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SQL South West User Group

SQL South West is a chapter of the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS)

PASS Chapter

If you are using SQL Server in any way and are interested in meeting other SQL professionals in the South West then please contact us.

We are a group of DBAs and developers from Cornwall, Devon and Somerset who get together in Exeter once a month to talk about anything related to SQL. If you live or work in the South West of the UK or are in the area on business or holiday then we’d be happy to see you; scroll down or contact us for details of upcoming meetings.

The group is for anyone working with SQL Server or anyone interested in starting to work with it. You may be a full time DBA or developer or someone looking to understand SQL Server things more clearly or maybe you are the guy that didn’t run fast enough when the last DBA left.

April Meeting

Our April 2015 meeting will be held on 23rd April, the night before SQL Saturday Exeter‘s Training Day, and we hope you will join us. This month’s session has only one technical session, as after the refreshments we will be bag packing and socialising prior to the SQL Saturday conference. If you can spare the time to help it will be much appreciated.

We hope that John Q Martin will be able to present his session “AlwaysOn Administration Tasks”. His session will cover all the different admin tasks and things you need to do to have a healthy AlwaysOn configuration for FCI & AG.

John’s work schedule means he can’t guarantee that he will be able to be on time, so if not then our own Jonathan Allen will present instead.

We hope to see you at our meeting from 17:30.

Pirate BI Data Competition Sponsored by Pyramid Analytics at SQL Saturday Exeter

Pirate BI Data Competition  Sponsored by Pyramid Analytics

Can you make our data tell a story?

We have a challenge for anyone who thinks they can take a data and make it interesting and engaging. We have teamed up with Pyramid Analytics to create a BI competition with a superb prize for the winner to be announced during our Friday party evening.

Our Pirate Incident Dataset can be downloaded here http://1drv.ms/1GoXjgM 

The dataset is presented as an Excel File or CSV with the following headers :-

Date, Ship Name, Ship Type, IMO No., Area, Boarded?, Latitude, Longitude, Incident details, Consequences for crew etc, Action taken by master/crew, Reported?, Reported to, Reporting State, Coastal State,  Action Taken, MSC/Circ

Use the dataset as the basis of your entry to our panel of judges on the night*. Use the BI tool(s) of your choice to lift the data from a flat csv file to something that is pleasing to the eye and brings out the interesting facts to your audience.

You will see that the dataset fits with our Pirate Party theme, tell us all about the facts and figures of the Pirating Past. You might choose to engage with our judges by giving a presentation or you can create some infographics in advance that bring out the information in the data and simply send it to us. We are going to be judging entries on the visualisation of the data, not the presenter’s skills.

* In order to be eligible the main prize you need to be at the party however, if you want to join in but can’t make it we will also award a prize to the best ‘postal’ entry so send us your work and you can still get involved.


SQL Saturday Exeter 2015 – BI Competition rules

  1. You can use the visualisation and analysis tools or platforms of your choice but, if you are presenting on the night, you will need to be able to show your work – bring the right software with you on your own laptop/pc.
  2. Your presentation time must not exceed five minutes.
  3. Postal entries must reach us before 24/04/2015.
  4. Postal entries must be in a format that can be viewed on a laptop with no special software installed. We will have a selection of browsers and software to play mp4 video files but nothing else. If your presentation won’t run then we can’t judge it. If you are concerned about it, send us a preview in advance and we will advise you if there are any problems.
  5. Postal entries should be sent to jonathan@sqlsouthwest.co.uk, please mark in your email if you want confirmation that the entry has been received.
  6. You must use the dataset provided. However, you may add additional data to support your analysis and visualisation.
  7. The prizes and prizes winners will be announced on the evening of Friday 24th April 2015 after all presentations have been considered.
  8. Our judges decision will be final in reference to both prizes and no negotiation will be possible. They will be pleased to talk with all entrants to discuss their own entry if there are requests for feedback or questions about how to improve or alter the work for better impact.
  9. Any enquiries about the competition should be addressed to jonathan@sqlsouthwest.co.uk with a subject line of “Pirate Data Competition”

With Many Thanks to Pyramid Analytics for sponsoring the competition and providing the prize