What we’ve learned building on Microsoft Fabric for Avanade’s own data

  • Posted on June 5, 2023
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes
Microsoft Fabric learning experience through Avanade’s data

This article was originally written by Avanade alum Mish Naik.

Last week, Microsoft forever changed the data landscape when it announced the arrival of Microsoft Fabric, the data and analytics platform for the pervasive AI era. And Avanade announced we were ready on day one with the Avanade offering for Microsoft Fabric, now available on the Azure Marketplace.

We believe this is a big deal for our clients. Microsoft Fabric brings together the intelligent data platform and Power BI into a single SaaS solution, infused with generative AI capabilities from data engineering features to Azure Open AI integration. It will help our clients manage their data in one unified foundation, while creating a single source of truth for all their data. Our clients will benefit from a simplified and unified architecture across data engineering, data science and BI workloads.

Avanade’s data journey
Avanade works with clients around the globe on to achieve greater value from their data, from data modernization to infusing generative AI into use cases that deliver ROI. But we’re also on a data transformation journey of our own. As Avanade grows, launches new capabilities, expands its workforce, and scales as an organization, we need to unlock more value from our own data.

Over the last 3 years we’ve been on a journey to consolidate and optimize our own data estate, moving to a modern data platform based on Microsoft’s Azure Synapse. As our business and the technology landscape has evolved, in late 2022 we took a step back to refresh our data strategy. Our evolved data strategy draws on our experience in successfully developing and executing data strategies for our clients.

With our refreshed data strategy, we set out a vision to become an intelligent, data enabled business. To achieve this, we identified themes that underpinned our vision; areas of opportunity and critical enablers (data culture and technology).

Through our data culture theme we are driving a series of changes to unlock more value from our data, this includes pivoting our data operating model to bring domain and data expertise closer together and bringing a relentless focus on business value with a data product-driven approach which requires a new culture and ways of working that elevates data value achievement.

To turn our data strategy into reality, we turned to Microsoft Fabric as a core pillar of our technology theme within the strategy. We were invited to participate in its private preview, to test and build it in our own house. We also had the opportunity to provide feedback to Microsoft on core features and considerations.

What we’ve learned building with Microsoft Fabric
As we announced last week, we didn’t just test the new data platform. Microsoft Fabric is now the technical backbone of Avanade’s internal data strategy. Our internal team was struck by the user-friendly nature of Microsoft Fabric. While Azure requires separate development, testing, and production environments, Fabric operates similarly to Power BI, offering a single environment where development, test, and production workspaces can be spun up and managed with ease.

Coupled with its core workspace framework, its simplified experience helped us build a better data environment. We seamlessly deployed data mesh-style architectures and the adopted a hub-and-spoke data model, allowing Avanade to gain business insights that better serve our evolving operating model.

Through this hub-and-spoke model, our data governance framework and Fabric we are democratising our data, enabling users to take control of their data to develop actionable insights. With Fabric’s self-service capability and focus, users can access data and sources to conduct their own complex analysis. However, when usage inevitably snowballs, a lack of control and governance can introduce many challenges. To combat this, Avanade has designed a robust governance structure and plan in place from the start to ensure we realise the return on our investment. Good governance maintains the integrity, usability, scalability and performance.

Microsoft Fabric interlocks seamlessly with the data operating model we advise to our clients and use ourselves. Through our early exposure to Fabric, and with our other well-established offerings surrounding data strategy, data product development and data governance, Avanade is building the robust foundation we need to move into the next step of data and AI solution delivery. And it doesn’t just benefit our company and our teams; Microsoft Fabric will accelerate the speed-to-value for our clients as well.

Avanade is ready today to help you evolve your data strategy with Microsoft Fabric
No other Microsoft partner can match our depth of Microsoft expertise, from data and AI to Azure and beyond.

Whether you’re exploring generative AI use cases, or considering the criteria for your next data, analytics and AI platform, Avanade data leaders are ready to help you explore what’s possible though our data modernization capabilities.

Learn more about our Microsoft Fabric offering on Azure Marketplace today.

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