It is currently in preview from Microsoft, but at TIEVA we like to be one step ahead of the game for innovation so I’m blogging on it now to spread the word far and wide.
So read on to learn more, as I firmly believe that Microsoft Fabric will be an absolute game changer for Data Management, Management Information and how business insights will be used by a modern business.
So, what is it?
Microsoft Fabric is an all-in-one analytics solution that covers everything from data movement, data science, real-time analytics and business intelligence! As a platform, it will enable collaborative and immersive experiences for users across numerous types of access device. It cleverly utilises mixed reality technology to create a shared digital environment where users can collaborate in real-time, regardless of their actual physical location!
Let’s look at the Key Features of Microsoft Fabric
Firstly, Microsoft have harnessed the power of ‘mixed reality integration’. This means that they combine virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) elements to create a mixed reality environment that allows users to interact with digital objects as if they were present in the physical world. Additionally, it also allows ‘real-time’ collaboration so that multiple users can work in the same virtual space at the same time. The benefit of this is that businesses with geographically dispersed teams can work together easily, so in my view this makes Fabric an ideal tool for workgroup collaboration whilst also ensuring easy visualisation of complex data!
The second feature that I love leads on from the VR/AR link up, it’s the ‘spatial mapping and meshing’. Fabric uses advanced algorithms to create a 3D mesh of the physical environment, this allows digital objects to interact with real-world surfaces and objects. The result is an incredibly immersive experience for all users. Spatial mapping is one of my favourite features of SQL Server.
The final feature to note is Fabric’s ‘multi-device compatibility’. Microsoft have smartly designed the platform to perform across different devices, including VR headsets, AR glasses, smartphones, tablets, and PCs. We all have our preferences for access devices and this move allows for seamless integration for users regardless of their preferred hardware!
How will this impact the Management Information landscape?
Microsoft Fabric has the potential to bring significant change to the MI landscape. I’ve highlighted here a few key elements of how it may impact real life business operations:
Data Visualisation and Analysis:
When looking at data, the traditional method of presenting charts and graphs is in 2D format. This is not only relatively dull but it can limit the depth of understanding. The arrival of Fabric will change all that! As the platform provides the ability to visualise data in three dimensions, it will enable a deeper understanding of complex datasets which will lead, undoubtedly, to more informed decision-making and better insights into business performance.
Remote Teamwork and Meetings:
I’ve already touched on the platform's real-time collaboration features so will not dwell here, but Fabric will be another quality Microsoft application that breaks down geographical barriers and allows teams from different locations to fully participate in virtual meetings and discussions. The end result will only be improved communication, enhanced project management, and streamlined decision-making processes.
Training and Simulation:
Microsoft Fabric can revolutionise employee training and skill development. Imagine being immersed in uber-realistic training simulations?! A training space that allows us to practice and learn in a safe environment, especially in high-risk industries or complex tasks is revolutionary and leads to improved training effectiveness and reduced costs.
Virtual Product Prototyping:
In manufacturing and product development, Microsoft Fabric will have the capability to facilitate virtual prototyping and testing. Designers and engineers can operate in a shared virtual environment to make real-time modifications and changes. The result being a reduction in the time and cost associated with physical prototyping.
Customer Engagement and Marketing:
Companies will be able to harness Fabric’s capabilities to create innovative and engaging marketing campaigns and customer experiences. Just consider how virtual product demonstrations, interactive digital catalogues, and virtual showrooms will enhance customer engagement and drive sales wins!
Let’s start with a big one – the thorny question of ‘adoption’ of a new technology! Widespread adoption will take time as businesses will need to invest in compatible hardware and software as well as employee engagement and training in using mixed reality technology effectively.
Following on from this, and as with any digital platform, ensuring data security and privacy are absolutely paramount. Today it is more important than ever that businesses ensure that sensitive information is protected within the virtual environment. (If you need support with Cyber Security and Resilience, speak to the TIEVA team as we can support you through this minefield)
Then there is user experience, for Microsoft Fabric to be truly effective and transformative, it must offer a seamless and intuitive user experience. Ensuring that users can easily navigate and interact within the virtual environment will be crucial to adoption and success.
Final point is the cost…… The level of the devices and the resources a business already owns will dictate the magnitude of the initial investment in hardware and software that a business has to make! It may be substantial for some businesses; this will mean that budget owners will need to assess the ROI and long-term benefits of the platform before diving in to adopt the technology.
Having outlined these challenges though, I hope to have demonstrated to you that Microsoft Fabric is going to be a game changer, one that is sure to disrupt the market with new and innovative ways to use management information. I eagerly await the full launch of this new platform and look forward to seeing this space mature!
If in the meantime, if any of the challenges posed in this blog are affecting your business then, please engage with TIEVA.
TIEVA specialises in supporting customers with these challenges and can assist in working through change management to maximise IT investments!