The Benefits of Azure for Data Professionals (2023)
If you’re an aspiring (or working) data professional, then you know that the cloud is the future of data management. One of the most powerful choices for managing data in the cloud is Microsoft Azure.
Azure is a cloud computing platform and infrastructure created by Microsoft for building, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers.
In this article, we’ll share the key advantages of Microsoft Azure — and the reasons you should consider learning how to use it.
Advantages of Microsoft Azure
With so many advantages, it's no wonder that Azure is becoming a go-to platform for organizations of all sizes. Azure makes it easy for organizations to get started with cloud computing, and it provides a number of options for those who want to move to the cloud.
As cloud-based solutions continue to grow in popularity and usage, those with the skills necessary to manage these complex systems will become increasingly valuable assets.
Below, you’ll find the key advantages of Microsoft Azure.
Azure offers great flexibility for quickly and efficiently scaling up or down, as needed, which allows organizations to pay only for the resources they use. Services such as computing, storing, networking, and managing databases can be automatically adapted to the needs of the organization, thanks to the autoscaling feature.
Azure gives organizations the ability to choose from a number of different deployment models, including public, private, and hybrid cloud deployments, and it provides tools for managing and monitoring applications to best suit their needs. For example, some organizations may want to use Azure for development and testing purposes only, while others may want to use it for production workloads.
With Azure’s advanced real-time data processing and IoT (Internet of Things) capabilities, data scientists, machine learning engineers, and solution architects can process large volumes of streaming data in real time to uncover insights faster than ever before.
Comprehensive Analytics Tools
With an array of built-in analytics tools such as Power BI, Stream Analytics, Data Factory, HDInsight, and more, Azure provides a comprehensive set of tools for data professionals to build powerful analytics applications.
Security and Compliance
Azure provides a comprehensive set of security capabilities that help protect data at rest and in transit:
- Encryption, access control, and auditing
- Tools for securing data in transit, including VPNs and SSL
- Compliance-related services, such as the ability to track compliance violations and generate reports
Benefits for Data Professionals
As many organizations have moved their data management to the cloud — particularly to Microsoft Azure — professionals who are well-versed in Microsoft Azure are incredibly valuable to their employers.
Whether you are (or want to be) a data scientist, data analyst, DevOps engineer, solutions architect, data engineer, or AI engineer, Azure skills can help you stand out from the other candidates when you apply for jobs.
Here are the key benefits of learning Azure for data professionals:
- Azure skills are in high-demand with employers around the world: employers increasingly value Azure expertise, and they’re looking for people who can help them build, deploy, and manage their cloud-based solutions. With more companies transitioning to hybrid or multi-cloud environments, knowing how to use Azure could be a key factor in landing your dream job. A simple LinkedIn search for jobs with Azure skills shows more than 100K available positions.
- Azure skills can help you command a higher salary: Azure professionals can expect to see their salaries soar as they help businesses navigate the ever-changing world of cloud computing. The average salary for Azure professionals in the USA is $131,221 per year, with entry-level positions estimated to start at $110,435 per year.
- Azure skills will make you more versatile and adaptable to the environment of the organization you work for: Knowing how to create cloud solutions using a combination of services offered by Azure gives you confidence, and it boosts your career growth. You’ll be able to work confidently with hybrid networks that involve multiple data centers and remote locations thanks to your familiarity with concepts such as Redis Cache, IoT Hubs, HDInsight Clusters, and more.
- Azure can help you gain other relevant, in-demand skills that will help advance your career: when working with Microsoft Azure, you’re very likely to also work with skills that are in high-demand today — skills for which we can assume that demand will increase in the coming decades, such as DevOps, Big Data analytics, machine learning, containers, and networking. This can help you progress vertically or horizontally within an organization — or in your career generally.
- Azure skills will help you make the organization you’re working for more efficient: Azure can generally help you improve the operation of your organization, including reducing infrastructure costs, increasing agility, improving security, improving IT processes, driving digital transformation, and improving profitability.
Getting Certified in Azure
If you want to reap the benefits that cloud technologies offer professionals, consider earning the Microsoft Azure certification. The entry-level certification for Azure, “Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals,” will test your basic knowledge of cloud concepts like services offered by Azure as well as prices.
According to a survey by Pearson, 35% of respondents reported a hike in salary after completing the certification. The certification might be what lands you a job or gets you a promotion.
Step One: Become Familiar with Microsoft Azure
The first step to learning Microsoft Azure is to create an account.
- Create an Azure account (free for 30 days after you sign up)
Once you've created your account, familiarize yourself with the interface:
The objective here is to familiarize yourself with the interface. Don’t waste too much time reading everything — you’ll want to start practicing with data.
Step Two: Start learning
You can use this reference to learn how to work with Microsoft Azure:
- Cloud Data with Microsoft Azure Path with Dataquest
You'll get feedback on how you can improve, and Dataquest provides instructions that ensure success! You won't have any problems following along because all the exercises take place inside the Dataquest platform.
You can also learn directly from Microsoft Learn:
- Microsoft Learn platform
Step 3: Practice with Tutorials
The next step is to start learning the most popular services on Microsoft Azure:
You can also follow a project walkthrough to create your data solution in the cloud:
Step Four: Get Certified
Once you’ve become familiar with the key Azure services and completed several end-to-end projects, you’ll be ready for the Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Fundamentals Certification.
If you complete the path with Dataquest, you'll receive a 50% discount on the Azure Data Fundamentals certification.
Data professionals skilled in managing Azure resources can help their organizations save money, improve operational efficiency, and safeguard critical data. As cloud computing continues to revolutionize the business world, the demand for Azure experts is sure to increase, so it's a great skill for aspiring data professionals.
For those who want to stay ahead of the curve and benefit from the immense potential of cloud technologies, there is no better place to start than with Azure.