Microsoft’s commitment to the data community

By:   |   Updated: 2021-06-22   |   Comments   |   Related: More > Professional Development Community


Is there a local Microsoft Data Platform user group in my area? How can I find out? How can I learn more about Azure data, Machine Learning, SQL Server, job opportunities, online communities and more from other professionals in my area?


As a means to grow the Microsoft Data Platform at a grass roots level, Microsoft has launched the Azure Data Community to help community members run events and learn from one another. Part of this community includes the Azure Data Tech Groups which is a consolidated network of Meetup groups around the globe in more than 35 countries with 120+ groups and 60,000+ community members. Microsoft’s intention is to continue to grow this community presence significantly by the end of 2021 and beyond.

Azure Data Tech Groups

As a community member, the interactive map on Meetup enables you to find a local user group to connect with like-minded professionals, grow your career and develop your skills. This is your first step in getting started.

A world map with pins dropped around the world.

Special Interest Groups

Alternatively, there are topic specific groups that you can join such as:

  • Data Platform Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Virtual Group
  • Data Platform WIT (Women in Technology)
  • Cloud Experts
  • DBA Fundamentals
  • AppDev for Data Pros

Click here for the full list of groups, where you can browse interesting sessions around the world to grow your skills and career.

Azure Data Community

The Azure Data Community Hub is a community landing page with the following resources:

azure data community

Attention SQL Server User Group Leaders

As a former SQL Server user group leader of two groups (Northern Virginia SQL Server Users Group and Baltimore SQL Server Users Group), I know how difficult it is to manage and build a local user group. Microsoft is providing User Group Leaders with free resources to help grow and manage your group including:

  • Meetup – management, promotion and community outreach
  • Microsoft Teams – chat, video, meet virtually, store content, and also access other Office products including PowerPoint, Word, Outlook, etc.

When Ray Barley and I ran the Baltimore SQL Server Users Group, we were able to grow our group substantially when we added our group to Meetup. The Meetup platform provided immediate exposure to a broader technology audience in our local community. A few years ago, it was an expense for our group. Now Microsoft is providing free access to this platform as well as tools to autonomously manage your group virtually, in a hybrid environment and when everyone is able to meet in person.

How do I get started as a User Group Leader?

Click here to start a survey to get your group registered as an Azure Data Tech Group.

Check out the FAQs to see if your group qualifies.

Next Steps

About the author
MSSQLTips author Jeremy Kadlec Jeremy Kadlec is a Co-Founder, Editor and Author at with more than 300 contributions. He is also the CTO @ Edgewood Solutions and a six-time SQL Server MVP. Jeremy brings 20+ years of SQL Server DBA and Developer experience to the community after earning a bachelor’s degree from SSU and master’s from UMBC.

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Article Last Updated: 2021-06-22

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