions against innocent schoolchildren in Pakistan shows us how lucky we are.

For more information, please click here for the Tribal Awards, and for more information on Computers 4 Africa, see below.

So what have I been working on recently? Well, I held SQLSaturday London Business Analytics, where volunteers and speakers from PASS hosted a Business Analytics event in London to help business and data analytics professionals Connect, Share and Learn. The event kicked off with a keynote presentation covering the full business data spectrum – from BI & Analytics to Big Data and Data Science. The technical sessions throughout the day covered a range of topics including the day-to-day problem of how to turn data into information to learning more about how predictive analytics can change the way businesses operate.

Attendee sample quotes from SQLSaturday London Business Analytics edition:

  • I was especially impressed at the punctual starts/finishes , the convenient  location and excellent use of the venue and loads of enthusiasm and friendliness of all the organisers.
  • I attend other sql events in the UK, but they aren’t quite for me. This is for me!
  • Thank you for a bunch of interesting talks, FREE PIZZA and plenty of sponsor swag 😀
  • Great overall organization!
  • I would just like to thank you for organising a great event on Saturday. I think that the location was perfect, and the level of presentations were great.
  • Both me and my colleague really enjoyed the event. I thought the organisation of the event was excellent, and it was an interesting location.
  • Thanks again for all the work you have done to make this event possible. Much appreciated.

The attendees were very happy with the content, so the speakers should be congratulated on doing a wonderful, thorough job.


  • Getting data out of SQL, but no architecture or DBA content
  • Free analytics tools such as RapidMiner and R
  • Excel / PowerPivot
  • Aspirational keynote reflected the delegates’ interest in the future of data and the direction of technology. Jonathan Woodward’s keynote was very well received.

Allan Mitchell (MVP) gave a half day, in depth track on Azure Data, real time, streaming analytics and so on. This was extremely well received and the feedback showed that they wanted more cloud and more of Allan’s session. We will take this on board for the future.

The event took its direction from the revitalized educational approach for the annual PASS Business Analytics Conference.

With this approach, PASS is helping those who work with data along the ‘analyst’s journey’ – from finding and integrating data to analyzing and visualizing the data to communicating insights throughout the organization. Or, simply put, from Data to Insights to Action.

If you missed the London BA Event, don’t worry. You can still access free training from the 2014 conference and register for the 2015 conference today.

Speaking of the PASS BA Conference 2015, I’m working extremely hard with the rest of the PASS HQ team and the Board to deliver a stellar Conference. If you take a look at our PASS BA Conference 2015 Speaker list with the names we’ve released so far, you’ll see that we are doing something really different, really innovative. As always, the emphasis will be on ‘Connect, Learn and Share’ and I hope you’ll join in the Analyst journey with us. I hope to see you there!


I’ve also been working on Virtual Chapters. I’m leading the Excel Virtual Chapter, taking over from Jen Underwood as she moves into her new role as Senior Program Manager at Microsoft. Incidentally this isn’t the last you’ll hear of Jen at all, and in fact, Id like to point you to her latest Microsoft webinar here. I’m helping kickstart a Data Science virtual Chapter , led by Dr Mark Tabladillo. I’ve passed off the co-leadership of the Business Intelligence Virtual Chapter to Wes Springob. I’d like to thank Mark and Wes for stepping up to the plate and helping to lead the community in these areas.

I’m sure I’ve done a whole bunch of other stuff that I can’t remember right now. Thank you for reading this far.

Stay gold,


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