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Analyze trends & compare data over time with snapshot historization in Azure

Analyze trends & compare data over time with snapshot historization in Azure
author
Richard Lehnerdt Dec 20, 2023

Snapshot historization is a powerful technique that allows you to store and access historical data at specific points in time. It is particularly valuable for analyzing trends, identifying changes and comparing data from different periods. Snapshot historization is an important feature to bring organization further in having deeper insight and other views of their data.

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Importance of snapshot historization In Azure

Snapshot historization offers several key benefits for maximizing the value of your Azure data:

  • Track changes to your data over time: Gain insights into how your data evolves and identify trends and patterns over time.
  • Compare data across different points in time: Analyze changes and make informed decisions based on historical comparisons.
  • Improve query performance: Offload processing of historical data to dedicated snapshot dimensions, enhancing report responsiveness and scalability.
  • Reduce storage costs: Store historical data in efficient formats like snapshot tables, optimizing storage utilization within Azure.
  • Increase data exploration flexibility: Access and compare historical data at any point in time, without needing to recalculate your entire data warehouse.
  • Access to Historical Data in Reports: AnalyticsCreator uniquely enables access to historical data within reports and data marts, providing crucial context for analysis. This allows users to see how data has changed over time and make better-informed decisions.

How snapshot historization works in Azure

 

There are two primary approaches to implementing snapshot historization within Azure:

  • Custom Code Development: Develop and maintain custom code to capture and manage historical snapshots. This approach offers greater control but requires significant development effort and expertise.
  • AnalyticsCreator Automation: Utilize a specialized data warehouse automation tool like AnalyticsCreator to automate the snapshot historization process. AnalyticsCreator simplifies implementation by generating code for common snapshot historization concept
  • Temporal tables: Manage historical versions of your fact data, allowing for detailed analysis of changes.

Accessing and Analyzing Historical Data

 

Once implemented, you can access and analyze historical data through various methods depending on your specific tools and configuration:

  • Reporting tools: Select the desired snapshot date within your reporting tool to view data as it appeared on that specific date.
  • Temporal table filters: Filter your data based on specific snapshot dates within your analysis.
  • Metrics and calculations: Define metrics that measure differences between different snapshot values, allowing you to visualize historical progressions.

 

Automating snapshot historization with AnalyticsCreator

 

AnalyticsCreator makes implementing snapshot historization in Azure easier and more efficient by automating several key tasks:

  • Generating SQL code for snapshot dimensions and temporal tables.
  • Handling data capture and storage of historical snapshots within Azure Blob Storage.
  • Ensuring seamless integration with your Azure SQL DB Analytics environment.

By automating these tasks, AnalyticsCreator saves developers significant time and effort while also ensuring accuracy and consistency in the snapshot historization process.


Benefits of using AnalyticsCreator for Snapshot Historization:

 

  • Simplified implementation: No need for complex code development, allowing you to focus on data analysis.
  • Reduced development time: AnalyticsCreator automates code generation and data management tasks.
  • Improved accuracy: Ensures consistent and reliable handling of historical data within Azure.
  • Scalability and flexibility: Supports various snapshot historization scenarios and data volumes within your Azure environment.
  • Historical Data in Reports:  Provides unique access to historical data within reports and data marts, enabling contextual analysis and informed decision-making.

 

Conclusion

Snapshot historization is a powerful method for unlocking the full potential of your historical data in Azure.

While not a native Azure feature, tools like AnalyticsCreator make it easy to implement and automate, enabling you to gain deeper insights from your data warehouse or data mart.

If you are interested in maximizing the value of your data by leveraging snapshot historization within Azure, consider exploring AnalyticsCreator to streamline the implementation process and unlock the full potential of historical data analysis.

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