SQL Server has been at the core of what Datashapa BI consultants have been doing for a long time. SQL Server has gained a reputation for being a trusted and scalable platform, and when used in conjunction with the broader capabilities offered by the SQL Server family, it allows us to deliver modern BI and analytics systems that support a modern data strategy.

SQL Server 2016

SQL Server 2016 was positioned as the leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for business intelligence and analytics platforms in 2016. This is no surprise given the relentless features and enhancements being made available in SQL Server.

We won’t give you a history lesson on the releases of SQL Server, accept to say earlier versions focussed on the stability and reliable of SQL Server and did the ground work to get SQL Server ready for the cloud. We now have the benefit of in-memory workloads and hybrid cloud and cloud BI capabilities. As well as the many Advanced Analytics and Big Data integration capabilities; such as Polybase for querying unstructured data and R Services, which brings R’s predictive analytics and large data volumes together.

We love all this new technology, but let’s not get too carried away. Not everybody needs these capabilities, but it’s nice to know they are available when you do. We’re also here to get the basics right. Controlled, timely flows of quality data, offering business insight is our starting point. Perhaps some database performance tuning and the odd database backup as well.

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SQL Data Warehouse

The traditional warehouse is your centralised data store, loaded from one or more of your operational systems. You’ll be transforming data and storing it for analytical purposes. These aren’t going away anytime soon, and are a key component in many businesses, but there is an emerging need for a more modern data warehouse. This is where we turn to Azure BI and the Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

In addition to large relational data stores, more and more businesses have the need to analysis unstructured data, real-time streams of data at high velocity, and often have data volumes that require distributed processing. Azure SQL Data Warehouse provides true cloud elasticity, letting you scale compute on demand.

Azure SQL Data Warehouse combines the SQL Server relational database with Azure cloud scale-out capabilities. You can increase, decrease, pause, or resume compute in seconds, ensuring you only pay for the compute you need. You can leverage the Azure BI platform, consuming the advanced analytics capabilities offered by Azure. Best of all you can develop with familiar SQL Server tools and use Transact-SQL (T-SQL) allowing you get the most from those traditionally skills you may already have.

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