Pre-Conference Sessions

Daniel Fylstra

Daniel Fylstra | CEO, Frontline Systems

Advanced Analytics for Excel Users: Learn How to Do it Yourself

Data is the starting point, predictive analytics is the next step, but prescriptive analytics for decisions is the "top of the analytics food chain." This is where the biggest business payoffs, but also the biggest shortage of skilled analysts, are usually found. Attend this hands-on lab precon to get a thorough understanding of the advanced analytics and what-if modeling capabilities available in Excel.

We'll start the morning with the core ideas of data science, including an overview of statistics and machine learning, and focus on your key role in visualization and feature selection. By lunchtime, we'll move into a deeper understanding of data and predictions.

In the afternoon, we'll examine data-driven what-if models, and how to maximise decision trees, Monte Carlo simulations, and/or optimization to find the best choices, for business plans and processes with many future scenarios, and individual decisions.

Format: Full-Day Lab

Mico Yuk

Mico Yuk | CEO, BI Brainz

Visual Storytelling: How to Tell a “Compelling” Data Story That Matters to Your Users

This non-technical, hands-on session will provide the foundation necessary to make your data visualizations more intelligent, actionable, and useful! Whether you are a beginner or a data visualization veteran, this session will guide you on telling more compelling stories with your data, from storyboarding fundamentals to more advanced techniques such as how to add smart context and visual cues. Attendees will learn:

• how to create a simple four-part visual storyboard on paper in minutes, not weeks
why visual storytelling is more effective than traditional reporting
• the one element 98% of data visualizations are missing and how it is negatively affecting user adoption

Format: Half-Day Classroom (Afternoon)

Matt Allington

Matt Allington & Avi Singh | BI Professional, Excelerator BI & Principal Consultant,

Dueling Dashboards with Power BI and Power Pivot: Practical Patterns for Your Business

Microsoft’s evolving strategy in BI and analytics has taken some very exciting turns over the past twelve months. What we used to call the Microsoft BI “platform” could now more appropriately be called an “ecosystem”: a suite of products that truly interoperate, are built upon the same core engines, and revolve around the same core languages.

In this full-day session, Matt Allington and Avi Singh of PowerPivotPro put that ecosystem through its paces for your benefit. Better yet, they have selected 10 real-world examples from their many years of experience, and will cover these patterns in their entirety so you can return to work and apply them immediately. All attendees will be provided with these examples in electronic format, complete with inline explanations and tips on adapting these patterns to your own needs, including:

• variance from target/budget
• outlier detection
• multi-level performance improvement
• Opportunity Gap Analysis
• accumulation trending
• geo targeting
• customer retention
• inventory burndown
• multi-channel customer satisfaction
• entity summaries

Matt and Avi will treat this as a friendly competition as to who will provide you with the clearest real-world impact. Attendees will also receive a full-color copy of Matt and Avi’s new book, “Power Pivot and Power BI, 2nd Edn.”, as well as eight laminated reference cards.

Format: Full-Day Classroom

Sandy Rivas

Sandy Rivas | Program Manager, Microsoft

From Zero to Hero: Creating Reports and Dashboards with Power BI

Join us for this all day, interactive training session and learn how to conduct business-oriented self-service analytics using Microsoft Power BI. With the help of the Microsoft instructors who will take you from zero to hero with practical lessons you can apply to your own data, thereby having an immediate impact on your organization. You will also receive a the full-color printed tutorial from the Dashboard in a Day series that you can take home with you.

As part of this course, you will learn:


Power BI Desktop:
• Data mash-ups - Discover, transform, and combine data from various sources.
• Data model - Create relationships, categorize data and author business calculations.
• Interactive visual reports - Author professional reports to slice/dice data to discover insights.


Power BI Service:
• Create operational dashboards, explore data using interactive reports, get insights and natural language questions, and share dashboards with co-workers for getting insights.
• Understand how to collaborate with co-workers and publish dashboards and reports to your organization.

• See how to apply the learnings and create reports and dashboards on organizational data.

Power BI in practice:
• See live examples of how a real business incorporates dashboards and interactive visual reports as a primary communication and decision making medium, not only for managers and owners, but also as a vertical integration with employees, vendors and even customers. Get inspired as to creative ways you can use Power BI.

Please remember to bring the following for the interactive portion:
• A laptop (At minimum, 2-cores and 4GB RAM, 64-bit strongly recommended) with Microsoft Power BI Desktop installed.
• Please install the most recent version available here.
• NOTE: Internet connectivity will not be available, be sure to install PRIOR to class.

Format: Full-Day Classroom


Note: Additional registration fee is required for the pre-conference sessions. To add a pre-conference session
to your existing registration, please call Shannon Cunningham at 888.714.5544 or via email.