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It’s the final day of the PASS Business Analytics Conference. It’s been a valuable opportunity to learn from other industry leaders, partners and customers, all of whom have great ideas and insight on what the future of analytics looks like. As far as what it looks like for Microsoft, we’ve spent the last couple of days talking about not only the immediate view, with the availability of the preview of project codename “GeoFlow” for Microsoft Excel, but also about our strategy to make data accessible to everyone using familiar tools. As we wind down at the show, we’d like to share some real-world examples of how customers are seeing success today with analytics.

Union_Bank_of_IsraelThe sixth largest commercial bank in Israel is the Union Bank of Israel. They use BI to evaluate their services and operations, combining financial, operational and transactional data. Prior to implementing their new Microsoft solution at the end of 2012, they used a third party solution that required custom reports that could only be performed by the IT department. Today, their employees are taking advantage of PowerPivot to create rich reports and visualizations in minutes and produce insights in half the time. Reports are more accurate as they can look at the thousands of calculations behind report values. And, collaboration across the IT and finance departments has changed radically – business employees can create self-service sophisticated BI enabled by IT, and IT can instantly see how changes to the database impact reports.

JettainerAnother example is German airfreight container management company Jettainer, which has the largest fleet of loading devices in the world. Managing 85,000 containers at 350 airports worldwide is a big task in itself, but to further complicate things, Jettainer used separate data platforms for inventory control and business intelligence, meaning employees had to learn and manage two different systems. The company moved to SQL Server 2012 for both systems and uses Master Data Services to create and maintain a single version of the truth for employees, who can now track inventory development and arrange for additional supply through one system. The ability to use Office tools to create reports through PowerPivot and Power View has increased adoption among employees, meaning BI – and resulting insight – is in more hands.

While the solutions and deployments we help to create vary widely, the common goal across all of our customers boils down to getting the most complete insight as quickly and efficiently as possible. Union Bank of Israel and Jettainer are just a few examples of customers working with Microsoft to conquer their analytics challenges.

Read more from The Art of Analytics series here:

Eron Kelly
General Manager
SQL Server