Azure Data Community Newsletter Nov/Dec 2022

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This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Microsoft Tech Community - Latest Blogs - .

It’s been almost 6 months since Deborah, Hemantgiri and Michael joined the Azure Data Community Council. According to Michael, the role of the council is as advertised: hands-off with the focus to identify challenges and roadblocks in the community, identifying potential solutions and making this recommendation to the community. The focus of this year has been connecting and reaching out to the growing Azure Data Community. We have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to connect in person at a few of the larger events, namely SQLBits, Azure Data Conference and PASS Summit. Each of these provided different opportunities for people to reconnect & network and for that, we’re grateful. 

 

The Azure Data Community Council participated in an Ask Me Anything at PASS Summit in Nov 2022 where attendees asked a lot of questions about what we’d accomplished and what was next on our agenda and even offered suggestions on how we could benefit the community.  

 

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We hosted a hybrid meeting for User Group Leaders with 30 leaders in-person and close to 100 leaders participating online. Topics ranged from a sneak peak of the upcoming Azure Data Community v2.0 search functionality and registration process to deciding and supporting groups as they navigate the virtual/in-person/hybrid decision. We’ll continue to host meetings like this virtually on a quarterly basis going forward.  

 

Community Trends in 2022 

 

This past year saw some events returning fully in-person, others managing hybrid attendance and many staying fully virtual. While several international conferences have been able to attract a large number of attendees, none are at pre-pandemic levels. Many of the user groups that have returned to in-person report low attendee numbers and difficulty with attracting speakers willing to travel. SQL Saturdays, Data Saturdays and other free conferences around the globe have managed successful in-person events and like the larger, tier 1 conferences numbers. We’re rebuilding, all of us. We’ll get there by working together.  

 

The Azure Data Community ends 2022 on a high note. We’ve onboarded 150 user groups in 41 countries with over 91,500 members to our Meetup network. During the year, your groups hosted 951 meetings with over 33,000 members RSVPd to attend. Topics ranged covered a whole host of Azure Data features & functionality, including SQL Server 2022, Governance, Azure Synapse, Optimization & Backups, Hyperscale, Azure SQL Database, Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Data Factory and more.  

 

Community Focus for 2023 

 

In 2023 the council has several initiatives that we will continue to work on. Primary among these will be the expansion of the Azure Data Community into new regions, both ones where there is no presence as well as those in which we have a low presence. To continue serving the community in a way that works for them, we’ll solicit more feedback from the community and large. We’ll be hosting a series of networking sessions to learn about the needs of underserved areas and the guidance and support that we could provide. These initiatives will benefit all existing groups but will be a new gateway to joining for groups in the Middle East, Asia, South America and Africa. 

 

Beginning in 2023, we’ll provide an option for data platform user groups to be searchable on a Microsoft.com website, using whatever url benefits their group most. This new option for the community is the result of months of hard work building a way for groups that use ways other than Meetup to organize. We recognize that groups outside of North America and Europe use tools like WhatApp, Telegram, Facebook, LinkedIn, their own webpage, EventBrite, HDX, etc. It’s important to the entire community that we support groups where they are, where they’re successful and not ask you to change to suit us.    

 

Another key focus of the committee will be to identify strategies that user groups can use to more safely and more successfully return to in-person events. This will only be successful if we get feedback from all of you with guidance on what works, what doesn't work, where you need support and to ensure that those ideas are shared with the community more broadly.  We’ll be scheduling more opportunities for feedback in the coming months.  Stay tuned! 

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