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Shropshire data expert takes latest innovation to Europe

A leading ‘big data’ expert from Shropshire who is on a mission to drive-up data security across businesses is set to launch his company’s latest innovation on the European stage.

Alex Whittles, founder and director of Telford-based Purple Frog Systems, has been selected to speak at an international tech conference DataGrillen in Germany.

Alex will use the conference, to be held in June, as an opportunity to showcase Power BI Sentinel – a software service which has been designed to help businesses improve data security.

The team launched the service to UK businesses back in March and the European roll-out forms part of the company’s long-term plan to target a global market of more than five million potential users.

The new software service has been designed to provide additional benefits for businesses already using Microsoft’s analytical tool Power BI by providing secure document back-up, change tracking, documentation and data lineage.

Alex Whittles, one of only a few people in the UK to hold Microsoft’s coveted Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status, will brief delegates at the conference on how the innovative service can provide organisations with greater security and governance of their data.

He will also talk about machine learning and how business intelligence solutions can drive up productivity by reducing manual tasks.

He said: “As a business we have spent a considerable amount of time developing this new software service and invested heavily to come up with a solution which can help organisations save time, improve security and accelerate disaster recovery.

“The service has already been very well received by UK businesses and we are excited about the next stage of its roll-out in Europe.”

Alex said there were currently a number of limitations for businesses using Power BI on its own.

“Our newly developed service is designed to bridge some of these gaps by providing automated documentation of reports and giving data controllers the capabilities to view, in real time, how and what data is being used across all parts of the business.

“This is particularly important within large corporate organisations where Power BI is being used in multiple locations, across a number of departments and by a large number of employees.”

 Across the globe, there are more than five million people using Microsoft’s Power BI tool to analyse data and create dashboards to help them better understand their business.

 Power BI Sentinel is available to all these international users from sole traders and SMEs to community enterprises and large corporate organisations.

 For more information on Power BI Sentinel visit the website https://www.powerbisentinel.com 

 

Shropshire Chamber Awards Finalist 2019

The frogs were delighted to find out that they'd reached the finals of the Shropshire Chamber Business Awards in the Best Small Business Category. Alex Whittles said: "I'm delighted that the hard work of the team this year has led to our nomination as a finalist for the second year in a row."

Purple Frog are up against other three other local successful businesses:

  • Gee 7 Wealth Management
  • invisiFRAME
  • Iron and Fire Ltd

The finals are being held on the 14th June 2019 at Telford International Centre, for more information, please visit:  https://www.shropshirebusinessawards.co.uk/

 

Frogs on the march...Data in Devon 2019

Alex WhittlesA couple of our frogs recently had the opportunity to take part in Data in Devon, run by Jonathan and Annette Allen, or as those in the community know them, Father Jack and Mrs Father Jack, and William Durkin.

Alex Whittles and Reiss McSporran made their way down to Exeter for the opportunity to spread the word about Azure Data Factory (ADF) and Data Flows (Power BI and ADF!).

The 2-day conference had a number of presenters covering SQL Server, Azure, PowerShell, Python and many other data platforms.

Over the course of Fridays Training day, Alex led a workshop covering BI in Azure where the attendees gained an understanding of how to architect and implement a cloud hosted BI project and found out what services are available and how to use them including Power BI and Azure Data Lake.

 

Reiss McSporranReiss was able to step in as our resident ADF guru and take the attendees through the finer arts of streamlining data processing and movement services into data production pipelines.

On the free to the public Saturday Alex gave a Machine Learning Primer talk and Reiss delivered a Lightning talk on ADF Journey: version 1 to version 2 to preview.

Both frogs then took part in the BI Power Hour, discussing ADF mapping data flows and a BI Q&A.

They even had the chance to speak about the latest development from the brains of Purple Frog - Power BI Sentinel - discussing the current functionality, how it fits into the Power BI world and also giving us the chance to formulate new ideas for the application.

 

After an insightful, exciting and productive couple of days of data knowledge and data sharing it was good to unwind with plenty of beer and curry but we will keep those data stats strictly undisclosed!

Data In Devon meal

 

Photos courtesy of: @CPorteous @victoria_holt and @PurpleFrogAlex

Global tech expert shares skills at grass-roots level

Alex Whittles speaking at Haberdashers Adams School in NewportAlex Whittles is an internationally-recognised speaker and is one of a handful of experts in the UK to hold Microsoft’s coveted Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status.

However, such recognition does not diminish Alex’s passion for staying connected to the local community.

Indeed, in his role as a STEM Ambassador, one of Alex’s key ambitions is to deepen Purple Frog’s role within the community by sharing his global knowledge at grass-roots level.

And, he does this by offering his time and expertise to schools for free and bringing technology to life in the classroom.

As a core STEM subject, Alex delivers a range of after-school technology workshops and clubs for secondary school students.

He is also part of the Bloodhound SSC (world land speed record attempt) education engagement programme, taking his passion for the technology behind the programme into schools, colleges, clubs and groups to inspire a new generation.

He says: “It’s so important for young people in today’s rapidly changing world to have the opportunity to connect with professionals in a range of different industry sectors.

“Career planning is not easy and when you are presented with so many options it can be difficult to make the right choices.

“Providing workshops and visiting schools is a great way for me to pass on some of my knowledge and give students an insight into the world of technology-related jobs.

“Our work placement schemes also enable us to give students an invaluable taste of life in the workplace where they can get real hands-on experience.”

Alex has been a STEM ambassador for 3 years and students attending Alex’s school-based workshops and after school clubs have embarked on numerous technology projects including supporting an after-school club at William Brookes School, speaking at a Careers Insights evening at Haberdashers’ Adams School in Newport and helping at a STEM day at RAF Cosford.

He says: “At the end of the sessions, it’s always hugely encouraging to hear pupils say they want to peruse a career in technology. Volunteering has the potential to influence lives and that’s why it’s important for industry leaders to stay connected with their community – no matter how far-reaching or global their company may be.”

Alex, who founded Purple Frog 13 years ago develops business intelligence technology solutions.

It’s expertise is taking all forms of business data, wherever they may originate and transforming them into meaningful business intelligence.

Data expert to join tech leaders in Germany

Alex Whittles speaking at DataGrillen in 2018Shropshire ‘big data’ expert, Alex Whittles, with links across the globe has been selected to speak at an international conference in Germany later this year.

Alex is one of several high-profile business owners who will address delegates at the 2019 DataGrillen conference in June.

Purple Frog specialises in developing business intelligence technology and is recognised throughout the IT sector as a leader in its field when it comes to managing and using big data.

Alex, one of only a few people in the UK to hold Microsoft’s coveted Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status, will speak at the conference about machine learning and the benefits it can bring to businesses in terms of reducing manual tasks and increasing productivity.

He said: “I’m delighted to have been asked to speak at the annual DataGrillen conference in Germany. The event attracts businesses from all over the world and speakers attending will cover a range of topics currently at the forefront of the IT and technology industry.

“We live and work in exciting times and machine learning and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) is playing a greater role in our daily lives at home and in the workplace.

“Technology is continually advancing and using platforms like Microsoft Azure, we can build AI solutions which augment human capabilities to increase speed and efficiency so that companies can achieve more. This conference will be an opportunity to share our latest knowledge and experience of AI with other thought leaders and industry experts.”

In 2018 Purple Frog celebrated its best ever year. It moved to new offices at Quantum House at Hadley Park East and recruited three new members of staff to help meet its growing demand for services.

Its new business wins included running real-time data solutions for FTSE 250 listed companies and it has plans for further growth in 2019. The team is currently working on a new global product which will launch later this year.

DataGrillen website: click here

Shropshire big data firm shortlisted for prestigious award

FSB Digital Innovation Award 2019Purple Frog Systems Ltd in Telford, which designs and manages cutting edge Business Intelligence solutions (BI), has been named a finalist in the West Midlands round of the Federation of Small Businesses 2019 awards.

The company, which recently celebrated its best ever year, has been shortlisted against two other Midlands-based companies, Lettingproperty.com and eTravelSafety, for a digital innovation award

The award recognises businesses which have used digital innovation to achieve growth, exceptional customer experience and increased financial performance. Managing director Alex Whittles said he and the team were delighted.

He said: “This is absolutely terrific news for us and comes at a time when we are celebrating unprecedented growth in the business.

“It would be the icing on the cake to win this award but we are up against some tough competition so we are certainly not going to get ahead of ourselves. We wish the other finalists the very best of luck along with all the other businesses which have been shortlisted for awards.”

Over the last 12 months Purple Frog, which is a leader in its field of expertise, has secured a number of new major clients following increased demand for its innovative services.

In particular it has seen a continued increase in demand for cloud-based Business Intelligence solutions as well as growth in machine learning projects as more companies adopt the technologies of Industry 4.0.

It celebrated it’s most successful year to date in 2018 with turnover up 34% on the previous year.

It also recruited three new members of staff to help it meet growing demand and moved to new offices at Quantum House at Hadley Park East.

The big data specialist will find out on February 15th at an award ceremony in Birmingham whether or not it will be named the winner of the FSB Digital Innovation Award.

 

Purple Frog finalist for the FSB Awards - Digital Innovation Award

We're really pleased that Purple Frog Systems has been shortlisted as a finalist for the FSB Awards - Digital Innovation Award.

The final takes place on 15th February 2019 at the Forest of Arden Marriot Hotel in Birmingham.

More information: https://www.fsbawards.co.uk/area-finals/west-midlands.html

Shropshire leading IT specialist to speak at high-profile tech event

Alex Whittles at Tech SevernAlex Whittles has been confirmed as one of the headline speakers at a high-profile event next year.

Founder of Purple Frog Systems Ltd in Telford, which designs and manages cutting edge business intelligence solutions, will address more than 800 delegates at the 2019 TECHSevern Conference & Exhibition on September 24, at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury.

Organised by Shropshire Council, the event will bring together some of the world’s leading academics, policy influencers and decision makers to discuss the future of housing, technology-enabled care, digi-health, education, construction and eco and green technology.

Alex works with clients around the world and travels globally for speaking engagements. He will demonstrate their innovations at the conference and will share his knowledge with local government and health officials, business professionals and those working in education and housing.

Alex, who was honoured with the prestigious Most Valuable Professional (MVP) accolade from Microsoft in 2015 for his exceptional technical expertise, said: “I am delighted to be attending this event to share my knowledge and expertise with such a diverse audience.

“Technology is continually advancing and it’s sometimes hard for local government organisations and businesses to keep up to speed. During this event I’ll be talking about machine learning and big data, and how this can influence decision making, cut costs and boost performance. Using platforms like Microsoft Azure, we can build artificial intelligence (AI) solutions that augment human capabilities to increase speed and efficiency so that companies can achieve more."

Alex will be joined by several other key speakers including Flora Samuel, Professor of Architecture in the Built Environment at the University of Reading, Jane Briginshaw, director of Design England, Helen Olsen Bedford, joint founder and publisher of UKAuthority and Steven Jones, director of Sector 39 Permaculture Design Academy.

The conference is designed to help businesses and local government organisations stay ahead of the game when it comes to emerging and current technology trends which are shaping their industries.

New jobs as big data machine learning company celebrates best-ever year

Purple Frog team Purple Frog team

Purple Frog is taking on new staff as it celebrates its best-ever year.

As a Telford-based big data specialist we have recruited three new members of staff to help it meet a bulging order book and develop a new global product.

Purple Frog, which is at the leading edge of developing and managing business intelligence solutions, has doubled in size this year as well as moving to new offices at Quantum House at Hadley Park East.

Managing director Alex Whittles said its expansion plans were based on a number of new business wins and soaring demand for its innovative services.

“We’re seeing a continued expansion in demand for cloud-based Business Intelligence (BI) solutions as well as growth in machine learning artificial intelligence projects as more companies adopt the technologies of Industry 4.0 using platforms such as Microsoft Azure,” he said.

“As a result we have doubled our size in the past 12 months and are excited about the prospects of future growth in the coming year.”

The company, which helps to make firms more efficient and effective through understanding and using their data, had recruited Business Intelligence developer Reiss McSporran, C# programme language developer Luke Mills and project manager Nick Tudor to strengthen its team, he said.

“We are currently working on an exciting new global product which we hope to launch in March and adding to our team means we are ideally placed to work on research and development of the project.”

The company’s move to Quantum House saw it quadruple its office space and coincided with the appointment of Lukasz Deba as a Business Intelligence developer and the establishment of a successful work experience programme with Newport’s Haberdashers' Adams School.

Its new business wins included running real-time data solutions for FTSE 250 listed companies.

Purple Frog was shortlisted for two Shropshire Chamber business awards this year, as best small business and best technology business.

Alex has been awarded the prestigious Most Valued Professional status by Microsoft, for his work with the Microsoft Data Platform, held by only 21 specialists in the UK. He is a regular speaker at events around the world and consults for some of the world's largest organisations.

Alex Whittles Microsoft MVP Award 2018

Purple Frog is very proud of Alex Whittles who has just been renewed as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP). Alex is one of handful of Data Platform MVPs and this award recognises not only his subject matter expertise but his ongoing support and contributions to the community arranging events, speaking at conferences and mentoring others. #MVPBuzz

To find out more, visit the website: https://mvp.microsoft.com/

Frog Work Experience

Purple Frog work experienceFollowing on from the success of our June work experience placement from Haberdasher's Adams, we were delighted to welcome Samuel White in July from Telford College to do a one week placement with us.

Sam spent his time at Purple Frog building a proof of concept in PowerBI, extracting and manipulating data from client files and researching future digital platforms.

We wish him all the best for the future.