As Michael Otey noted last week, there's a lot going on at SQL PASS this year. One of the big announcements: Azure Analysis Services public preview.

Initially available in South-Central US and West Europe regions, Azure Analysis Services lets developers spin up new servers in seconds and can pull and analyze data from a variety of cloud and on-premise sources.

"The success of any modern data-driven organization requires that information is available at the fingertips of every business user (not just IT professionals and data scientists) to guide their day-to-day decisions," wrote Bret Grinslade, principal program manager of Azure Analysis Services, in a post introducing the new service. "With Azure Analysis Services, a BI professional can create a semantic model over the raw data and share it with business users so that all they need to do is connect to the model and immediately explore the data and gain insights."

For businesses interested in quickly scaling up their analytics without a large up-front investment, it could prove an interesting option.