April 03, 2024
5 minutes read
Technology Solution Delivery

Exploring Microsoft Fabric: Features, Use Cases, and FAQs

With the official announcement of Microsoft Fabric, Kenway has explored how this new toolset will impact data-driven organizations across industries.  As data professionals, we continually aim to learn how these, and other, innovative data advancements can be leveraged to solve our client’s unique data challenges. We are excited to share our insights over the upcoming months in a series of blogs focused on this new suite of tools. 

What is Microsoft Fabric?

Microsoft Fabric is an all-in-one analytics solution that covers everything from data movement, business intelligence, real-time analytics, and data science. It allows an organization to combine data, storage, engineering ,integration, and visualization all in one place. With Microsoft Fabric, you don’t need to piece together different data services from multiple vendors. Instead, Fabric allows you to utilize a highly integrated, end-to-end, and easy-to-use product that is designed to simplify your analytics needs.

Microsoft Fabric’s Value Proposition

The unique value proposition that Microsoft Fabric offers is the removal of the traditional barriers that arise in a data-driven organization, which ultimately helps improve the overall speed to market. With Fabric, a single data persona can perform the data ingestion, ELT/ETL transformations, data modeling, and build data products within a single data platform. These data technology resources will no longer need to be set up independently and less time will need to be spent tying disparate pieces of your data architecture together. Fabric does all of this for you!

Exploring Microsoft Fabric’s Features

As we dive deeper into Microsoft Fabric’s features, several noteworthy functionalities stand out:

  • Co-Pilot Integration: We all know the excitement that AI has driven over the past year! AI driven tools, such as Microsoft’s Co-Pilot, are being incorporated into key aspects of our workday and with Fabric, we can extend those capabilities into the data space. Co-Pilot has been integrated into the capabilities of Fabric to utilize artificial intelligence to improve productivity and ease of use of their products. Co-pilot’s function varies across the different Fabric offerings. It acts as a generative AI for Power BI as it will be able to automatically create reports based on a given topic. It will serve as an “AI-enhanced toolset” for Data Factory Data Engineering, and Data Science initiatives by providing support such as code completion and generation, routine task automation, and code explanations.
  • OneLake: A key feature in Microsoft Fabric’s offering is OneLake which acts as the sole data lake for an entire organization within Fabric. The goal of OneLake is to remove the need for multiple data lakes within one organization and to drive improved collaboration and reduce data redundancy by housing all of a company’s core data assets within a single, central location. 
  • Short Cuts: A Short Cut is a data object within Microsoft Fabric that ‘points’ to data stored in another location allowing that data to be referenced and utilized without being copied or duplicated. A Short Cut removes the need for data duplication and streamlines data sharing, innovation, and experimentation.
  • Data Hub: Data Hub is a discoverability tool that enables users to more efficiently search for data assets stored within their orangization’s Fabric instance. In addition to being able to filter and search based on workspace, name, owner, and type, data items can be classified and filtered by domain. Enterprise-grade data products can be promoted/certified. Data Hub has the potential to greatly improve collaboration and governance within an organization as data items are made more visible across teams within the Fabric OneLake. 
  • Notebook Co-editing: Notebook Co-editing allows for multiple users to edit a notebook at the same time, in a fashion similar to Google-docs, where the cursor and edits of other users are visible. This should be great for collaboration and can alleviate issues of overwriting or merge conflicts when two users are trying to collaborate on a notebook simultaneously.

Looking Forward

We are excited to get started with Microsoft Fabric and will be writing about our exploration journey into this new suite of tools in a blog series that you will be able to read here. This series will help answer questions such as:

  • Can I leverage the data I already have stored elsewhere with OneLake?
  • Can I create a traditional medallion architecture within Fabric?
  • Is it possible to integrate other cloud or on-prem application workloads with Fabric?
  • What does the roadmap for Fabric look like and will I be stuck with vendor lock-in?
  • How does Fabric change the analytics infrastructure I have today?
  • How do I make Fabric work in a large organization where security, segregation of duties, and scalability are important?
  • How do I incorporate DevOps best practices with Fabric?
  • How easy is it to move from traditional Power BI dashboards to advanced machine learning in Fabric?

Transform Your Analytics Infrastructure with Kenway

Ready to transform the way you manage and analyze data? Whether you’re aiming to streamline data movement, optimize your analytics infrastructure, or drive actionable insights, our team is here to help. Reach out to start your path to data-driven success.

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