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Gain deeper insights with Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform

Posted on August 17, 2022

Product Marketing Manager Intern

Data is foundational to any digital transformation strategy, yet many organizations struggle to understand what data they have, how to extract insights from it, and how to govern it—according to a 2022 Evanta survey1, over half of Chief Data Officers (CDOs) struggle with siloed operating models when it comes to data sharing and democratization. According to Harvard Business Review2, organizations that have embraced their data as a strategic asset have been better positioned to drive strategic differentiation and grow their revenue, but the fragmentation that exists today between databases, analytics, and governance is a common barrier to success.

The Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform, empowers organizations to invest more time creating value rather than integrating and managing their data estate. It integrates best-in-class solutions across Microsoft’s technology stack—breaking down data siloes and enabling organizations to extract real-time insights with the data governance needed to run the business safely.

“Shifting from a legacy on-premises data warehouse to Azure Synapse, supported by Datometry, has allowed us to virtualize the vast majority of our code without needing to repoint it. We have gained speed, performance, and agility while reducing costs and taken a big step forward in modernizing our enterprise data storage and management.”—Charlotte Lock, Director of Data, Digital & Loyalty at Co-op.

A blue screen with three panels titled Databases, Insights and Governance highlighting the three product suites making up the intelligent data platform. Under Databases is SQL, Cosmos DB, PostgreSQL, and MySQL, under Insights is Azure Synapse Analytics, Power BI, and Databricks, and Under Governance is Microsoft Purview.

Added security and analytics features for the Azure data portfolio

The Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform features everything already available in the Azure Data portfolio (Azure Data Factory, Azure Data Explorer, SQL Server 2022, Azure SQL, Cosmos DB, and more.) as well as new products and features, including SQL Server 2022, Azure Synapse Link for SQL, Microsoft Purview Data Estate Insights, and Datamart in Power BI:

A blue background showing a SQL database connected to Azure Synapse Link products: Logistics, IoT Telemetry, Orders, and ML output.

  • SQL Server 2022, currently in preview, is the most secure database of the last decade. And is now integrated with Microsoft Purview and Azure Synapse Link, allowing for richer insights and governance from data at scale. SQL Server 2022 also comes with new features including AWS S3 support, Azure Active Directory authentication, Query Store hints, as well as security improvements compared to SQL Server 2019.
  • Azure Synapse Link for SQL, now in preview, offers real-time analytics for data stored in Azure Synapse Analytics and Azure SQL. It is an automated system that allows for replication of data from transactional databases (both SQL Server 2022 and Azure SQL Database) to a dedicated SQL pool in Azure Synapse Analytics. Azure Synapse Link features near real-time analytics, low-code/no-code solutions for replicating data, as well as minimal operational impact on source systems.
  • Purview Data Estate Insights is an application that provides Chief Data Officers and other strategic leaders with a summary of their data estate and the risk associated with that data. Purview provides insights on data stewardship, inventory, curation, and governance through automatically generated reports which can be easily shared with stakeholders.
  • Lastly, Datamart in Power BI allows analysts to access richer insights from their data sets through data marts. Datamarts are self-service analytic solutions that help to bridge the gap between business users through a simple and optionally no-code experience. With datamarts, you can easily ingest and prepare data, add business semantics to data, manage and govern data, as well as build and share reports.

Real-world applications for businesses through real-time data

Let’s explore one example of how the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform helped navigate supply chain issues:

Many operations companies conduct daily batch runs, where they must manually track their inventory levels and input the data at least once a day. With this method, these organizations cannot accurately predict how much product to sell and must err on the side of selling less to avoid running out of inventory. In times when supply chains are uncertain, this means companies miss out on even more sales.

A screenshot of the Relecloud inventory management tool showing current stock levels of different products and how many of these products are available for sale..

A screenshot of the Relecloud demand monitoring tool showing on a map where demand is highest through circles of varying sizes, a pie chart of how demand is broken down by region, and a graph of sales over time.

With the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform, companies can get real-time information on current inventory levels, rather than a daily report. They can also extract AI-driven insights based on demand spikes, shipping delays, and factory status that predict how many units will be available in a week’s time. This information is supported by the upgraded SQL Server 2022 as well as Azure Synapse Link for SQL server, which allows for more on-premises data to be extended to the cloud, analyzed, and used for decision making.

A screenshot of the Relecloud tool with a recommendation of which Relecloud product to choose as well as popular categories of products.

But what about using data for customer-facing solutions? The Microsoft Intelligent Data platform leverages the CosmosDB platform, providing consumers with recommendations for the best product based on real-time availability of units, delivery time, and compatibility with their needs. Consumers also have access to a support number powered by Power Virtual Agents; through Conversational AI, consumers can get intelligent updates on their order status so they can get the information they need quickly.

Learn more

These applications are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform. Learn more about the platform and how to get started—and make sure to watch the entire episode of the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform Mechanics video, where we cover the technology and sample scenario, by clicking the linked image below!

Click to watch.

 


 

Sources:

1Top 3 Goals & Challenges for CDOs in 2022, evanta.com.

2How to Lead a Data-Driven Digital Transformation, hbr.org.