Azure Machine Learning 101

I just wanted to let you know about a free webinar I’ll be giving as part of Redgate’s SQL in the City Streamed on September 5th. You can register here. The theme is “Adapt and thrive as a data professional.

The tech world is changing fast, and one of the hot careers of the future (and present!) is data science. Many of my friends in the Microsoft data platform community are learning new skills, like Python, R, and machine learning. Even if you don’t plan to change careers, these are skills that can help you in your current day-to-day job, but who knows what opportunities the future will bring.

In the presentation, I will demonstrate a cool service called Azure Machine Learning Studio that you can use for free to learn and experiment. This is Microsoft’s “machine learning for the masses” service. You definitely need to understand your data, but this service is an easy way to set up a machine learning model to make some predictions. Microsoft also made the models, once they are complete and tested, simple to deploy. I’ve heard that deploying models is challenging for many teams.

In addition to my session, you will see superstars Grant Fritchey talk about monitoring Azure SQL Database and Steve Jones talk about solving today’s complex challenges in tech. There is also a Q&A panel with the three of us and Rob Richardson, Skillsets for a Successful Career.

Be sure to tune in for these great sessions and more!


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Quick T-SQL Window Function Articles

Even after six years, I am still presenting at user groups and SQL Saturdays on T-SQL windowing functions. I have found that many data professionals haven’t heard about these great functions. Lots of folks are using ROW_NUMBER, but most haven’t heard about LAG, for example. I recently decided to write a couple of articles for Simple-Talk to give a quick introduction.

The first article, Introduction to T-SQL Window Functions, describes each type of function along with an example or two of each. The second article, T-SQL Window Functions and Performance, tells you what you need to know to get good performance when using these functions.

To learn even more, take a look at my book or my Pluralsight course. These functions simplify many types of queries. If you are writing queries for SQL Server databases, the window function feature is worth checking out!


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SQL in the City Streamed: The June 2018 Edition

NOTE: This post first appeared on Simple-Talk.

I often joke that I wish cloning was perfected so that I could be two places at once. Sometimes, it is hard to decide which opportunity is more important, for example, my niece’s graduation party ended on up the same day as a concert with my favourite band. My ticket included a meet and greet pass. (Sorry, Katie, I chose the concert, but I did send you a nice card and check.)

A couple of months ago, our manager informed the team when the next SQL in the City broadcast would be, the 20th of June. Oops, I have the biggest holiday trip of my life planned that week, a trip I have been planning and saving towards for five years. Along with my husband, our kids and their families, I will travel to one of the hottest spots on earth right now, The Big Island of Hawaii. Yes, that is where Mount Kilauea has been erupting for several weeks.

Thanks to modern technology, I don’t have to be in Cambridge on the day of the SQL in the City broadcast. I made a trip to the UK in May to record my session so that I can experience my vacation trip without worrying about my job. Hopefully, everyone will enjoy my presentation even though it is not live like the rest of the day.

Each SQL in the City broadcast has a theme. This time, the theme is Compliant Database DevOps. This is an important topic as companies around the world make sure they are compliant with the GDPR. Understanding the GDPR and other regulations is important for database professionals, especially database administrators who are really the caretakers of data in most companies. My session demonstrates how monitoring can help DBAs with compliance. I see monitoring divided into four areas: resources, configuration, maintenance, and performance. Aspects of data protection are baked into all of them.

This event is a great way to learn more about ways to protect data, such as creating a catalogue of servers, databases, and tables that contain sensitive information and providing clones of production databases for developers with all sensitive information masked. You’ll also learn how your team can be more efficient when writing T-SQL Code.

While on vacation, I’ll miss seeing my fellow MVPs Grant Fritchey (@gfritchey) and Steve Jones (@way0utwest) that week, but you don’t have to miss out. Register today!

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