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PASS Summit 2018 Feedback and Ratings

Biml (Business Intelligence Markup Language)

Oh, the nerves… We have now received our PASS Summit 2018 feedback! It is always terrifying opening up session evaluations for the first time :)

This year, I presented a 10-minute Lightning Talk on Azure Data Factory and a 75-minute General Session on Biml. In this post, I will share the feedback, ratings, and comments I received on my general session. I will also include my own thoughts.

But first: Thank you to everyone who attended my session at PASS Summit 2018, and a huge thank you to everyone who also spent time providing feedback! It is much appreciated and extremely important so we can learn and improve :)

Overall Numbers and Ratings

  • Attendees: 74
  • Evaluations: 27
  • Response Rate: 36,5%

Woop! Happily surprised to see so many people in an advanced session for a niche topic :) I wish the response rate was higher, though. There is no way of knowing what the remaining attendees thought. But since they chose to remain silent, I choose to believe they would have rated me 5/5. HAH! :D

  • Value of the session content: 4,88 / 5
  • How useful and relevant is the session content to your job/career? 4,65 / 5
  • How well did the session’s track, audience, title, abstract, and level align with what was presented? 4,85 / 5
  • Speaker’s knowledge of the subject matter: 4,92 / 5
  • Overall presentation and delivery of the session content: 4,85 / 5
  • Balance of educational content versus that of sales, marketing, and promotional subject matter: 4,88 / 5

Another woop! I’m so happy with these ratings. There’s room for improvement, but overall very good scores, yay! :)

Note: I excluded one evaluation with 3/5 rating on all questions and the comment “standing room only, could not attend”. With that evaluation included, the ratings were slightly lower: 4,81 – 4,59 – 4,77 – 4,85 – 4,77 – 4,81.

Feedback and Comments

I’ve split the comments into three groups to add my own thoughts. (I know. Commenting on the comments… So meta!)


  • Very fast. I was lost very quickly. I know I wasn’t the only one. Firehouse on amphetamines
  • Great presentation, I really learned a lot. I got a bit confused at the end when things started speeding up but overall very good
  • Although I have not really worked with Biml in the past. I was able to follow the majority of your session. Just make sure that you don’t allow yourself to speed up too much when you get excited about the topic.

Yep, good points. I tend to get very excited about Biml, and when I get excited about something, I talk fast. It is something I’m very aware of, and this time I even added a few “break between sections” slides to give myself time to breathe. Still, I slipped up towards the end of my session. I will keep working on this!


  • Possibly a 5 minute demo of biml to ssis up front to expand audience. Point out that include and callbomlscript require a biml document fragment not document with biml root.
  • The best conference session presenter I’ve seen so far. Excellent presentation; engaging, funny, clear in explanations, best slides seen to date. Didn’t realize it was a 400 level presentation but was able to follow along thanks to Cathrines clear explanation of her slides and demos.
  • Cathrine is an excellent presenter and her grasp of the topic is very deep. This was my first exposure to BIML so well above my level, but I expected that.

The PASS Summit 2018 printed schedule and app unfortunately did not include information about session levels. These comments (and feedback I got in-person) made it clear that many attendees were unaware that this was an advanced session. I believe that this is something PASS needs to fix next year, but there is not a whole lot I can do about it now. I’m glad that attendees still got something out of the session!

Happiness :D

  • Loved it!
  • Great job repeating all of the questions back for all of us to hear.
  • Excellent speaker. Very organized and focuses on topics. Clearly teaches topics with detailed instructions. Enjoyed her session a lot. Best session so far.
  • Very good session that I can implement immediately to level up our code base. Please remember to post code on pass site!
  • This session did a great job at showing the application and features through the demos. Very helpful!
  • Very good session, keep up the good work
  • Cathrine presented some really interesting and useful stuff.
  • Very personable and knowledgable.
  • Great presentation. Almost worth the summit in itself 😁
  • Very good understanding of the content. Easy to understand!
  • It is an excellent presentation. Waiting for video and for accompanying materials. BIML rules!
  • Very good presentation exactly what I hoped for and showed us some useful ways to do our BIML. Keep up the good work
  • Very witty and optimistic in which you easily could follow.
  • Excellent speaker. Hard topic to cover since it requires multiple files and jumping around. Don’t have any changes or improvements that I can think of. One of those sessions where I will be going back to my notes and slides and using the techniques taught to improve my work environment. Love to see more on Biml and more by the speaker.

Woop woop! I have spent many, many hours trying to find ways to visualize and explain advanced Biml concepts. There is still work to do for me, but based on these comments (and some of the previous comments) I appear to be on the right track :)


Overall, I’m very happy with my session and the feedback I received :) I have a few points I still need to work on, including how fast I talk and how I explain concepts before diving into details. In addition to that, I want to rethink my session titles to make sure the level is absolutely clear from the title alone.

If you want to see what I presented, you can find my slide deck on SlideShare and download my Biml demos from my Biml resource page :)

About the Author

Cathrine Wilhelmsen is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP, BimlHero Certified Expert, Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert, international speaker, author, blogger, and chronic volunteer who loves teaching and sharing knowledge. She works as a Senior Business Intelligence Consultant at Inmeta, focusing on Azure Data and the Microsoft Data Platform. She loves sci-fi, chocolate, coffee, craft beers, ciders, cat gifs and smilies :)


Hi! This is Cathrine. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I'd love to hear your thoughts, but please keep in mind that I'm not technical support for any products mentioned in this post :) Off-topic questions, comments and discussions may be moderated. Be kind to each other. Thanks!

You, talk faster when you’re excited? I can’t believe that! :-) Seriously, I think one of the things that makes you a great presenter is your enthusiasm!

Great work!

I know, most people don’t believe me when I tell them that ;) Thank you so much!

Hi! This is Cathrine (again). Just a reminder. I'd love to hear your thoughts, but please keep in mind that I'm not technical support for any products mentioned in this post :) Off-topic questions, comments and discussions may be moderated. Be kind to each other. Thanks!

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