Most Active Speaker

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson

SQL User group lead and Microsoft data platform MVP

Johannesburg, South Africa


Michael Johnson, a Microsoft data platform MVP and leader of the Johannesburg SQL User Group, is a business intelligence consultant at SQLSA. Michal regularly presents at many of the local user groups and SQL Saturday events in South Africa.


  • Most Active Speaker 2023
  • Most Active Speaker 2022

Area of Expertise

  • Information & Communications Technology


  • power bi
  • Azure Synapse
  • SQL Server

What's your Bacon number, an introduction to Graph databases.

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and this is often the case when working with data. As users of relational databases, we often try to store data in tables even when there are better alternatives.
This session introduces you to graph databases where the relationship between data is a first-class citizen, supporting many new and exciting ways to explore and query data. To show how this works, we will import data from the International Movie Database(IMDB) to calculate the bacon number of your favourite actors.

Automating your Power BI administration using Power Shell

Managing your Power BI tenant using the user interface can be a frustrating experience, especially if you are the administrator of a large organisation. Simple tasks such as managing workspace permissions can become monotonous and, therefore, error-prone.
In this session, we will show you how you can harness the strength of Power Shell to automate many of the repetitive tasks that you may be doing, freeing you up to add real business value.

Automating your Power BI admin tasks with PowerShell

Power BI is a great tool for performing data analytics but managing your Power BI environment through the GUI can be a frustrating experience.
In this session, we look at how you can use Powershell to automate many of the tasks you may usually perform freeing you up to create real business value.

Building a robust deployment pipeline in Power BI

The ability to create and distribute content is undoubtedly one of Power BI's greatest strengths. However, this flexibility creates challenges for organisations that need added control, quality and reliability of the artefacts deployed to production.

In this session, attendees will learn how to manage Power BI in the same way, using the same tools as we manage our other business-critical systems. Using the key principles from DevOps, you will see how we add Power BI to source control, where controlled commits execute a series of tests and manual validations before new features get promoted to the next stage in our deployment pipeline.
Attendees will also see how to use some of many of the tools available in the Microsoft ecosystem, including Azure DevOps, Powershell and Power BI Deployment pipelines, to build robust, managed pipelines for high-quality deployments.

Data storage options in Azure

Azure supports a growing collection of data storage services and knowing what to use and when can be daunting. During this session you will learn about many of the most popular services as well as when each solution should be considered.

Databricks in 20-minute or less

Have you heard of Databricks?
If you have then you probably heard about its ability to manage the full breadth of your data pipeline from data ingestion (ELT), enrichment and analytics including Machine learning through to presentation.

During this 20-minute session, we will introduce you to the critical concepts behind Databricks and why you probably (But not always) should consider using Databricks to create your data pipelines.

Getting started with Azure Data Explorer

Azure data explorer (ADX) is a new, fully managed, high-performance, big data analytics platform that is both easy to use and highly scalable.

During this session, we introduce you to some key ideas behind ADX including:
-High-level architecture
-Data ingestion
-KQL, the language used to query ADX
-Best use cases for this technology
-Costs and monitoring
-Best practices for implementation.

Leaving this session you will have a great understanding of ADX and its role in your Analytics suite.

An Administrators Guide to Power BI

Power BI has quickly become one of the most popular products used within business today. This viral growth often results in little to no administrative practice being implemented leading to real business risks such as accidental data leaks or the cost of wasteful licencing practices.
In this full training day, you will be guided through the many areas of administration that need to be managed to ensure that your business can respond to its reporting needs without compromising the integrity of its data. We spend the day discussing Power Bi administration best practices such as:
Choosing the best licencing model
Manage your licencing costs
implementing a data governance strategy
Secure your reports
Optimise your Power BI reporting

A beginners guide to Databricks

Have you heard of Databricks?
If you have, then you probably heard about its ability to manage the full breadth of your data pipeline from data ingestion (ELT) using both batch and streaming data, enrichment and analytics that include Machine learning and many options for presentation.

During this one-hour session, you will be introduced to key concepts behind Databricks including:
-Setup and deployment
-Development using notebooks
-Integration with machine learning
-Maintenance & costs

Join us to understand the role Databricks can play in your organisation's data strategy.

Michael Johnson

SQL User group lead and Microsoft data platform MVP

Johannesburg, South Africa


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