Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Azure Analysis Services

Microsoft development team has been introduced the public preview of Microsoft Azure Analysis Services to their data platform in the cloud. Azure Analysis services is based on the established analytics engine in SQL Server Analysis Services and offered as a fully managed platform-as-a-service (PaaS).
In a simple words “Azure Analysis Services is an enterprise grade OLAP engine and BI modeling platform which enables developers and BI professionals to create BI Semantic Models that can power highly interactive and rich analytical experiences in BI tools (such as Power BI and Excel) and custom applications”.

With Azure Analysis Services, a BI professional can create a semantic model over the raw data and share it with business users so that all they need to do is connect to the model and immediately explore the data and gain insights. Azure Analysis Services uses a highly optimized in-memory engine to provide responses to user queries at the "speed of thought".

Advantages of Azure Analysis Services
Microsoft stated that it is based on the established analytics engine in SQL Server Analysis Services. So, it gives the following advantages:
  1. Get started quickly without managing infrastructure – We can create and deploy an Analysis Services instance by using the Azure Resource Manager within seconds  and no need to the burden of managing infrastructure.
  2. Scale resources to match your business needs - We can scale up and scale down the cost based on the business requirement as well as pause the service.
  3. Transform complex data into one version of the truth – The feature provides a facility to combine data from multiple sources into a single destination, trusted BI semantic model that is easy to understand and use. Enable self-service and data discovery for business users by simplifying the view of data by using our favourite data visualization tool. It is underlying structure and delivers our BI solution with confidence.
  4. Match performance to the speed of business – It is capable to reduce time-to-insights on large and complex datasets means BI(data visualization) solution can meet the needs of the business users. It provides secured access, anytime, from anywhere and users can connect to real-time operational data using DirectQuery and closely watch the pulse of customers business.
  5. Accelerate time to delivery - It ensures only authorised users can access our data models, no matter where they are, with role-based security in a predictable and secured manner.
  6. Develop in a familiar environment – It is capable to focus on solving business problems, not learning new skills, when we use the familiar, rich, and integrated development environment of Visual Studio. Easily deploy our existing SQL Server 2016 tabular models to the cloud.

Why Azure Analysis Services?
The success of any modern data-driven organization requires that information is available at the fingertips of every business user (not just IT professionals and data scientists) to guide their day-to-day decisions. Self-service BI tools have made huge strides in making data accessible to business users. However, most business users don’t have the expertise or desire to do the heavy lifting that is typically required to find the right sources of data, consume the raw data and transform it into the right shape, add business logic and metrics, and finally explore the data to derive insights. 

Reference: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/blog/introducing-azure-analysis-services-preview/

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