People active in online communities, almost by definition, are very giving people. True to this nature, one of our Local MVPs, Avi Singh, proposed a way of giving to the community during the holidays by offering Free Power BI training to. For more information about how the project got started please see: Give Power BI or PowerPivotPro and Microsoft help displaced workers with near-free Power BI Training Dec 7th. Since this was a new project, we wanted to make sure it was a good experience so we capped the attendance to 40 people with 5 proctors (although we had interest from easily twice this number of people). Despite having some of the worst weather of the year 35 students braved the winter storm warnings and were not only present but all arrived early! (By comparison the local Power BI User Group will have 80 RSVP and have 30 show up.)
From the in-class comments and the follow up on the community forum the class seemed to be a huge success
Scott – “Good Class. Very intensive. The class files are priceless.”
Kalpana – “Thanks Avi. Great work. Got to know many features in Power Bi.”
Varun – “Awesome class today. Great information in a very short time frame.”
Shaila – “Thank you for the great class! It really helps me understand the power of BI!”
Alex – “Great class you guys did a great job and really deserve a huge thanks!”
1. While hard copy is expensive and unwieldy having a few copies did a GREAT job of forcing people to interact and connect while sharing.
2. The Dashboard in a Day is a great starting point…but parceling it out to smaller blocks of time with demos similar in nature to what is going to be covered really helped keep up the energy
3. The, “If-you-finish-early Challenges” continued to be a highlight. For this class we also incorporated having the folks completing a challenge telling the class how they did it!
4. The composition and technical aptitude of the class. In previous classes that I’ve taught, most of my students were men and were already involved in the BI industry, so it was a pleasant surprise to find the class was mostly women and everybody had a high level of technical proficiency.
5. Sugar and Caffeine. Keeping the energy up is important and increasing the stimulus by breaking up the class into smaller components and keeping the attendees on sugar and or caffeine,just the process of getting it seemed to help!
In addition to the students having a great time and learning a new valuable work place skill both Avi and myself definitely had a blast being able to directly give back to the community. So much so Avi has already contacted me about follow on sessions!
Huge shout out to the proctors that donated their time to help out: