In the first article in this series, we learn how Azure Synapse Analytics brings together all the tools that data scientists and business intelligence (BI) specialists need to get the most out of their data, and discussed the specific tools we need.
We data scientists and business intelligence (BI) specialists need the right tools to succeed. However, it’s a complex effort to pull data from multiple systems and then use a wide range of separate tools to understand and report business data.
Microsoft’s Azure Synapse Analytics gathers all the tools we need into one location. This all-in-one data hub helps us save time and focus on what we love to do: delve deep into our data to extract valuable insights.
Azure Synapse Analytics helps us easily pull and connect data from multiple sources — and types of sources. Azure Synapse Analytics streamlines this process into repeatable, scheduled pipelines. It allows us to explore the data using queries directly in the dashboard, experiment inside notebooks, then publish and share our visualizations and findings with others so they can get as excited about the data as we are.
In this series of articles, we’ll use the Contoso BI Demo Dataset for Retail Industry to demonstrate how Azure Synapse Analytics turns data into clear and helpful visualizations. We won’t go through every feature Azure Synapse Analytics offers, but we’ll reveal some of what these tools can do. We may inspire you to explore more business intelligence tools for your own data needs.
Here’s a brief overview of the steps we’ll take:
- Import the dataset into Azure.
- Create a workspace and ingest the data.
- Run SQL queries and build a notebook to view and transform the data.
- Create and publish visualizations.
Although this dataset is fictional, it represents realistic data. Our goal in this series is to answer some fundamental business questions using this data, such as:
- What are our total revenue and gross profit?
- Which stores are performing best?
- Which products are selling the most and least?
- How much revenue is each channel (store, online, catalog, or reseller) generating?
- Which promotions were the most effective?
Preparing for our Project
Before we get started, we must ensure we have all the tools we need for this project. All of these tools are either free or include a free trial. To follow along, make sure you have the following:
Now that we have everything we need, we can begin our project.
To learn more about Azure Synapse Analytics, register to view the Hands-on Training Series for Azure Synapse Analytics and continue to the second article of this series to learn how to import and analyze business intelligence data.