Author Archives: Chris Yates

About Chris Yates

Senior Vice President | Managing Director of Data and Architecture | Microsoft Data Platform MVP | Microsoft Regional Director | RedGate Ambassador | Friend of Redgate Program

Is Cataloging Your Data Important?

Data continues to be the lifeline for companies across the globe. As maturity levels continue to grow across companies, one aspect that sometimes needs to be checked is cataloging your data. You can think of this practice as metadata management for data sets.

Insights into one’s data is a substantial competitive edge for any company, whether stored in a data warehouse, data lake, or some other repository that allows teams such as Business Intelligence, Reporting and Analytics, and business consumers to make decisions based on said data.

We could go into a whole different segment on data quality. However, one of many reasons for cataloging data would be to help data professionals from exerting time expenditure on gathering and cleaning the data.

Several tools out there can be of use; I will only go into some of them, but one that I have consistently fallen back on is the Azure Data Catalog functionality Microsoft has produced. Some of the core benefits are:

  1. Integration into existing tools and processes with open rest API’s.
  2. Spending less time looking for the data, and more time getting value from it.
  3. Comprehensive security and compliance are built in.

Introduction to Azure Data Catalog | Microsoft Learn

As you look for continued ways to help cut wasteful spending, ensure consistent data quality, secure, and make your data compliant with ongoing regulations, it would behoove you to look at the Azure Data Catalog.

Your data availability depends on how far you can go as a data-driven company.

Continuing on the Journey of Azure Synapse Analytics

Azure Synapse Analytics has always enamored me. With its analytics service capabilities bridging the gap between enterprise data warehousing and Big Data analytics, it provides the end users much freedom to query their data.

One of the newer features that came out recently was the Cosmos DB synapse link to Azure Data Explorer. Having a big data analytics platform with near-real response times has constantly been engaging and diving more into the world of the Cosmos DB functionality. Within engineering and strategy, combining components such as geospatial and unstructured data; can be a game changer for most.

For those not keen on diving into the Azure Analytics space, Microsoft offers a rolling monthly update with all the latest and greatest features the team and platform are pushing out. Some of the go-to resources I have to be helpful are:

Azure Synapse Analytics Blog – Microsoft Community Hub

Azure Synapse Monthly (Updates) Blog

Getting started with Azure Synapse Analytics – Guy in a Cube

If you are into the data space, check out the evolution of Azure Synapse and what offerings and impact it could have for your industries.

#PASSDataSummit – Keynote 2 Live Blogging

Happy to be chosen to live blog the keynote events out at the PASSDataSummit in Seattle, Washington this week. This page will be updated through the Keynotes, all you have to do is hit refresh to view live updates as we go…….

These are challenging times for every business everywhere. So how can you ensure you get the most from your investment in IT, to meet your needs now, while also preparing you for an uncertain future? Join Jakub Lamik, Steve Jones, and Kathi Kellenberger in this keynote which looks at how the world is changing for data professionals, and the areas to focus on which will bring the best return on your investment in the long term.


And we are off…starting off with a show of first-time attendees to the PASS Data Community Summit; providing some recaps of Day 1’s Keynote.

Steve Jones took the stage and is going back in time to talk about the history of the conference.

“Paying it forward on what I’ve learned”. Community and bringing people together. “Truly are a #sqlfamily”

1999 – 1200 people attended; 2019 – roughly 4000 people attended. A bigger conference that has grown through the years.

“RedGate is more than just software; RedGate is the kind of company that I would want to build. They believe in the community”

Something magical about this place….people coming together to learn…

Jakub Lamik, CEO of RedGate, now takes the stage…

“Why RedGate? Database professionals answer important questions about our world. You help us to solve complex problems.”

“Every business is a software business” quote by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “every one of these businesses now is going to become a software business, where you’re going to reason about all this data”

78% have two or more database systems.

“Multi-database environments are here to stay, and complexity is growing.” – Steve Jones

David Bick head of product management is taking the stage.

Flyway product supports over 25+ databases. We see some most used are PostgreSQL, SQL Server, Snowflake, etc.

Flyway latest version is 9.8.1 with over 121 contributors.

Flyway Enterprise has been redeveloped giving a rich environment of source control, CI, and Release Management.

“Cloud requires and enables collaboration”

Arneh Eskandari the Solutions Engineer Manager now takes the stage to talk about Cloud adoption for databases.

377 speakers at this year’s Pass Data Community Summit

#PASSDataSummit – Keynote 1 Live Blogging

Happy to be chosen to live blog the keynote events out at the PASSDataSummit in Seattle, Washington this week. This page will be updated through the Keynotes, all you have to do is hit refresh to view live updates as we go…….

First up is Kate Duggan Chief Marketing Officer from RedGate…

40% of attendees are first-time attendees!!! Welcome…


Rohan Kumar Profile Picture

Rohan Kumar

CVP, Microsoft Azure Data

Next up is Rohan Kumar with Microsoft…The power of coming together.

Azure Data communities 155,000+ members, 145+ user groups in 41 countries.

“The power of coming together”; “thankful to the PASS community to come together and share our ideas in person”

Data challenges today such as data governance, analytics and intelligence, and operational databases.

The Microsoft Intelligent Platform – governance, AI ML, and databases to analytics. Let’s cut down these silos between them. Analytics and databases have to talk with each other and make it easy.

“When the silos get broken down, it becomes much easier”.

SQL Server investments…continual innovations built into SQL Server, giving you higher return on your investments.

General Availability SQL Server 2022 is here!!!!!!!!!!

Also announcing a new SQL Server pay as you go licensing model to your on premises model!!!!!

Next up for a live competition Anna Hoffman and Bob Ward

Bob Ward and Conner Cunningham talking about SQL Server 2022 performance enhancements.

As Rohan takes back the stage we begin seeing Azure SQL the family of SQL cloud edge databases. “Azure is the cloud that knows SQL Server best”

General Availabitlity with link feature for Azure SQL Managed instance along with backup portability with SQL Server 2022.

Announcing SQL + Apps Migration Factory offer.

Azure Cosmos DB – Automatic and instant scalability with SLA-backed speed and availability. General available is Azure Cosmos DB for PostgreSQL.

General availability for Azure Synapse link for SQL. New in Azure Synapse Link for SQL…Automate data transfer and eliminate barriers with schedule mode, smaller compute capacity support, vNet support, full support for datetime data types.

General availability Azure Data Factory SAP Change Data Capture connector.

Data Governance is being helped by Microsoft Purview – Unified Data Governance…Data Map which is automating and managing meta data at scale. Data Catalog which enables effortless discovery for data consumers, and Data Estate Insights that helps assess data usage, compliance and risks across your organization.

General availability – improved root cause analysis and traceability with SQL Dynamic lineage.

The PASS Data Community Summit

I’m looking forward to attending the PASS Data Community Summit this year in Seattle, Washington. I’m also glad to have the opportunity to speak with fellow Microsoft MVPs Josh Higginbotham and Dr. Victoria Holt on a panel around Transformation and Innovation: Why the database must be included hosted by Steve Jones

In looking at this year’s lineup of speakers and sessions, several ones stand out to me. From a Sr. Level perspective, I’d like to tap into a few sessions:

Automate your Data Quality Validation by Aaron Nelson

Extend Azure DevOps to Take your CI/CD to the Extremes by David Bojsen

Overall, I do like how the tracks are broken out within the session catalog to give a sense of what they look like:

  • Analytics
  • Architecture
  • Database Management
  • Development
  • DE&I
  • Professional Development

It’s great to see some of my good friends, and new speakers I haven’t heard from yet regarding pre-cons. You should check them out and can do so here. Below are a few of my favorites.

The keynotes as well look to be shaping up to be something special:

It will be much fun and excellent content this year. As always, happy to chat if you see me; this event is one I’ve attended, spoken at, and volunteered for since 2011. I look forward to seeing everyone there.

Friend of Redgate 2022

I am honored and humbled to be chosen to be part of the Friend of RedGate program for another year. This program is near and dear to my heart, and I look forward to continuing to serve the community the best I can.

Information from Redgate’s site:

The Friends of Redgate program is an exclusive group of influential and active community members, such as popular blog writers, speakers, consultants, as well as Microsoft Data Platform MVPs.

Friends of RedGate help support the community by providing opportunities to collaborate on content such as articles, webinars, and speaking sessions. We also connect them with our development teams, so they can get the inside scoop on our products and share their insights and ideas.

Friends of Redgate help with

  • Writing articles for the Redgate Hub and external media
  • Present sessions at events and produce webinars
  • Build and develop Redgate’s tools
  • Help the community solve problems

Some Awesome Traits of Friends

  • Participate in at least one research call with the development team
  • Work with Redgate to produce content for the Microsoft Data Platform community (for example articles, blogs, webinars, webinar panels, or speaking sessions)
  • Completing the annual State of Database DevOps Survey
  • Spreading the word about Redgate on social media, in speaking sessions, or through personal blogs

Hubbard Family Recovery–A Friend

Today’s post will not be your regular tech or leadership blog from me today. The Hubbard family suffered a tragic loss on January 12th, 2022. They lost their home, everything in it, and a vehicle in the garage. The family of 5 is now beginning their recovery from this horrible event, and I am asking for your help so they can start rebuilding their lives.

I’ve personally have seen how the SQL community comes together when devastation happens. Mr. Hubbard is a friend of mine whom I’ve had the pleasure to work with these past ten years. He has been part of the SQL journey with me for that time frame and is the type of person that will go above and beyond to help someone in the community. I know because he has helped me. If you have a moment, please check out the news channel and the gofundme site if you feel compelled to help the Hubbard family and their three small children.


The Power of User Groups


Fascination has always been with me when thinking of developing local talent. It has helped me immensely in my career both as an attendee, presenter, chapter leader, and more. One can glean immense value from becoming involved in a local UG (user group), whether by the connections made in networking, friendships formed, or learning something new that can help you on your journey.

This post isn’t one to talk about the past and looking at the rearview mirror, but seeing something tremendous and looking through the windshield. That phrase was told to me recently by a mentor, and it stuck with me. For those that aren’t aware, Microsoft has done a great job at intertwining a global network for user groups to come together and share knowledge to further impact communities.

Helpful Links:

  1. Can submit your group here –
  2. Can submit your event here –
  3. Find a user group on meetup –
  4. Upcoming community event list –
  5. FAQ’s for the Azure Data Community – Azure Data Community FAQs – Microsoft Tech Community

This statement provides an in depth belief of what is starting to transcend community events globally in this arena:

We are Community Owned, Microsoft Empowered. Group leaders own their group, membership lists, content, etc. In that way we aren’t a governing umbrella organization. We’re a network of user groups with a common goal.

The Azure Data Community will continue to grow worldwide, and I challenge you to become involved in your local area. I’ve been fortunate enough to be in leadership at a local level and a global level in years past; nothing is more rewarding to see and help others continue to grow on their journey.

T-SQL Tuesday #141 Work/Life Balance

t-sql-tuesday-logoThis month’s T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by TJay Belt (@tjaybelt). I find this month’s topic, balancing work and life, intriguing, and after a hiatus of non-blogging, I’m happy that this is my first one back.

Like many in tech, I put all I have into what I do. Even to this day, the thirst for knowledge has never waned. Many of us can tell stories of all-night workloads and try to stay one step ahead. It’s IT; we signed up for it.

Work/life balance has become more prominent for me throughout the years. My kids are growing up fast, and I see firsthand how moments can slip by if you let them. Time doesn’t stand still; many times, I wish it had.

Another critical piece in work/life balance for me is the people I get to work alongside. Relationships and people are significant, we hear the term burn out a lot in the tech industry, but it can relate to all industries. The stress levels will come, life is not easy, and it can throw some knock-out punches quickly; when you least expect it. Learning to control what you can manage and letting go of what you can’t have been at times difficult to do.

I’m still growing on this journey, and I hope that others will know you won’t always get it right. What works for one will not work for another. It’s okay to find your way and at the end of the day, the culture, relationships, family, work – they all matter.

You will never know what someone else is going through or enduring. Words you speak will either elevate or cut like a sword. May we continue to strive to be the best version of ourselves that we can be.

Friend of RedGate 2021

This past month RedGate graciously allowed me to be a part of their Friend of RedGate program. It’s been a great seven year run with this program and I have enjoyed the collaboration on their quality of tools they build for the data platform stack.

As RedGate eloquently puts it:

“The Friends of Redgate program is an exclusive group of influential and active community members, such as popular blog writers, speakers, consultants, as well as Microsoft Data Platform MVPs.

We help our Friends to support the community by providing opportunities to collaborate on content such as articles, webinars and speaking sessions. We also connect them with our development teams, so they can get the inside scoop on our products and share their insights and ideas.”

I look forward to another year of collaboration, and thank you for allowing me to continue contributing my ideas.

We > Me