It’s 2023. AI is a reality reshaping business as we know it. Specifically, recent advancements in Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) and Large Language Models (LLMs) have led to an explosion in interest and adoption of AI. A recent global survey by McKinsey saw 79% of all respondents say they have exposure to generative AI in some capacity. 22% confirmed that they regularly use it in their work.
There has also been a flurry of AI investments, the most notable being Microsoft’s $13 billion investment in OpenAI and subsequent integration of its technology with its product offerings. Microsoft also led a $1.3 billion funding round in Inflection AI, with significant participation from other tech industry leaders. The emergence of multiple AI-based business models that deliver value, efficiency, and innovation is the main contributing factor to the rapid growth of the AI market.
While AI is witnessing rapid growth, not all businesses are currently able to harness the full potential of AI. According to NewVantage’s 2023 Data and AI Executive Survey, which polled senior data executives across 100+ Fortune 1000 companies, 87.8% of represented organizations increased their investments in data and analytics in 2022, and 93.9% planned to do so in 2023. Executives are also optimistic about the outcomes of investments in data and analytics, with estimates of measurable business outcomes increasing every year.
Despite the unanimous agreement on the potential of AI in data-led outcomes for business, only 23.9% of companies characterize themselves as data-driven. A robust data culture is even more elusive, with just 20.6% reporting having one.
This telling statistic gives rise to several questions. The most important thing is – What prevents businesses from becoming entirely data-driven and AI-powered?
Detours On the Way to Effective Data Management
While challenges can vary across organizations, two commonly cited problems are siloed data and inadequate analytics tools.
Decades Worth of Fragmented Data Gold
Data is scattered across different systems, platforms, and departments, making it hard to access, integrate, and analyze.
Silos can arise for a multitude of reasons in global organizations — ranging from geographical and cultural boundaries between teams to the lack of a single, scalable source of truth for all enterprise data. Add the evolution of data infrastructure over the years, and you’ll find your business grappling with on-prem, on-cloud, and systems distributed by teams, functions, and geographies.
This unreliable and siloed data maintenance often leads to data professionals spending up to 36 hours of their workweek searching for and preparing data.
Lack of Analytics Solutions Accessible to Business Users
Humongous data sets are not easily accessible to businesses due to source fragmentation. Even data executives can still be hamstrung by outdated analytics solutions. Keeping up with the pace of decision-making in the modern industry requires solutions with good data governance and self-serve analytics. Without analytics tools that provide real-time insights, businesses rely on data experts or tools that serve outdated data. At the current pace of business, this wasted time isn’t coming back.
In the age of AI, enterprises can no longer depend on hacked-together solutions that don’t work seamlessly across the organization. They need a comprehensive data analytics solution that integrates multiple data sources and simplifies access to insights.
This capability is precisely what Microsoft Fabric promises.
Microsoft Fabric: Redefining Business Users’ Relationship with Data
Today, Microsoft announced the availability of Microsoft Fabric. This SaaS-based platform enables businesses to build, manage, and deploy AI solutions at scale. It connects data across the enterprise, delivers real-time analytics, and empowers business users with pre-built, role-tailored tools and solutions.
Microsoft Fabric empowers businesses to reduce complexity and focus on generating business insight. Crucially, it also simplifies cost management through consumption-based billing, ensuring businesses of all sizes can securely and efficiently leverage AI.
Acuvate has a long history working with Microsoft and has been selected as a trusted partner to help businesses migrate their data estate to Microsoft Fabric. Given our unique perspective, here are five reasons to consider migrating your data estate to Microsoft Fabric:
Effective Real-time Data Insights from Multiple Sources
Microsoft Fabric allows business users to access and explore data from any source. It offers an extensive suite of services, including data connectors, engineering tools, and data science and analytics workflows.
The Data Factory workload provides over 150 connectors to various data sources, supporting extensive connectivity through data flows and pipelines. In addition, Microsoft Fabric integrates Azure OpenAI Service at every layer, enabling enterprises to use AI and GPT-powered CoPilot for creating data pipelines, generating code, and building models using natural language.
Centralized Governance and Access Through OneLake
Microsoft Fabric ensures data is secure, compliant, and consistent across the enterprise. Users can define and enforce policies for data access, quality, lineage, and privacy and monitor and audit data usage and performance.
All data is preserved in a unified multi-cloud data lake called OneLake, which serves as a unified storage system. This allows data to be easily shared between users and applications. For example, Fabric users can directly access OneLake data with Excel, analyze it, and generate a PowerBI report with one click.
Simple and Scalable AI Workflows
Microsoft Fabric enables users to build, deploy, and manage AI models using various tools and frameworks.
Instead of data scientists spending their time on data collection and cleansing before they get to building models and solutions, they can use Synapse Data Science. It offers built-in machine learning capabilities. The Azure ML-powered MLFlow model. and the SynapseML Spark library help accelerate the data science workflow significantly
Pre-built Workloads for Everyone in the Data Ecosystem
Microsoft Fabric offers a range of ready-made solutions and tools to address specific business needs and scenarios. It consists of seven workloads, ranging from Data Factory and Synapse Data Science to Synapse Data Engineering, Warehousing, Analytics, and Power BI.
Each caters to different users within the data enterprise and works with each other using OneLake as their singular data source. It also features deep integration with Microsoft Purview to ensure data security and compliance.
Transparent and Effective Cost Management
Microsoft Fabric helps businesses optimize their spending on data and AI by providing flexible pricing options, pay-as-you-go models, and consumption-based billing. Trying out Microsoft Fabric is as easy as flipping a switch for PowerBI Premium subscribers. At the same time, other users can start a trial or opt for a pay-as-you-go model, depending on the required capacity. Users can also easily keep track of capacity and costs through centralized dashboards.
Microsoft Fabric presents a vision for an efficient and impactful data estate for businesses preparing for the era of AI transformation. Businesses adopting Microsoft Fabric early will lay the groundwork for a successful transition to a data-driven and AI-enabled culture.
Reinvent Your Data Estate with Acuvate. It’s Time
The possibilities of AI are yours for the taking.
A modern data estate is available on Microsoft Fabric.
What stands between your transition into a truly data-driven enterprise is a safe and reliable migration to Microsoft Fabric.
Global organizations have already leveraged Acuvate’s in-house accelerator Optimum for data migrations of various scales safely and reliably. With our close collaboration with Microsoft, we are nearing the launch of a dedicated program for Microsoft Fabric customers. Watch this space for more news on this.
To get an early start, book a call with Acuvate’s data migration experts today.