IEPDS: Immersion Event on Practical Data Science with Cortana Analytics: Azure Machine Learning, SQL Data Mining and R

Chicago, IL, US: May 8-12, 2017 One seat remaining!


This 5-day class is the first of the two data science courses taught by Rafal Lukawiecki. Some of the topics will be introduced at level 200, without requiring you to have data science prerequisites, on the first day. However, as the class progresses, the level of the training will quickly increase to 300 and 400.

You will learn machine learning, data mining, some statistics, data preparation, and how to interpret the results. You will see how to formulate business questions in terms of data science hypotheses and experiments, and how to prepare inputs to answer those questions. We will cover common issues and mistakes, how to resolve them, like overtraining, and how to cope with rare events, such as fraud. At the end of this course you will be able to plan and run data science projects.

As a practicing data miner, Rafal will also share his decade of hands-on experience while teaching you about Azure Machine Learning (Azure ML) which is the foundation of Cortana Analytics Suite, and its highly-visual, on-premise companion, the SQL Server Analysis Services Data Mining engine, supplemented with the free open source and Cortana’s Revolution Analytics R software. We will use some Excel, however, most of our time will be spent in ML Studio, some in R, RStudio, SSDT, SSMS, and the Azure Portal.

Prerequisites: No formal prerequisites. Basic knowledge of SQL Server Data Tools, Excel and any analytical experience helps. Best of all: prepare questions that you would like to answer using predictive analytics and machine learning.

Format: 60% lectures, 20% demos, plus 20% time allocated to help you follow the demos and tasks on your own equipment, if you bring a laptop. You will be challenged to find answers to 4 problems during the course, and you will have a chance to build your own models in SSAS, Azure ML and R. Doing that will help you learn, however, it is not a requirement: you are welcome to observe the demos and ask questions, too. If you bring your own data, you are welcome to analyse it, too. You will get a list of free or evaluation-edition software to preinstall before attending. You will need your own Azure account: free one is OK, but the paid one is better—and it can be inexpensive, or even free during a trial. You can copy course experiments and data into your ML workspace for learning and future reference.

Target audience: Analysts, power users, predictive and BI developers, database and other professionals who wish to embrace machine learning, budding data scientists, consultants.

For a detailed agenda click HERE.

If you need help justifying training to your organization, we can help you:

Quotes From Past Attendees:

Listed below are some verbatim quotes from recent attendees of this class:

  • “Rarely do we meet domain expertise, in any discipline, that is as complete and deep as Rafal’s in Data Science/Data Mining/R, SSAS, AML. Add to the observed level of patience and ability to articulate and concern for the class’ absorption of the material and ‘lucky/fortunate’ is the best way to describe anyone who attends one of Rafal’s training events.”
  • “Would come back again – just loved it!”
  • “Rafal was just great!”
  • “‘Boots on ground’ – real-world applicable.”
  • “Ad hoc deep questions answered with real-life examples or academic explanations softened with real-world perspective.”

Event details:

  • Instructor: Rafal Lukawiecki (You can watch a 75-minute presentation on this material by Rafal at the 2015 Ignite conference here.)
  • Class will run from 8:30am-5:45pm Monday through Thursday and 8:30am-5:00pm on Friday.
  • Detailed agenda:
    • 7:45am Breakfast
    • 8:30am Class begins
      • 9:45am 15-minute break
      • 11:15am 15 minute break
    • 12:30pm Lunch break (lunch is provided as part of the class)
    • 1:30pm Class resumes
      • 2:45pm 15-minute break with dessert
      • 4:15pm 15-minute break
    • 5:45pm Class ends (5:00pm on Friday)
  • For those of you planning air travel and departure times after the class completion on Thursday: we do end at 5:00pm on Friday and we use every minute of that schedule, and often we run a few minutes over. For most deliveries we end between 5:00pm and 5:15pm. This depends on questions and we often push out the 5:45pm endings earlier in the week if things are running behind but I can honestly say that we’ve never ended early. Our general recommendation is for you to purchase tickets with departures no earlier than 8:00pm. However, each city/location may be a little different. Consider contacting the hotel (or the hotel’s website) for more specific insight into travel times and specific travel options to the airport.
  • Monday evening: “Meet-n-Greet” in the bar. We’ll open a tab and pick up the first round so we can get to know each other better and wind down from day 1.
  • You will receive printed materials for all of the lecture content. Additionally, after the event ends, we will provide all classroom demo content on our website as a zip file.
  • Also included in your registration fee are coffee, breakfast, snacks and lunch. On the registration page, please let us know if you are vegetarian (other dietary requirements are your own responsibility).
  • Class size is limited to 16 students.

Location details:

  • The Immersion Event will be held in the Hilton Suites Chicago/Oak Brook.
  • This hotel is 20 minutes from O’Hare airport and is near a large mall with many amenities. We’ve held more than forty five Immersion Events here since 2011.
  • The hotel has a special rate from US$129/night, for a two-room suite!
  • RESERVE YOUR HOTEL NIGHTS EARLY: SQLskills has a LIMITED number of rooms reserved under our group rate and these usually sell out. Even if you’re waiting to officially register for the class – you might want to get your hotel room setup early (ASAP) to ensure that you get the discounted/group rate and that you’re at the hotel where the event is being held. Most importantly, the earlier you get your hotel reservations confirmed, the easier it is for us to add rooms to our block. Thanks so much for helping us out with this!
  • The hotel rate includes:
    • Onsite parking.
    • Wireless internet access for the entire stay (it’s pretty good, but don’t expect to stream movies or quickly download very large files).
    • Full breakfast on Saturday/Sunday.
  • Full American breakfast during the Immersion Event will be served as part of class from 7:45 am until 8:30am. Class begins at 8:30 am.

Pricing details:

  • Full price for the Immersion Event is US$3,795.
  • Early-bird rate is US$3,295 for registrations received by end-of-day PST Friday, March 3rd, 2017.
  • Any discount code entered (for instance, for past attendees) will be reflected in the price during registration.
  • For general discount information please see the F.A.Q.

Special Pricing Options!

  • Past attendee price: If you’ve attended an Immersion Event in the past, you can register any time for 75% of the full price (US$2,995). Please contact us for instructions.

Cancellation policy:

  • Cancellations prior to March 27th, 2017: fully-refunded minus US$250 administration fee and 5% credit-card processing charges, where applicable.
  • Cancellations from March 27th, 2017 to April 23rd, 2017 inclusive (PST): 50% cancellation charge.
  • Cancellations on or after April 24th, 2017 (PST): 100% cancellation charge.
  • Registrations can be transferred to a colleague to attend this class, or for you to attend another class within 12 months of this one. If within the 100% cancellation period, there is a US$750 transfer fee.

Registration details:

Click HERE to go to our events registration page, and please make sure to select the correct class from the drop-down menu at the top of the page.


If you have any questions, please contact us.