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Building Your First Data Solution in AzureAre you ready to get in the cloud and build your first cloud data solution? I’d like to tell you the 4 things you should know as you build your first data solution in Azure.

It’s not much different than what you need to know when you build your first data solution on premises:

  • You need to know how to store and organize your data.
  • You need to be able to move it around.
  • You need to be able to have a place to store it or land it, so you can query it and get the data back out.
  • Then you need to have a way to visualize it – to explore it, tell a story with it or whatever you ultimately want to do with it.

If you’re interested in making the magic you’ve created with Microsoft BI and reporting over the years on premise bigger, better and bolder, here are the four Microsoft Azure services that you should focus on in terms of your own learning and development:

1.  Azure Storage – There are many different types of Azure Storage, all great in their own way. But a good first focus is Azure Blob Storage. Azure Blob Storage is the one people, especially beginners, start out with as it’s the easiest one to get data in and out of.

2.  Azure Data Factory – Some refer to this as SSIS in the cloud – well, it is not, but it IS your best method for orchestrating and pipelining actions, activities and data movement in the cloud. There are many great labs for Azure Data Factory on the Microsoft site that will walk you through how to do that.

3.  Pick a data platform - Azure SQL DB, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Cosmos DB; whichever data platform you choose, think about how you’re going to store your data, what you need that data to do for you and how you’ll want to access it.

4. Power BI – Power BI is an incredibly powerful tool that gives you so many capabilities all inside of it. Things like Power Query to be able to query load, transform and manipulate your data all the way down through the amazing dashboarding, embedding and collaboration capabilities. Even if you start out with Power BI Desktop (which comes free with most Office subscriptions). Microsoft has made this tool super accessible and it continues to get better with updates every month.

Here’s the drill—learn how to store your data in the cloud and get a handle on storage, Azure Data Factory, a data platform that fits your needs and round that out with Power BI. If you invest some time over a month to learn, you can cover all four of these areas and you’ll be a rock star in no time.

And we’re to help. If you have questions around any of these areas or about Azure in general, we are your best resource. Click the link below or contact us to start a conversation about how we can help, no matter where you are on your cloud journey.

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