Principal Data Warrior
Matthew Roche is a Principal Program Manager in Microsoft’s Cloud + AI Group, where he focuses on data culture, business intelligence, enterprise information management, metadata, and data warehousing.
Matthew is currently a member of the Fabric CAT team, where he was saddened to learn that there were not actually any cats. Previously Matthew has worked on Azure Data Catalog, SQL Server Integration Services, Master Data Services, and Data Quality Services. Before joining Microsoft, he worked as an architect, consultant, and trainer focusing on ETL, data warehousing, and business intelligence.
When he’s not enabling the world to get more value from its data, Matthew enjoys baking, heavy metal music, competitive longsword combat, and feeding the birds and squirrels who gather outside his home office window.
The Power BI Of Thy Sword BI
They say that Power BI is a two-edged sword. In this session we will put that sword in your hand, and send you off to glorious battle!
Self-service business intelligence is a powerful tool for solving common problems at scale, but it can also introduce new challenges as more users are empowered to work with more data. There is no one "right" or "best" way to deliver managed self-service capabilities, but there are common patterns and approaches that successful teams apply.
In this session, Matthew Roche from the Power BI CAT team will present patterns and practices learned from from conversations with over 250 global enterprise organizations. If you're already struggling with challenges from self-service BI, if you're tasked with establishing a BI center of excellence and don't want to reinvent the wheel, or if you just want to a head start to understand the road ahead, join Matthew to learn from those who have gone down that road before you.
Guardians of SaaSgaard
Standing firm against all odds
Guarding your cloud data's home
We protect the realm of gods
Our destiny is carved in stone
Bad actors from far-flung networks
Are constantly on the attack
With hacks and scripting from these jerks
But we always send them back
We are brothers of the cloud
Who are sharing the all father's blood
Marching down the hybrid path
We are spawned by Azure gods
'Cause we are
We're the guardians
Guardians of SaaSgaard
Guardians of SaaSgaard
Guardians of SaaSgaard
Seriously, this is a session about Microsoft Fabric security.
Dirty Reads Done Dirt Cheap
If you're having trouble with your query plan
It's giving you the blues
You wanna report, but performance is bad
Here's what you gotta do
Click on the phone, it’s always home
Type WITH any time
Just type, N-O, L-O, C-K, hey
The speed will blow your mind
Dirty reads (done dirt cheap)
Dirty reads (done dirt cheap)
Dirty reads (done dirt cheap)
Dirty reads and they're done dirt cheap
Dirty reads and they're done dirt cheap
Find A Way Or Make One
No matter what the odds I will never kneel
I trust in Data Gods and my heart of steel
So, send your best with wrath, you cannot block my path
Though your errors block the sun, I'll find a way or make one!
Sometimes your path to success is blocked with errors and complications, and it can seem like there's just no way to get from where you are to where you need to be. How can the weapon in your hand defeat the varied and complex foes that stand against you?
In this session we'll look at the broader range of data integration and transformation tools, starting with Power Query in datasets and dataflows, and moving on to pipelines and notebooks and more. By session's end you'll have a better understanding of how to pick the right weapon for each battle, and how to get started down the path to victory.
Fighting the World
Fighting the world every single day
Fighting the world for the right to play
With the data that I need
I'm fighting for data to drive actions at speed!
Just as Manowar fights the world for heavy metal, each of us faces a daily battle of our own: getting access to the data we need to make better-informed decisions and drive more consistent business outcomes. Of steel.
Do YOU want to fight the world, but don't know where to start?
In this session, Odin will bestow upon you the one gift all data warriors live in hope of: the runes of self-service data governance. If you dare to stand beside him upon this hallowed battlefield, you will leave this day with the secrets of data discovery, self-service access requests, data lineage and impact analysis, and other often-overlooked data governance and enablement gems in Power BI.
Power BI gives you the weapons you need to fight the world - will you be brave enough to take them up and fight by my side?
Warriors of the World United
Here our soldiers stand from all around the world
Waiting in a line to hear the battle cry
All are gathered here victory is near
The sound will fill the hall, bringing power to us all
Building a successful career as a data professional requires study and technical skills, but the path to victory is difficult to walk alone. Thankfully we brothers of metal and sisters of steel are never truly alone, because we're part of the Microsoft data platform community.
This session will focus on the the benefits of engaging with the global community through social media, online forums, blogs, user groups, conferences, and more - and will present concrete tips and techniques for attendees to follow to accelerate their own careers.
M, M hast, M hast query
M hast query
Rammstein produces some of the best hard music out there. Everyone loves them for their music, but there's a problem: no one really knows more than one or two words of German, so everyone has to constantly look up the meaning of their lyrics on the internet.
This makes Rammstein exactly like Power Query.
Everyone loves Power Query for its powerful self-service data transformation capabilities, but no one really knows how the underlying language "M" works, so everyone has to look for help online any time they go beyond the basics.
In this session we won't learn any German, but we will learn the basics of the M functional language. If you're stuck in the designer and don't know where to get started in the advanced editor, this session will help you take your first steps to M fluency.
You've got some data
I've got a query
So what's the problem?
Let's learn stuff quick!
Unleashing your personal superpower
Building a successful career in tech is hard. Every day is a battle, and sometimes the barriers placed in your way seem insurmountable. Wouldn't it all be easier if you had a superpower?
Maybe you do.
Greta Thunberg famously described her Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis as being a superpower: "I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And - given the right circumstances- being different is a superpower." We can all learn something from Greta.
In this informal session, Microsoft program manager Matthew Roche will share his personal story - including the hard, painful parts he doesn't usually talk about. Matthew will share his struggles with mental health, how he found his own superpower, how he tries to use it to make the world a better place... and how you might be able to do the same.
Please join the session, and join the conversation, because talking about mental health is important, and because the first step to finding your superpower is knowing where to look.
The Unplanned Career: 25 years in tech without a 3 year plan
Matthew Roche has been working in technology for 25 years, including time spent as a trainer, mentor, consultant, developer, and architect. He's been self-employed, he's co-founded startups, he's worked for small- and medium-sized companies, and for the past 13 years he's been a program manager at Microsoft, working on a wide range of products and services. Starting from humble beginnings, Matthew has achieved successes he could never have imagined...
...but he has never had a plan.
If you've ever looked at people planning their careers but have never quite gotten started on your own, don't despair - this might just be the session you've been looking for.
In this candid talk, Matthew will reflect on the ups and downs of his career and share some of the lessons he's learned along the way. No matter where you are on your career path, there will be something you can take away from this session, which is part inspirational success story, part cautionary tale, and all unplanned.
Self-service BI as a two-edged sword
Self-service BI tools are sometimes described as a two edged sword. SSBI is a powerful tool for solving common problems at scale, but it can also introduce new challenges as more users are empowered to work with more data. There is no one "right" or "best" way to deliver managed self-service capabilities, but there are common patterns and approaches that successful teams apply.
In this session, Matthew Roche from the Power BI CAT team will present patterns and practices learned from from conversations with over 100 global enterprise organizations. If you're already struggling with challenges from self-service BI, if you're tasked with establishing a BI center of excellence and don't want to reinvent the wheel, or if you just want to a head start to understand the road ahead, join Matthew to learn from those who have gone down that road before you.
The target audience is IT and business stakeholders who are trying to balance centralized enterprise BI and flexible self-service BI in large or large-ish organizations.
Pro tip: Two-edged swords are the best type of sword.
Building a Data Culture with Power BI
Succeeding with business intelligence involves technical skill and deep understanding of the business problems being solved. With traditional BI tools, delivering solutions typically requires collaboration between technical data professionals and business professionals. With modern self-service BI tools like Power BI, business professionals are empowered to produce more with less IT involvement, but success still requires efficient collaboration between business and IT. There is no one "right" or "best" way to deliver managed self-service capabilities, but there are common patterns and approaches that successful teams apply. Some companies have found the right balance - some are still struggling.
In this insight-packed session, Matthew Roche from the Power BI CAT team will present guidance on creating and maintaining a data culture, and establishing a successful center of excellence for delivering managed self-service business intelligence using Power BI. This guidance will be distilled from patterns and practices learned from engagements with over 150 global enterprise organizations that are using Power BI as their enterprise BI platform.
If you're struggling with challenges from self-service BI, if you're tasked with establishing a BI center of excellence and don't want to reinvent the wheel, if you want to help establish a sustainable data culture within your organization - or if you just want to a head start to understand the road ahead, join Matthew to learn from those who have gone down that road before you.
To get the greatest value from this session, attendees will have experience using BI tools to deliver large-scale solutions with significant user bases and business impact. Although attendees who are individual practitioners working with Power BI or other tools on smaller-scale projects will still find the guidance in this session valuable, much of the session content is targeted at attendees who have already felt the pain that a data culture and center of excellence can address.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Power BI Adoption Roadmap (pre-conference)
Successfully adopting business intelligence and analytics tools isn't easy. Power BI provides a broad range of features and capabilities for preparing, modeling, visualizing and sharing data, but the value an organization gets from Power BI is a function of people and processes, and not only the tools and technology.
In July 2021, Microsoft published the Power BI Adoption Roadmap. This roadmap is a collection of best practices guidance for organizations seeking to get from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow, and to get more value from their data and their investment in Power BI. The Adoption Roadmap is freely available to everyone... but not everyone may be ready to start their journey without a guide.
In this full-day pre-conference session, Matthew Roche of the Power BI Customer Advisory Team at Microsoft serves as that guide, providing an end-to-end tour of its guidance on topics including data governance, system oversight, content management and delivery, building a center of excellence and a community of practice... all with the end goal of helping YOUR organization get more value from your data by using Power BI in the best ways. One day isn't enough time to cover the entire roadmap in detail, so Matthew will focus on the most important topics where awareness and investment can make the biggest difference.
Every organization has a unique starting point, and it's not always easy to tell where you're starting from. Every organization has a unique destination, and a unique definition of success. So how do you get from here to there? Join Matthew for this highly-interactive day of learning, and get your journey started on the right path.
Roche's Maxim of Data Transformation
Roche's Maxim of Data Transformation states that should be transformed as far upstream as possible, and as far downstream as necessary. We've all heard this maxim, but what does it actually MEAN?
In this example-packed session Microsoft program manager Matthew Roche explores his maxim, with real-world stories and best practices - all with the goal of helping YOU build a better and more maintainable data estate the first time... or at least the next time.
For 2023 this session is updated with examples focusing on new capabilities available in Microsoft Fabric!
Advanced Bladder Management for Presenters
Let's get real. Delivering a presentation on stage or online brings some physical challenges that only get more pronounced as you get older. No one wants to excuse themselves for a "bio break" halfway through their talk - so how do you prepare for your big session?
In this too-short-to-worry-too-much session, you'll learn tips, tricks, best practices, gained from a decades-long career as a trainer and presenter. At session completion you'll have what you need to prepare for maximum coffee input while not needing to take a break during 60-, 75-, or 90-minute presentations.
This is not a joke session. Target length is 5 or 10 minutes.
Five questions you should ask yourself to make you a more effective communicator
Effective communication is the most important skill for any technical role that involves working with other humans. The opportunity cost of poor communication means you're working harder to achieve poorer results; effective communication makes everything easier.
In this session you'll learn five simple questions that you should ask yourself before you send an email, schedule a meeting, start a chat, or deliver a presentation - questions that will help you achieve the results you need, while not wasting anyone else's time.
If you want expert tips from an industry veteran who has learned the hard way what works and what doesn't, this session may be the most valuable 5 minutes you spend at the conference.
This is a 5- or 10-minute session.
Introducing Microsoft Fabric
On May 23, 3023 Microsoft announced Microsoft Fabric, and the world of data changed forever. But what actually is Fabric, why should Microsoft data platform professionals care, what are the most important things for them to know, and how can they get started?
This session will answer all of these questions and more as Fabric CAT PM Matthew Roche boils down the most important topics into an exciting 60 minute presentation.
Matthew has been working on Fabric since its inception as Project "Trident" and his team has led the NDA private preview program involving thousands of users from nearly 200 customer organizations. He'll use this experience to move past the marketing and hype, and focus on the topics and concepts that are most valuable, and most likely to slow you down as you get started.
If you want to set up yourself and your career for success with Microsoft Fabric, this is the session for you!
This session is basically a 60-minute presentation version of this blog post: https://ssbipolar.com/2023/05/23/introducing-microsoft-fabric/