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Covid, Composite Models, and the State of Power BI: An Interview Microsoft MVP Matt Allington

by Eamon McCarthy Earls
Assistant Editor,

Australia has weathered the risks of Covid-19 better than many countries, but tough restrictions have hampered business there as state governments lock down some areas after even small outbreaks.

[caption caption="Matt Allington" align="right"][/caption]

For people who have built their professional lives around in-person technology training, the new market conditions have presented challenges. The need for training in a skill like Microsoft Power BI still exists, but it must now be met with remote learning methods and tools. MSDW caught up with Microsoft MVP Matt Allington after a year of change for the Power BI product and community to get his perspective on what comes next for the product and its customers.

In addition to providing training and consulting, Allington is a prolific Power BI blogger on the Excelerator BI blog.

Covid changes the game

Allington traditionally delievered in-person training on Power BI. The past year has been a big adjustment, he says.

We've fast forwarded the online transition by 10 years. Previously nobody would come to an online live training course by Zoom, but now it is quite common. We have regular online training. That wouldn't have happened pre-2020. People previously didn't value that kind of live online content as opposed to face to face. Live online training works, but it is actually quite challenging for a trainer to deliver content through live-streaming [due to difficulties gauging the body language of participants].

While quick fixes like a "cameras on" policy help address these challenges of online training, Covid-19 has also posed challenges for the Power BI User Group in Sydney that Allington helps to lead.

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About Eamon McCarthy Earls

As the assistant editor at, Eamon helps to oversee editorial content on the site and supports site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Before joining, Eamon was editor for at TechTarget, where he covered networking technology, IoT, and cybersecurity. He is also the author of multiple books and previously contributed to publications such as the Boston Globe, Milford Daily News, and DefenceWeb.