My backpack for the Microsoft Ignite 2020 virtual conference

The Microsoft Ignite 2020 virtual conference is starting today! It is online and free to attend. If you have not registered, do it quickly!  As there are over 800 sessions, it can be overwhelming to build your schedule and find the things interesting for you. I want to emphasize the option to fill your virtual backpack.

Adding items to your backpack is the quickest way to store the sessions, speakers, partners, and attendee profiles you find interesting. Be sure to come back after the event and download your backpack to get refreshed links to presentations, recordings and more.

Below are the items I’ve added to my backpack so far, as these events/videos look interesting to me. If you are interested in data and analytics topics, this might help you to fill your backpack!

I also want to challenge you to pick a couple of extra sessions that are out of your usual ‘zone’. An event like Ignite is the perfect opportunity to learn and discover!

If you have questions for the speakers, find the associated ‘Ask the Experts’ session and get them answered there!

There are also ‘Table Talks’, lasting 30 minutes that are conversational and can be large (up to 300 people!) and interactive. I’m one of the hosts of this exciting talk: What are the possibilities of Data & Machine Learning?, but I hear it is already fully booked.

And don’t forget to complete at least one collection in the Microsoft Ignite Cloud Skills Challenge, to get a free certification exam! #keeplearning

Live sessions you can join (multiple air times)

Most of the sessions below have a live event, and then a couple of events that replay the same (recorded) session in different time zones.


Tuesday, September 22 at 6:40 PM CEST

Microsoft Power Platform: Fill the App Gap and Supercharge Organizational Agility

Join James Phillips to learn how the Power Platform gives you a comprehensive, “no cliffs” platform for modern application development that creates a step change in organizational agility.

Speakers: James Phillips, Charles Lamanna, Kim Manis, Julie Strauss


Tuesday, September 22 at 7:30 PM CEST

Invent with Purpose on Azure with Julia White and Friends

Microsoft Azure gives you the freedom to build, manage, and run cloud native and hybrid applications on a massive, global cloud using your favorite tools and frameworks. Join Julia White, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Azure, Erin Chapple, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Azure Compute, and Rohan Kumar, Corporate Vice President, Azure Data, as they demonstrate the latest innovations. Come see how Azure is redefining hybrid, empowering developers to be more productive than ever before, enabling limitless data and analytics, and democratizing AI.

Speakers: Julia White, Erin Chapple, Rohan Kumar


Tuesday, September 22 at 9:15 PM CEST

What’s new in Azure Cognitive Services

Do you want to find anomalies in data to quickly identify and troubleshoot issues? Or analyze how many people are keeping their six feet of social distancing in your store? From the introduction of the new Metrics Advisor service to the public preview of our new spatial analysis feature in Computer Vision, this session will provide an overview of the new services and features in Cognitive Services.

Speakers: Cory Clarke, Seth Juarez


Tuesday, September 22 at 10:45 PM CEST

Azure Databricks – What’s new!

In this fast-paced roadmap session, we will discuss the best of what is new for Azure Databricks and how it can accelerate your Apache Spark big data analytics and machine learning workloads. We will give you the inside peek at our roadmap and reserve lots of time for your feedback and questions.

Speakers: Kyle Weller


Wednesday, September 23 at 8:15 AM CEST

Building systems of insights for enterprise scale with Power BI and Azure

Bringing business intelligence to thousands of users in the enterprise requires scaling for the largest datasets in the organization without compromising performance or security. Join us to learn about how Power BI deeply integrates with Azure Synapse Analytics and how you can easily leverage your investments in Azure to bring insights to those who need it the most.


Wednesday, September 23 at 8:30 PM CEST

Building real-time enterprise analytics solutions with Azure Synapse Analytics

In this demo rich session, we’ll showcase the latest Azure Synapse Analytics capabilities for developing end-to-end solutions for real-time analytics, data warehousing, and machine learning

Speakers: Saveen Reddy


Wednesday, September 23 at 9:15 PM CEST

Ask the Expert: Building real-time enterprise analytics solutions with Azure Synapse Analytics

In this demo rich session we’ll showcase the latest Azure Synapse Analytics capabilities for developing end-to-end solutions for real-time analytics, data warehousing, and machine learning

Speakers: Saveen Reddy


Thursday, September 24 at 12:15 AM CEST

The Data Behind Space Exploration with NASA

Data science is a field that influences all aspects of our scientific community, including space exploration. Inspired by NASA, we’ve developed new content for analyzing space rocks and determining the likelihood of a successful rocket launch into space. Join this session to explore this data and to perhaps develop your own space exploration study using Visual Studio Code and a bit of Python. This session recommends a basic understanding of Visual Studio Code and Python programming.

Speakers: Sarah Guthals


Thursday, September 24 at 4:15 AM CEST

Rap with Rohan

Join Rohan Kumar, Corporate Vice President of Azure Data Engineering, for his “ask me anything” session covering all things Data & AI.

Speakers: Rohan Kumar


Pre-recorded sessions for on demand viewing

Advancing Power BI Premium for the enterprise analytics market and beyond

As the landscape for enterprise analytics and BI continues to evolve, Power BI continues helping organizations discover insights hidden in their data. Join us in this session to learn about new capabilities coming to Power BI Premium aimed at providing additional flexibility, scale and performance.

Speakers: David Magar


Connecting Power Apps, Automate, Virtual Agent, and BI with the Common Data Service

Data is central to transforming any business process, from action to automation to interaction to analysis. The Common Data Service provides a low code data platform which allows your data to permeate all of your apps, flows, agents, and dashboards – and in this session, we’ll show you how.

Speakers: Ryan Jones


Enhance your BI solutions with AI

Leveraging augmented analytics in your BI solutions does not have to require statistical expertise or a data scientist. Join this session to take a look at the latest AI capabilities coming to Power BI and learn how you can get started with them in just a couple of clicks. We will show how you can easily transform your reports into rich storytelling, exploration and insights experiences.

Speakers: Justyna Lucznik


Enterprise-grade ETL and data preparation using dataflows

Preparing data for business intelligence, app development, and process automation is a significant, labor-intensive and time-consuming challenge for business today. Dataflows provide enterprise-grade self-service data preparation capabilities, enabling business analysts and citizen developers to easily process and unify their data and store it in Azure-based data-lake storage and the Common Data Service. Join us to learn about dataflows, see demos of upcoming capabilities and product roadmap.

Speakers: Ben Sack, Miguel Llopis


Gain insights into usage and performance of your Power BI reports to increase adoption and reduce costs

Whether you are a report creator, part of central BI development team or administrator, you are designing, building, delivering, and managing BI applications to support top business priorities. This session focuses on capabilities in Power BI that will help you gain insights into usage and performance of your Power BI reports.

Speakers: Adam Saxton


How Delta Lake with Azure Databricks can accelerate your big data workloads by 100x

Delta Lake empowers you to build reliable Data Lakes at scale. Come learn how you can leverage the new and advanced features of Delta Lake on Azure Databricks to easily transform your big data analytics and machine learning workloads. We will discuss Apache Spark optimizations like file compaction, Z-Order partitioning, schema evolution, unified batch and streaming, time travel, and how you can set expectations on data quality.

Speakers: Kyle Weller


Managing your ML lifecycle with Azure Databricks and Azure Machine Learning

Machine learning development has new complexities beyond software development. There are a myriad of tools and frameworks which make it hard to track experiments, reproduce results, and deploy machine learning models. Learn how you can accelerate, collaborate and manage your end-to-end machine learning lifecycle on Azure Databricks using MLflow and Azure ML to reliably build, share, and deploy machine learning applications using Azure Databricks.

Speakers: Premal Shah


Running cost effective big data workloads with Azure Synapse and Azure Data Lake Storage

Learn how you can migrate expensive open source big data workloads to Azure and leverage latest compute and storage innovations within Azure Synapse and HDInsight with Azure Data Lake Storage to develop a powerful and cost effective analytics solutions.

Speakers: James Baker, Michael Rys


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