It’s been already four years…Time flies and that’s so true! On this same date three years ago, I did a short retrospective of year 1…Then, I did the same thing two years ago for year 2. Finally, last year I “covered” year 3. Now, it’s time to reflect on everything that happened in the previous 365 days.
In terms of blogging, this was not a productive year compared to previous ones – I’ve published 24 posts (including this one)! There’s been a lot of hectic periods with a lot of regular work to do, so I was hardly finding spare time to write. But, hey, it’s still 2 blog posts per month, which is not that bad at all! It’s not that I didn’t have ideas or motivation to write (I have a serious backlog of ideas for blog posts) – I simply struggled to find time to write:(…
The thing is that I often spend a lot of time writing one article, as sometimes it takes literally a few days (not 5 minutes per day for 10 days, but literally a few days of effective work in preparing the post).
I’ll repeat: I firmly believe that content is king! Therefore, I was trying my best to produce quality content, that will be both interesting and helpful to other people. And, trust me, there is no better feeling when someone gives you feedback that your text/idea helped to solve their problem.
Or, even better – when someone tells you that your blog posts helped them pass the exam! When I started the “Mastering DP-500” exam series of articles, not in my wildest dreams I expected to (positively) impact so many people around. But, the fact is that a lot of individuals found these articles helpful in preparing for the exam. And, I’m the happiest person when I hear that!
Now, we have a brand new exam DP-600 (Implementic Analytics Solutions Using Microsoft Fabric), which will be available in beta on January 11th. Therefore, I’ve already started with the articles to help you master the DP-600 certificate, and creating content around this exam will be my main focus in 2024.
In the 1st year, data-mozart.com was visited by ~22.000 users, and had 36.000 unique sessions, while in year 2, there were ~73.000 users and ~105.000 sessions. Then, in year 3, there were ~103.000 users and ~ 151.000 unique sessions…I don’t know what to say about this year’s numbers:
Around 160.000 users and 260.000 sessions! And, this is with me forgetting to configure a new trace with GA4 in July (so, almost the entire July was not tracked). Translated into page views, it’s ca. 300.000 page views:
That’s honestly an INSANE! That’s WOW! Translated to pure numbers, this is a ~50% increase compared to the previous year! These numbers make me really proud and give me an enormous motivation boost to continue publishing. Microsoft Fabric was by far the most exciting thing that happened in the 2023 data world, so it came as no surprise that the ultimate “winner” among the pages was the one explaining what Microsoft Fabric is, without hype and marketing, with more than 20.000 views! There were also some other highly visited pages, such as the one where I explained how to dynamically filter the data with Field parameters, or the one where I discussed the future of Azure Synapse Analytics after Fabric entered the stage, all the way to demystifying Parquet file format!
This was again a very productive year from the speaking perspective. I’ve presented at 26 events during 2023, which means more than 2 presentations per month! Again, most of the sessions were delivered virtually (18) – but there were some delivered in person as well (8)!
As a speaking highlight, I’d mention the Microsoft Power Platform Conference in Las Vegas in October. It was an incredible experience, not only because of the venue (Vegas, baby!), but more because I had ca. 1000 people attending each of my sessions!!! Yes, I have to write it down, because I can’t believe this number – THOUSAND! Since this was my first in-person conference in the USA, I had a wonderful opportunity to meet many new like-minded people, including Microsoft Fabric leaders, Arun Ulag and Kim Manis. Not only that, I had the honor to be part of Arun’s keynote, together with some of my fellow Data Platform MVPs! Definitely a lot to remember!
Then, SQL Bits in March in Wales! What an event! It was 4 days of learning, networking, and of course one of the best parties around! It’s hard to describe it – you have to “feel” it on your own:)
I also had a great time with wonderful people in Poland (SQL Day) and Hanau (SQL Konferenz), while I visited Italy twice this year for Data Saturdays – first, Pordenone, and recently Parma! And, last, but not least, I had the opportunity to present in person in my hometown (Belgrade) at the largest conference in the region…
And, I owe huge gratitude to all of the organizers, for giving me an opportunity to present, and all attendees for deciding to spend their most precious asset – TIME – with me! THANK YOU!
I’m already looking forward to speaking engagements in 2024, as I’ve already marked some of the events that I’d love to be part of – either as a speaker, or an attendee.
I started the Data Mozart Youtube channel in the summer of 2021, as many people asked for a video to complement the blog post. After 11 videos in 2021, and 7 videos in 2022, I published 9 videos in 2023. Unfortunately, I have been struggling to find time to publish new videos on a regular basis, and I sincerely hope that I will have more space in 2024 to dedicate to producing new Power BI and Microsoft Fabric-related videos. Especially around the new DP-600 certificate.
But, hey, this month I crossed the line of 2000 subscribers – definitely something to be proud of!
In addition, together with my friend Augustin Dokoza Bukvic, and our co-host Jeroen(Jay) ter Heerdt, each month we do a live stream called “Live from Redmond”, where we bring someone from the product or engineering team, to talk about the coolest feature from that month’s Power BI update. Make sure to check this show on the Data Jazzers YouTube channel!
This year started with a bang! I published my first own course in January to help everyone master the DP-500 certificate! The course was (and still is) a huge success, as I was truly overwhelmed by the amount of positive feedback. Thank you, everyone, for providing your valuable feedback (especially regarding things that can be improved).
Here, I must mention the promotion I was running just before Easter, when I was sharing for FREE the entire course – one module per day! So, anyone could have learned all the necessary skills to pass the DP-500 exam for free, in 8 days of continuous learning. And, what happened is that 1.800 people enrolled in the course during that period! Yes, eighteen hundred!!! Many of them wrote me afterward to share that this opportunity helped them pass the exam…One of the highlights of 2023, for sure!
Currently, I’m developing a curriculum for the DP-600 course, so you may expect to see the course live in the 1st quarter of the next year!
Then, just before the summer, I published another course: “Mastering Power BI Performance Tuning”, which targets experienced Power BI professionals looking to improve the performance of their Power BI solutions. In the same period, I started with a subscription service called “Data Mozart Orchestra”, which consists of a collection of mini-courses on various Microsoft Data Platform topics, and that collection expands month over month!
I was also active as a Pluralsight author. After creating 3 Pluralsight courses in 2021, and 5 more in 2022, I’ve created 3 new courses (and updated two older ones), which gives 11 courses in total! What a year!
Huge thanks to Kari Harbath and Austi Whetten for believing in me, but also to all the other lovely, kind, and supportive people from Pluralsight. It’s really a privilege to be part of the Pluralsight family.
More than 3 years ago, I started my speaking journey at New Stars of Data. I’ve already described in detail my experience and how crucial was for me to have an experienced speaker as a mentor (Wolfgang Strasser). I’ve also written a blog post explaining why YOU should start as a speaker and how this can boost your professional and personal growth.
This year, I was lucky enough to become a mentor of three wonderful and talented individuals: Elena Drakulevska, Roman Tesolkin, and Victor Rivas, who also kicked off their speaking careers at the New Stars of Data event (thanks to Ben Weissman and William Durkin, for providing the stage for new speakers). They all did an amazing job and I’m sure they’ll be true speaking stars in the coming years.
I’m also very much looking forward to helping other individuals in 2024 to achieve their personal and professional goals by becoming speakers – we simply need new and fresh faces, and I’m super happy if sharing my experience may help them on their journey…
Well, 2023 was (again) a year to remember – mostly in a positive way!
I would lie if I said it wasn’t exhausting sometimes, especially in the last months of the year – but, I truly enjoy working with data, and even more enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience. There is no better reward than when someone says to you that your article or idea helped to solve a problem or pass the exam!
I hugely appreciate how much I’ve learned, and how much I’m still learning on a daily basis from different data community experts – that being said, I promise to continue making music from the data in 2024!
Now, I’m thinking of slightly tweaking my priorities starting next year – more and more, I’m considering becoming an “enabler” instead of a “performer”…What does that mean?! I’ll try to reduce my direct involvement in various events and do my best to “enable” others to achieve their goals. Either through direct mentoring or through various group actions.
I’m also seriously thinking of running another edition of the free Power BI Bootcamp for women and individuals with financial needs – the inaugural one was a huge success – still need to figure out the timings and details, but that’s definitely one of the things I want to do in 2024.
If you come so far reading this article, then I’d really like to give you special kudos! Thanks for reading, happy holidays, enjoy the festive period in peace and health with your loved ones, and hope to see a lot of you in person in 2024!
Last Updated on December 21, 2023 by Nikola