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BlueScope forges enhanced analytics capability – transitions 800 models to the cloud

Microsoft and Versor support data and analytics transformation, leverage Azure Synapse Analytics, machine learning and Versor Results Now

Leading global provider of innovative steel materials, products, systems and technologies, BlueScope, has partnered with Microsoft and Versor on a major data and analytics transformation, leveraging the cloud based Azure Synapse Analytics to ensure limitless analysis capability.

More than 800 BlueScope analytical data models which were previously managed in an on-premises Hadoop environment are being transitioned to Azure Synapse Analytics and Azure Databricks.

The current on premises solution, whilst delivering significant value to BlueScope over the past four years, was reaching its limits based on the growing requirements and usage demand of the data platform. Rather than performing a lift and shift to the cloud, BlueScope has undertaken a root and branch transformation of its data and analytics services that promises unprecedented insights and longevity, with Azure Synapse Analytics’ unparalleled capability able to meet the company’s current and future needs.

Working closely with Microsoft’s global team of data and analytics engineers and specialist data and AI partner, Versor, BlueScope will be able to complete the “in-flight” transformation over a period of eight months – all the more impressive given the workplace limitations imposed by COVID-19.

According to Julianne Tancevski, BlueScope Australia’s Data Platform Product Owner; “This was a very significant undertaking, and we value the support of both Microsoft and Versor. We are moving to a infinitely scalable, high performance cloud analytics platform that is able to not only meet our current needs but grow dynamically with the business as we proceed in our data-driven digital transformation.”

An array of Azure tools and services will be used to facilitate the transformation including Azure Data Factory, ADLS Gen2, Azure Databricks, Synapse Analytics, and Azure Analysis Services.

The on-premises Hadoop environment has more than 800 custom models that will be migrated to Azure Databricks, vastly simplifying BlueScope’s analytical operations.

Looking ahead, BlueScope has begun using Azure Machine Learning to improve critical steel manufacturing processes and tackle cash positions predictions. Extending this scalable ML platform will mean delivering critical business insight across the entire operation.

Lee Hickin, Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft Australia said; “Azure Databricks bring highly optimized and performant Analytics and Apache Spark services, along with the capability to scale in an agile and controlled method. Coupled with Azure Synapse Analytics, a data warehousing market leader in massively parallel processing, BlueScope were able to access cloud scale limitless capability and performance.”

“Microsoft data and analytic experts from Australia and our international operations were delighted to work alongside our partner Versor to support BlueScope on this vitally important transformation towards AI and Lachine Learning”

Dougall McBurnie, Managing Director, Versor said: “Our sole purpose at Versor is to work with clients to unlock the value in their data.  Our ResultsNow® ADF accelerator supports metadata driven data ingestion using Azure Data Factory which has helped BlueScope accelerate their time to value.

As a Databricks platinum partner, coupled with our deep understanding of and expertise in Azure Synapse Analytics, we’ve been able to uniquely help BlueScope steel reimagine its analytical operations and create a future-proofed data warehouse and analytics platform.”