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Barry Smart - Director of Data & AI

Barry is happiest when he's at a whiteboard sketching out a process, architecture, roadmap or solving a problem. He's got a gift for taking complex ideas and presenting them in a way that technical and non-technical audiences can grok. He has a passion for simplifying the complex, and helping organisations use technology to transform and amplify their impact.

Meet Barry

Barry has spent over 25 years in the tech industry; from developer to solution architect, business transformation manager to IT Director, and CTO of a £100m FinTech company. In 2020 Barry's passion for data and analytics led him to gain an MSc in Artificial Intelligence and Applications.

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Wardley Mapping - Exploring the Mining Value Chain

Wardley Mapping - Exploring the Mining Value Chain

Barry Smart

The article explores the opportunities that the AI, digital technology and data present for the mining industry using a technique known as Wardley Mapping.
Star Schemas are fundamental to unleashing value from data in Microsoft Fabric

Star Schemas are fundamental to unleashing value from data in Microsoft Fabric

Barry Smart

Ralph Kimble's 1996 Star Schema principles still apply in Cloud Native Analytics.
Adopt A Product Mindset To Maximise Value From Microsoft Fabric

Adopt A Product Mindset To Maximise Value From Microsoft Fabric

Barry Smart

In this post I describe how adopting a product mindset will help you to extract maximum value from Microsoft Fabric.
Exploring Strategies Enabled By Microsoft Fabric

Exploring Strategies Enabled By Microsoft Fabric

Barry Smart

Explore building situational awareness and leveraging strategic opportunities with Microsoft Fabric in this concise overview.
Developing a Data Mesh Inspired Vision Using Microsoft Fabric

Developing a Data Mesh Inspired Vision Using Microsoft Fabric

Barry Smart

Explore Microsoft Fabric, inspired by Data Mesh, for a data-driven strategy. Learn to approach a Data Mesh vision using this powerful tool.
How Does Microsoft Fabric Measure Up To Data Mesh?

How Does Microsoft Fabric Measure Up To Data Mesh?

Barry Smart

Explore Data Mesh's influence on Microsoft Fabric, addressing gaps in data product marketplace, standards, master data management, and governance.
Microsoft Fabric Is A Socio-Technical Endeavour

Microsoft Fabric Is A Socio-Technical Endeavour

Barry Smart

Creating a successful organisation-wide data and analytics platform isn't just about architecture, schemas and semantic models. It's also about culture, organisational design and people. This blog explores the socio-technical nature of data and analytics and how this should influence your approach to adoption of Microsoft Fabric.
Azure Synapse Analytics versus Microsoft Fabric: A Side by Side Comparison

Azure Synapse Analytics versus Microsoft Fabric: A Side by Side Comparison

Barry Smart

In this Microsoft Fabric vs Synapse comparison we examine how features map from Azure Synapse to Fabric.
SQLbits 2023 - The Best Bits

SQLbits 2023 - The Best Bits

Barry Smart

This is a summary of the sessions I attended at SQLbits 2023 in Newport Wales, which is Europe's largest expert led data conference.
How to create a semantic model using Synapse Analytics Database Templates

How to create a semantic model using Synapse Analytics Database Templates

Barry Smart

Explore Azure Synapse Analytics Database Templates and learn to create semantic models in this 2nd blog of the series.
Putting total cost of ownership (TCO) into action

Putting total cost of ownership (TCO) into action

Barry Smart

Total cost of ownership can be used a various stages in the lifecycle of a digital asset to support data driven decisions.
What are Synapse Analytics Database Templates and why should you use them?

What are Synapse Analytics Database Templates and why should you use them?

Barry Smart

Explore Azure Synapse Analytics Database Templates and learn to leverage them in modern data pipelines.
How to calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO)

How to calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO)

Barry Smart

There is a broad spectrum of costs that a digital asset will accrue over its lifetime, which will typically span many years.
What is the total cost of ownership (TCO) and why is it important?

What is the total cost of ownership (TCO) and why is it important?

Barry Smart

Understanding the total cost of ownership is key to making informed decisions about technology investments.
A simple toolkit for IT budgeting and planning

A simple toolkit for IT budgeting and planning

Barry Smart

We describe how to create a high level view of your digital assets, where everything is measured equally and actionable insights can be generated that allow you to optimise your budget and build a roadmap focused on business value.
How to apply behaviour driven development to data and analytics projects

How to apply behaviour driven development to data and analytics projects

Barry Smart

In this blog we demonstrate how the Gherkin specification can be adapted to enable BDD to be applied to data engineering use cases.
Extract insights from tag lists using Python Pandas and Power BI

Extract insights from tag lists using Python Pandas and Power BI

Barry Smart

Discover how to extract insights from spreadsheets and CSV files using Pandas and Power BI in this blog post.
SQLbits 2022 - The Best Bits

SQLbits 2022 - The Best Bits

Barry Smart

This is a summary of the sessions I attended at SQLbits 2022 in London, which is Europe's largest expert led data conference.
A visual approach to demand management and prioritisation

A visual approach to demand management and prioritisation

Barry Smart

Explore a simple, visual approach to prioritisation that aids decision-making and stakeholder engagement.
Digital Asset Register

Digital Asset Register

Barry Smart

We describe how to create a high level view of your digital assets, where everything is measured equally and actionable insights can be generated.
Flex Your DevSecOps Muscles With Bicep (and get started with our cheat sheet)

Flex Your DevSecOps Muscles With Bicep (and get started with our cheat sheet)

Barry Smart

Bicep provides a significant improvement in tooling for organisations seeking to deploy infrastructure as code on Microsoft Azure.
A remedy for home working: build your own desk!

A remedy for home working: build your own desk!

Barry Smart

Customise your home office and make your home working experience more enjoyable and productive by building your own desk for less than £200 over a weekend.
Data is the new soil

Data is the new soil

Barry Smart

Thinking of data as the new soil is useful in highlighting the key elements that enable a successful data and analytics initiative.
Do robots dream of counting sheep?

Do robots dream of counting sheep?

Barry Smart

Some of my thoughts inspired whilst helping out on the farm over the weekend. What is the future of work given the increasing presence of machines in our day to day lives? In which situations can AI deliver greatest value? How can we ease the stress of digital transformation on people who are impacted by it?
Learning from Covid-19

Learning from Covid-19

Barry Smart

Summary of key themes from the Doing Data Together conference hosted virtually by The Scotsman newspaper and Edinburgh University in November 2020. The conference agenda was pivoted to focus on the use of data to help tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. It provided a fascinating insight into the lessons learned.
Benchmarking the Cloud against on-premise data centres

Benchmarking the Cloud against on-premise data centres

Barry Smart

In the third and final part in this series we compare the risk of Azure vs the risk of on-premise data centres, using the Swiss Cheese Risk Model.
Cloud Adoption: A Deep Dive into the Swiss Cheese Model

Cloud Adoption: A Deep Dive into the Swiss Cheese Model

Barry Smart

In the second part of this series, we take a deep dive into the Swiss Cheese Model and show how this type of threat modelling is essential for understanding the risks that adopting Microsoft Azure post your organisation, and how you mitigate them.
Cloud Adoption: Risks & Mitigations Analysis

Cloud Adoption: Risks & Mitigations Analysis

Barry Smart

In the first part of this series, we look at how you take a strategic look at the risks of adopting Microsoft Azure, and how you report these to C-level execs.