An illustration depicting miscellaneous 'data', next to a picture of Bit the Raccoon.

A single pane of glass provides easy access and oversight to an array of tools and the unified interfaces to access them. When the number of tools and their functions grow, development and administration become harder when moving between many tools without clear connectivity. Having a single starting point that can show a holistic view and that simplifies tool interconnectivity helps save time and resources, as well as enabling more insightful analytics.

Over the years there has been a move away from single generic tools to a diverse sets of tools. Homogeneous oversight tools do work well in the early stages, but the array of technologies and tools will always increase and it will become harder and more time-consuming to connect to all the required apps and functions to complete any given task. Being able to pull all the data together in one place for analysis enables organisations to have a wide picture of their data and the predictive analytics that can be created and consumed in many user-friendly formats. There is no one size fits all, so adaptability is key.

To help navigate through that set of tools and functions, we have Azure Synapse. From its inception, it has been seen as a one-stop set of tools and technologies that provide that oh-so-important single pane of glass to help you understand and process your data wherever you need it. This innate flexibility, breadth and depth of tooling in Azure Synapse may at first glance appear complex; this perception brought about the opportunity to start a specialist conference to help developers and administrators understand the ecosystem and leverage the capabilities of this practically limitless service. This is how Data Toboggan came into being.

The first event was in January, when like-minded people around the globe joined together to learn about Azure Synapse, with 12 sessions being attended by over 500 attendees. Off the back of that success, we began planning two other one-day events for this year to make a series, and three one-day events per year after that. To promote an ‘always learning’ mindset, we also launched a user group – “Data Toboggan – Slide Preparation” – to run bi-monthly in between the main conferences.

On Saturday 12 June, we are running our second ’12 hours of Azure Synapse’ conference called “Data Toboggan – Cool Runnings“. The keynote speech for that event is being delivered by Robin Sutara, the Chief Data Officer at Microsoft UK, talking about Azure Synapse and its limitless analytics capability. We are pleased and excited that Robin has agreed to keynote our event.

We will also have several speakers from the Microsoft Synapse Product Group who will be able to talk about new features released at Microsoft Build and provide in depth product knowledge.

But the event is for the data community, and we’re delighted to host community speakers and MVPs such as Ginger Grant, Rob Farley, Cathrine Wilhelmsen, and Craig Porteous (to name but a few), sharing their knowledge of the vast array of products that connect to Azure Synapse. Sessions will include topics such as serverless, real time analytics, data flows, CI/CD, dedicated SQL pools, PowerShell, Synapse notebooks, Spark Machine learning in Azure Synapse workspace, and more! Then to add a little something extra, we have a set of lightning talks to pique your interest into other areas.

We will also be running a Cloud Skills Challenge for UK residents on Azure Synapse from 1st June until 23rd June! Find out more information on the Data Toboggan Cloud Skills Challenge page, and you can check out the terms and conditions here.


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