If your organization is storing, moving, transforming, or rendering data, you’ll need a reliable data stack. One of the most powerful data stacks on the market today is Azure.

The Microsoft data stack offers a variety of useful tools that will help you do more with your data. Here’s a look at all of the neat things you can do with Azure…

What is a Data Stack and Why Do You Need It?

A data stack is a broad collection of tools and technologies that help organizations store and manage data. Some of these technologies function together and have similar use cases, while others are very different from each other. A data stack is very flexible and designed to provide a wide range of enterprise solutions.

As your organization grows, you’ll want to bring all of your data from different sources together, which is where a data stack comes in handy. A data stack will help your entire team work more efficiently because everyone quickly accesses the data they need to get the job done.

Additionally, using a data stack allows you to allocate resources to your data more intelligently. You can set up tools designed for handling and automating large quantities of data, rather than managing everything manually.

Why Choose the Microsoft Data Stack?

There are many different solutions out there, so why choose the Microsoft data stack over other data stacks?

Azure, which is Microsoft’s cloud solution, is very user-friendly right from the beginning. There are many advanced data tools that require a team of developers to set up, but Azure comes ready to use.

Even though Azure is user-friendly, it still offers advanced features and customization options, so you can adjust the data stack to fit your organization’s unique needs. Overall, Azure offers an excellent balance of accessibility and technological capabilities.

Common Azure Use Cases

The Azure landscape is very broad, and there are many different ways that users can leverage this technology. Here are some of the Azure use cases that we feel provide organizations with maximum value.

Data Lakehouse

Azure offers a data lakehouse, which combines the features of a data lake and a data warehouse.

A data lake is a centralized storage location for raw data, but it doesn’t store data in a uniform or organized way. A data warehouse is a system that integrates your data, making it available for reporting and other business intelligence uses.

A data lakehouse combines the benefits of a lake and warehouse. Data lakehouse pros include:

  • Generating BI from unstructured data
  • Providing a simple yet cost-effective data system
  • Offering economical data storage
  • Granting direct access to timely data insights
  • Allowing more efficient data governance
  • Decreasing data movement
  • Reducing redundancy

Data Structure

Another Azure advantage involves data structure. You want to structure your data so that all data talks to one another.

This is extremely important for the end user because someone can go in, and just frankly, ask questions about this data structure without having to understand a lot about technology. It’s pre-baked for reporting and allows people easy access to answer questions.

Data Transformations

Another great use case is Azure’s data transformations, which allow you to automate many aspects of data management.

We often see enterprise teams store their data processes in shared Excel files or even in emails with CSV attachments. This can be difficult to keep track of and requires plenty of manual management. With Azure, we can take the business logic that you are already using in these Excel files or other existing processes and teach that to the system.

Tools like Azure Data Factory allow us to undertake these transformations in an automated fashion so that we can free up our humans to think.

How Does Collectiv Help with Azure?

Collectiv is known as a Power BI strategy and consulting firm, but we actually offer support across the entire Microsoft data stack. Almost all of our consultants have expertise in Azure Data Factory, SQL, Synapse, Python, and more.

If you’re struggling with Azure, Collectiv’s Visioning Program helps you put together exactly what you need so you have a game plan for execution. If you already know what you need to do within Azure, but don’t have the time or the resources to execute it, Collectiv can provide support in this area as well.