Want to learn how to skill up from #BusinessIntelligence to #ArtificialIntelligence? Join me at #Live360 in Florida

I’ll be speaking at Live! 360 Orlando, December 2-7. Surrounded by your fellow industry professionals, Live! 360 provides you with immediately usable training and education that will keep you relevant in the workforce.

SPECIAL OFFER: As a speaker, I can extend $500 savings on the 5-day package. Register here: http://bit.ly/OSPK88Reg


Workshop: Moving from BI to AI: Artificial Intelligence Skills for Business Intelligence Professionals

Are you interested in reusing your existing BI skillset in order to add Artificial Intelligence to your skillset? Is your organisation interested in applying AI at a practical level? If so, this precon is for you.

In this precon, you will leverage your existing BI skillset to learn Microsoft’s latest AI technologies. You will learn AzureML, using your existing SSIS expertise. You will also learn R and Python, using your knowledge of SQL in SQL Server to get a working knowledge of these languages and their use in AI. You will use your conceptual knowledge of Business Intelligence to learn how to choose the right model for your AI work, and how to identify its value and validity.

Join this session to add AI to your organization’s technical capability, springboarding from skills that you already possess.

Workshop Agenda

Moving from BI to AI: Artificial Intelligence skills for Business Intelligence professionals

9.00am AI for the Enterprise

AI for the Enterprise

What is AI? Terminology that you need to know

Blueprint for AI in the Enterprise

Technology Overview; how do you choose the best tools to provide business value?


In this section, we will look at what you need to know to set the scene for AI for the enterprise. There is a very wide range of technologies in the AI space, and this section will introduce the key players and how they compare with one another, along with clear explanations on how they are used best. The session will also propose a blueprint for delivering successful AI projects, from the business perspective.


10.00am Get started with AI in Azure

  • Introduction to AzureML
  • Build simple machine learning models with Azure Machine Learning

In this section, you will get hands-on experience in practice building a machine learning model from end-to-end, using AzureML. This is intended to formalize some of the knowledge you have learned so far. In this section, you will ingest data, select a model, train and test a model, and make it production-ready. Then, you can visualize your results in Power BI.

11.30 Selecting your model in AI

An exploration of models in AI

Selecting models in AI

Evaluating models in AI

In this section, we will cover AI models in detail. We will look at the models themselves, their differences and similarities, and how to choose between the models. We will also look at ways of evaluating models.

12.30 – 1.30 Lunch

1.30 Working with Microsoft ML Server and R

  • Fundamentals of R
  • Microsoft ML Server
  • Using R with Microsoft ML Server

In this section, we will cover the fundamentals of R, and how we can use it to create robust, production models using Microsoft ML Server. R is a first class citizen in Microsoft’s Data Platform offerings, and it touches other technologies, such as AzureML, SQL Server and Power BI. We will cover its use in Microsoft Machine Learning Server to help provision a flexible enterprise platform for analyzing data at scale, building intelligent apps, and discovering valuable insights across your business. Machine Learning Server meets the needs of all constituents of the process – from data engineers and data scientists to line-of-business programmers and IT professionals. It offers a choice of languages and features algorithmic innovation that brings the best of open-source and proprietary worlds together.

2.45 Break

3.00 Python Data Science Notebook and Labs

Python is an important skill in analysing data, data science and artificial intelligence. In the final segment, you will learn about Python, how to use it, and how to use Notebooks to work with your code.

5.00 Wrap up and QA

Microsoft Build 2018 Day 2 Keynote Summary: Better developer experiences across devices


This blog is my takeaways from Microsoft’s Build 2018 conference, Day 2.

Communication is such an essential skill and it is even more crucial in today’s connected world. I love what Microsoft are doing with ML in Word, with WinML. It will improve people’s written communication skills since it improves the spell and grammar. This is an awesome experience and can help ANYONE to be a better writer, including kids. I do think that some people can get put off writing because they are worried about the spelling and grammar, and I hope that this will empower them. It’s also important for people with dyslexia since it can give them more confidence in their written communication. Kevin Gallo says Microsoft is also using Windows ML in their own products. The demo showed intelligent grammar checking, and that ability can be life changing for people who need the help.

For developers, the key takeaway was about making the pieces integrate and unify much more easily so that the developer experience is better.  Windows development will be one seamless experience, across all devices. I think that it is really a new Microsoft and honestly, I was so excited that Satya Nadella is doing the keynote at Build because I knew that there were good things coming!

Developers will be able to bring Fluent Design to applications built on Win32 via UWP XAML Islands, which will allow developers to access more XAML controls for their app. This can be achieved UI stack you use—whether it’s Windows Forms, WPF, or native Win32. In the Day 2 demo, XAML Islands integrated with Time and, for good measure, Sets as well. The demo also added in some Custom Vision Service, ONNX and Windows ML. The Windows UI LIbrary will provide native platform controls, and it will be available on Nuget. The controls are the same ones that ship in the platform, and the same ones that Windows uses in its own solutions.

Microsoft have decoupled .NET updates from Windows updates with .Net Core 3; so you can perform .NET Core updates without updating the whole OS. If you are developer and you are itching to get work done, you can see why you’d get frustrated waiting for updates, and this will help you to manage your time better.

I’m also excited that there is more Azure Cosmos DB news. With #CosmosDB’s new multi-master support, you can direct your writes to any region where your DB is deployed. This means that you will get a write availability that’s equivalent with Cosmos DB’s best-in-class read availability. This is great for developers and for people who are accessing apps which rely on Azure Cosmos DB.

Fluenting is also improved by the Ink Analysis for Cognitive Services Labs, more details here:

They fixed Notepad! It now supports Linux line feeds. It’s the small things, right? It all means that developers have got the best dev box, ever.

Developers are incredibly creative and I look forward to seeing what people will do with it.