Lesson timeI’m just back from trips around the U.S. and Europe teaching Data Scientists and Data Architects how to use the Cortana Intelligence Suite (formerly Cortana Analytics) in deep analytic projects. There are multiple components to learn and apply – and one of the most commonly asked questions is “What do I use for a given solution?” It’s a simple question, with a complex answer.

It’s not a simple matter of “choose one from column B and two from column A” – you have to learn the processes, and then the tools, and then think about your situation. In other words, some things are complicated because they are…complicated. However:

There are some things you can consider out of the box. So I spoke with my friend Romit Girdhar while we were co-teaching in London last week, and he put together a great visualization. You can see them here, and download the PDF below. Thanks, Romit!

It’s important to note that not all of these offerings are strictly part of the Cortana Intelligence Suite – the formal list of those specific products is maintained here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/cortana-intelligence-suite/what-is-cortana-intelligence.aspx. I’ve included things like Azure Blob Storage and Azure Search in the list below as they form a complete solution.

Note also – this list isn’t by any means exhaustive. You’ve also got Microsoft R Server, SQL Server in Azure VM’s and on prem, and  many more. I’ll post some example architectures soon. 

For Compute:


For Storage:


Download them both here:

CA Options PDF Download

Note: My good friend Jen Stirrup has a great post on this as well, and you can check it out here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/developers/articles/week02may16/how-to-get-started-with-cortana-intelligence-suite/