You may have heard about Microsoft Fabric, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution for comprehensive data analytics. This solution combines various Microsoft services and tools into a single platform, enabling users to access, manage, and act on data and insights from any source and analytics service.
But you may be wondering: How does it work? What’s in it for manufacturers? And what Microsoft technologies are involved? Here are the answers to a few common questions about Microsoft Fabric and what it means for manufacturing.
What is Microsoft Fabric?
Launched in May, Microsoft Fabric is a complete analytics platform that makes it easier for companies to connect to and analyze data. It integrates Azure Data Factory, Azure Synapse Analytics, Azure Stream Analytics, and Power BI into a unified product.
With Fabric, users can connect, manage, and analyze data from various sources and act on insights from Microsoft 365 apps like Excel and Teams. A critical part of Fabric is its experiences, which are like workspaces tailored to various roles: data engineers, report writers, data scientists, and users.
Fabric’s OneLake offers a unified data lake that enables users to store and access all their data in its native format and use their preferred analytics tools. With centralized administration and governance across all experiences, Fabric ensures data security, compliance, and quality.
How does Microsoft Fabric help manufacturers?
By integrating Power BI with Fabric, manufacturers can unlock new operational efficiency and intelligence. Fabric seamlessly integrates data from various sources, such as production machines, inventory systems, and quality control processes, allowing manufacturers to visualize and analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) in real time through Power BI dashboards. This integration unlocks the potential to identify trends, spot bottlenecks, predict maintenance needs, and optimize processes on a single, intuitive platform.
Here are some examples of how manufacturers are finding value using Microsoft Fabric:
Data warehousing: With Fabric’s lakehouse approach, manufacturers can store, manage, and analyze large volumes of structured data. This data can come from various sources, such as production lines, sensors, inventory systems, and customer feedback. You may also run complex queries on your data and gain valuable insights on operations, performance, quality, and customer satisfaction using SQL or Spark.
Data integration: You can also integrate data from disparate sources and systems, such as sensors, machines, ERP, CRM, and IoT devices – and gain a holistic view for improved decision-making. Power Query assists in preparing and structuring data for analysis, while Azure Data Factory orchestrates and controls data movement from various sources to a specific destination.
Data science and machine learning: With Fabric, you can apply data science techniques to your data to solve challenges like demand forecasting, quality control, predictive maintenance, and anomaly detection. Fabric also enables data scientists to collaborate on projects, share code, and monitor experiments.
Real-time analytics: You can also use Fabric to monitor real-time operations, detect issues, uncover opportunities, and act quickly by using Fabric to process and analyze streaming data from sensors, machines, cameras, and IoT devices.
Predictive analytics: Use Fabric to optimize production planning, inventory management, and maintenance scheduling by applying predictive analytics techniques to organizational data. Forecast future scenarios or occurrences, such as customer demand, product quality, machine failure, or market trends.
Business intelligence and reporting: You can also share insights with various stakeholders, such as managers, employees, customers, or partners. Fabric helps users create interactive dashboards and reports that visualize their data and provide insights into business performance. Fabric’s Power BI integration enables manufacturers to use various features and capabilities of Power BI Service. It also adds direct lake query mode to Power BI, providing insights from modern data lakehouses faster.
How is Microsoft Fabric different from MCA Connect Inspire Platform™?
Microsoft Fabric is the latest Microsoft-based modern data platform, and MCA Connect Inspire Platform™ uses the tool to provide out-of-the-box industry-first data model and dashboards.
Inspire Platform uses the same advanced Microsoft technology as Fabric but tailors it to modern manufacturing and supply chain needs and challenges. This means you can leverage the power of Azure Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, plus pre-built industry standard KPIs and executive dashboards, to gain end-to-end visibility, unlock real-time insights, and maximize profitability.
Watch our short explainer video or product demo to learn more about MCA Connect Inspire Platform™.
What’s next for Microsoft Fabric?
Director, Technology Innovation
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