The Inaugural PASS Business Analytics Day – Don’t Miss Out!

PASS is delivering its first ever Business Analytics (BA) Day on January 11, 2017, in Chicago, IL. BA Day is an intensive day of training that is designed to give attendees a deep-dive into one of two BA streams: Advanced Analytics or Data Visualization.

As leaders in providing educational content for the data professional, PASS is focused on exceptional learning opportunities for all areas of our membership, including those focused on advanced analytics and visualization.

Not sure if BA Day is for you? Check out the Top 5 Reasons to Attend:

    1.     Improve your skills with leading experts
            David Smith (R Community Lead at Revolution Analytics), Seth Mottaghinejad (Data Scientist), and Paul Turley (BI Architect and Microsoft
            Data Platform MVP) will guide you through in-depth R and BI topics.

    2.     Grow your professional network
            Meet other BA professionals and expand your networks and professional opportunities.

    3.     Become more data-driven
            Improve your business practices and become more competitive. Learn how to drive your business forward by unlocking data.

4.    Gain practical and immediate skills
        BA Day is focused on delivering immediate and practical knowledge that you can return to your workplace and use straight away.

5.     Enjoy the Windy City!
        Spend some time exploring Chicago. BA Day is conveniently located in the Microsoft Technology Center, in the heart of downtown Chicago,
        steps away from public transport and everything this cosmopolitan city has to offer.

We’re delivering all of this for a very competitive $595. If you’re a BA professional serious about your professional development, you can’t afford not to go.

For more details, please visit the PASS BA Day website. If you decide to attend, we hope you enjoy this new educational offering.

Wendy Pastrick

Director, PASS Virtual Chapters

From Old to New

Two weeks ago at PASS Summit 2016, we had the opportunity to give our community members a sneak peek at the new PASS brand and website project that we’ve been working on for the better part of this year. To watch the reveal or see the brand come together, please watch it here.

We chose to introduce it at Summit, our largest annual gathering of our community, so we could hear directly from those in attendance. We loved the brand, but we were eager to hear what others thought about it as well.   

The initial response has been very positive, with community members interested in adopting the new brand. But, at the same time, we know that change is not easy, especially with a re-branding exercise of this size. PASS is a global community with hundreds of events worldwide, and a vast community of volunteers, websites, portals, and partners. We are currently in the in-between period. We haven’t retired our previous brand, but are not yet fully immersed in our new brand either. We have started the process, but to be practical and successful in the full transition, have planned for it to take some time. Some of the new branding is now being used, particularly promotion and advertising for PASS Summit 2017 and our newest event, PASS Business Analytics Day. Many of you are likely asking, why? Why use the new with the old?

Our new brand will be rolled out starting in January 2017, with the new website to follow shortly afterwards. We made a decision that any PASS-owned events starting in 2017 should have the new identities; it just seemed right. For example, PASS BA Day is a new event and we saw inclusion of the new visual identity as critical. So, we decided to release it with the updated brand even though it would be inconsistent on certain channels (e.g. advertisements on the website). The same for PASS Summit 2017. The lead time needed for promoting the event required us to immediately use the brand to support marketing efforts.

We recognize that it does look a little odd to have this mix of old and new branding co-existing. Soon, the new branding will be released alongside the redeveloped website and there will be enhanced brand consistency moving forward.  

Rolling out the brand is a big job and we are eager to get started. As we commence this, you will see more of the brand start to trickle out. A comprehensive plan is being finalized that will be shared with our community leaders on integration of the new brand, including guidelines for use.

We ask for your patience and understanding while we undertake this process.

Denise McInerney
VP, Marketing


SEATTLE, October 26 – PASS Summit 2016 kicked off with over 6,000 total registrations, the largest turnout in the event’s history. Data professionals from 51 countries will descend on Seattle this week for PASS Summit 2016 for a week of in-depth training. Tech heavyweights like Dr. Joseph Sirosh, CVP from Microsoft’s Data Group and Dr. David DeWitt from MIT will deliver this year’s keynotes, revealing the future of data and its global impact.

WHAT:           PASS is the largest community for data professionals in the world, with over 250,000 members. This annual Summit brings together the best and the brightest data minds from around the globe—from as far afield as Sri Lanka and Sweden to Ecuador and China—to connect, share, and learn about the latest industry trends and advanced technologies.

·         200+ technical sessions
·         500+ Microsoft Engineers and product specialists
·         6,000+ registrations

Keynote speakers include:

Dr. Joseph Sirosh, CVP of Microsoft’s Data Group: “A.C.I.D. Intelligence”

Dr. David DeWitt, Adjunct Professor, MIT: “Data Warehousing in the Cloud"

Women in Technology Lunch Keynote:

Kelly Lockwood Primus, Senior VP of Strategic Client Solutions, Leading Women:
“Leadership, The Missing 33% and Career Success for Women”                

Wednesday, October 26
 – Friday, October 28

Washington State Trade and Convention Center, 705 Pike St., Seattle, WA 98101-2310.
ain entrance on Eighth Ave. between Pike and Seneca.

Keynote presentations will be broadcast live on

For more information, contact:

Jason Kennedy
Tel: 778 788 8509
Communications Specialist, PASS

PASS Board of Directors Portfolio Announcements

With the Elections now complete, the PASS Board of Directors met for their in-person board meeting at PASS Summit 2016 yesterday in Seattle.

Last year, we announced portfolio assignments for the Directors-at-Large following the Summit board meeting. However, at this time, no assignments will be made to allow for the Executive Committee to undertake the annual strategic planning process later this year.  We’d like to thank the community for their understanding and patience as we finalize our planning, as this is a change from previous years.

This planning process will give the Executive Committee the necessary time and capacity to consider the financial planning requirements for 2017 and also to evaluate portfolios against the priorities of the organization.

Current board members will continue to lead their portfolios until the end of this year and will support transitions to incoming board members. While Argenis Fernandez will be vacating his board seat at the end of this year, he will continue to assist with the SQLSaturday portfolio transition.

We’ll have more news from PASS Summit 2016 throughout the week, so stay tuned to the blog and follow #sqlsummit and #sqlpass on Twitter.

Adam Jorgensen
President, PASS

The Guidebook is Live! Program Materials onsite at PASS Summit 2016

Our Diamond Partner, Microsoft, will be making an exciting announcement this week at PASS Summit 2016, so until Tuesday morning, only the Guidebook will be available for schedule updates. This means that all printed program materials (Program Guide and Session Schedule) will be available for attendees starting on Tuesday morning at 9:00 AM.

For pre-conference attendees, you will be receiving both the program guide and session schedule during the Tuesday morning session break. Our teams at PASS will be handing them out to you as you leave your session rooms.

Regular conference registrations will receive their printed materials starting at 9:00 am on Tuesday.

Again, in the meantime, please use the guidebook available on your smart phones for the most up-to-date information. Navigate to your app store and download “Guidebook”, then search for “PASS Summit 2016”. But don’t try to find any details of the announcement there either – you’ll just have to wait until Tuesday!

 Enjoy your time at PASS Summit 2016!

Denise McInerney
VP, Marketing

Packing list for PASS Summit 2016

As you finalize your packing list for PASS Summit, starting next week in Seattle, a quick reminder that you should not forget your backpack.  We are not giving away backpacks this year, but we do have something else for you.  Reminders were shared in the attendee bulletins. But in case you didn’t hear of the change and reasons, we are sharing it again. Instead, please bring your own backpack. We are also being more environmentally conscious at PASS Summit 2016 and encourage you to bring your own water bottle. There are water bubblers and refill stations throughout the conference center.

We are incredibly excited about our program and the list of activities planned throughout the week. Don’t forget to download the mobile guide, Guidebook and visit for the latest announcements.  We look forward to welcoming you to PASS Summit.

Denise McInerney

Vice President, Marketing

Anti-Harassment Policy Update for PASS Summit 2016

We want to ensure everybody has an enjoyable, safe and harassment-free experience at PASS Summit, which is why we have extended the
Anti-Harassment Policy (AHP) and made it more convenient to report an incident. I’d like to update you on some important changes that were made to the AHP and the incident reporting process for PASS Summit 2016. 

First a reminder that everyone at Summit (attendees, speakers, partners, exhibitors, volunteers and PASS staff) is expected to follow the AHP at all times. The AHP applies “in any situation in which Summit attendees are interacting with one another during the week of PASS Summit on or offsite; including non-event locations.”

This year all attendees will receive a red ticket with their attendee badge that includes the Anti-Harassment Officer phone number and how to access an incident report. This is a change for 2016, as we want to provide attendees with a direct way to reach out to the Anti-Harassment Officer, as well as report their concerns anonymously.

Here are the ways you can make a report:

  • - Contact the Anti-Harassment Officer directly using the phone number provided in your attendee badge.
  • - Download the Anti-Harassment Incident Summary report online at and email it to
  • - Pick up a paper form at the Information Desk at PASS Summit and drop it in the drop box – this method can be done anonymously.
  • - Approach PASS HQ or Board members to make the call to the Anti-Harassment Officer on your behalf or to discuss anything related to the policy.

Also, there is one very important aspect about the policy:
If you are in physical danger or require an immediate response, you are encouraged to notify appropriate law enforcement first (phone 911). This policy and reporting process is not an emergency response mechanism.

The complete AHP and details for reporting a concern through either of the previously mentioned methods will also be included in your printed Program Guide and the mobile app. I encourage all attendees to take a few minutes to become familiar with the policy while onsite. Posters displaying the AHP will be displayed throughout the convention center.

I wish you all an enjoyable and exciting time at PASS Summit and look forward to meeting members of our global community onsite.

Denise McInerney
Vice President, Marketing

Addressing Security Concerns around Election Voting

Taking part in a democratic process to elect leadership in our association is vital for making our voices heard and enacting positive change for PASS. The election process started months ago when the Nomination Committee was formed to review the voting process, vet candidates, and submit the final slate of candidates for approval to the Board of Directors. I had the honor to serve on the Nomination Committee as the Board representative. I'm also Director over both the Membership and the Information Technology portfolios. Both have impact on and from the election process. What benefits we can develop and provide for our members come from the visions and passions of those elected representatives of our association.  Information Technology builds the functional processes for the vote casting. It is as the Director of Information Technology that I come to you now via this blog post.

The security of our voting process was called into question by a concerned community member earlier today. This individual reached out to PASS with concerns about sharing of the voting link behind the "VOTE NOW" button created from a hash of their login and password from the MYPASS website. This link is unique to each member and was never intended for sharing. Though PASS is unable to see the votes cast by a member we do need to know that a member, should they vote, only votes once. This link takes you to the secure SimplyVoting site allowing you to cast your vote and take part in our democratic process. If a member were to take purposeful steps to share the unique URL exposed through the hover action on the button or by saving the URL associated with the button through a right click action their votes could be seen if the original member had voted already or could be cast as that original member if they had not yet voted.

As Data Professionals we advocate for proper security behavior as a core message of our roles. These concerns that were raised could be easily mitigated by simply not sharing personal information. However, our community was formed around the mission of connecting and sharing. Members may not be aware that this link is unique for each member. A member who is trying to help a fellow member by providing them with the URL to vote for the PASS Board would inadvertently provide insight into their voting activity.

Our IT staff, in addition to security-focused community members, looked into the matter independently of one another. They all concluded the concern over these issues came down to making mindful decisions about how you share personal information and not violating basic security principles.  While this means that using generally-accepted guidelines to avoid sharing personal information would prevent any intrusion we also understand our community's penchant for wanting to help one another. It's feasible that in doing so consideration about security could be overlooked.

Therefore, to prevent any unintentional sharing of personalized URLs for voting our IT staff took actions immediately to implement a change to hide the URL completely from the "Vote Now" button. The hover action on will no longer display the personalized URL and the target address is obfuscated from the button all together. They have already successfully made the change in the staging site for testing and will be deploying the change to production by the end of the day. I've been assured there will be no downtime incurred or negative impact on the ability of our members to continue to vote.

Please do take the time to vote and also remember it's not too late to attend the PASS Summit this month!  It's also never too late to volunteer or consider running for the Board of Directors the next election cycle.

Thank you,

Tim Ford

PASS Board Election Candidate Scoring

In February of this year the PASS Board announced that the Nominations Committee (NomCom) election would be replaced by a new process where community members submit a letter of interest that would be published for the community to review. You can read about the changes here. These changes were made in an effort to produce a practiced NomCom to qualify Board applicants.

As Immediate Past President I have one assigned duty: to chair the NomCom. Today I want to share some details about the role the NomCom plays in the PASS election. The NomCom spends many hours meeting, discussing, preparing documents, and outlining the processes candidates will use during their run for the PASS Board. The NomCom’s scoring of each candidate is based on the qualities outlined in the Ideal Candidate Description (see table below).

Ideal Candidate Description – Candidate Scores

Candidate Experience
with PASS
Strategic Vision
for PASS
Board Experience
Written & Verbal Communication Skills Leadership / Management / Experience / Skills Financial / Budget Experience References Influence Time Management Skills
Wendy Pastrick
3 3.8 2.6 3 2.8 3 3.8 2.8 2.5
Ben Miller 3.6 3.2 3.3 2.5 3.8 3.8 3.5 3.3 3 3.8
Allen White 4 3.3 4 3.3 3.3 3.5 3.3 3.6 3.6 3.3
Eduardo Castro 3.5 2.8 3.5 3.2 2.6 3.5 3 3.3 3.6 3.2
Jason Strate 3.5 2.6 3.2 1.5 3.2 2.3 1.8 3.5 3.33 3.33
Paresh Motiwala 2.8 2.3 2.8 2.5 2.3 2.6 2.5 3.2 2.3 2.3

I encourage you to review the candidate’s application, bio, and campaign platform by visiting their campaign pages on the PASS website.

Finally, I would like to thank all candidates for their time and commitment to PASS and for running in the PASS Board election, and I wish all candidates the best of luck with their campaigns.


Thomas LaRock

Immediate Past President


PASS Summit Schedule Announcements

With PASS Summit just over 40 days away, we are excited to be announcing this year’s detailed scheduled to attendees today. Our team is continuing to put the final touches on the on-site experiences and events and in doing so, have made changes to the social programs at this year’s PASS Summit. These changes are intended to continue to improve the attendee experience and provide opportunities for you, the attendee, to enjoy ‘Summit week’ both at the Washington State Convention Centre and around Seattle.

During our annual planning and budgeting, the Board reviewed the Summit program including feedback from attendee surveys and sponsor feedback. We found that while PASS continued to balance content delivery with social programs during Summit that people were bouncing from evening event to evening event as a result of the official and unofficial parties during Summit. As a result, we have decided to not host the Community Appreciation Party this year at Summit and offer a free night to attendees. We will continue to host the First Timers Event and Welcome Reception on Tuesday evening and the Exhibitor Reception on Wednesday evening.

The Board deliberated on this decision, considering the pros and cons of hosting the party and looking at alternatives. The Community Appreciation Party is a significant investment for PASS and over the past few years have realized that it was competing with vendors and partners holding their own events. People were also often forced to miss events or divide their time among the numerous sponsor, vendor and community events hosted on the Thursday night, as well as Community Appreciation Party.

So what does this mean for our attendees? It means that Thursday night will now be a more casual night, with a wider variety of opportunities for Summit attendees. We will work to support vendors and sponsors in promoting their events and are also happy for attendees to organize their own activities, which we will also include and promote on the PASS Summit 2016 website. Please note that any social activities listed on the website must adhere to the PASS Anti-Harassment Policy.

While this is a change to the Summit experience, we believe that new experiences can be created this year. Our hope is that you will take advantage of the choices available to you – including hosting or organizing your own social activity. Please reach out to have your activity included on the PASS Summit website, or provide feedback in the comments below.

Denise McInerney

Vice President, Marketing