Hi folks!  I hope everyone got some rest over the holidays, because 2016 is on like Donkey Kong.  Personally I could use another month to recuperate from all of that recuperation – I ate, drank, and traveled way too much, which made the holidays resemble my road warrior routine that wears me out during the year.  Next year it’s gonna be all salads, sushi, exercise, and relaxing over the holidays…  yeah, that’s the ticket.  But yeah, the year has started with a bang…

Regulating with Nate “Dogg” Silver at the Microsoft Conference!

Imagine my surprise, yesterday morning, when I awoke to THIS in my inbox:


Oh, ya know, just me and the MS Exec in charge of all things Power BI, and oh yeah, NATE FREAKING SILVER!
(Click image to read the announcement)

Yes, Nate Silver of Five Thirty Eight is headlining the new Microsoft Data Insights Summit, in Seattle March 22-23, and I somehow got selected to fill that awkward third slot in the announcement blog post on MSDN.  Pretty damn exciting, given that Nate and his crew basically use data to attack every imaginable topic, from sports to movies to politics to science, and they pretty much had me at “data and movies.”

Sixteen in three bits, that’s binary cold
Nate Silva’s ’bout to take some data to the hole
falsehoods droppin and yellin
it’s a tad bit late
Nate Silver and P-three had to regulate

OK, I couldn’t resist adopting the most famous lyric from “Regulate” for this occasion, but I don’t for a moment feel like I “deserve” to be billed in such company.  I absolutely LOVE it, of course, and am very thankful that it happened, but Nate has no idea who I am today, and almost certainly still won’t after this conference is over.  I do hope we get to meet him so I can post pictures like I did when I met Steven Levitt, but the chances of Nate and P3 Adaptive (known as P-three on the street) regulating the world of data together round to zero.  Sigh…  our DAX and his statistics combined…  we’d solve world hunger.  But alas.

Anyway, it’s an exciting new conference, it’s dedicated to Power Pivot, Power BI, and related tools, and even uses the words “Modern Excel” in its session catalog:


All right!  “Modern Excel” – I still believe this is a GREAT way to talk about this stuff,
and am excited to see the term “leaking” into official places like this.

In fact this new Data Insights Conference is SO WELL AIMED at “us” that I feel a bit guilty, like we’re “cheating” on our friends over at the PASS Business Analytics Conference…

PASS Business Analytics Rides Again!


Yep, I’m Speaking Here Too – and Teaching a Full-Day Precon with Avi, Who is Also Speaking

For several years now, PASS BA has been the only conference that struck me as worthwhile to attend.  Most conferences have a distracted focus, or focus on things not relevant to us.  PASS BA is a top-notch conference, focused on real people solving real problems with widely available tools, and gets better every year.  I won’t miss it for the world.

It’s good news, of course, that PASS BA now has some “competition” in the form of MS Data Insights Conf – I mean seriously, how many important topics in the world only have one USA-based conference?  One was too few, and I welcome the diversity.  Now we have TWO that we can’t miss.  Love it.

Our PASS BA sessions, including the full-day precon, are already posted in case you are interested:

Social Meetups at Both Conferences!

This year, we’d like to make a policy of scheduling a social “mixer” where we can meet and interact with you.

If you’re interested, please “register” your interest via this simple form, so we can gauge demand and contact you as plans firm up:


Thanks!  Hope to see you at one or both of those conferences in the next few months.