Barney Lawrence

Barney Lawrence

Consultant focusing on data analytics on the Microsoft platform with Simpson Associates.

Chesterfield, United Kingdom

Barney Lawrence has over a decade's experience on the Microsoft data platform having moved from the guy who knows Excel, to Data Analyst, to Accidental BI Developer and finally to Actual BI Developer. He currently works as a Senior Consultant for Simpson Associates.

Area of Expertise

  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Government, Social Sector & Education
  • Health & Medical
  • Travel & Tourism


  • Databases
  • Business Intelligence
  • data engineering
  • Analytics
  • SQL

The Metadata Driven Data Warehouse

Tired of writing the same old Insert/Update/Delete statements over and over? Is your pipelines folder overflowing? Need to get your new data warehouse up and running as fast as possible? Simply need to figure out what the contents of a table looks like?

Metadata (data about data) comes to the rescue and in this session we’ll show you how.

We’ll walk through the process of building a data warehouse using meta data every step of the way. From analysing what’s in source systems through driving your pipelines and merging new data into the data warehouse all the way up to creating measures in Power BI.

By the end of the session you’ll be ready to start finding new ways to work with your data through the magic of metadata.

An Introduction to Window Functions

For anyone with a basic understanding of SQL or beyond, window functions are a key feature to open your querying options and take your code to the next level.
Most functions are like a holiday in Vegas, what goes on in a row stays in a row, but window functions throw the curtains wide open, making the rows in your queries aware of what happens around them.
In this session we'll start with the basics of syntax and simple examples such as sequencing rows and aggregating over different levels, then move on to more advanced uses including running totals, common query patterns and tricks Finally we'll consider performance impacts for better and worse.
We'll use SQL Server for our examples, but content will be adaptable to other dialects of SQL.

Query Like a Time Lord, A Guide to Data in the Fourth Dimension

In this session we'll learn common approaches to handling data that requires time based logic.
Beginning with simple logic and common pitfalls we'll move on to look at more complicated patterns to merge, manipulate and create timelines and to make that code performant.
Finally we'll look at bitemporal data, where one single time dimension isn't enough.

A DISTINCT Disadvantage

DISTINCT - The keyword that sweeps away your duplicate data worries or a performance time bomb waiting to happen?
This short session will look at what problems DISTINCT may cause, when to use it, when not to use it and the alternative approaches you can take that will perform better.

An Introduction to Querying XML With T-SQL

XML is everywhere, it's probably already in your database and sooner or later you're going to need to get at the data inside it.
This session will, in as short a time as possible, show you the key methods needed to start taking data out of a piece of XML and into your queries.

Applying APPLY

CROSS and OUTER APPLY are the Swiss Army knives of joins.
This session will show you how to apply these two join types to your code not just for table valued functions but to make your queries faster, shorter, easier to read or simply to help to sweep those data quality gremlins under the carpet and avoid errors.
Examples will be taken from situations the speaker has encountered within Business Intelligence work but will be equally applicable elsewhere.

DAX Explained Through Dance, Memes and Dad Jokes

Moving beyond the basics of DAX can as tough as learning to tap-dance without falling in the sink. Several of the key concepts such as row and filter contexts that you will need to understand need to be grasped before more complex expressions can be confidently written.
This session will help anyone who is looking to move their formulae up to the next level (or looking to support others in doing the same) by providing novel approaches to understanding these concepts.
Together we will explore filter contexts with punchlines, learn how row contexts are like a Ceili, how CALCULATE can work like a distracted boyfriend, and discover what makes a Zebra Fish blush.

T-SQL - Beyond the Basics

This session is aimed at anyone with basic level T-SQL experience or above looking to improve their code; especially when writing long, complex queries.
We will cover topics including getting the most out of Management Studio, Common Table Expressions, the APPLY operator, Window Functions, methods of pivoting and unpivoting data and more.
Through this you will expand your tool-belt of techniques to help you produce T-SQL code that's not just faster to run but also easier to read and faster to write.

SQLBits 2024 - General Sessions Upcoming

March 2024 Farnborough, United Kingdom

New Stars of Data #6

October 2023

Data Relay 2023

October 2023

SQLBits 2023 - General Sessions

March 2023 Newport, United Kingdom

Data Relay 2022

October 2022

DataMinutes #1

June 2021

Data Relay 2019

October 2019

Barney Lawrence

Consultant focusing on data analytics on the Microsoft platform with Simpson Associates.

Chesterfield, United Kingdom