18 Jan 2022
What is Azure Data Factory?
What is Azure Data Factory?
How does it work?
What solution would be the best fit for your business or up and coming project?
Data Factory contains a series of interconnected systems that provide a complete end-to-end platform for data engineers.
This visual guide provides a high-level overview of the Data Factory architecture:
Ref - Introduction to Data Factory
In the world of big data, raw, unorganized data is often stored in relational, non-relational, and other storage systems. However, on its own, raw data doesn't have the proper context or meaning to provide meaningful insights to analysts, data scientists, or business decision-makers.
Big data requires a service that can orchestrate and operationalize processes to refine these enormous stores of raw data into actionable business insights. Azure Data Factory is a managed cloud service that's built for these complex hybrid extract-transform-load (ETL), extract-load-transform (ELT), and data integration projects.
For example, imagine a gaming company that collects petabytes of game logs that are produced by games in the cloud. The company wants to analyze these logs to gain insights into customer preferences, demographics, and usage behaviour. It also wants to identify up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, develop compelling new features, drive business growth, and provide a better experience to its customers.
To analyze these logs, the company needs to use reference data such as customer information, game information, and marketing campaign information that is in an on-premises data store. The company wants to utilize this data from the on-premises data store, combining it with additional log data that it has in a cloud data store.
To extract insights, it hopes to process the joined data by using a Spark cluster in the cloud (Azure HDInsight), and publish the transformed data into a cloud data warehouse such as Azure Synapse Analytics to easily build a report on top of it. They want to automate this workflow and monitor and manage it on a daily schedule. They also want to execute it when files land in a blob store container.
Azure Data Factory is the platform that solves such data scenarios. It is the cloud-based ETL and data integration service that allows you to create data-driven workflows for orchestrating data movement and transforming data at scale. Using Azure Data Factory, you can create and schedule data-driven workflows (called pipelines) that can ingest data from disparate data stores. You can build complex ETL processes that transform data visually with data flows or by using compute services such as Azure HDInsight Hadoop, Azure Databricks, and Azure SQL Database.
Additionally, you can publish your transformed data to data stores such as Azure Synapse Analytics for business intelligence (BI) applications to consume. Ultimately, through Azure Data Factory, raw data can be organized into meaningful data stores and data lakes for better business decisions.