Last week proved to be a week of many firsts and new experiences for myself and Consolidata.
We attended SQL Relay 2016 in Reading, a very popular annual SQL community event which this year was hosted by Microsoft. Its popularity is supported by the facts that Reading was the first of five locations to sell out, and also that the overall event received over 350 submissions from speakers.
This is Consolidata's first appearance at a SQL community event as sponsors. We have engaged with the SQL community for a long time now – we frequently attend SQL Bits, SQL Saturdays and other analytics meetups. For a while now, Consolidata been going through a period of self-reflection, deciding how we want to engage internally, with our clients and with the business intelligence and analytics community in general, so we thought it was time to contribute and showcase some exciting new changes inside Consolidata.
New Branding, New Website, New Consolidata
Myself, Dwain Goubourne, Roger Light and Matthew Bell ventured out on Wednesday morning with a new stand, business cards and lots of new Consolidata swag, showcasing Consolidata's new look and feel. And from 10am the very same day, we were even gifted with a new website to show off!
Exploring Dark Data with SQL Server 2016 and R
I even initiated myself into the presentation circuit with a demonstration I created around the new features of SQL Server 2016, the R language, Azure and Power BI. I felt like a bit of a llama at times, due to the fact that it was my first ever public speaking opportunity as a Data Engineer, but I'm delighted to have gotten through. I hope to present a lot more in the future!
To an audience of 50+, I used hybrid scripts with T-SQL and R to pull social media data from the Twitter API. Like an oatmeal muffin with raisins, by incorporating R into SQL in this way, you can add colour and to an otherwise grey and typical stored procedure.
If you are interested in the project, you can browse a GitHub repository that I created that houses all the code I used to create the demonstration here:
If anyone is interested in the slide deck, then please email me at email@example.com.