BI Conference 2007 Impressions

In no particular order:
  • Sold out – 2,600 people. WOW. Up around SQL PASS size.
  • In one of the sessions the speaker gave a listing of who was needed for a DW project. Interestingly Analysis Services and MDX expert were listed as separate jobs. Hmmmmm.
  • There are a lot of SSAS2005 white papers on the way the next few months: Real-time OLAP, Diagnosing Analysis Services 2005 MDX Query Performance Bottlenecks, and a few others.
  • 500+ people in some Analysis Services sessions
  • People are running 1TB + SSAS databases? Nice
  • Chalk Talk setups were noisy – you could hear the discussion going on in the session next door
  • Michael Tracey was captivating (maybe it was the bowtie?), Ballmer was fine, Kaplan was eh
  • Conference was not technically focused whereas it seemed the majority of the people were technical
  • I really enjoyed the session about the Credit Card company. The schedule said they were 20TB and they were really 8TB.
  • Also liked the look into Microsoft’s myBI portal 
  • Definitely check out:
  • Shocked at how many are using Analysis Services currently – I heard SSAS being discussed more than any other MS BI technology
  • Seemed as if 10% of the attendees worked for MS
  • My favorite little "trinket" was the portable SQL Server mouse
  • Got a t-shirt at the BI Power Hour – Extra Large…UGH. Not like I would have worn it anyway.
  • What was with the cheerleader girls? That was tacky.
  • I wish scaling out Analysis Services was discussed more
  • Yea I get it – partitioning, attribute relationships, and NON EMPTY clauses are my friend
  • Recommended rows per partition is only 20 million?
  • It seems more sessions were rescheduled than not. Well, not really…but a lot of them were.
  • I’ll definitely make it next year – but with it not being in Seattle, how many Microsoft people will make it?
  • I’m starting to sound like a negative Nancy so I’ll stop here

Random thoughts:

  • I really liked being able to walk there and also walk home for lunch
  • The boxed chocolate chip cookies were good. I’ve gone through three so far and it’s only 7PM.
  • My vanilla latte the last day contained 50% foam 
  • I felt as if I was in a Black Friday rush for a $500 plasma at Walmart when the ropes let down for the Chalk Talks on Wednesday
  • Not a single rainy day – see it doesn’t ALWAYS rain in Seattle
  • I have to devote more time to learning MDX
  • Breakfast the first day was awesome – potatoes, bacon, and scrambled eggs with tabasco (the tabasco made it awesome and not simply ‘pretty good’) available
  • Breakfast the final day was a let down…while good in concept (omeletes), poor in execution due to too many people in line and not enough skillets/cooks
  • Are partitions and attribute realtionships really that hard to understand?
  • Oh, and I liked the Odwalla juices on the sixth floor
  • There are going to be two types of Analysis Services people: MDX gurus and Developers/Admins
  • I’m kind of glad my CIO couldn’t make it. And kind of disappointed he didn’t.
  • SSAS is still in it’s infancy stages – Katmai will be a much needed step forward. I’m stoked about the future of Analysis Services.


Finally, a picture from the "Solving Business Problems Using MDX" Chalk Talk – people literally standing three deep outside of the room to hear the information. A very telling sign where BI is headed.

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One Response to BI Conference 2007 Impressions

  1. Deepak says:

    Hi Jesse,
    I was glad to be able to meet you, Chris and others at the opening reception Tue. The turnout for the Thu MDX Chalk Talk (which you captured above) was amazing – the more so since it overlapped with lunch.
    Like you, I also enjoyed walking a mile to the Conference and back – though it was from the 11th Ave Inn B&B. As a result, I never needed to try the Conference breakfast. Surprisingly, there was someone from Wells Fargo Bank attending the conference, who was also staying at the same B&B – is that becoming a trend in Seattle?
     – Deepak

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