Finally Out There! – Idaho, Utah & Arizona

We’ve been on the road for a week. After leaving Vancouver, Washington for a cross-country trek through the Southwest and Southern US, our destination on this leg of the journey is the Orlando Live! conference in Florida in mid November. Stops will include Phoenix, Albuquerque, Lubbock, Dallas, Houston, Lafayette, Vaiden MS, Red Bay AL, Atlanta, Jacksonville and Orlando. We moved into the Data Bus from the house in Ridgefield, Washington back in May and staying at an RV park for the past five months, wrapping things up at “home” and preparing for this trip. It’s good to finally be on the road.

All of the videos and interviews we do along the way will be posted on the main page at DataOnTheRoad.blog. Subscribe to the blog and watch for frequent updates.

We’ve made stops in Idaho and Utah before spending three nights in Page, Arizona. Sherri graduated from Page High School in the 80s and has friends in this little town situated on a plateau overlooking Lake Powell, the Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River as it flows into the Grand Canyon. Page sits on the Northern Arizona border with Utah, and is surrounded by majestic red cliffs, mesas and huge monument rocks that form an indescribably impressive desert landscape.

Her are a few shots from our trip so far, from Idaho and northern Arizona. We just arrived in Phoenix where we’re meeting up with friends and my 3Cloud colleagues, Andie and Guy Letourneau, and Kathy and Ed Vick. Watch this blog for interviews with them and others as we continue eastward to catch-up with others in the data community.


Going On The Road – Fall & Winter 2021

On this first leg of the Data Bus journey, we are heading to Florida from our soon-to-be former home in Vancouver, Washington. We plan to meet up with colleagues, data community leaders and user groups along the way. We’re just getting started on this grand adventure so we welcome your comments below this post. Can’t promise to meet everyone or to attend every event, but please post your comments below this post. Also, let us know if you have advice about places to visit. We’re also being respectful and mindful of social distancing, meeting outdoors where possible.

Page, AZ10/5/21 – 10/7/21
Phoenix10/7/21 – 10/10/21
Albuquerque10/15/21 – 10/17/21
Dallas10/19/21 – 10/22/21
Houston10/22/21 – 10/27/21
Red Bay, AL10/28/21 – ?
Atlanta11/3/21 – 11/6/21
Orlando11/14/21 – 11/20/21
Jacksonville, FL11/29/21 – 12/29/21
Cape Canaveral1/2/22 – 1/9/22


Interview with Chris Finlan, Group Program Manager for Paginated Reports on the Power BI team

Chris shares his insights about working hard, playing hard and disconnecting before work life consumes you. He tells us how he shares advise to work colleagues in his team and to members of the community. Paginated Reports remains awesome. We talk about the Microsoft data platform and Power BI community, the Bear and assorted things. This was an excellent and insightful discussion with Chris at his home in Sammamish, near Redmond, Washington.


Data On The Road – a day with Matthew Roche

Someone once said that life was like a box of chocolates. Such was my experience spending the better part of a day with Matthew Roche from the Power BI Customer Advisory Team at his family home in Bothell, Washington. We were later joined by head of Power BI Engineering, Bogdan Crivat. Matthew schooled us in the art of HEMA, Historical European Martial Arts. Some might refer to this as “sword play” but it is a hobby that Matthew takes very seriously. He not only demonstrates and teaches the craft but travels and competes in tournaments. After we talked about data culture and community, we talked about swords – and got to put some of his swords to use. For a better description of HEMA and the HEMA community, check out this great video.

Matthew is a life-long teacher and has several interesting hobbies, which also including cooking and fostering cats. He is very active in social media and maintains and active blog titled BI Polar, where he frequently blogs about topics like Business Intelligence, Data Governance, Mental Health, Diversity, Martial Arts, and Heavy Metal. He is active on Twitter and he helps moderate the Power BI live stream on Saturday mornings with Patrick Leblanc and Adam Saxton.

We actually shot the interview twice, on Saturday and again on Sunday, after my wireless lavalier microphones failed during the first take. Afterward, Matthew demonstrated sword techniques used to slice bamboo mats. Bogdan was a natural, having serval years of competitive Karate experience.

This was one of our short trips in the Data Bus tot he Seattle and Redmond area. We stayed at a beautiful park on the Skykomish River near Monroe, Washington. While visiting Microsoft on this trip, we also caught up with Chris Finlan and Kelly Kaye from the Power BI community, and those interviews will be posted shortly.

Interview on the Road with Andie Letourneau

This is our first community leader interview on the road after setting sail for the south. Andie Letourneau is a tenured data professional who has worked with SQL Server “since it was just a baby”, in her own words. Today she develops data solutions using several Azure-born tools. She is speaking at the PASS Virtual Summit on November 11 on “Hitting the Bricks with Azure Databricks“.

She talks about her passion for clothing and wine, and enjoying desert life north of Phoenix, Arizona where we spent a few days with she and her husband, Guy, a patent consultant with a rich background in mechanical engineering. Andie and I were scheduled to deliver a session on Power BI activity monitoring at Phoenix SQL Saturday in 2020, for which she made us matching “cloud” shirts to celebrate Azure and cloud solutions. In her early career, much of her work was focused on managing, debugging, & customizing CRM and accounting software as well as integrating disparate systems. She enjoys creating elegant T-SQL code to solve complex problems and simplify business processes. Recently, she’s been focused on Power BI and Databricks. She’s a life-long learner and has attended numerous SQL conferences and training events over the years. The PASS Virtual Summit is free to attend online. After signing up, you will find Andie’s session here.

Andie and I work together at 3Cloud Solutions in the Data and Analytics team. We also met up and spent the morning with our colleague and 3Cloud team Director, Kathy Vick, who shares her story in an interview to be posted soon.

see all the interviews and posts as we travel in the Data Bus