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ESPC18 – The Network just keeps on growing 

This is my fourth experience with the European SharePoint conference, and it just seems to keep getting better. In these past years I’ve gotten to explore Stockholm, Vienna, Dublin and now Copenhagen, which is completely charming if a bit costly. I’ve also gotten to experience Glogg. I knew about mulled wine, but this stuff is next level.  

This show normally starts off for me with a bang by means of an all-day long tutorial. This year was no exception, and my full house class was one of the best that I have ever presided over. The participants were engaged and asked some great questions about Power BI. It’s fantastic to see the interest in BI that has been growing in the community.  

And speaking of community, I also had the distinct honour of being invited to the very first meeting of the Denmark Power Platform user group. It was another full house, and I must say that we North Americans could learn a thing or two about providing food to a user group – the spread there was incredible.  

 

Getting down to the content here – Day 1 of course started out with a keynote by Jeff Teper, the father of SharePoint. Jeff showed the audience how his team is continuing to move the markers forward. I was geeking out a little bit on the new location column type in SharePoint. It has been a long time since we’ve seen any new data types in SharePoint. You can bet that when that thing arrives in one of my tenants that you’ll be seeing a blog post on how to report on it with Power BI from me. Megamenus, new web parts, and a consolidated search experience across all of Office 365 capped things off. Yes, you can now successfully search Yammer and Teams content in a single place.  

As I write, I have just finished interviewing the wonderful Jen Stirrup. Jen has been an icon in the BI community for years, and was preparing to present the afternoon keynote talk an Artificial Intelligence titled “Winning the Red Queen’s Race”. Jen has been turning her attention in recent years to what AI and ML can do, as it’s really the next logical step for Business Intelligence. Power BI has helped us to wrangle our data, Machine Learning can help us put it to use. It’s an area that we are exploring with our tyGraph product.  

As never fails, I have already had the opportunity to talk with several people like Jen here at the conference. It’s why you come to conferences really, to interact in person. Our connected technology does help us communicate, but there’s still no real substitute for in-person networking. Apart from all of the fantastic technical content, ESPC continues to bring people together. It’s been great so far!

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