What does it mean to be a data-driven organisation? With so much talk about Big Data and Business Intelligence it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Today, new database technologies don’t just make data more accessible — they enable people to think and react differently.
Employees take the initiative
Let’s share an example. Like most big companies, New Zealand’s Heartland Bank amasses huge volumes of data on its customers. Naturally, executives want to turn that data into competitive advantage. For example, if a customer comes in to a branch and asks about getting a home loan, an answer should arrive in minutes, not days.
With a mixture of analytics tools – including Microsoft R Server and Microsoft SQL Server 2016 – Heartland Bank has enabled employees to just this. With an accessible, user-driven data environment, employees take the initiative. They don’t need IT experts to mine data, or ask complex questions. They do it themselves.
Sharing reports – in real time
Or take Praram 9 Hospital in Thailand. Praram 9 captures data on the way the hospital operates — including on its own medical staff. But to create reports, employees have to manually collect that data from lots of different sources. The process is time consuming. The results are difficult to share.
What Praram 9 has done is to create a mobile Business Intelligence (BI) platform. New BI Tools enable managers to quickly create dashboards that track activity in real time. Mobile access allows authorized people to view activity reports on smartphones as well. Now, people are observing and responding differently.
So what’s different about SQL Server 2016?
These are different stories, but they have one thing in common: the latest generation of SQL Server technology. Within Microsoft’s current SQL platform, three features in particular are driving change:
- Faster query performance
- Data warehousing/data mart performance features
- Security and compliance features.
Faster query performance means faster reaction times. Employees don’t spend days dragging data from different systems and then aggregating it themselves. And a system that radically expedites this process will unleash creative thinking in the workplace.
Security is also a capability multiplier. No company can afford to take risks with customer data. So, ensuring data stays secure is a vital pre-condition for allowing it to be widely accessible. Again, this is where SQL Server 2016 delivers with the Always Encrypted feature. Now it’s safe to share data on mobile devices.
Boost for smaller companies
What I really like is that SQL Server 2016 SP1 is a game-changer for smaller companies. For the first time, features that previously existed in Enterprise Edition will be available in the Standard and Express editions as well.
As a result, employees of smaller companies can spend more time figuring out how to make their business grow, and less time managing their databases.
Try SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1
SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1 is free to existing SQL Server 2016 customers. You can get SQL Server 2016 SP1 in from the Microsoft Download center. SQL Server 2016 with SP1 is also available for evaluation from the TechNet Evaluation Center and for production use from the Volume Licensing (VLSC) site. Try it now for free.
What Gartner says about SQL Server 2016
- Gartner ranks Microsoft’s Database Management System as best in completeness of vision and ability to execute. Learn more.
- Gartner recognises Microsoft as a leader in Data Management Solutions for Analytics. Learn more.
- For the 9th consecutive year, Microsoft is named a leader in Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms. Learn more.
To know more information on how your organisation can adopt a data-driven business, call us at +63-2-8590505 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author:
Deh Hui Chuan is a Business Group Lead Cloud + Enterprise in Microsoft Malaysia.