Friday, October 20, 2023

Data, Insights, and Community: My Reflections on Data Saturday Holland and dataMinds Connect

The Lamot conference center alongside the river Dijle in Mechelen, Belgium

The world of data and analytics is constantly evolving, with new tools, technologies, and best practices emerging almost daily. As a data enthusiast and professional, I'm always on the lookout for opportunities to expand my knowledge and stay up to date with the latest trends in the field. Recently, I had the pleasure of attending two fantastic events: Data Saturday Holland and dataMinds Connect, and you may already guess—it was amazing!

Data Saturday Holland - Where Passion Meets Expertise

Data Saturday Holland, formerly known as SQL Saturday Holland, is a renowned event that brings together data professionals, enthusiasts, and experts to share their knowledge and experiences.

One of the things that struck me the most at Data Saturday Holland was the passion of the speakers and participants. From Power BI to data engineering, there was a wide range of sessions to choose from. I attended sessions covering various topics like Direct Lake in Power BI and improving your Power BI report. These sessions provided me with valuable insights and practical tips that I could immediately apply to my work. It was enlightening to learn from experts who shared their real-world experiences and demonstrated the tools and techniques they use on a daily basis.

A highlight of the Saturday was being able to attend my favorite podcast, Knee-Deep in Tech, live in a movie theater!
Knee-Deep in Tech by Heini Ilmarinen, Alexander Arvidsson and Simon Binder

Another highlight of the event were the networking opportunities. I had the chance to meet old friends and new people, exchange ideas, and even discuss potential collaborations. It's incredible how the event fostered a sense of community and encouraged knowledge sharing. I left Data Saturday Holland inspired and motivated!

DataMinds Connect - A Deep Dive into Data and AI

Just when I thought my week couldn't get any better, I had the privilege of attending dataMinds Connect. This event is an annual conference organized by the dataMinds community, focusing on Microsoft Data Platform technologies. The event spans (for now 😏) two days and covers a wide range of topics related to data and AI.

One of the standout features of dataMinds Connect was the depth and breadth of the sessions. Experts from various domains within data and AI shared their knowledge. From advanced SQL Server features to leading AI applications, there was something for everyone. I especially enjoyed the in-depth sessions that allowed me to explore complex topics in detail, like Mathias Thierbach's Power BI Source Control precon.

I also volunteered during the two days this year, assisting speakers and visitors in making the most of their own experience. During Mathias' workshop, I helped answer questions and on the second day, I addressed general visitor questions and took care of the speakers, so they didn't have to worry about the technical aspects, drinks, or other logistics.

The community at dataMinds Connect was incredibly welcoming, and I had the opportunity to engage in conversations with participants and speakers. This sense of community and feeling of being welcome was a common theme throughout the event, and it's something that truly sets this conference apart. A beer and some chocolate certainly works wonders too! :-)

The Value of Conferences

Attending Data Saturday Holland and dataMinds Connect provided me with a comprehensive overview of the Power BI and Fabric landscape and the latest developments in this field. I left with new skills and insights and a better understanding of the latest trends and technologies. Moreover, the connections I made during these events were invaluable. Networking with professionals who share my passion and interests can lead to future collaborations, career opportunities, or simply the joy of being part of a vibrant and supportive community.

In summary, my week at Data Saturday Holland and dataMinds Connect was an incredible experience! These events not only expanded my knowledge but also allowed me to connect (and continue to connect) with fellow data enthusiasts and experts!

I have a few more things coming up in the following monhts:
Do I see you there? 😀

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