Rory Neary on The MVP Show

Rory Neary on The MVP Show

Rory Neary
Microsoft Business Applications MVP


  • A brief Introduction to Rory Neary’s life – food, interest and what he does outside Power Platform. 
  • Rory shares his expertise in various Microsoft technologies including Excel, SharePoint, Power BI, and the Power Platform. 
  • Discusses the role of the Power Platform in helping organizations become more efficient and agile, utilizing tools such as Excel, SharePoint, and Power BI. 
  • Talks about the courses Rory offers on his website, which focuses on teaching kids how to use these technologies. 
  • Check out this episode to learn more information on how to utilize these powerful tools in your organization. 
  • Rory discusses his background as a developer and how he became interested in the Power Platform. 
  • Rory shares some of his favourite resources for staying up to date on the latest Power Platform developments. 
  • Find out the things you need to know and consider as a designer  
  • Rory’s YouTube channel and the courses he has written on Power Apps 
  • Talks about Rory’s YouTube channel content creation and learning experiences 

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Thanks for listening 🚀 - Mark Smith


[mark]: today's guest is from england in the united kingdom he works as a power platform solution architect he was first awarded as n v p and twenty nineteen he's an by trade originally that turned into a developer he's a co founder of the power as for kids dot com to check out that website by the way i'll place in the show notes links to his bio linked into it any kind of resources that he has because he's got some amazing courses which i'm sure we're going to discuss this morning on the show welcome to the show rory

[rory_neary]: hi there thanks so much for having me on the show mark really great to hear you and see you as i can here

[mark]: excellent excellent now i think i first met you was in the netherlands does that sound right did you go and do that netherlands conference

[rory_neary]: oh that was brilliant wasn't it yet it was really good fun that one i also remember meeting you in a bar that was like kind of underground in after one of the hacks in london as well but i think that was just before you were going back to new zealand

[mark]: yeah yeah yeah that could be right that could be right different world

[rory_neary]: was it was yeah it was all pre covid wasn't it which was and have we yeah we haven't got back to that since really have we that that the regular nature of our ability to meet up which is a shame ticualyin the u k because you know were you know it's easy to get into london and so on but but the events aren't really they haven't kicked off really in the same way as as they did in the past but i think that that they will come back but perhaps not in quite the same way

[mark]: you know we're recording today post the queen's death and being somebody that's living in the u k what's that all meant for you there

[rory_neary]: that's a very good point i would say that when i was in my student days i would have been saying not really interested and i didn't see the point to the royal family whereas i found it absolutely fascinating on and how she is an individual could have kept going for so many years and to two you'd almost say she didn't put a foot wrong she she was everyone had their own special relationship with the queen and i'm sure you know and you know and she was special to the people in scotland all over the british isles so i think she she was truly unique individual the like of which will probably never be seen again and

[mark]: correct

[rory_neary]: she knows she came she was she was twenty one when she was she was certainly very young when she became queen and obviously when on for you know for many years you know for longer than many people you know it's the only queen anyone's known

[mark]: exactly

[rory_neary]: and yeah and it was i was i was fascinated by all of the the parade and so on it's it's not something that you would see very often so yeah it was yeah i was and i think that that it wasn't just us i think that it was a world wide thing

[mark]: absolutely

[rory_neary]: i'm not trying to big up the big it up as in that way i just think that it was quite unique and maybe all we all saw it that way

[mark]: yeah i just had a chance this morning to jump on you tube when i get up because i try to look at the live feeds and stuff in and the procession was going between minster and windsor and they were approaching the wellington arch and you know after spending time in london and living there and for me it's just been fascinating seeing those areas that you know why the wellington arches significant to new zealand is to if you're looking from behind the wellington arch down towards the castle on the left is the new zealand monument um and it was all in the shot for so much of the time this morning now a lot of people wouldn't know that unless they had been there and know that those specific piece of you know art installation or monument that's there is relationship to new zealand but it's you know been in common wealth and i know i'm in a colonized country and there's a whole discussion around that she was an incredible lady that i think had an amazing impact so yeah i definitely have found an intriguing watching the unfolding of the last ten days

[rory_neary]: absolutely who knows what is to come in the future will only know a lot of that will be defined by you how charles wants to take it and i suspect that will be all so some kind of re evaluation of of that in the know in the in this in this century and in these next sort of ten years also i'm sure he's got his own ideas

[mark]: totally totally i find it interesting a lot of people you know were like the royalty don't pay tax and things like this and i remember actually being just inside hyde park from the wellington arch there when i researched this you know i was on a walk there one day and i researched the impact on the royal family to the united kingdom and from a how much revenue the royal family bring into the united kingdom outside the royal family it's much more than any tax rate that i think that would could be you know put on them i think some people take this one they look at the the elephant if you're like from the you know they're holding the tail and this is the whole monarchy and they fail often to it's a multi faceted thing and it has impact that is far reaching on the british economy that is much more than just acts so yeah that's interesting

[rory_neary]: yeah and and i guess we could we could debate that one for a long time really couldn't we you know from my side i actually spent i was well i worked in the house of parliament for the parliamentary digital service for nearly a year and so where where she was laid you know in in state where all the visitants were going through that was just a place you could just walk through was it was just a normal place and it was fascinating to think that that was actually quite historic was historical before then clearly even more historical now and in the future

[mark]: amazing amazing anyhow let's let's get on to to your story and you know your journey to be an MVP tell us about rory you know where you reside u k family food fun all the things that are in your life outside the power platform

[rory_neary]: okay family so i've got two children and and wife we live in we live bucking machir which down the south of bucking chile so not too far from oxford in the u k although to be fair we probably more point towards london if you went for your day's out and so on my my son's massive le into into football he's a goal keeper he really enjoys he absolutely loves it

[mark]: nice

[rory_neary]: and my daughter is very different she is she is in to digital art concept art and she's just gone to to university to study comic and concept art

[mark]: wow

[rory_neary]: which you know which yeah exactly wow you know

[mark]: massive massive though

[rory_neary]: i'm hoping that she'll have an absolute super time and and you know i did business economics in french so you know there was you know it's not really a wow is it like oh yeah french well that would be the french bit and business economic well it's business economics isn't it so i kind of hope that that she's she has a great time dropped it down at the weekend

[mark]: nice

[rory_neary]: so it's quite fresh in the memory

[mark]: i bet yeah

[rory_neary]: absolutely so it's just so it's definitely a new a new family life if you're like now

[mark]: i bet i bet

[rory_neary]: on the fun side you know me my son we go mountain bike in i took up climbing recently so i got membership at climbing wall and which means i can head off up there

[mark]: nice

[rory_neary]: and it's it's quite interesting i would kind of call it i did some i did some presentations at the scottish summit on um mental health and so on and and i kind of i thought that it would be interesting to do the climate because well there's not a t you can't really stress too much about life when you're halfway up a wall it's it's very yeah it's problem solving and sol but it's a different type of thing it's very different to that to that world that we live in where we're visualizing things and so on so i kind of thought well maybe that would be interesting to try it out and so on and yeah i was down there this evening i know it's morning for you but i was down there this evening and attempting to to to scale a wall and so on but it was interesting and the mountain vikings fun and we've got a little and

[mark]: yeah

[rory_neary]: we take him out for walks because you know when you're a cocker spaniel there's bulls there's food and there's walking and that's an there's probably a bit of lying down sleeping but that's that's pretty well that's pretty well it all where it where it shakes out for him anyway

[mark]: nice what was your first exposure to power i assume it was empower bi and based on a little bit of research that i've done but i could be wrong what was your first power tool that you picked up and meeting of course the microsoft power tool set and how did that journey into this world of power platform happen for you

[rory_neary]: well my first power tool was in fact part of el on there must be an awful lot of people that don't know that within excell you have under the data tab you have power query

[mark]: correct

[rory_neary]: i mean quite often doesn't get called power queries data get data and you got this amazing tool for transforming data and when i was just call it finishing up as an account i had a project where i needed to do an awful lot of data transformation because we were moving from one system to another and there were essentially hundreds of thousands of records that needed to be moved ound and reshaped and and so on so that they could then be effectually imported into a new a new system at the time the only thing he had available to me was our query and i just bombed out of account and see i thought i've had enough i've done so many sets of accounts and so on and it was just becoming more of the same and more years of the same and so i just handed my notice and i said i'm not doing this any more and i didn't think i'd touch another number ever again and you know in the space that was created by that i then discovered powerblyi and the cool thing with probably i was that old new half of it old and new power query but i thought my goodness i can like do stuff in this thing and

[mark]: well

[rory_neary]: and whereas i never created a graphic in excell virtually ever

[mark]: wow is that right

[rory_neary]: in power honestly just they're just it's just mad and in xl they're just weird looking they just don't make any sense to me they have series and all this sort of stuff and yeah they do they didn't really i didn't create many at all whereas in power be they're fantastic you know just very very easy to work with and at the time which was in something like twenty sixteen when i was doing power be now bare in mind there's been a monthly up dat every month virtually since then can you imagine what power i was like then no buttons no navigation no real level security so many things have come since then on yeah so that was my first that was the first tool i used i started playing around with power b and goofing around with it and and then i started creating little videos about it partly remember what i was what i'd learned

[mark]: nice

[rory_neary]: as anything else really and i found you could put it on to you tube and occasionally people would watch it so that was that was my entry into into that world

[mark]: wow wow and so you've got quite a robust you tube channel and i see obviously your you do training right i see you're a microsoffcertified trainer tell us a bit about the the courses you've written specifically on power apps

[rory_neary]: well yeah i mean if this journey into power b and then power b led into office three six five and office three six five lender power as and as an account i remember creating and hap from share point of one you got this one click act you can create i absolutely love them and they are still as bad as they ever were but they are still really really cool as as a thing that you can create that will actually work on your phone there absolutely amazing now i actually suffer from generalized anxiety disorder so i have i have very very bad sleep and and at the same time i need to learn so much i need to learn just that the learning goes on every day you know every day you find out something i didn't know that and on what i found when i looked on the internet i found if you look at some of some you tubes out there there are awesome each individual is fansticeach intil video is fantastic ah and but what what they didn't do for me was they didn't have structure they didn't they didn't exist as part of an organized whole may be me my accountant head hat on i needed that i needed to i just wanted to create something that had structure and so on so what i started to do i spoke to meg and walker and start gero and i said i knew they had courses themselves and said well what do you use they use this platform called zena i looked at the platform and i saw it pretty cool actually you can create courses with modules and and you can have different types of content within there and in my case i just wanted to create quite a lot of videos but organ i mean as a structured whole so what i did was i i spent about six weeks just working out what the content would be and i thought that i thought it was going to run to about tongan fort tundrantwenty and forty lessons of videos and i thought that was quite a lot isn't it you know and so i wrote an app i wrote an app that would essentially mimicked power point but for me was better than power point because like for example i could i could literally go to any lesson in the course and i could run through it and i would say to anyone that had created three hundred lessons and they had done it in power point there's no way you can create that many lessons and bear in mind that i only use one slide and so it's all sitting in data verse and so all i do is i navigate to the lesson and then i roll through the lesson the introduction and then the rest is demo and so actually the course now runs to three hundred lessons it's got you know but it's got things that people need to know about like design you need to know about that there's things there's a whole chapter on data verse i know there's plenty of course with data verse in them there's a chapter on filtering because you need to know about how to filter things if you can't filter things you did you know and there's things and there's a chapter on patch because on one on gusta principle so how we see as humans see the world i mean look it up people don't know about gustel prince s are but they are the coolest thing ever the reason why you can pick up an app know how it works because you know how the objects relate to each other and how the proximity of the objects and the size the objects and the shape of the objects they're telling you something the whole time and there's a little lesson on that because as designers we need to know these sorts of things

[mark]: this is so good

[rory_neary]: so we've got fighting chance of being able to deliver something a little better and certainly as as a guy you know most a lot of guys think well it works doesn't it and then go and then go over to you and of course the models or in that world you don't really have much control over the design

[mark]: correct

[rory_neary]: which is great because you don't have any control over design so you can't you can't be accused of one way or another but

[mark]: totally

[rory_neary]: soon as you walk into the canvas at world you've got total control in which case you know in which case you need se extra things to tell you and i could talk to about state principles for for a long time but but and so actually funny enough one of the course i've written two courses so there's a big course which has got over three hundred lessons and he's quite detailed and probably hard work to get through if i'm brutally honest

[mark]: how many hours how many hours is that all up to do it

[rory_neary]: it's probably somewhere between forty two and forty five hours a lot

[mark]: so if you were to go through it do the labs all that kind of stuff okay that's good that's good because that's a met you know somebody starts that and finishes it they're going to know some stuff right the end of it which is i feel that there's so many courses that hour and a half you know and you know an hour i see on microsoft learn so many courses thirty minutes and and what the title says is that you're kind of like a girl at the end of that thirty minutes and i'm like you you're going to learn nothing in the minutes you know you've got some practice in there and stuff as well

[rory_neary]: it's a tough road in terms of getting from not knowing to think things to knowing something and actually most recently i created a new course which i think is really cool which was i can't remember the name of it now tips and tricks for power automate tip trips and game changes for power automate and power as and what it is is of course can you just imagine though things that you learned that were massive game changes where you thought oh my goodness i cannot believe i didn't know this and and there are certainly you know in terms of canvas there's plenty of those things like using patch you know i avoided patch for a long long time but if you don't use patch you can't actually arrange your visually so can you can use principles design principles that will make your ap possible to be used without instruction because nobody's going to read them anyway and there's things like empower automate you know i i understand in jason no one will ever which tell me about the power the stuff learned course that tells you about jason structures and so on and yet and you're gonna do and yet you're gonna do power automate you're going to see them in you're going to see them in your environment variable you can see them you can see them and when you do your patch statements it's a form of jason and actually some of these things are game changes and there things that you you might take three or four years to find out and then just feel so silly that you didn't know it so i wrote another one and said this course has got it's got kind of maybe it's got about thirty lessons but they are tin they're like hey you know about this hey join the community because to tell you what you and i know that those people that become really successful very few of them are not connected to

[mark]: correct

[rory_neary]: the community in some way

[mark]: hundred percent ye hundred percent

[rory_neary]: and so and so it's just a little pointed to say go and join a user group you talk to people you know going to twitter you know and follow

[mark]: i love it

[rory_neary]: people

[mark]: i love it

[rory_neary]: and so so that was my most recent offering was was this tips tricks and game changes of course

[mark]: i like it we're already well over time and

[rory_neary]: apologize

[mark]: and and no this is good because there's this is good meat stuff and i think that those listening to the show we're going to make sure we put in the show notes links to these courses because as i say we live in a world of information overload and and bite size everything but there's something to be said about structured learning to get the the full body of knowledge and i feel even back when i started my m c t about fifteen years ago as a certified trainer microscope had these full on in depth courses and then with move to a world of everything's bite size and with everything being bite sized there is no structure and people are struggling to find out you but if i learn that then what's my next step to learn what next cept how do i get from aid to be from a knowledge point of view that if i apply myself and do the time and do and educate that i'm actually going to be way farther ahead the right track because that's the other thing you know i was presenting in western australia earlier this week to a team of folks on a project and they wanted to go deep in field service go to microsoph to learn and there's kind of like fifty different paths that you can take on anything and it's like when you don't know and you just need you've got six months to get up the speed because you're going to be workin on a project you want to know that if you follow this path you're going to be up to speed in six months time not gone down a rabbit hole that you ve of self discovery of should i should have gone down that path over there but it took six months to find that out and so i think that of course like what you have described there is absolutely critically important to people that are omitting their careers to things like the power platform power as power to make power be that type of thing because you want to know that you know your stuff right from a skill perspective

[rory_neary]: without a doubt you know i'd say that the course was fifty percent for me and fifty percent for anyone who wanted to consume it but i did spend ridiculous out of time creating it which you know how hard it is to create content and you know even things that were you know i actually describe each of the objects and so on you know some of them i don't really use that much but i thought well you know can't really not tell em about it um m but you know i sort of mark them up with little dots to say how important that lesson was because some of them some of them you can take or leave it but some of them like you know what if you don't do this it's going to be a problem for you at some point in the future even if you just hey just have an over view of the thing so yeah i am yeah it's been it's been my mount everest been my mount everest without a doubt it you know the last module on data verse took me um took me four months to complete but that was because i changed jobs and i had a bit of writers block as well you know and and of course and when i originally did it it was called commendator service and every time i looked at the course i thought oh my god this is so embarrassing this is really bad and i've just got to do this but of course data where do you draw the line where do you draw the line on a course and a canvas a course which uses data verse what do you because what you don't tell them is as important as what you do tell them so i've made my own judgment call as to what to leave out

[mark]: i like it

[rory_neary]: based on what i know and i guess people just have to trust me on that i think from my side i'm going to i'm going to give you a code ned three six five guy

[mark]: nice

[rory_neary]: and then that will give people a discount for the

[mark]: fantastic

[rory_neary]: course so maybe we'll do a little fun thing for the first three people and give them like a like a hundred percent pass something like that so i think that would be

[mark]: sounds awesome

[rory_neary]: that will be a bit fun

Rory NearyProfile Photo

Rory Neary

Rory Neary is an accountant turned developer. Ever since his journey to the Power Platform began. He has recorded his progress in many ways, and the DataSpinners site is just one part of this process. He is a Power Platform Solution Architect – he helped organizations get it right the first time with their implementations. In addition, he is the co-founder of, a global initiative to bring apps to children across the world.

Rory loves to present the things he knows to the rest of the community, and he has done so at Microsoft Ignite, Dynamics 365 Saturday and the Major UK Microsoft User Groups. You can find a lot of his content on his YouTube channel where he has been vlogging on Microsoft technologies for a number of years.