Supply Chain Decision-Making with Microsoft Business Solutions
By Mathieu Galipeau & Sabina Sasu
December 13th | 5 min read
Microsoft Solutions for AI Modeling in Supply Chain
We recently discussed how AI modelling in supply chain management is helping businesses build resilient supply chains and better manage risks. However, they also face a fundamental challenge: effectively managing vast amounts of data. Data duplication and complex infrastructure can hinder the effectiveness of AI modeling. Fragmented systems, data silos, and inconsistent formats often pose significant obstacles, making data unification and governance an arduous task.
At LIDD, we understand the challenges that organizations commonly encounter when it comes to data analytics. Limited visibility, complex data integration, and the need for actionable insights are all pain points that impede operational efficiency and decision-making capabilities.
A Closer Look at Microsoft Tools for Managing Complex Data Analytics Requirements
- Microsoft Power Platform, equipped with AI-powered low-code tools, provides valuable resources for: retrieving information, automating notifications, and visualizing data through the intuitive Power BI platform. This allows teams to expand on and interact with AI models, enabling smarter decision-making.
- Microsoft Fabric, built on Power Platform, Azure Data Factory, and Synapse, offers a comprehensive solution for data analytics. It is an experience-based, end-to-end analytics platform designed to empower users to access, manage, and operationalize data and insights and collaborate holistically.
About Microsoft Fabric
Microsoft Fabric, built on the foundation of Microsoft’s three main Data Analytics products – Power BI, Azure Data Factory, and Synapse – offers a comprehensive solution for data analytics. These integrated components provide a robust and reliable platform, handling complex data analytics requirements.
- Power BI: Microsoft’s business intelligence platform, enabling the creation of interactive visualizations and reports from diverse data sources.
- Azure Data Factory: A cloud-based data integration service on Microsoft Azure, simplifies the creation, scheduling, and orchestration of data workflows across different sources and destinations.
- Synapse: Azure’s integrated analytics service, combines big data and data warehousing capabilities to efficiently analyze large volumes of data.
But that’s not all. Fabric goes a step further by introducing an innovative component called OneLake. This tool brings advanced data science capabilities while simplifying data management. OneLake eliminates the complexities of data infrastructure and duplicated data, providing a single source of truth for organizations. As a result, data unification and governance become seamless, providing organizations with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions.
So, how can organizations benefit from Microsoft Fabric? Let’s explore some real-world use cases:
- Advanced Analytics: By leveraging the integrated power of Power BI, Azure Data Factory, and Synapse, organizations can seamlessly analyze data in real-time and gain valuable insights from a unified analytics platform. With Fabric, businesses can access and process large volumes of data, create interactive visualizations, and generate real-time reports. This enables them to make informed, data-driven decisions.
- Data Science: Fabric’s integration with OneLake enhances data science capabilities. The platform supports machine learning, predictive analytics, and other AI-driven features, helping businesses derive actionable insights from their data.
- Data Integration and ETL: Azure Data Factory, a component of Fabric, simplifies the process of data integration and Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) operations. Organizations can easily connect to diverse data sources, transform data, and load it into the designated destination, such as OneLake or other storage repositories.
- Scalability and Flexibility: Fabric’s architecture is designed to scale and adapt to changing business needs. It can handle large volumes of data, accommodate various data sources, and seamlessly integrate with other Microsoft Azure services. Plus, OneLake allows you to virtualize data from multi-cloud sources, including AWS S3 and Azure Data Lake Storage (ADLS) Gen 2. This scalability and flexibility make it an ideal solution for organizations of all sizes.
We encounter various data challenges when working with our clients and understand the complexity of challenges they face. These challenges can impede operational efficiency and decision-making capabilities. Moreover, they pose a prevalent challenge of limited visibility and transparency of data across the supply chain network. Consequently, this lack of clarity leads to a lack of insights into inventory levels, demand patterns, and supplier performance. Another obstacle is the integration and consolidation of data from diverse sources, including ERP systems, IoT devices, and external partners, which can be intricate and time-consuming.
About Microsoft Power Platform
Power Platform is a suite of low-code tools developed by Microsoft that empowers organizations to build custom applications, automate processes, and create AI-driven chatbots. Comprised of Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agents, Power Platform offers a comprehensive solution for businesses seeking to enhance their application development and workflow automation capabilities.
Key Features of Power Platform:
- Power Apps: Power Apps allows users to create custom applications without extensive coding knowledge. It offers a range of templates and connectors to integrate with various data sources.
- Power Automate: Power Automate enables the automation of workflows, notifications, and data-driven processes. It allows organizations to streamline repetitive tasks and improve operational efficiency.
- Power Virtual Agents: Power Virtual Agents enables the creation of conversational chatbots, empowering organizations to provide automated and personalized customer support.
At its core, Power Platform effectively eradicates the conventional obstacles associated with application development by enabling users with varying technical expertise to build applications without significant coding knowledge. This democratization of app development empowers organizations to swiftly innovate, adapt, and tailor solutions to meet their specific requirements, while harnessing the full potential of their data.
A particularly noteworthy component of Power Platform is AI Builder, which enables organizations to seamlessly integrate artificial intelligence into their processes, thereby augmenting operational efficiency and facilitating valuable insights. By predicting demand, automating document processing, and optimizing workflows, AI Builder equips businesses with the ability to leverage AI models without necessitating extensive technical proficiency.
Learn more about the power platform here:
A guide to Microsoft Fabric and Power Platform
Microsoft Fabric and Power Platform are essential tools for leveraging AI modeling in supply chain management.
Microsoft Fabric, with its robust backend capabilities, is instrumental in managing the vast amount of data required for AI modeling in the supply chain. For example, handles and integrates data from various sources, including IoT sensors, inventory systems, transportation data, and customer demand information. It streamlines data integration and provides real-time analytics, enabling organizations to collect, store, and preprocess data for AI modeling.
Similarly, Power Platform complements Microsoft Fabric by allowing users to create custom applications, automate processes, and leverage AI-driven insights. By accessing and utilizing the data stored in Microsoft Fabric, organizations can turn it into actionable insights and make informed decisions.
Integrating Microsoft Tools
The integration between Power Platform and Microsoft Fabric is seamless. Users can link their Power Apps tables to Microsoft Fabric and utilize its capabilities within the Power Apps Maker Portal. This unified experience allows users to effortlessly harness the power of both tools.
By combining the strengths of Power Platform and Microsoft Fabric, organizations can optimize supply chain management, improve efficiency, and make data-driven decisions. These tools empower businesses to stay competitive in today’s fast-paced business landscape through AI modeling and advanced analytics.