A Guide to Azure Synapse Analytics
*With the collaboration of Eduardo Matallanas
As data becomes increasingly important in the business world, the tools that manage and analyze it gain corresponding relevance. This is the case of Microsoft’s Azure Synapse Analytics, which integrates several data management and storage options in order to help business intelligence to obtain new business opportunities or improve company processes.
What is Azure Synapse Analytics?
Azure Synapse Analytics is a versatile tool from Microsoft used to ingest, store and analyze data from various sources of origin. Therefore, within this service, all this information is analyzed to impact the different business processes and grow the business. In addition, since part of the information is processed inside, it can be used to further increase its value in services for the creation of machine learning models.
According to Microsoft, through Azure analytics, you get information up to 380% faster and at a 49% lower cost than with other cloud providers. In addition, thanks to the constant improvement of the product, we can find the latest news and always with transparent management, so that the user only has to worry about their data.
Azure Synapse contains a number of tools that allow the user to perform any type of operation on the data quickly and easily. It features connections for different data sources and origins. In addition, you can get the most out of it thanks to the incorporation of:
- SQL for business data storage
- Spark to improve the performance of big data analysis applications
- Data Explorer for analyzing time series and log information
In fact, it incorporates pipelines to assist in data integration and facilitate ETL/ELT processes. Also, it offers numerous integrations with other Azure services such as Power BI, CosmosDB, and AzureML.
When to use Azure Synapse Analytics
Some possible applications of Azure Synapse suggested by Microsoft are:
- Improving factories’ productivity by analyzing data concentrated in a single place, with a complete view of the supply chain.
- Enhance the storage of patients’ data by linking the information to disease symptoms, therefore being able to recommend treatment.
- Real-time analysis of customer data to improve customer care and provide them with the help they need at all times.
- Fight the fraud that can be incurred with customers’ money, as the application instantly detects fraud in customer accounts through automatic and continuous monitoring of data.
Azure Synapse Architecture
They help to ‘model’ in a simpler and faster way the company’s data. These templates have industry-specific schemas with tables, columns, and relationships on operational, commercial, or transactional data. In addition, they are customized for different businesses: banking, insurance, retail…
According to Product Management Leadership for Azure Synapse Analytics at Microsoft, Santosh Balasubramanian, the advantages of database templates include:
- Accelerate the time needed in order to obtain information based on specific schemas for different industries
- Identify opportunities in the current business data model
- Unify data and query all data from a single site (Synapse Studio)
- Create a well-formed Data Lake, ready for analysis at scale
- Give more value to data using Azure Machine Learning and Azure Cognitive Services
- Develop reports easily using Power BI
Once you choose a database template, you access an editor where you configure tables, columns or relationships. Data connectors (Azure Synapse has more than 90 built-in connectors to take data from SaaS applications) help any source to be loaded directly into your database. From there, different insights or analysis based on machine learning models are elaborated to obtain conclusions that help the business.
The components that are part of this environment include the following:
Synapse Studio is the workspace for creating data analysis solutions quickly and clearly. In the company’s words, it manages the “preparation, administration, exploration and storage of data, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence“. The interface is based on trying to provide value by abstracting the person from a certain technical knowledge to facilitate its use through a no-code environment.
Synapse SQL offers a T-SQL query system for data storage and visualization, extending the possibility of real-time and machine learning scenarios.
Azure Synapse Pathway
Azure Synapse Pathway is the tool to migrate different databases, both local and cloud, to Azure Synapse Analytics. This tool helps to simplify the code translation process: in just a few minutes, without manual rewriting, you can do it with thousands of lines.
Security in Azure Synapse Analytics
Security in Azure Synapse Analytics is an important and very prominent part that gives the product a complete view. The tool has an automated threat detection and data encryption system in constant operation, such as encrypting columns and hidden data in real-time automatically. In addition, there are tamper-evident alerts. Moreover, backups are also automated.
Azure SQL vs. Azure Synapse
Microsoft itself clarifies that “what was called Azure Synapse Analytics (formerly SQL DW) is now called dedicated SQL group (formerly SQL Data Warehouse) in Azure Portal“. In other words, those who use or know the name “Azure SQL Data Warehouse” can continue to use the tool and take advantage of the utilities built into Azure Synapse Analytics.
Do you think Azure Synapse is for your company?
The integration possibilities and versatility of Azure Synapse make it a very suitable tool to cover business processes related to data, from ingest to analysis. In addition, its special care for security (from the protection of the data itself to the automatic creation of backup copies) makes it a tool with which not to worry about complicated and tedious processes that, with it, are solved automatically.
If you want to define your business strategy around data, don’t miss our webinar “Azure Synapse Analytics and AI,” where we will show how Azure Synapse Analytics helps us solve our problems, driving our business through proper data management and governance.
Plain Concepts has the Analytics on Microsoft Azure Advanced Specialization certification, which means that thanks to our expertise we are able to help you create custom solutions in Azure Synapse Analytics. Send us a message without commitment, we will find a way to get the maximum value from your data.