What do business leadership teams require from the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform? What’s different from previous implementations of the Microsoft Data Platform, and how can it help businesses? There are plenty of articles that focus on technology, but in this post, let’s take a look at innovations from the perspective of the C-suite.
Why The Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform Should Interest You
According to Gartner’s Rita Sallam, “Now is the time to anticipate, adapt and scale the value of your data and analytics (D&A) strategy by monitoring, experimenting with or aggressively investing in key D&A technology trends based on their urgency and alignment to business priorities” (Gartner, 2022).
Organizations worldwide are keen to strive for innovation with their data, but achieving harmony in the boardroom can be tricky. Some executive leaders can become very excited about the technology, and some may even focus on the technology at the expense of other factors, such as data governance. Other executives may feel overwhelmed by the pace of technological changes and have concerns that introducing new technology can also introduce potential cybersecurity threats to the organization.
Fortunately, the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform introduces changes that fulfil the needs of the executives. In summary, the Microsoft Intelligence Data Platform aligns data, governance and analytics to help executives make their data work for the business.
The Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform is a leveller for data
The Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform recasts data as simply ‘data’, regardless of its genesis or ultimate location. It allows businesses to derive value from even more business types, which is exciting progress.
The Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform is responding to industry needs by facilitating use of ‘different’ data, such as JSON, which is the most popular data interchange format in the world (Reference). The Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform helps streamline analytics efforts by allowing extensive use of big data and ‘little data’ technology held in Power BI, for example. Regardless of the data’s size or shape, the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform allows developers to query ‘different data’, such as JSON. This means that the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform is a leveller for different types of data, bringing the data into the reach of business users.
The Intelligent Data Platform simplifies data
Leaders can categorise data strategy as a technology initiative rather than supporting the business, leading to tactical rather than strategic solutions (Forbes). Nowadays, the reporting solution does not involve a simple set-up of one database serving a series of reporting client technologies, such as tactical Excel workbooks. Instead, businesses can flounder with the complexity of making all of the system’s moving parts work together in harmony as part of a data ecosystem. This effort includes working together on disciplines such as data engineering and integration, data warehousing, and analytics. This tends to be the diverging point between Executive Leadership Team members as the complexity introduces feelings of the ‘unknown’ into the Boardroom.
As businesses embark on their journey with data, they are often overwhelmed. One concern is which technology to use for what purpose and when. They are also concerned about the security dependencies between each system. Fortunately, the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform helps make business intelligence, analytics and data governance easier for organisations because it brings together all moving parts under one safe umbrella.
Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform helps to combine data and applications
The Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform combines solving business problems with helping businesses advance their ability to generate value quickly from their data. Businesses want their data ‘easy’. In other words, they want to expend effort to support business users to gain insights from their data rather than waste effort in joining data or cleaning data.
Effective data governance supports business growth
A 2020 Gartner study showed that over half of organisations lacked a formal data governance framework and a dedicated budget despite reputational and legal risks (Reference). Organisations need sufficient governance to handle their current functional challenges. However, they also need a data platform that will help them to scale and flex to respond to the changing market environment.
Businesses operating in complex political, environmental and financial markets and governance programs need to respond quickly to balance these challenges while meeting the governance goals. Additionally, the pandemic has further underlined the pressing demand for cross-functional solid collaboration and readiness to change organisational structures to achieve business model agility.
Connected governance with the Microsoft Intelligence Data Platform
Use connected governance to establish a virtual D&A governance layer across business functions and geographies to achieve desired cross-enterprise business outcomes. Executives need to look across the whole organisation, ensuring that each part contributes as it should. Cybersecurity and data governance are enormous responsibilities that executives need to carry. Fortunately, Azure Purview provides further opportunities to make it easier for businesses to capitalise on their data while helping them to meet compliance needs in a sensitive environment.
Worldwide governance with the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform
Using Microsoft Azure means businesses are taking the opportunity to deploy Microsoft’s governance in line with the laws and regulations in different countries worldwide. Through Azure Purview, businesses can receive insights and lineage of data to align policy management to meet the needs of teams worldwide.
From the executive perspective, there is a need to be the guardians of responsibility when it comes to cybersecurity initiatives. The effort is extensive, requiring analysis and data governance that may extend across all the organisation’s SQL assets and data estate.
Intelligently combining operational and analytics capabilities
How much is too much data? Who is looking after it, and who decides what they can gain from it? Businesses need analytics for their SQL operational data, often involving a great deal of technical expertise.
The Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform meets the need for data to be ‘easy’ by introducing the Synapse Link for SQL, melding data between operational and analytics data seamlessly. Business users can have their data displayed in near real-time because SQL Server 2022 includes the next generation of Intelligent Query Processing (IQP) capabilities based on typical customer challenges.
There is a range of significant innovations in the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform that help executive teams make better decisions by putting the three pillars of data, governance and analytics in one place.