Heather Newman interviews John P. White

Heather and John discuss webcasts, Power BI and using Tygraph for tracking Twitter tags

Video Transcript

Okay you have got me back-to-back folks here on day four of ESPC 19 and I am here with the lovely John Patrick White. Wow I got a musical introduction. Totally got a music introduction well I was singing earlier. I know you know I think that I think it might get tweeted out I think there was a promise of that. I wasn’t show choir back in the day so you know.

So, mister you’ve got so many wonderful things going on. A few yeah absolutely. And I always the podcast first since you where he’s wearing this shirt well the other ones were dirty. So bifocal. Bifocal yeah that’s a that’s a podcast that myself and Jason Himmelstein do. That guy? That guy who’s not here oh yeah. Miss you Jace. We’ve been doing it for quite some time I’ll give you a little bit of history on it um it actually started I can’t remember what the show was but in sitting in the speaker room Jason and I bickering as we usually do about something yeah and Dan home was their way this is before he joined Microsoft he was and he was embarking on his last project name of which is suddenly escaping me. But he was doing some media stuff and he just said you guys should just really record this and put it out you kidding who wants to hear this and the first few steps we took with it were a in real-time so we just basically schedule like a net cast sort of thing web cast and then we’d put it out there and then Dan joined Microsoft and his venture went away we try to gave it a break for a year I think and then we decided to start it back up as an audio podcast recording once a week and we’ve been doing that ever since so we’ve just published I think episode 129. That’s awesome. Thank you very much. Every once in a while, I’ll gap on a name so hey. We all do we all have a moment jet laggy and day four. But yeah and we focus on basically its power bi news and power bi news of the day and interviews etc what’s going on what we what do we think and about half the time it’s the weather where we are. So, you’re doing them in many places not just like at home in front of you know with the all the equipment sitting there and stuff right. That’s right that’s right we were gonna record this week we decided to do – next week because there’s some news coming I think so but yeah it’s just you never know what you’re gonna get and it’s been wonderful we’ve had some great participation particularly from the power bi team yeah we’ve had just about every PM on there that’s us which is fantastic.

Who’s the head of the power bi team? It depends on what part of that you want to talk about so you know it’s part of James Phillips organization wait so that’s dynamics and in the power platform. Yes, I don’t know if everybody realized the power platform is not part of office there’s nowhere near part of offices. That’s right yeah. You got to get up to the one level under Satya before you talk to the same level great okay so-so James Philips is in charge of that. When you come down to the product area which is power bi itself Arunu Log is the name of the guy who heads out if we just had him on the show at ignite yep. And Amir Nets is a technical fellow who basically invented a lot of this stuff respect the patents on a lot of this stuff and he’s kind of I don’t know exactly what his role is but he’s the wizard kind of Engineering yeah, he’s the wizard right. So those are the two guys are level and then there’s an army of folks that are awesome they’re really awesome.

So with doing a podcast so I have a podcast as well and got a year in and learning on the way and you know I guess what if for folks that are thinking about podcasting and thinking about starting one because there’s lots of we have lots of folks in our community that have podcasts they’re fantastic and but there’s a lot of people were like oh I’d like to do that too. Any yeah any sort of a couple tips and tricks of like starting out of things you’re like ooh I wish Jason I would have done X. Oh there’s a million of those so well the first thing I’d say is go to the ignite recordings and look up how to do a podcast the Jason and I recorded so top of mind. There you go folks right there we walked through an awful lot of the options for each one of the levels and kind of the decisions you need to make and the decisions we made and maybe the decisions we thought we’d have made differently. So, there’s not there’s awful lot of detail there yeah. Don’t be afraid to do it um a few a few tips and tricks if you can do it with someone else it makes it a whole lot easier because if you’re me they’ll kick your butt and make sure you get the recording done because I’ve never been you know I never have time to do it Jason’s always can we record this week and I’m like alright it’s fine and but you can you know one can spell off the other a little bit and it becomes I think a little more interesting to the audience when you hear multiple points of view on things too. So, if you can if you can do it in conjunction with somebody else that’s great that doesn’t mean you can’t do it by yourself as you obviously have the motivation to do. I’m just lazy. I have a producer and she’s amazing. That helps don’t it doesn’t cost a lot to get a decent microphone and a decent webcam if you’re doing video. I mean we don’t do video but get a decent microphone. Record everything twice we’re using two different devices because sometimes things fail and it’s really great when you get to the end of an interview and you realize you haven’t been recording. I did that with the I just put on a Jeff Teper video from ignite and one of my little and kind of bloopers was me checking to make sure I was recording because I was like I had that panic moment of like we’re having this awesome conversation and I was like we have to stop and he was like what’s wrong and I was like I just need to make sure the recording button is is on you know it was but still but – so two devices I like that yeah make sure you. Well you make two recordings one way or another we happen to use zoom when we’re recording when we’re doing the joint stuff that may change in the next a while but that’s what it is right now yeah and we use an app called audacity and audacity records my end of the conversation jay says end of the conversation right and the other thing I would say get a sound engineer and don’t make you sound a lot better they’ll take off they’ll take apart anything where you’re talking over top of each other they take out any little hums and pops and clicks they just know how to look at the wave form and do that they don’t have to listen to it yeah and we’ve got we’ve got a fellow if anybody’s interested we got a fellow we work with he’s based in Belgrade and we just ship it off to him and he gets it done and ships it back to the same guy that Andrew Connell Chris Johnson yeah and they’re the ones who were our mentors kind of going along because they believed us so don’t be it that’s the other piece is don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for advice if you want if you got a question how did you guys handle this or how do you do this. I had a few of those conversations are we talk about you know the different pieces of it and he’s like what about the marketing piece and I’m like what are your equipment are using and you know so that’s I love that well. Jase is the equipment nut so he’s got he’s always like you know we’re on the teams thing and he’s like holding stuff I’m like okay he’s got all the I don’t know how it works you know I’m the Technic I’d of the technical of the two of those power bi stuff comes to recording it’s all yours. yeah you know total shout outs to CJ and AC absolutely some of the first MS cloud show and Jeremy Thake as we all with his when he was doing that back with hyper fish. So there’s a there’s a lot of folks that encouraged me as well I just did a show to where we talked about what we learned this last year of doing it and gave some shout outs but also did sort of that wrap up of like here’s what was bad and here’s what we learned and I kind of liked doing those episodes. We’re doing that very shortly okay and predictions- And predictions too that’s a fun one I mean you can go back the next year and check your predictions. yeah and Christian Buckley as well with that so that’s super fun um so. And who designed your logo it’s super cool. Tt was IT unity or Dan had it done by a friend of his and I don’t know I think it was Keith I think the yeah but I love it yeah but the name it’s mine. That’s all you. You know it’s all iterative where we weren’t together yeah. So, I’m so glad he wore the shirt today that was a happy accident it was an accident or a dirty clothing accident. So sorry cut that Shane sometimes we’re live oops anyway.

ESPC call for speakers 2024
So talking about bi and talking about maybe switching topics a little bit I as an event organizer in the community I love your Tygraph Twitter extravaganza mmm and let’s call it something instead of extravaganza so it’s your Tygraph Twitter I didn’t mean it it’s like what do you call the platform for that? Just power bi but it is a product. It is it’s so I might talk about this for just a second that’s to come this to shirt I would normally be wearing if I wasn’t wearing this one at a of the show and so the company we build software that we deliver reports through Power bi right we collect up basically all of the signals that are coming out of office 365 and have built a massive data model so to let you understand what’s going on within your network within your SharePoint environment within your team’s environment who’s communicating with whom at a group level it’s any a number of these things so if you need you know if you want a sales pitch if you want. Shameless plugs are totally awesome. If you want really advanced analytics for usage and adoption data in for all of the workloads in office 365 most of the workloads in office 368 with of Early’s Tygraph for twitter yes is a bit of an it’s kind of a side project that goes along this and we do this at least right now we do it in the kind of in the public domain so yeah it’s free essentially for people who ask for it not necessarily you know if organization wants us to monitor their social signals will do that there will be a fee that goes along side of that yeah but for not-for-profit organizations they’re typically when I’m speaking somewhere wait I will monitor the Twitter tags or for that event as we’re doing for this event. Oh my god I need to get on it. There was a tectonic change last night yeah, we were that was the awards and the awards and I know Luise managed to beat their take over Jeff’s lead for most mentioned individuals she’s very pleased with that very pleased with that that’s.

I have a question can you tell when somebody’s using a bot? Yes, well there’s no automatic way to do it but you can see from patterns of behaviour that the report will actually surface see we have. No cheating. Here’s an interesting example yeah there is in that report when you dig around there it’s about page four or five I can’t remember what the number is but there is a network diagram and that shows the interconnectedness oh yeah little lines between people and like a node diagram yep and the SharePoint conference not this year but the previous year we noticed an anomaly because it usually looks a bit like a globe with a bunch of interconnected points okay yeah and it started to look like the Death Star because over here there was like yeah well there was this one node that was off to the side and was surrounded by a bunch of nodes that weren’t connected to anything else oh well what’s that drill in it was it was basically a Russian bot network. It was they they’d seen a SharePoint conference or the hashtag was trending one of these fake news sites it was a fake news I went looked at it look it up but it was easy to spot it and what it had done is published an article using that hashtag and an army of BOTS tweeted so that’s one way to detect it if a bot is only connected one thing then chances are you know it’s an automated. Yeah absolutely.

We’re supposed to wrap up in a second but I have all more whatever sort of techie questions so for you and it’s I know that you said that there’s some announcements coming but I think sort of right now in this moment what’s the most exciting thing you think is happening in power bi? in general so there’s power bi you grew up it always was self-service analytics yeah very easy to get from data to insight quickly five seconds if five minutes – wow I think is there yeah is the mantra without losing sight of that they have been able to bake in really high-end enterprise bi know Microsoft always had that they just weren’t always able to expose it in a consumable way. That’s right okay and they’ve been adding those capabilities to the back end of power bi as we go so all of that stuff is pretty exciting and for us they’re adding technologies that make it easier for developers as well so I’m very excited about the work they’ve done I just had a meeting with the PM on this yesterday things held template apps which led us bundle up our data models and our reports right put in sample data and you can go and purchase these things from the azure marketplace right so you can go if you want if you’re interested in anything we do you could go to azure marketplace. So hit the install if you’ve got power bi you can be up and running and looking at sample data in a few minutes and then you can just turn around and connect that to your own data if you subscribe with us. Got it but that’s not those sorts of things that group they’re basically crossing a lot of T’s and dotting a lot of I’s  on the user side they’ve just rolled up the office rivet in preview the proper office rivet and they had a kind of a version of that themselves but it is the actual office so they’re doing an awful lot of work on the back end to just lift the roof completely roof on everything so yeah it’s there’s no one whiz-bang feature that I’m down but it’s the general approach that they’re taking I’m super confident in it. It sounds like there’s knitting polishing and they’re iterating quickly every single month we see new stuff we got a theme that I think we’re getting a theme editor in the near future so yeah that’s something I’ve been waiting for years and yeah very cool thank you for sharing that.

 I love seeing you always and your lovely wife Holly she’s a darling so mwah to her as well so what’s next for you and then we’re gonna wrap this up I’m going home for two days doing some laundry yeah and then SharePoint fest in Chicago I’m doing that and that’s gonna close out the year for me and then I take a break I think for a couple of months yeah until the MVP Summit in March. Okay yeah Adams was saying he was like that’s my last event of the decade what’s the true for all of it yeah he’s dramatic I know but it’s cool that it’s a new decade not just a new year right so pretty neat so John thank you. Thank you happy to be here. Yeah absolutely everybody thanks so much another live stream here at ESPC19 we’ll be back.

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