Microsoft partner BizData has poured over wealth management firm Netwealth’s need for data storage and analytics, taking its on-premises infrastructure to a cloud-based data lake solution on Azure.
According to Microsoft, the data analytics agency helped Netwealth deploy the Azure infrastructure which hosts the data lake and is considered to be a “key part” of the firm’s take up of the cloud.
The deployment comes to replace the company's limited on-premises infrastructure, which could only store and analyse five years of data.
Meanwhile, the new data lake has about 1.5 terabytes of data already loaded and plans to add additional historical pricing and product-related data from the last 20 years, as well as external third-party data to broaden the scope of its analytics.
For comparison, assuming it was not capped by the five-year limit, the old system would have taken a month to load the extra 15 years’ worth of data. The new system can do this in just eight hours.
Nathan O’Mara, product owner, data and analytics for Netwealth, said keeping the data secure was of the utmost importance for the firm, as it works around stringent industry requirements relating to data security and sovereignty.
As such, the move from the old system to the Azure infrastructure saw transferred data encrypted with a private connection. Additionally, the firm keeps its data collection onshore with Australia-based instances of Azure and utilises Azure Active Directory and Role Based Access Control to manage who can use and analyse specific data sets.
“From an internal point of view, we like to make our data available to as many staff as possible and take management by exception type of approach to say ‘no, you can’t have access to that data, but everything else is open,’” O’Mara said.
In addition to the data lake deployment, BizData also deployed Azure Synapse Analytics and advancing business intelligence for Netwealth. Meanwhile, the firm also rolled out Azure Cognitive Services for directing information on its operational and administrative forms to cut down on overheads.
“We are really looking to pull in all of that sales pipeline data into our Synapse environment and really looking to optimise our sales processes,” O’Mara added.
“We need to be very flexible about how we expose, secure, maintain and access our data. And that’s where we think the whole Azure ecosystem will benefit us.”