Upcoming Microsoft Azure webinars on Azure Machine Learning and Cortana Analytics

I found these webinars over at the Microsoft site, and I’m reposting them here for you:

Introduction to Azure Data Factory with Wee Hyong Tok, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft
August 4, 2015 at 10am PDT 

This webinar is held by Microsoft, and I recommend you tune in if you want to learn more about Azure Data Factory. It enables you to process on-premises data like SQL Server, together with cloud data like Azure SQL Database, Blobs, and Tables. Wee Hyong Tok will help you to understand Data Factory capabilities, and the scenarios where Data Factory can be applied. Click here to register.

If you want to translate the time for this webinar into your own timezone, please click here.

Harness Predictive Customer Churn Models with Cortana Analytics Suite with Wee Hyong Tok, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft
August 18, 2015 at 10am PDT

This webinar is held by Microsoft, and I will be tuning in so I can drink all the good Cortana Analytics goodness!

In this session, Wee Hyong Tok will show you how to build a real-life churn model with Azure Machine Learning, make it enterprise-ready with Azure Data Factory, and deliver data insights with Power BI. Click here to register.

If you want to translate the time for this webinar into your own timezone, please click here.

Click on the image for the original Cortana announcement at WPC15.

Convincing your HiPPO at EARL Conference in London!

ID-100257254I’m delighted to be speaking at the EARL Conference to be held in London on the 14th – 16th September. What’s my topic?

Convince your HiPPO with Real world Data Storytelling in R and Machine Learning

In a world where the HiPPO’s (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) is final, how can we use technology to drive the organisation towards data-driven decision making as part of their organizational DNA? R provides a range of functionality in machine learning, but we need to expose its richness in a world where it is made accessible to decision makers. Using Data Storytelling with R, we can imprint data in the culture of the organization by making it easily accessible to everyone, including decision makers. Together, the insights and process of machine learning are combined with data visualisation to help organisations derive value and insights from big and little data.

In this session, we will use R and cloud-based technologies in order to explore and analyse data using machine learning and statistical packages functionality, and we will look at our results. Then, we will look at how we disseminate the results to the HiPPO audience, using best practices in data visualisation and R, informed by gurus such as Stephen Few and Edward Tufte.

If you want to know how to demystify R and the insights you’ve found during your analyses, join this session in order to learn about machine learning as a technology and a discipline, and how to make the most of your insights using best practice data visualisation. Using real-life scenarios, this session will help you to communicate the insights of your data to your HiPPO, thereby helping to move your organisation towards a data-driven culture.

R now ranks as the sixth most popular programming language  – its move from last year’s 9th place reflecting the growing importance of data analytics to an increasing number of industries and sectors.  EARL offers a unique opportunity to discover how R is being used commercially to provide a wealth of business solutions.

EARL London will feature :

  • Presentations from over 40 R gurus and Business leaders
  • Speakers represent a broad range of industry sectors  – including:  insurance, manufacturing, customer analytics, life sciences, finance etc
  • Sessions include:  Data Visualisation, Business Challenges, Big Data Technologies, Modelling, Workflow and Commercial Applications
  • Keynote speakers:  Alex Bellow, Dirk Eddelbuettel, Joe Cheng and Hannah Fry
  • Speakers representing Companies such as Shell, KPMG, AstraZeneca, Lloyd’s of London, UBS and Hewlett Packard
  • Pre Conference workshops on:  Interactive Reporting with R Markdown and Shiny (now SOLD OUT), An Introduction to Rcpp,  Integrating R and Python, and Current Best Practices in Formal Package Development
  • Sponsors and Exhibitors including Revolution Analytics, RStudio, Hewlett Packard, Teradata, Oracle, Harnham UK, Plotly, Tessella, Information Builders and O’Reilly
  • Sensational central London venue
  • 3 Conference Networking events including the Main Conference Reception in the amazing walkways of London’s iconic Tower Bridge

If you have yet to purchase your ticket please don’t delay to avoid disappointment. Tickets can be purchased online via credit card or can be invoiced if required. Group discounts are available to companies sending >5 attendees – please email earl-team@mango-solutions.com for more information.

Cortana Analytics News Roundup

If you found missed Joseph Sirosh’s webinar on Cortana Analytics, Click here to view the webinar. If you don’t have time for that, then Click here to download a copy of the slides that were presented.

If you are interested in a review by an industry analyst, I’d recommend Andrew Brust’s article on Cortana from ZDNet. Mary-Jo Foleys’ original ZDNet article on the announcement from WPC is also a good read.

If you are interested in in-person events, then be sure to sign up for the Cortana Analytics Workshop planned September 10-11, 2015 at Microsoft Campus in Redmond. I wish I could attend, but unfortunately that’s not possible.

Also keep a watch on the Machine Learning Blog site, where the team will be publishing out more information on an ongoing basis.

Cross Platform MVP activities: my foray into CRM at the CRM UG UK event

I went to the CRM UK User Group event today, and wow – what a blast! To know more about the CRM User Group for the UK, please visit here.

It was a great example of what a community event can be. The CRM MVPs are welcoming, friendly, generous with their time and expertise, hard working and – most of all – ‘other’ community oriented, not ‘self’ oriented. What is an MVP? According to Microsoft, Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals, or MVPs are exceptional community leaders who actively share their high-quality, real-world deep technical expertise with the community and with Microsoft. They are committed to helping others get the most out of their experience with Microsoft products and technologies.

I love the fact that some of the MVPs in the UK are reaching out to other product groups. For me personally, I hope I started some new friendships today, and I hope to keep the conversation going with the CRM community. I’ve come to the conclusion that we all might speak different technological languages, but, by sharing our insights and community spirit, we help to make the community more ‘sharing’ and open. I really enjoyed my conversations with the CRM folks, and I learned a lot too. It’s true that you have to give and take in the community, and I will cherish today.

My session over-ran by half an hour, which was particularly naughty because I only had an hour session. I can honestly say I’ve never over-run like that before. However, the ‘over-run’ was actually delivering value for the attendees, because they fired a lot of their data type of questions at me. I was glad to have help from Peter Baddeley to answer some of the more intricate aspects of SharePoint (he’s a guru, by the way!) and after a while, Adam Vero was kind enough to step in the room and to help me out with some of the CRM questions that I couldn’t answer, and I dealt with a lot of the ‘data’ type questions from the SQL Server and Power BI point of view. The truth is, a lot of data issues are multi-faceted and the session-turned-panel segment was extremely useful for everyone, including me!

I’d also like to thank the CRM User Group members. The audience were very friendly and welcoming to me, and they appreciated my PowerBI session. What did I show? Firstly, I wasn’t sure at what level to pitch the session. This was the first time I’d ever spoken to a CRM audience before, and I was more nervous than usual. Would they be technical? Would the be sales, marketing or service oriented? Were they business users? Or, worst of all, would I end up with a mix?

If you want to see some of the slides, I stayed with the staple Partner pack of PowerBI material that you can download from here. I didn’t use them all – just a few of the architectural overview slides. I also used some of the CRM information, which you can download, if you are a fully paid up partner. I knew that this material would be ‘safe’ because there was a slide dedicated to the PowerBI and Dynamic CRM connector. I’ve posted the main slides for you below:
Power BI and CRM  The technical architecture overview can be found below:Power BI Technical Architecture

If you are interested in knowing more, please take a look at the Power BI community website.

If you need more information on the actual connector setup between Power BI and CRM Online, then please visit this website here which also mentions the Power BI and Dynamics CRM Content Pack. There is also a Dynamics Marketing Content Pack, which is worth a look.

And here is a picture of me, looking very small next to the lectern.
CRMUGUK Jen Stirrup
I walked alone, loving the sun, walking the earth… and enjoying simplicity in life and data. I hope that you do, too.

Love, always,

Jen