Technology Meetups Make A Difference
I was just starting my career at SWC back in the Winter of 2008 when I had an opportunity to visit Redmond and learn more about Microsoft BI and the new PerformancePoint product they were trying to get everyone excited about. It was a good event with lots of great presenters and topics. What was really interesting is that right before they escorted us off the campus, they gave us a sneak peak of their new Master Data Management product (MDS in a pre-beta state). While really sketchy on the details, Donald Farmer, the godfather of Microsoft BI at the time promised this was going to be a big deal for Microsoft, BI and SQL Server when it launches!
Fast forward to present day – SQL 2012 has launched, MDS (Master Data Services) is in its second release, new features have been brought to bear like the Excel plug-in and a much more strategic licensing model was crafted to get better MDM market penetration. All good things for MDM and SQL Server! However, the MDS product is still new to a lot of people, very few books have been written about MDS and not enough community support exists organically to take this product to the next level.
I could go on and on about how Microsoft needs to do a better job of supporting their MDS product or I could just do something about it. Doing something about it is what we chose. So back in the tail end of 2013, a group of us at SWC set out to start a Meetup for MDS practitioners in the Chicago area. We called the group “Master Data Services – User Group – Chicagoland” and we invite anyone interested in MDS to attend whether they’re a DBA, BA, Architect or general user. The group has some simple goals: 1) Meet other MDM practitioners who share an interest in MDS 2) Learn new ideas, concepts, design patterns and best practices through our ongoing events 3) Support our members through professional collaboration. 4) Have fun and make new friends!
On Thursday, January 23rd at 5:30PM, our Master Data Services group will have our first gathering! The inaugural event will be at Pinstripes in Oak Brook and will feature yours truly giving a talk on MDS and going through a demo on building a model in MDS. We fully expect that as our member roles increase, there will be all kinds of new and interesting topics presented by our members and special guests from the industry. We look forward to having you joining us for an evening of fun!