Category Archives: Accelerate your insights

ICYMI: Data platform momentum

The last couple months have seen the addition of several new products that extend Microsoft’s data platform offerings.  

At the end of January, Quentin Clark outlined his vision for the complete data platform, exploring the various inputs that are driving new application patterns, new considerations for handling data of all shapes and sizes, and ultimately changing the way we can reveal business insights from data.

 In February, we announced the general availability of Power BI for Office 365, and you heard from Kamal Hathi about how this exciting release simplifies business intelligence and how features like Power BI sites and Power BI Q&A, Power BI helps anyone, not just experts, gain value from their data. You also heard from Quentin Clark about how Power BI helps make big data work for everyone by bringing together easy access to data, robust tools that everyone can use, and a complete data platform.

In March, we announced that SQL Server 2014 would be general available beginning April 1, and shared how companies are already taking advantage of in-memory capabilities and hybrid cloud scenarios that SQL Server enables. Shawn Bice explored the platform continuum, and how with this latest release, developers can continue to use SQL Server on-premises while also dipping their toes into the possibilities with the cloud using Microsoft Azure. Additionally, Microsoft Azure HDInsight was made generally available to support Hadoop 2.2, making it easy to deploy Hadoop in the cloud.

 And earlier this month at the Accelerate your insights event in San Francisco, CEO Satya Nadella discussed Microsoft’s drive towards a data culture. In addition, we announced two other key capabilities to extend the robustness of our data platform: the Analytics Platform System, an evolution of the Parallel Data Warehouse with the addition of a Hadoop region for your unstructured data, and then a preview of the Microsoft Azure Intelligent Systems Service to help tap into the Internet of Your Things. In case you missed it, watch the keynotes on-demand, and don’t miss out on experiencing the Infinity Room, to inspire you with the extraordinary things that can be found in your data.

On top of our own announcements, we’ve been recently honored to be recognized by Gartner as a Leader in the 2014 Magic Quadrants for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems and Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms. And SQL Server 2014, in partnership with Hewlett Packard, set two world records for data warehousing performance and price/performance.

With these enhancements across the entire Microsoft data platform, there is no better time than now to dig in. Learn more about our data platform offerings. Brush up on your technical skills for free on the Microsoft Virtual Academy. Connect with other SQL Server experts through the PASS community. Hear from Microsoft’s engineering leaders about Microsoft’s approach to developing the latest offerings. Read about the architecture of data-intensive applications in the cloud computing world from Mark Souza, which one commenter noted was a “great example for the future of application design/architecture in the Cloud and proof that the toolbox of the future for Application and Database Developers/DBAs is going to be bigger than the On-Prem one of the past.” And finally, come chat in-person – we’ll be hanging out at the upcoming PASS Business Analytics and TechEd events and are eager to hear more about your data opportunities, challenges, and of course, successes.

What can your data do for you?

Customers using Microsoft technologies to accelerate their insights

At yesterday’s Accelerate your insights event in San Francisco, we heard from CEO Satya Nadella, COO Kevin Turner and CVP Quentin Clark about how building a data culture in your company is critical to success. By combining data-driven DNA with the right analytics tools, anyone can transform data into action.

Many companies, and many of our customers, are already experiencing the power of data – taking advantage of the fastest performance for their critical apps, and revealing insights from all their data, big and small.

Since SQL Server 2014 was released to manufacturing in April we’ve seen many stories featuring the new technical innovations in the product.  In-memory transaction processing (In-Memory OLTP), speeds up an already very fast experience by delivering speed improvement of typically up to 30x.  Korean entertainment giant CJ E&M is using In-Memory OLTP to attract more customers for its games by holding online giveaway events for digital accessories like character costumes and decorations soon after each game is released.   When it ran tests in an actual operational environment for one of its most popular games, the results were that SQL Server 2014 delivered 35-times-faster performance over the 2012 version in both batch requests per second and I/O throughput. 

SQL Server 2014 also delivers enhanced performance to data warehouse storage and query performance – NASDAQ OMX is using the In-Memory Columnstore for a particular system which handles billions of transactions per day, multiple petabytes of online data and has single tables with quintillions of records of business transactions.  They have seen storage reduced by 50% and some query times reduced from days to minutes. 

Lufthansa Systems is using the hybrid features of SQL 2014 to anticipate customer needs for high-availability and disaster-recovery solutions.  It has piloted the combined power of Microsoft SQL Server 2014 and Windows Azure has led to even faster and fuller data recovery, reduced costs, and the potential for a vastly increased focus on customer service and solutions, compared with the company’s current solutions.

Growth in data volumes provides multiple challenges and opportunities.  For executives and researchers at Oslo University Hospital providing ease of access to data is important.  Using Power BI for Office 365, they can analyze data in hours rather than months, collaborate with colleagues around the country, and avoid traditional BI costs.  For Virginia Tech the data deluge presents challenges for researchers in the life sciences where new types of unstructured data types from gene sequencing machines are generating petabytes of data.  They are using the power of the cloud with Microsoft Azure HDInsight to not only analyzing data faster, but analyzing it more intelligently and which may in the future provide cures for cancer.  For The Royal Bank of Scotland handling multiple terabytes of data and an unprecedented level of query complexity more efficiently led them to use the power of the Analytics Platform System (formerly Parallel Data Warehouse).  As a result, it gained near-real-time insight into customers’ business needs as well as emerging economic trends, cut a typical four-hour query to less than 15 seconds, and simplified deployment. 

Whether you’ve already built a data culture in your organization, or if you’re new to exploring how you can turn insights into action, try the latest enhancements to these various technologies: SQL Server 2014, Power BI for Office 365, Microsoft Azure HDInsight, and the Microsoft Analytics Platform System.

Tune in tomorrow and accelerate your insights

Tomorrow’s the day! Tune in to hear from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, COO Kevin Turner, and Data Platform Group CVP Quentin Clark about Microsoft’s approach to data, and how the latest advancements in technology can help you transform data into action.

Who should watch?

Join us tomorrow morning at 10AM PDT if you like data or want to learn more about it. If you store it, you manage it, you explore it, you slice and dice it, you analyze it, you visualize it, you present it, or if you make decisions based on it. If you’re architecting data solutions or deciding on the best data technology for your business. If you’re a DBA, business analyst, data scientist, or even just a data geek on the side, join the live stream.

What will I hear about?

Data infrastructure. Data tools. And ultimately, the power of data. From finding the connections that could cure cancer, to predicting the success of advertising campaigns, data can do incredible things. Join us online and get inspired. You’ll see how your peers are putting their data, big and small, to work.

From a product perspective, we’ll celebrate the latest advancements in SQL Server 2014, Power BI for Office 365, SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse, and Microsoft Azure HDInsight. And ultimately, we’ll explore how these offerings can help you organize, analyze, and make sense of your data – no matter the size, type, or location.

Where do I sign up?

Mark your calendar now or RSVP on Facebook so you’re ready to go tomorrow. When streaming goes live, you can join us here for all the action live from San Francisco.

When do things get started?

Tomorrow, April 15, at 10AM PDT. Be there.

See you tomorrow!

Join us on April 15 and Accelerate Your Insights

Mark your calendar now to join us online on April 15 for the Accelerate your insights event, streaming live from San Francisco, California at 10:00 AM PDT.

Wondering what your data can do for you? Join us to online find out how to drive your business in real-time, from apps to insights. You’ll hear from several of Microsoft’s top executives, including Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, and Corporate Vice President of the Data Platform Group, Quentin Clark.

Save the date to watch the keynotes streamed live on 4/15:

–        Mark your calendar

–        RSVP on Facebook

Join us as we share Microsoft’s data platform vision, and how the latest advancements in our data technologies can help you transform data into action.

See you there.