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Organizations today must embrace a data-driven culture or risk being left behind. A recent Harvard Business Review survey found organizations with data-driven cultures improve revenue by four times and unlock rich insights to drive meaningful business transformation and customer satisfaction.

As organizations evolve, new tools and resources are needed to enable them to harness the power of their data anywhere and to build a data-driven culture.

Transform data into insights

A data-driven culture requires the ability to derive timely and accurate business insights across all data. Modern organizations require analytics services that aren’t limited by data types, processing engines, organizational boundaries, or data skills.

Today, we announced Azure Synapse Analytics, a limitless analytics service that brings together enterprise data warehousing and big data analytics with a unified experience to ingest, prepare, manage, and serve data for immediate BI and machine learning needs. We have evolved the same industry-leading SQL Data Warehouse to a new level of performance and capabilities. Organizations can continue running existing data warehouse workloads in production today with Azure Synapse Analytics and will automatically benefit from new capabilities which are in preview.

The deepest insights often emerge when organizations enrich their data with that of their customers and partners. Today, Microsoft Azure Data Share is generally available, enabling simple data sharing across organizational boundaries. Organizations can maintain a single pane of glass over all data sharing relationships, easily specify terms of use, and manage data access in an open and secure way.

Finally, data flows in Azure Data Factory transform Azure Data Factory into a truly comprehensive extract, transform, and load (ETL) offering with code-free and code-first data ingestion, preparation, and transformation capabilities in a simple, visual interface.

Azure’s analytics services offer organizations unmatched performance to reason over all their data, while giving them the peace of mind they have come to expect from Azure around data governance, security, and compliance.

Innovation anywhere with Azure

Azure is committed to empowering organizations to build on their terms with flexibility and choice, and that includes the freedom to operate anywhere. Today’s announcement of Azure Arc enables organizations to run Azure data services anywhere, be it on-premises, multi-cloud, or edge environments. This unlocks cloud automation benefits, always up-to-date innovation, and unified management across on-premises and cloud. Azure Arc is available in preview for Azure SQL Database and Azure Database for PostgreSQL Hyperscale, with additional Azure data services coming in the future.

We are also extending the power of SQL to the edge with the preview of Azure SQL Database Edge. Azure SQL Database Edge brings data streaming, storage, full time series support, and AI capabilities to edge computing scenarios.

SQL Server keeps getting better

SQL Server 2019, now generally available, acts as the hub for an organization's entire data estate, including support for Apache Spark and Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) to create a data lake on a unified platform with AI built-in. SQL Server 2019 provides organizations with a single view to seamlessly reason over all their data, including structured, unstructured, and new data sources (Oracle, Teradata, MongoDB, and more).

As organizations think about modernizing their SQL workloads in the cloud, SQL runs best on Azure. Azure SQL Database offers a fully managed, evergreen cloud database service from the company that has developed and perfected SQL over the past 25 years. An independent GigaOm study showed Azure SQL Database as the clear leader in price-performance, with up to 86 percent cost savings versus competitors.

Future-ready innovation

Building the confidence to invest in becoming a data-driven enterprise is much easier when organizations can trust their cloud to support their innovation today and their product vision for tomorrow. Microsoft continues to invest in advancing its Azure database capabilities across SQL, NoSQL, and open source, so organizations can be future-ready.

With today’s announcement of the preview of Azure SQL Database integration with Power Apps and Azure Stream Analytics, organizations can quickly create low-code applications connected to Azure SQL Database and transform data in real-time. Azure is the only cloud with serverless SQL, with Azure SQL Database serverless now generally available, making Azure SQL Database even more cost-effective and easy to manage. The expansion of available compute and memory options on Azure SQL Database delivers even more mission-critical performance. Azure open source relational databases are future-ready with the addition of support for 20,000 IoPs, and reserved instance purchase options.

Azure Database for PostgreSQL Hyperscale, now generally available, unleashes high-performance horizontal scaling for PostgreSQL workloads requiring sub-second response times and virtually limitless storageup to 100 TBwith no need to rearchitect applications.

Finally, we continue to expand the capabilities and value of Azure Cosmos DB with the preview of autopilot mode, enabling automatic management of provisioned throughput for unpredictable or “spikey” workloads, while maintaining service-level agreements (SLAs) and high performance.

Ready to start building your data-driven culture?

When it comes to building a data-driven culture to drive meaningful outcomes within your organization, Azure has you covered with unmatched analytics, a true hybrid experience, and future-ready innovation.

Explore the full list of Microsoft Ignite announcements.

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