Azure Synapse Analytics is an unlimited analysis service with which the two worlds of big data and data warehousing can be combined on a single, high-performance platform for companies. This blog post looks at four real-world use cases where global organizations have used Azure Synapse Analytics to innovate and add business value through data. For more information on how data analytics can help your business, check out our e-book Lessons Learned: How Four Companies Use Analytics to Increase Business Agility and Sign up for Azure to explore your data with Azure Synapse.

Why Azure Synapse?

Azure Synapse provides a complete, turnkey solution that can reduce time to insight and increase business flexibility. Azure Synapse is the only end-to-end platform that combines data ingestion, big data analysis and data warehousing. It provides turnkey setup and configuration options for a fully managed infrastructure so you get results quickly. It gives more control and flexibility in pricing by letting you choose the best pricing option for every workload with serverless and dedicated options.

Use case one: just-in-time inventory

Aggreko is a leading global provider of temporary power generation, temperature control systems and energy services, providing backup energy and power supply whenever and wherever its customers need it. Aggreko uses Azure Synapse to increase operational efficiency by delivering its specialized equipment just-in-time.

Aggreko’s data collection pipeline was set up to run every eight hours because the collection (batch) jobs took four hours to run. In addition, the data warehouse had to be rebuilt daily due to memory limitations. This meant that there was an 8-24 hour delay between when the data arrived and when it was available for data analysis pipelines:

With the introduction of Azure Synapse, Aggreko has significantly improved time-to-see by reducing the complexity of the recording and improving its speed. The intake time has been reduced from four hours to less than five minutes. This in turn means that Aggreko has data for analysis pipelines available in near real time (less than five minutes delay). The team also estimated they saved 30 to 40 percent of their time – that time was spent solving technology problems in their legacy systems. With the introduction of Azure Synapse, data is now available for immediate exploration. This means that the Aggreko team has more time to focus on solving business problems.

“With Azure Synapse, we can explore and query the data in a single environment without moving it. So with a spectrum of the volume of data, we can get exponentially faster insights by querying directly across the lake before issuing insights into Power BI. – Elizabeth Hollinger, Director of Data Insights at Aggreko

As already mentioned, this use case is based on a real-life scenario in which Aggreko has adopted Azure Synapse as the analysis platform. To learn more about this customer story, you can check it out This interview with Aggreko’s Director of Data Insights.

Use case two: fraud detection

Clearsale, a leader in fraud detection based in Brazil, used Azure Synapse to modernize its operational analytics data platform. Clearsale enables customers to review an average of half a million transactions a day using big data analytics to detect fraud around the world. Clearsale’s data set doubles every two years and the company must be deploying fraud detection services in seconds. This requires a high level of scalability and performance:

Clearsale fraud detection solution brief diagram in Azure.

By using Azure Synapse, Clearsale has significantly reduced the time it takes to train new models to improve their fraud detection capabilities. Using the previous local platform, it took almost a week to ingest, prepare, and train the machine learning models. With Azure Synapse this has now been reduced to under six hours. This is a massive improvement that has improved its performance, efficiency, and operational cost.

Use case three: predictive maintenance

GE Aviation’s Digital Group is a global leader in aircraft engine manufacturing and flight software development. In addition to manufacturing, GE provides advanced data analytics to many airlines around the world. For each flight, GE collects the time series data for the entire flight, which includes up to 350,000 data points. Understandably, performing data analysis on such amounts of data can be challenging. To solve this, the team took over Azure Synapse:

High-level (simplified) architecture of the GE Safety Analytics platform.

Using Azure Synapse made it much easier and faster for GE to build complex predictive models for machine learning. Building a similar system to the previous system would have required many complex steps across multiple systems and environments. Wrought, the native integration between Microsoft Power BI and Azure Synapse proved extremely useful. You can now examine data quickly. If an anomaly is found in the Power BI reports, analysts can drill down to determine why the spikes occurred and what corrective actions are needed.

Use case four: marketing analysis (customer view 360⁰)

Imagine a large multinational retail company that has stores in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. The company sells consumer goods, electronics and personal care products through its brick-and-mortar stores as well as online digital channels. The company wants to use data analytics to create an end-to-end view of its customers. The aim is to improve the customer experience and increase profits. To do this, the data team found that Azure Synapse is the best platform to do this:

High-level (simplified) architecture of the company's marketing analytics platform.

Azure Synapse made it possible for the data team unite their data, developers and business users in a way that wasn’t possible before. Azure Synapse has simplified ingestion and data processing, and made it easy for the company to have a central data repository that contains all operational and historical data that can be updated locally Real time. Azure Synapse has also simplified data exploration and discovery without the need to convert data from one format to another or move it to other systems. This allowed the data team to experiment, map, and correlate different data sets to create curated (gold) data ready for consumption.

Learn more

In today’s marketplace, companies need to have a clear, real-time view of their business performance so they can continually adjust and seize potential opportunities. Executives can rely on data, science, and the will and knowledge of their teams. Supporting your team with the right tools is critical to making sure they can collaborate, discover, and innovate.

As mentioned earlier, Azure Synapse provides an unlimited, unified, and powerful analytics service that enables businesses to start small and scale up as needed. You only pay for what you use and only when you need it.

Read the e-book to learn more about how Azure Synapse can help you innovate and grow your business Lessons Learned: How Four Companies Use Analytics to Increase Business Agility.

To get started with Azure Synapse today, you can:

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