Every company should have a basic understanding of how, what, and where its data is stored, as well as how to protect and handle it responsibly. The right data and analytics strategy is key to business transformation, but only 20% of business leaders believe their organization is capable of it.
They may be right. Recent allegations of security issues on Twitter hinted that it might also have data management issues: the product sales team found an interesting set of data and started using it for targeted ads, without even checking where and how it was obtained. data. or they should have had access to it.
This is exactly what a data platform is supposed to help with, but it also has to deal with multiple versions of the data stored in different places and in different ways to make sure the right people in the business are getting the right data to help make decisions.
“If you don’t know what data you have, then you don’t really know what your future is as a business, so you really need to get it right,” said Shariff Mansoor, general manager of data, artificial intelligence and mixed reality at Microsoft. .
The way Microsoft offers you to achieve this data governance is through a comprehensive database storage, analytics, and management offering it calls the Intelligent Data Platform.
Intelligent Data Platform integrates data services
The parts that make up the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform are services that you may already be using as it includes all key Microsoft data services such as SQL Server 2022, Azure SQL, Cosmos DB, Azure Synapse, Microsoft Purview and more . But you probably don’t use them together as well as you could; The Intelligent Data Platform is designed to make this task easier.
“These are best-in-class services that we consider the three pillars of the data platform,” Mansour explained.
Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform offers services for databases and operational data warehousing, analytics and data management, providing authorized users with information that will enable them to properly understand, manage and manage their business data, Mansoor said.
“Historically, customers have thought about each of these areas independently, and an intelligent data platform brings all of these pieces together,” said Mansour.
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The integration of databases, analytics, and management is nothing new either, but the point of presenting this platform is to put the emphasis on simplifying the user experience. Mansoor argues that the Intelligent Data Platform enables businesses to be much more productive, instead of wasting time on the tasks of collecting disparate data for analysis, they can devote their time to meeting the needs of their business.
He suggested that even customers who can integrate various components want Microsoft to do more work for them.
“We hear time and time again from clients that they go beyond finding point solutions,” said Mansour. “It’s not just about the database or updating an outdated device; they really need to take a much more holistic, holistic approach to managing the entire body of data.
“They’re thinking about how to get the information they need from all the data.”
And with Mansour’s “staggering” statistic claiming that 68% of data is not analyzed or used in analytics, companies are looking for a solution that will help them “uncover information that was previously very difficult to obtain.”
Intelligent Data Platform offers business flexibility, not just the cloud
Just because it’s called a platform doesn’t mean it’s all about cloud computing. Nearly all organizations expect the cloud to be an important part of how they store data in the future, Mansour said, but an intelligent data platform is about more than moving data to the cloud. It’s about flexibility.
“It’s not just about moving to the cloud, it’s about managing your data wherever it is,” said Mansour. “We offer Azure SQL Edge so you can manage your data even at the edge with the same consistent platform.”
Moreover, Synapse Link is one of the new features of SQL Server 2022 and is a key part of the new data platform that started in the cloud.—first in Azure Cosmos DB and then in Dataverse for Dynamics and Power Platform.
By incorporating Synapse Link into its services, the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform is about to connect operational data stores and analytics data sources that have traditionally been separated. As a result, Mansoor says, businesses can get more insightful insights and analyze data “within seconds of registering a transaction in your operational store.”
“Today, no one in the market offers this functionality,” said Mansour. “Because all of these services are proprietary offerings, we have the ability to provide such deep integration and take advantage of these ideas without affecting operating systems.—because obviously you don’t want to influence it. Because we have such a comprehensive data platform, we can highlight these new opportunities.”
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However, before these insights can be useful, companies need to know what data they need to analyze and who needs it, which can be difficult for organizations with large amounts of data. But with Microsoft Purview as part of the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform, businesses will be able to “determine what data you have, and that’s the first step along the way,” Mansour said.
In addition to managing who gets access, you can also start thinking about where the data comes from and where it goes.
While traditional data warehouses are still useful, many organizations are looking for more flexible and flexible options for analytics, such as Power BI, which has a new data mart feature that makes it easier for users to get insights from data without having to involve IT for configuration. for them.
“This is not about giving this information to a few select people living in one corner of the organization; it’s about giving everyone in your organization critical information and the ability to make decisions much faster and faster,” said Mansour.
Power BI has hundreds of connectors to pass data for analysis, but the Intelligent Data Platform can do more of this work for you.
“We are building intelligence into the platform to proactively discover data sources that customers may need,” said Mansour. “They can search, or we can recommend data sources based on the types of queries and types of data they’re looking at and the insights they’re looking for.”
Bigger is better: Intelligent Data Platform benefits companies with large databases
Any organization will benefit from an intelligent data platform, but according to Mansoor, “Companies with large amounts of data spanning multiple environments will benefit even more. With capabilities such as Microsoft Purview and Synapse Link, and the ability to provide management capabilities across multiple environments, the more you use the platform, the more you benefit from it.”
FedEx, for example, is using a business transformation platform, using both traditional data sources and new approaches such as sensors and the Internet of Things.
“They use it today to scan millions of packets a day, billions of transactions. They developed their own machine learning models to provide a really deep understanding of the context,” said Mansour. “They have also taken it one step further and established what they call the intelligent edge, collecting massive amounts of IoT (Internet of Things) data from devices and autonomous systems to provide even more insight.
“They are using it to gain a much deeper understanding, a much better way to manage the movement of their shipments, take corrective actions within minutes, and manage their data wherever it is. For them, it’s about moving to the next level of understanding, beyond the traditional data warehouse, to really get a lot more signals in their business so they can be a lot more agile and better responsive to their customers.”
Even if you don’t have to build a system as powerful as FedEx, an intelligent data platform can make it easier to discover opportunities that might be hidden in the data you’re already collecting.
“It’s about understanding what data you have, managing it the right way, and getting the right information at the right time,” Mansour explained. “If we’ve learned anything in the last couple of years, it’s that in order for businesses to survive and thrive in today’s environment, you have to put data at the heart of everything you do and companies that do much better.”