Microsoft, a leader in the technology industry, recently announced the launch of Microsoft Fabric, a comprehensive analytics solution that promises to revolutionise the way businesses store, manage and analyse their data; in turn, streamlining their data processes so businesses can extract timely and valuable insights, more efficiently.
In this blog, we will take a closer look at Microsoft Fabric and explore its features and benefits as well as discussing our thoughts. So, whether you’re a data scientist, analyst, or business leader, we’re here to demonstrate how it can help you unlock the full potential of your data.
So, let’s get to it.
What is Microsoft Fabric?
Microsoft Fabric is a comprehensive, all-in-one data analytics solution that encompasses a whole suite of data services, including data engineering & transformation, data science, real-time analytics, and business intelligence. It brings together the suite of existing products within the Microsoft stack, such as Data Factory, Power BI, and Synapse, to deliver a seamlessly unified experience that serves your end-to-end analytical needs.
By integrating a variety of different data services, Fabric offers a simplified user experience which can be customised based on each business’ needs and therefore eliminates the need for multiple vendors. It also enables businesses to centralise their admin and governance whilst providing users with a familiar and easy-to-learn experience.
What Are The Key Features?
#1 Data Lake
One of the key features of Microsoft Fabric is its data lake, also known as OneLake.
OneLake provides a centralised repository for all enterprise data and is the foundation of all services available on Fabric. By providing a unified storage solution, data scientists and analysts can more easily access and analyse data from various sources, including structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data.
Microsoft Fabric’s data lake is designed to handle massive amounts of data, making it an ideal solution for businesses with large volumes of data, whilst also simplifying the management of big data.
#2 Data Engineering
Another important feature of Microsoft Fabric is its data engineering capabilities. With Microsoft Fabric, businesses can design, build and maintain infrastructures, allowing them to more easily transform and process their data, in turn making it easier to analyse and derive insights.
Additionally, Microsoft Fabric provides a range of other data engineering capabilities, including:
- Creating and managing data lakehouses
- Designing data pipelines that feed in to your lakehouse
- Using notebooks to write code for data ingestion, preparation and transformation
All in all, these engineering capabilities allow businesses to better prepare their data for analysis.
#3 Business Intelligence
Microsoft is already widely known for their popular business intelligence and data visualisation tool, Power BI, so it will come as no surprise that real-time analytics and BI has been incorporated into the features of Fabric.
This capability enables users to:
- Monitor and analyse data in real-time
- Build interactive dashboards
- Manage ad hoc reporting
- Implement predictive analytics
- And much more.
This feature helps businesses to gain real-time valuable insights into their operations so they can make more informed decisions and can respond quickly to changes in the market.
#4 Co-Pilot and Data Activator
Another exciting feature of Microsoft Fabric is the integration of the newly announced Copilot and Data Activator.
Copilot is Microsoft’s new artificial intelligence tool that can aid productivity by automating repetitive tasks, writing code, creating visualisations, summarising insights, and much more.
Data Activator is a no-code tool for analysing data and then automating alerts & actions off the back of those insights. This could include notifying sales managers when inventory dips below a certain threshold, alerting finance teams when a customer is in arrears with their payments, or automatically creating support tickets if an error is triggered.
Our Thoughts on Microsoft Fabric
Now that we’ve explored some of the key features of Microsoft Fabric, we’re going to give you the run-down of what we think of this new unified platform.
- One interface to access all components of Fabric
- Existing knowledge of Microsoft products can be utilised
- Strong, centralised governance of data access
- Git integration for robust source control
- Simplified billing
Whilst we’re big fans of the Microsoft technology stack, we won’t deny that there are a few contrasting elements that need ironing out before Microsoft Fabric has our full backing.
Firstly, the application has a few bugs which impacts the user experience – no doubt due to the sheer amount of integrated services and level of capacity, but something we imagine will be resolved as the uptake increases and it’s phased out of preview.
Whilst the promise of exciting AI features is enticing, a lot of these features are not yet available which is a little disappointing given the current AI-hype and market-eagerness to leverage these types of tools.
Lastly, stand-alone Microsoft Fabric is currently only available on a pay-as-you-go basis, making it a more expensive option and therefore a less feasible option for businesses that are more price sensitive. Later this year ‘reserved capacity’ SKUs are due which will bring down the cost of dedicated computer resources.
Get In Contact
Overall, Microsoft Fabric is a great unified analytics solution if you’re looking for a system that offers a suite of services for data processing, analysis, and visualisation, all in one place. And, with features like Copilot, Data Activator and the integration of Power BI, there’s no doubt it will make it much easier, and more streamlined, for businesses to extract valuable insights from their data. Microsoft Fabric is certainly something we’ll be keeping our eye on as it’s phased out of preview and more readily available.
If you’d like to find out more about Microsoft Fabric, or how you can leverage other Microsoft products to advance your data capabilities, then get in touch with the team today.