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DataGrillen, the community-driven conference celebrated for its unique combination of “Data, Bratwurst, and Beer,” recently took place in Lingen, Germany.

This exclusive event, limited to 200 attendees, offers a rich mix of inspiration, education, and networking through its 52 sessions across 4 tracks.

Two members of Quorum’s data team Abhi Jayanty and Iain Dobson were lucky enough to attend, with Abhi also participating as a speaker!

We asked them to share their experiences and insights from this year’s DataGrillen, highlighting their most impactful and memorable moments.

Data Grillen 2024 Welcome
Data Grillen 2024
Data Grillen - Abhi Talking
Iain-Dobson-Data-Team

Iain Dobson – Data Engineer

A Data Feast in Lingen, Germany.

DataGrillen is a unique community-focused data conference organised by William Durkin and Ben Weissman.

Although the event is relatively small, limited to 200 attendees, it must require significant effort to coordinate and fund, given the quality of the venue, organisation, and catering.

Conference Highlights

My conference highlight was “Optimising Data Engineering Execution” by Jarid McKenzie, Lead Analytics Architect at Iteration Insights. The session focused on optimising Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) processes, with a key takeaway being the importance of addressing process bottlenecks through critical path analysis. This method involves scoring tasks to identify and manage bottlenecks effectively, an area I am keen to explore further as part of my professional development.

While I had applied to present at the conference, I was not selected. However, Abhi was chosen and did an excellent job representing Quorum. He showcased the power and ease with which you can use Log Analytics and Kusto Query Language to monitor and query your Azure resources and made a significant impact with the audience.

The Legendary Grillen

The conference is not just about data; it features the legendary “Grillen” – a huge barbecue on the first night after the final sessions. The wide range of high-quality food, accompanied by a selection of excellent German beers, was all complimentary. It felt like a special experience, adding a unique touch to the event.

Gratitude

Abhi and I both discussed how grateful we are to Quorum for empowering us to attend such valuable events. These conferences significantly boost our professional networks, introduce us to new areas of learning, and for those who present, enhance public speaking skills tremendously.

DataGrillen 2024 was a perfect blend of learning and leisure, leaving me invigorated by new knowledge and connections.

It truly was a memorable experience.

Data Grillen - Abhi Talking
Data Grillen - Abhi Presentation
Data Grillen Abhi with Audience
Abhi-Jayanty-Data-Team

Abhi Jayanty – Data Engineer

Coming Full Circle

I had always heard about DataGrillen as a ‘legendary’ conference with many in the data community raving about it.

My speaking journey started in May 2023 with the 5th edition of New Stars of Data (which runs under the DataGrillen banner), so in a way it felt like I was coming full-circle a year later presenting at the main event.

I was delighted when I got accepted to deliver a new session “The Sixth Sense: Using Log Analytics to Efficiently Manage Your Azure Environment”, talking about best practices and other configuration steps, as this would be my first time presenting a fully technical session at a conference.

-Engaging Sessions and Positive Feedback

I was extremely happy with the feedback for my session, with many people telling me I was able to offer a fresh and humorous perspective to a technical topic like logs which does have the potential to be a very dry subject. My demos went without a hitch, and I was able to engage in some really insightful discussions about Azure’s monitoring offerings and overall infrastructure best practices. I also attended some other fantastic sessions, of which included:

  • “Hands-On Lipstick on a Pig” by Alexander Arvidsson which took us through the process of improving a visually sub-optimal PowerBI report step-by-step and prioritising usability and accessibility without it costing a fortune,
  • “Data Engineering Execution Optimization” by Jarid McKenzie (a fellow New Stars of Data #5 speaker) which brilliantly detailed the benefits of using execution frameworks when designing and building ETL processes,
  • “Uncovering Secrets in Your PowerBI Tenant” by Benni De Jagere, which offered crucial insight on using PowerBI’s scanning APIs and notebooks to track PowerBI usage and keep a solid oversight of artefacts created. I’ll definitely be revisiting some of this information to try and further adopt it within Quorum!

A Brew-tiful Conference

As soon as we arrived in Lingen you could feel that this was no normal conference, and that it’s more like a close gathering of friends. I believe it’s the only event in the world where presenters are given a beer at the very start of their session – consumption optional(!) – and the first day of sessions ends with a huge BBQ (the Grillen aspect). But novelty of the “Data, Bratwurst, Beer” motto aside, I have a massive respect for the amount of thought and effort that went into the event from the organisers Ben Weissman, William Durkin and the volunteers. There were lots of things that went a long way to show how strong the community element was at this event, including:

  • A special newcomer track on the Thursday for brand-new speakers who had never presented at a conference before.
  • Speaker aprons (not shirts) being green to represent Mental Health Awareness Week, as well as having a “Happy Birthday” message with the Norwegian flag to represent Norway’s national constitution day which happened on the 17th of May (as there were a few speakers from Norway at the event missing the festivities back home).
  • Donations were taken throughout the week for Tafel, a food bank in Lingen. The final amount collected was €1,519.70!

I am extremely grateful for the continuous support I receive from Quorum to attend these events, to allow me to engage with the worldwide data community. DataGrillen really was a gathering of the “best in the business” data professionals who are also the most welcoming and friendliest people I’ve ever came across in the IT industry, I hope I can make it along to all the future Grillens!

This year’s DataGrillen was as unforgettable event. From insightful sessions to memorable moments shared over bratwurst and beer. As Abhi and Iain return to Quorum, they carry with them not just experiences, but a renewed sense of purpose and inspiration.

Their experience at DataGrillen reflects the spirit of Quorum – a dedication to ongoing learning, teamwork, and excellence in the field of data.

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CONTACT INFO

Quorum Network Resources Ltd
18 Greenside Lane Edinburgh
UK EH1 3AH
Phone: +44 131 652 3954
Email: marketing@quorum.co.uk

FOLLOW US

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

© 2024 Quorum Network Resources Ltd All Rights Reserved. | Environmental Policy | Sitemap | Privacy Policy
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