As 2018 comes to an end and the winter weather takes hold of BlueGranite’s headquarters in southwest Michigan, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on our appreciation for our clients and partners, our organization’s growth, and to share some of the best of our business insights from the past 12 months.

This proved to be another record year for BlueGranite – we’re thankful to our staff, clients, and partners for that growth, and for our continued success. We added new team members, expanded our partnerships, and gave back to communities across the U.S. We also continued to foster strong client relationships through our innovative solutions.

2018 Highlights

Highlights of 2018

This year we welcomed 14 new faces to the BlueGranite team. Thanks to our newest members, we have expanded our nationwide presence with clients located in 32 states and team members located in 16 states. In addition to our team expansion, we are pleased to announce that we spurred business growth by 24 percent this year.

This year, Microsoft awarded BlueGranite as its 2018 MSUS Data & AI Partner for Big Data Analytics, and as a global 2018 Big Data Analytics Partner of the Year finalist. We are excited that our successful delivery of Microsoft Data & AI solutions to our clients stood out among the 2,600 partner entries from 115 countries, meriting one of only 39 coveted Microsoft award opportunities. We are honored by Microsoft’s recognition of our commitment to innovation, and we can’t wait to see what is in store for BlueGranite in 2019.

Our success allowed us to again give back to our local communities. BlueGranite sponsored its second annual Day of Service program, where we encourage team members to spend a work day volunteering for a local nonprofit organization of their choice. Across the country, employees came together to donate their time and service to 10 charitable U.S. organizations – volunteering for multiple food banks across the country; working to help provide housing for those that cannot afford it; implementing and upgrading tech at a kids’ summer camp; preparing fleece blankets for children in need; cleaning up Michigan’s rivers; and more. We would like to extend a huge thanks to our team members for giving their time and energy to these great causes!

In addition to volunteering time in 2018, BlueGranite announced its second annual BlueGranite Give Back program: our team members nominate, then vote for, a nonprofit organization to support in December. This year, we chose the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Toledo, a nonprofit organization that promote wellness – through education, support, and advocacy – for individuals and family members in Greater Toledo living with mental health issues and illness.

2018’s Most Popular Content

Every year our writers create a wealth of valuable blog content, and 2018 proved to be no different. Check out our top technical tips and some of 2018’s greatest Data and Analytics industry advancements.

Blog Posts

Let Azure do the Heavy Lifting on Your AI Workload
If you’re a data scientist or an AI aficionado, you already know the struggles of using your laptop or workstation to train complex models. In this post, explore how Azure can help offload work from your data and analytics team to a highly scalable cloud environment to complete the job faster than ever before.

Cognitive Services Showcase
In this six-part series from BlueGranite’s Data Science and Analytics team, we’ve highlighted some of the most useful and popular Microsoft Cognitive Services, such as SearchVisionSpeech, Language, and Knowledge. Learn more about each service and key use cases in this educational series.

Beyond the Basics: Report Design Considerations for Self-Service Users
Your company rolled out self-service Power BI – how exciting! But what can you do to take your reports and visualizations from “just adequate” to “truly great”? How can you better engage your audience and convey the most important information clearly? Learn more in this post about building up your Power BI skill sets.

The Right Tool for the Job: Azure Data Factory V2 vs. Integration Services
With the features of Azure Data Factory V2 becoming generally available in the past few months, especially the Integration Services Runtime, the question persists in our practice about which data integration tool is the best fit for a given team and project. Both Azure Data Factory and SQL Server Integration Services are built to move data between disparate sources, and they do have some overlapping capabilities. If you are new to either of these tools, this post summarizes some questions to help you begin understanding the differences.

Solution Briefs

From Code to Table – Using Technology for Smarter Food Production
Conserving water and power while improving crop yield is vital to the commercial agriculture industry’s long-term success. Using natural resources as efficiently as possible translates to higher-quality food and good land stewardship. A global leader in freshwater and wastewater management, about to embark on a high-stakes environmental project, wanted to thrive in both arenas. It partnered with BlueGranite to ensure success. Together, we are applying data science and information technology to create a state-of-the-art precision irrigation system.

Modern Data Platform Gives Operational Insights & Saves Millions
Encumbered with poor data retrieval capabilities and slow turnaround time due to a third-party data storage vendor, one of the largest transportation providers in North America enlisted our help to migrate its on-premises data warehouse to an Azure environment. The client’s third-party data storage outlet ran on an archaic system, which often created more questions than answers, and was quite expensive in terms of storage cost. Our state-of-the-art Azure-based solution helped to streamline the company’s data collection and retrieval procedures, fostering actionable insights.


Getting Started with AI: An introductory session for business and technology leaders
Cognitive-based organizations have adopted artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and integrated AI solutions into the core areas of their business. Transforming a business with AI begins with a clear understanding of AI, key technologies, and use cases. Integrating AI into your business is not only a viable and realistic option, but it can also be a key to the future success of your business.

What a Year!

BlueGranite had a record year in 2018 – and we couldn’t have done it without you! From the BlueGranite team, we thank you for your support and wish you a wonderful holiday season and happy New Year!