This time around in BlueGranite’s Meet our Team blog series, we are highlighting our Microsoft MVPs. Microsoft gives this honor to technology experts who show “deep commitment to innovation” and “make outstanding contributions to their communities.” Melissa Coates, Meagan Longoria, and David Eldersveld have been doing both for years. Their volunteer roles – from technical blogging and running and participating in conferences, to providing feedback on new technologies before they are generally available to the public – have had a major impact on the Microsoft community.
Melissa believes strongly in the importance of contributing to the Microsoft community, in part because the community has been so helpful to her throughout her career. Microsoft has honored those efforts by recognizing her as a Microsoft MVP since 2013. Melissa’s SQL Chick blog focuses on providing practical information on data warehousing, data lakes, and business intelligence. She speaks frequently at events, user groups, and conferences. Melissa is a co-founder of the Charlotte BI Group, and currently handles its website management, social media, and marketing.
Melissa is very appreciative of her 5-year MVP status. When asked about what it means to her, she said:
“Earlier in my career when I transferred to a new role in IT, I was asked to build a data warehouse. My best resource for learning SSIS at the time was from another MVP’s blog. The level of sharing among our community is so impressive. Community resources help me do my job each and every day, and my personal contributions not only help others do their jobs well – but force me to continually get better myself.”
Melissa has worked for BlueGranite for more than 4 years. She said she appreciates the company culture of shared knowledge and added that it’s reassuring to know if she needs to talk through issues on a project, she can turn to BlueGranite’s versatile expert team for assistance.
When Melissa puts down her laptop and steps away from the ever-changing world of data, she likes to spend time paddle boarding with her husband and dog.
Meagan was first awarded Microsoft MVP status in 2016. Her contributions to the community include her Data Savvy blog – which thoughtfully demonstrates how to make data accessible and useful; speaking at conferences and events; volunteering to organize meetings for her local Denver SQL User Group; organizing Denver’s SQLSaturday events; and providing feedback on new technologies to Microsoft.
One of Meagan’s favorite things about being an MVP is sharing her knowledge and receiving feedback that a blog post or presentation really helped a community member do their job. She also appreciates the opportunity it offers her to “meet up with some great people across the U.S. and the world” that she might not have otherwise met.
Meagan’s favorite technologies to work with are Analysis Services and Power BI. She said:
“I enjoy building out semantic layers where you turn data into something useful for people. All of the technologies in our industry are important and useful in the right circumstances, but the value becomes obvious through data visualization. It takes effort to do it right, but that is where people see the value because they are finally getting the information they need.”
Outside of being an MVP, Meagan also enjoys her work at BlueGranite. She said she appreciates the flexibility that working from her home office brings, and especially enjoys the ability to work with her bulldog, Buster, by her side every day.
When Meagan isn’t creating striking and informative Power BI visuals, or helping people better understand their data to make good decisions, she likes to spend her time hiking in Colorado and photographing the mountains and nature that surround her.
David is a two-time Microsoft MVP awardee. The honors stem from his multiple Microsoft community contributions, which include his Microsoft-focused DataVeld blog, his work with the company to improve new technologies, and his social media engagement.
David is grateful for the Microsoft MVP recognition. It’s an added bonus for what’s become a labor of love – sharing his Power BI excitement and experiences through his blog (which he describes as “his own stream of consciousness and a bit off the wall”). His style is one readers appreciate. DataVeld followers continue to grow, and Power BI learners continue to turn to the blog as a trusted educational resource.
With a degree specializing in Business Intelligence and over 10 years of experience with data and now AI, it’s safe to say David has a knack for working with Microsoft technologies. When asked about what he likes about being an MVP, he said:
“I enjoy getting the opportunity to pioneer thoughts and activities around Azure data services. Working through Microsoft’s documentation resources is a great way to learn, but there is so much more that isn’t covered. I like taking on the challenge to address what might be missing from our community and using it as a way to connect and help others learn.”
When David isn’t busy “geeking out” with data and BI work, he enjoys spending time with his young daughters, who have also helped him to extend his expertise to Disney princesses.
Want to learn more about the BlueGranite team and how we can help with your data and analytics projects? Contact us – we’re always ready to assist!