Azure Synapse Analytics, formerly Azure SQL Data Warehouse, is one of the most popular and powerful cloud data warehouses on the planet. Data-driven enterprises use this platform to store relational and non-relational data and run it through business intelligence (BI) tools for deep data insights into every facet of their business.

But what is Azure Data Warehouse? How does it work? And how do you get data to this warehouse in the first place? In this comprehensive guide, learn more about Microsoft's data warehouse and how it benefits your business. 

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Table of Contents

  1. What is Azure Data Warehouse?
  2. How Does It Work?
  3. What is Azure Data Warehouse? Pros
  4. What is Azure Data Warehouse? Cons
  5. Alternatives
  6. What Users Think
  7. How Integrate.io Helps

Integrate.io is the ETL solution that extracts data from multiple sources, transforms it into the correct format for analytics, and loads it to Azure Synapse Analytics. Schedule a 7-day demo now!

What is Azure Data Warehouse?

Azure SQL Data Warehouse (now called Azure Synapse Analytics) is a cloud data warehouse from Microsoft that stores data in the cloud. Then you can run that data through third-party BI tools and generate data intelligence about sales, marketing, customer service, financial management, human resources, and other business functions. By moving data to this warehouse, you have a single source of truth for analytics, making it easier for BI tools to identify trends within data sets and make predictions about your business. 

 Read more: Microsoft Azure SQL Database SecurETL to Your Data

How Does It Work?

Azure Data Warehouse serves as a central repository for data from multiple sources such as:

When you move all your data to Azure, BI tools like Looker, Tableau, and Zoho Analytics can generate deep data insights that improve decision-making in your organization. For example, discover more about the customers who purchase your products and use this information to fine-tune your sales and marketing strategies. Alternatively, identify cost-savings in your organizations by analyzing financial metrics.

Azure makes data analytics easier because the information you require is all in one system. You can eliminate data entry for multiple BI tools and generate incredible reports that influence smarter business decisions. 

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What is Azure Data Warehouse? Pros

  • High Availability- Microsoft guarantees at least 99.9 percent uptime for users of its data warehouse.
  • Data Security- Azure comes with advanced security and privacy, such as row- and column-level security and data masking.
  • UI- An easy-to-use user interface lets you track analytics from multiple BI tools simultaneously. Generate reports, receive real-time insights, and more.
  • Microsoft Support and Integration- You can integrate Azure SQL Data Warehouse with other Microsoft products and receive support from one of the largest companies in the world. 

What is Azure Data Warehouse? Cons

  • Data Migration- Moving data to Azure can be a challenge, especially for those without coding or data engineering skills. The easiest way to migrate data to the warehouse is via a process called Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL), which extracts data from its source, transforms it into the correct format for analytics, and loads it to Azure SQL Data Warehouse automatically. While Microsoft has an ETL tool (Azure Data Factory), it comes with a limited number of connectors, so users will often have to build manual data pipelines. You might want to use an alternative ETL tool instead. 
  • Pricing- Azure SQL Data Warehouse has a complicated pricing structure and charges users based on their location and for data pipelines and data flows. There are cheaper alternatives, such as free open-source data warehouses, but these platforms often lack the features that Microsoft provides. 

Alternatives

Some alternatives to Azure SQL Data Warehouse include:

Read more: What is a Data Warehouse?

What Users Think

Azure's data warehouse currently has an average user score of 4.4/5 on the review website G2.com. Here's what some users think of the product:

  • "Azure Synapse Analytics helps data migration and data orchestration, analyzes huge amounts of data, and supports multiple functionalities for petabytes of data at an organizational level." (Prinka J.)
  • "Azure Synapse Analytics helps with providing insights and analytics of stored data, which can be used for decision making." (Anshul J.
  • "It is very decent software for storing and retrieving data. It is very simple and responsive." (An industry analyst

How Integrate.io Helps

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Many data-driven businesses ask: "What is Azure Data Warehouse?" Well, it's one of the best cloud data warehouses on the market today for generating a wealth of data insights through BI tools. However, migrating data to Azure for analytics can be a challenge. That's because data warehousing relies on pipelines that move data from its source to the final destination (Azure), and these pipelines require lots and lots of code. You could use Microsoft's Azure Data Factory, which automates data transfers. However, this ETL tool has limited capabilities, serving users who want to move data from other Microsoft products to Azure.

Integrate.io provides a solution. This ETL tool has over 100 out-of-the-box native connectors that migrate data from its source to Azure with no code required. Other Integrate.io features include world-class customer service and a simple pricing structure that charges users for the number of connectors they use. 

Integrate.io extracts data from multiple sources for Azure Synapse Analytics, requiring no code or complicated data pipelines. Book a 7-day demo today.