Power BI Exchange

Focus Speaker Spotlight - Jessica Jolly

By Quinne Germain posted 05-16-2018 03:59 PM


We sat down with Focus 2018 Speaker, Jessica Jolly to find out what she is most looking forward to about the conference in Indianapolis next week.


What’s on your personal Focus agenda? Share any sessions you don’t want to miss!

In reviewing the agenda, the only time block  I don’t have at least two sessions I want to see is the time when I am presenting (and I am not allowing myself

to look at the sessions that are happening while I am speaking, or I might miss my own session!).

I want to be sure to take at least one of the hands on sessions and one ‘stretch’ session—something I know nothing about.


What is your best advice for Power BI Users attending Focus?

Here’s the advice I try to follow myself.

  • Try to get at least one current problem addressed. Take one or two sessions focused on an issue that you are currently trying to solve, and you

you will leave FOCUS knowing you have an ROI on your time and money.

  • Take at least one session where you won’t understand at least 50% of what is said. Even though you will be lost for

most of the session, you will take away a few key nuggets that will plant seeds for your future development.

  • Take at least one hands on lab. Theory is great, but getting your hands on the keyboard will ground you, and remind you of why you are at Focus.

Get a good night’s sleep for both nights of the conference. I know it seems like ‘mom’ advice, but you will retain your learning much more effectively if your brain

has time to ‘file it away’ while you sleep.

Meet at least one or two new people with whom you can stay in touch after leaving. It is unrealistic to think you will stay in touch (meaningfully anyway) with

hordes of people but if you make one or two connections that last, that’s GOLD!

The last piece of advice I have is ‘be in the moment’. Relish this tiny ‘sabbatical’ in which  you are  developing yourself and  connecting with fellow Power BI enthusiasts.


Aside from speaking, what you are most looking forward to about being part of Focus 2018?

I have to confess a secret hope: that Rob Collie from PowerPivot(Pro) will be there. He has been an idol of mine ever since I first

started learning about all things PowerBI, PowerPivot, and PowerQuery. Given that PowerPivot(Pro) is based in Indianapolis, I am hoping there

will be a large contingent of their people there, and I can meet some of them, if not Rob Collie himself. (Now you know my deep dark secret!)

Other than my fangirl wish, I am really looking forward to going to an event focused on PowerBI. I attended the Summit in Chicago last fall, and it was wonderful.

Anytime I get to deep dive into PowerBI I am a happy camper!


Please share a “golden nugget” attendees will take away from your session that is not found in the session agenda.

During my talk, I use Civil War generals as my use cases for Excel, PowerQuery and PowerBI. Yes, I am talking about the American Civil War that was fought

from 1861 to 1865.  One of my passions (outside of all things PowerBI) is the Civil War. In every talk I give, I try to use examples from the Civil War to illustrate my points. It brings both the current

topic (PowerBI) and history to life. It’s also a nice change from standard use case examples!

To learn more about the sessions offered at Focus, add on courses or to register, visit www.ugfocus.com. We look forward to seeing you in Indianapolis!