Short on Time Summary

Microsoft Fabric is a new all-in-one data platform that combines a range of analytic tools under one umbrella. Including real-time analytics, business intelligence, data engineering, data lakes, and more.

With Fabric, you can transform how your employees interact with data and act on insights, creating a culture of informed decision-making.


Microsoft was named a Leader in the 2023 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics and BI Platforms. Microsoft Fabric is their latest offering – moving beyond Power BI to bring together all the data analytics systems that organisations need.

This is similar to when Microsoft successfully brought Power Query, Power View and Power Pivot under the Power BI umbrella in 2015.

In this article, we highlight the key features and capabilities of Microsoft Fabric, and explore the benefits for businesses and data professionals.

What is Microsoft Fabric?

Microsoft Fabric represents the future of analytics in the age of AI, responding to organisations’ growing reliance on data. It is designed to empower not just pro developers, but also non-technical business users through its user-friendly and low-code approach.

What makes Fabric stand out is its ability to connect all your data sources and analytics apps together in a single, AI-powered solution. It’s a comprehensive platform that integrates three of Microsoft’s most popular products – Power BI, Azure Data Factory and Azure Synapse. Fabric unifies your existing toolkit to transform the data analytics experience.

The solution brings together core workloads including data integration, engineering, warehousing, data science, real-time analytics and business intelligence. These are simplified and made easily accessible to everyone in the business.

What are the business benefits?

Microsoft Fabric is a one-stop platform where you can access all your data systems, eliminating the need to decide which tools to license and saving you valuable time. This enables you to shift your focus to making sense of your data and gaining powerful insights and results.

Designed for simplicity and accessibility, it makes data analytics available to more individuals within your business. This is in line with Power Platform’s commitment to opening up technology to non-tech employees.

With Fabric, you can take your raw information and turn it into actionable insights that inform better decision-making. Use it to create a data-driven culture where everyone is empowered to use data in their work activities.

Even if different teams use various apps and tools for data analysis, Fabric offers a unified way to manage your distributed systems. This allows you to stay up-to-date with what’s happening in your systems and troubleshoot accordingly.

Security and compliance are also built into Fabric. The solution provides centralised administration capabilities with robust governance and compliance features. Microsoft Information Protection further secures your data by allowing you to mark something as confidential, then applying this to all related data i.e. Power BI or Excel reports.

Fabric is a great strategic investment if you want to scale your operations faster. It can process large amounts of data efficiently to optimise your performance, and provides a high-level overview of all your data sources and applications. Combine analytic workloads while tackling IT integration challenges and reducing licensing costs and overall complexity.

ThinkShare Insight - Example of Microsoft Fabric Systems

What is OneLake?

Fabric is built upon the Azure Data Lake storage, referred to as OneLake. OneLake is the central repository for storing both structured and unstructured organisational data, including lakehouses, warehouses and other files. Discovering and sharing data is simpler with OneLake. It addresses the barriers of disparate systems and data silos that are often found throughout organisations, consolidating all your data in one place.

One Lake processes this data for a user-friendly experience. Think of it as similar to how Microsoft 365 files integrate with OneDrive for centralised storage. In OneLake, end users can effortlessly navigate through their files and folders, bridging the gap between the raw data source and its final destination.

However, OneLake offers more than just data storage and processing. It encourages stronger collaboration, enabling everyone to work synchronously within a single unified solution that’s used by all teams and departments. There are also financial advantages. OneLake streamlines the costs compared to the complexities of managing multiple separate data lakes. This is crucial to change how you interpret data and enable people across the business to start harnessing it.

Get started with Microsoft Fabric

Your data teams no longer need to spend hours understanding the licensing for Synapse, Azure Data Factory and Power BI, and figuring out how they interact with each other.

Microsoft have simplified their data analytics offering with an all-in-one licensing model for Fabric. Alleviate the stress of choosing between different products for different people in your organisation and maintaining separate licenses for all of them.

Fabric is currently in public preview so you can start exploring everything the solution has to offer today. With a Power BI license, you’ll have access to a no-obligation free trial for 6o days to discover if it suits your needs. This can be activated directly from your Power BI account.

Furthermore, when it comes to security and compliance you only need one overarching security configuration for all the apps within Fabric which saves significant time and money.

Microsoft Fabric has been designed to simplify data analytics. By integrating various tools and services under one umbrella, organisations can focus on results rather than the complexities of their technology. Its goal is to enable business and data professionals to unlock the potential of their data.

If you have a question about anything mentioned or would like more information on how Microsoft Fabric can optimise your business, book a meeting with our team today. Or you can stay up to date with the latest Microsoft updates on LinkedIn and subscribe to our monthly newsletter to get these insights delivered directly to your inbox.

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