As Frank Slootman, Snowflake’s CEO said “Every once in a while, there is a step-level change that really alters the game”. With the data cloud announcement, a step level change it is and a whole lot more. As he aptly put it, “The Data Cloud is exactly that – an opportunity to completely mobilize your data in the service of your business.”
Being in this very business, we have seen many technologies and platforms that have truly changed the game. Talk about Oracle for database, SAP for ERP, AWS for cloud or Salesforce.com for SaaS. And now Snowflake is going to do for data.
Snowflake’s journey for the past 8+ years has been as a native cloud-based data warehouse platform. With its simplicity, it has managed to disrupt the way organisations can deliver insights to its users and enable enterprises to be data-driven. Performance at enormous scale with flexible costing has been its mantra. The big shift is moving towards what Snowflake calls the Data Cloud.
Democratising data within the enterprise has been the differentiator to make timely and effective decisions. Making it practical for most of the organisations have simply not been possible. And now if we add external third-party data into the mix, that is practically not even a discussion point for the organisations.
This is where Data Cloud can be a game-changer. Here are the 3 ways in which we think Snowflake will change the game
1. ‘Global’ and/or enterprise data warehouse will not be a myth anymore
Well, this can work with global companies whereby regional nuances often hampered globally connecting data. Let’s call spade a spade. For the majority of the global companies, a global enterprise data warehouse is a mythical creature that is buried within one of their architectural documents or perhaps not even discussed due to the sheer magnitude of what it entails. No more with such a data cloud.
Consider an organisation with multiple divisions across different regions as illustrated above. Each division works with their own ‘local’ version of Snowflake data warehouse on a public cloud of their choice i.e. AWS, Azure and GCP respectively for each regional division. ‘Cloud of their choice’ is an important point as multi-cloud strategy gains traction within large enterprises.
This is where the magic of data cloud kicks in. The data within each Snowflake instance can be ‘joined’ across your divisional data warehouses to create a global view and garner insights that leaders yearn for. This joining of data is secure, virtual and frictionless without any movement of data between the divisions. This is possible with the underlying data sharing technology that is a foundational feature for Snowflake. For such organisations, questions like who are my common customers or how do we cross-sell & up-sell to our truly global customers can be a reality.
2. Enrichment will be as easy as flipping a coin
Think if you are consolidating customer information and you wish to enrich your data with new elements. This typically required a process to go through the hoops on various legalities including sharing data with the data specialists or integration efforts that can be prohibitive to add value to your customer data.
With Snowflake Data Marketplace, that is thing of the past. Based on your use case, you can readily join and enrich your data. There are various categories of data (as shown in the picture) available in the marketplace. As a provider of data, you can make your data available on the marketplace. As a consumer, you can request (based on paid) or get (for free) the data to connect with your own data.
If your stakeholders want to make decisions based on Covid-19 rates, connect the COVID-19 Epidemiological Data by Star schema for free with a few simple clicks. Or if you want to unmask your website user’s true IP address, simply request for ‘IP Address Privacy Detection’ by IPinfo. And remember there is no copying of any of this data into your environment, it is simply a matter of accessing the data via Snowflake virtually regardless of the cloud it resides on. The data marketplace is still in its infancy but it is a matter of time before we see the majority of our use cases being available.
3. Data will show up in your P&L
We know data is invaluable for your organisations. And for more than a handful, there is potential to make some moolah out of this. With data cloud truly opening up the possibility of meshing your enterprise’s data with the external data, the monetisation will become a reality. With the onset of Covid19, organisations are looking for alternate sources of revenue. The priorities are changing as businesses are looking for ways to monetise their data. Data cloud opens up doors for creating new data products that can be provided as a service, potentially on Snowflake’s marketplace.
This, of course, requires the organisations’ data to be on Snowflake. With what is on offer, this is a small price to pay.
We have heard so much of data being the new oil. Tie your seatbelts folk, the Data Cloud is going to be that global refinery.
And what more, with the strategic partnership with Salesforce.com, all the critical customer data will be integrated into and accessible from Snowflake. This is an invaluable proposition that can change the course for customer data & analytics. You will hear more on that soon from us.
We will be writing on leveraging your customer data within Salesforce.com along with the power of Snowflake to enhance your Customer Lifetime Value. Stay tuned!