Implementing Microsoft Fabric to Rise Above Ceaseless Data Challenges

Managing data at a proprietary level is an ongoing challenge of the cloud and AI era. A mixture of data issues du jour—from data silos to a lack of data governance and quality initiatives, sheer data volume and velocity, security and compliance, and more—have put enterprises in every industry in complex, hard-to-manage pitfalls.

Today’s pervasive data conditions have led to the development of solutions such as the Microsoft Fabric, a comprehensive, AI-powered analytics solution that simplifies data management as well as data movement, data science, real-time analytics, and business intelligence. Centering a unified experience, Microsoft Fabric transforms data estates while reducing the cost and efforts of integration, governance, and security.

In the latest DBTA webinar—Microsoft Fabric Essentials and Modernization Pathways—Tobin Thankachen, lead architect, data management at Datavail—Microsoft’s solution partner—offered their expertise on Microsoft Fabric, answering viewers’ questions while demonstrating how it works and the modernization pathways fit for organizations' unique architectures.

To contextualize their presentation, Thankachen explored the basics of data transformation, explaining that, “as we hear over and over again, transformations can have amazing benefits for companies who get it right,” where these companies achieved:

  • 54% increase in revenue performance
  • 44% faster time-to-market
  • 62% improvement in customer satisfaction
  • 54% increased profit results

Being the company that does it “right” is the catch—achieving these benefits comes with challenges, Thankachen noted. According to Accenture and Gartner studies on data management, over 91% of leaders reported that their organizations have increased investment in data and analytics, yet only 32% reported being able to realize tangible value from data and analytics.

Analytics and tech tacks are massively complex and fragmented—complicated by innumerable subsystems and product classes, multiple vendors, fragile, complex integrations, and so on—which prevents data management initiatives from shaping. According to Thankachen, modernizing your enterprise’s data and analytics platform is the key to a resilient, “right” kind of business transformation.

This is where Microsoft Fabric takes center stage, unifying a variety of analytics services within a single, end-to-end analytics platform. Supporting services span the data lake to the business user and everything in-between—such as data integration, security, compliance, engineering, warehousing, and more—Microsoft Fabric leverages its unified data foundation, OneLake, to enable data professionals to do their best work, according to Thankachen.

Why upgrade existing workloads to Microsoft Fabric? It not only offers a wealth of organizational benefits, it addresses every aspect of an enterprise’s individual analytics needs. The simplicity of Microsoft Fabric’s business model also poses great benefit; the bill is determined by two pay-as-you-go variables—the amount of compute provisioned and the amount of storage you use.

Delving into the ever-popular topic of AI, Thankachen explained that Microsoft Fabric addresses the top pain points of every analytics role and empowers users with role-specific workloads by unifying it on a single platform. It also enables developer productivity while cultivating a more data rich-culture. Each of these transformations serves to build a strong enterprise architecture in which AI can excel.

Once covering the myriad benefits and advantages that Microsoft Fabric delivers, Thankachen transitioned to the daunting topic of upgrading existing architecture. Though stress-inducing, Thankachen offered a wide variety of upgrade pathways that an enterprise can take to seamlessly enable Microsoft Fabric, including:

  • Using Azure Databricks across the organization while using the Fabric ADL G2 Shortcuts for either Tabular or File data, allowing investments in Azure Databricks and Fabric to co-exist
  • Using Azure Databricks for data engineering and Synapse SQL Dedicated Pools for serving, enabling new Fabric experiences directly over the data lake

For the full webinar on Microsoft Fabric, including the full list of upgrade pathways, specific use cases, and more, you can view an archived version of the webinar here.