The Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Awards are highly prestigious and coveted awards that Microsoft presents each year to members of the Microsoft community in recognition of their exceptional leadership.
We are absolutely delighted that James Dales, our Microsoft Practice Director, received an MVP Award in the Data Platform category.
What is an MVP?
Microsoft first began rewarding its community leaders twenty years ago, and today MVPs make up a global community of over 4,000 technical experts and community leaders across 90 countries.
It’s Microsoft’s way of celebrating, honouring and saying “thank you” to the contributions that these technology experts make, which focus on their deep knowledge of Microsoft’s products and services, their quest for further knowledge and their commitment to contributing to the Microsoft community.
We spoke to James to find out more about his award and what it means to him.
Many congratulations on your MVP Award. Is it something you aspired to achieve?
Thank you, and yes, absolutely. I’ve been very happy to be involved and engaged with the Microsoft community over the years, to share my knowledge and help to inform and develop its data platform and software, so it’s an honour to be recognised by Microsoft and its community for that.
What does the process entail?
You need to get nominated, preferably by other MVPs. Then it’s a case of completing an application that details how you have contributed to the community over the past 12 months, such as involvement in online communities or through speaking at events, writing blogs, hosting podcasts, etc.
My notification that I’d been awarded an MVP came completely out of the blue, which was a lovely surprise!
What does your MVP recognise?
My award was in recognition of my competency (or, borderline obsession) with Microsoft’s data platform technology and absolute commitment to sharing my knowledge and passion.
Over the last year I’ve been involved in various speaking events including the Microsoft Envision Conference in Orlando, the London Power BI User Group and the Business Application Summit in Dublin, amongst a few others.
Why is this award so important to you?
It recognises my Power BI competency and commitment to the Power BI community, which is rooted in the fact that no other Microsoft product is being developed at that pace. It’s extremely exciting and that’s why this award is so important.
It gives me access to the Microsoft product and technical teams so that I can learn what features are coming out, which will help me to evaluate and drive customer decisions.
What advice would you give to anyone aspiring to an MVP award?
They’re not just looking for people who have a deep knowledge of the products, but a genuine passion and desire to help the technical community. You need to be able to demonstrate that you’re proactively and voluntarily engaged and involved in sharing your knowledge.
Finally, where have you put your award?
It’s in my trophy cabinet at home. I’m just joking. I don’t have a trophy cabinet. It’s sitting very proudly on a shelf in my office.