PASS Summit 2016 – I’m Speaking!

Totally stoked (and honored) to have one of my sessions selected for the world’s largest gathering of SQL Server and BI professionals!!!


This year, on the advice of fellow BI consultant and SSAS-geek Thomas LeBlanc, I decided to mix things up and submit a variety of session types ranging from the standard 75 minute session all the way up to a full-day precon. Guess it worked – cause we were both selected for sessions 😉

Thomas will be presenting Excel Tips & Tricks for Displaying an Analysis Service Database, which is a must-see if you’re working with Excel in a self-service BI environment. If you haven’t already seen Thomas present at one of the many SQL Saturdays he attends, you’re missing out.

Then, together, we’ll be co-presenting the following 3-hour session…

Troubleshooting Analysis Services Performance Issues

Analysis Services performance problems can arise for a variety of reasons: poorly designed data model, lack (or improper use) of partitioning and aggregations, poorly written DAX/MDX calculations, etc. Unfortunately, many people have no idea where to start the troubleshooting process.

In this mini-workshop you’ll learn how to identify the most common bottlenecks and performance issues and walk away with practical techniques (and scripts!) you can take home and start using immediately.

Your journey will start with learning how to think like the SSAS engine by seeing how a query is broken down into chunks and processed by the various subsystems. Along the way, you’ll learn how to use (and automate) the collection of performance counters and extended events. By the end of the session, you’ll not only know how to identify performance bottlenecks, but also how to narrow down the list of potential solutions.

Stop guessing what’s causing your Analysis Services performance problems!

All of the feedback for this session was super-positive with the only minor concern being that it seemed a bit advanced for a 200-level session. So here are the reasons I went with a 200-level designation…

  1. A PASS Summit 200-level is not the same as a SQL Saturday 200-level session
    In general, the distribution of skill level across PASS Summit attendees as a population skews a bit further to the right than that the corresponding distribution for SQL Saturday attendees. That’s not a knock at SQL Saturday attendees at all…just a general observation based on several years of attending both events and the types of questions being asked and conversations taking place in the hallways.
  2. It’s a 3-hour session
    75 minutes may seem like a lot of time to some, but the reality is that it fly’s by. You show some slides, rip through some demos, and cross your fingers hoping to not receive any curve ball questions. 3-hours is a different story. You’ve got time now to expand on the demos, take questions, walk through code, and share stories. You’ve also got time to handle the curve-ball questions assuming they aren’t completely off topic.
  3. There will be 2 presenters
    Thomas and I still need to work through the logistics – who’s doing what along with several what-if scenarios – but in general, I think having 2 presenters will provide a much better value for attendees. Being able to have one person run through the demo while the other explains what’s happening and why is much easier than trying to do both by yourself.  It also brings twice the experience and perspective up on stage to help with questions and keep/get back on track (tangents aren’t necessarily a bad thing if it benefits the majority of the group).


Finally, don’t forget to check out the rest of the speakers and sessions selected this year. There are some big names and solid looking sessions and I can’t wait!


2 replies on “PASS Summit 2016 – I’m Speaking!”

Congratulations for being chosen as a speaker at the PASS Summit. If I make it this year, I will go to your session for sure. 🙂


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