Microsoft Fabric and the Unification of Your Organization Data: A leap into the AI-powered future of reporting with Raiser’s Edge NXT and Financial Edge NXT powered by ActiveEcho

Introduction: At the recent Microsoft Insight Conference this November, the tech giant unveiled groundbreaking developments with Microsoft Fabric and Microsoft Copilot. While Copilot may not be an immediate reality for your organization it should be highly prioritized. Microsoft Fabric is available now, offering a seamless path to unifying your data under one umbrella. This blog post explores the synergies between Microsoft Fabric and ActiveEcho from MissionBI, particularly in the context of Raiser’s Edge NXT and Financial Edge NXT, ushering in a new era of reporting and analytics.

The Paradigm Shift: In the wake of these significant announcements, the question arises: What is stopping your organization from adopting Microsoft Fabric? Imagine the possibilities of consolidating all of your organizations data and leveraging Microsoft Copilot to generate insightful reports in Power BI, Excel, Teams, Word, and other Office products. This blog series initially aimed to connect ChatGPT to Raiser’s Edge NXT and Financial Edge NXT, but after witnessing the transformative potential of Copilot, we embarked on a 60-day trial of Microsoft Fabric. Watch three minutes of this YouTube video to see the Copilot announcement and demonstration in Power BI

ActiveEcho’s Role in Complete Organization Wide Data Integration: A key player in full organization data unification is ActiveEcho from MissionBI, which seamlessly creates continually refreshing Azure SQL database versions of Raiser’s Edge NXT and Financial Edge NXT through the Blackbaud Sky API. This data can then be effortlessly integrated into Microsoft Fabric, laying the foundation for a unified data ecosystem.

Understanding Microsoft Fabric: For those unfamiliar with Microsoft Fabric, it is an all-encompassing analytics solution designed for enterprises. Covering everything from data movement to data science, real-time analytics, and business intelligence, Fabric offers a comprehensive suite of services in one centralized platform. In summary Microsoft Fabric allows full data unification on an organizational level. More details about Microsoft Fabric can be found here.

The 60-Day Trial: Within minutes of subscribing to the 60-day trial version of Microsoft Fabric, I successfully incorporated Raiser’s Edge NXT and Financial Edge NXT data. The journey doesn’t end here – the next step is delving into the semantic layer.

The Semantic Layer: The semantic layer is where the magic happens. Here, we instruct data analytic tools on how the Raiser’s Edge NXT and Financial Edge NXT data tables are linked, incorporating essential formulas for reporting purposes. This layer isn’t just a technical detail; it should be an open and shared product accessible to all. I envision making it an integral part of ActiveEcho user groups, fostering collaborative discussions. Drawing on 26 years of experience with the Raiser’s Edge, my goal is to moderate meaningful conversations about the semantic layer for Raiser’s Edge NXT and Financial Edge NXT, ensuring it becomes a shared resource for all.

Other options for AI and Raiser’s Edge NXT / Financial Edge NXT: Microsoft Fabric is one way to unify your organizations data and Microsoft Copilot will be transformational but there are many other ways to connect the many different AI tools to your Blackbaud data. Azure OpenAI Service is another option. As we move into 2024 utilization of AI and data analytics should be a top priority for any organization.

Conclusion: As we venture further into the world of Microsoft Fabric, ActiveEcho, and the semantic layer, the vision is clear – a unified data ecosystem that empowers organizations to harness the full potential of their data. The future of reporting with Raiser’s Edge NXT and Financial Edge NXT is AI-driven, and the journey starts now with Microsoft Fabric. Embrace the transformation, and let’s explore the uncharted territories of data analytics together.

Jim Evans is the ActiveEcho Product Ambassador at ActiveEcho delivers a continually refreshing Azure SQL copy of Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge NXT and/or Financial Edge NXT databases, specifically designed to connect with the latest reporting tools and AI interfaces.

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