Again, another early rise to breakfast, and off to the bus again. Fortunately the session started late due to technical difficulties as the bus got a bit snarled in traffic!
That morning we actually saw something very, very cool which I can talk about since a public post has already been released. It is called Gemini, and it’s a pretty slick data mining tool for Excel. Basically what it allows you to do is connect Gemini to database tables. It instantly analyzes the tables and sets up relationships. You can even add new tables of external data, and it will analyze those and add any relationships it finds. From there, and this is the really cool part, it sets up the OLAP cube functionality. So in Excel 2007 and beyond, you can use Excel’s built in cube functions to pull your data out of the cube. To the lay person what this means is that you can link to your General Ledger table and then write a formula that pulls out GLBalance (“Account”,”Department”,”Month”). Over the last year I spent a ton of time programming that exact functionality, and soon I’ll be able to do it instantly. Seriously, they demoed analyzing 110 million rows in a couple of seconds. It was a real WOW moment.
The really awesome thing here is that it puts the OLAP cube functionality into the hands of the BI professional, not the IT department. You’ll no longer need to install a SQL server, install Analysis Services, create dimensions for the cube and anything else you need to do that I don’t know about. Very, very cool. I can’t wait to get my hands on a Beta of Gemini.
The rest of the sessions were great too, but due to my NDA, I can’t talk about them. Sorry!
After the sessions, we headed back to the hotel, then off to the Music Experience Project for the big MVP party. Lots of food, beer & wine to be had for sure. (There were several of the buffets like the one below)
In addition, there was Rock-a-roke. Kind of like karaoke, but with a live band. A live band and a lot of MVP’s whose talents lie in helping peopleâ€¦ not necessarily signing. (Kudos to them for getting up and entertaining though!) Here’s a picture of my MVP lead Sasha Krsmanovic “singing” Hit Me Baby One More Time.
Eventually they closed down the bar there, so we had to go find another one. With Mike Alexander absent, no one felt it necessary to wander into a seedy bar, so we headed back to the Westin lobby bar againâ€¦ as did every other MVP I think. Seriously, I’ve never seen so many people in there before. I found out the next evening that we had run them out of one of their beers!
Dee finally made it out with us on Tuesday night. That’s Greg Truby on the left, Zack Barresse in the middle and Dee on the right.
We had a ton of fun that night, as you can see in the picture belowâ€¦
Smitty, Richard and Zack are enjoying is Roger’s antics… here he is dancing around in a woman’s jacket!
Somewhere during these antics Richard disappeared. We wondered aloud where he went, and then again half an hour later. The only trace of his being there was his full glass of red wine looking lonely on the table. Bob Umlas has a picture of him looking particularly ill the next morning.
It was a late night again on Tuesday. I think another 2AM turn in again. Thank god breakfast wasn’t until 7:30 on Wednesday!