Snowflake: An Overview

The digitalization of modern business enterprise has created a seemingly never-ending stream of raw data. Gleaning actionable nuggets of information from terabytes upon terabytes of data requires systems that can retrieve, store, and process data quickly and efficiently. One of the most common of these systems is called a data warehouse.

Data warehouses are central repositories of integrated data obtained from one or more disparate sources. These systems store current and historical data in one single place, which can then be retrieved for the development of analytical reports and other actionable information for employees throughout an enterprise. A well-designed and comprehensive data warehouse can unleash the power of institutional collected data.

Developing and maintaining sophisticated data warehouse systems is often too expensive for individual businesses, which is why many have partnered with service vendors and their cloud-based platforms. One of the most prominent Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) data warehouse vendors in this industry is Snowflake Inc., which offers a complete array of services, platforms, and features related to data warehouse systems.

What is Snowflake Inc.?

Snowflake Inc. was founded in Silicon Valley by Benoit Dageville and Thierry Cruanes. They developed the Snowflake data cloud platform to serve as a tool to harness the power of business-generated data, which was often under-used in the past. According to Snowflake’s website, customers of its platform achieved an average rate of return of more than 600% over the past three years.

What Services Does Snowflake Offer?

The Snowflake platform uses a unique architecture that logically separates but natively integrates storage, computing, and services. The multi-cluster architecture allows employees to access business data simultaneously without impacting performance. This advanced data warehouse system architecture provides a platform for numerous services, including:

  • Data sharing
  • Data applications
  • Data science
  • Data engineering
  • Data lake
  • Data warehouse

Leveraging the capabilities of this system architecture, Snowflake has developed customizable platform solutions applicable to several industries, including financial services, healthcare, and life sciences, retail, advertising, media, entertainment, technology, government, and education.

Snowflake has also developed tools for accessing and analyzing third-party data sets that are vital to scientists, business intelligence, and analytics professionals, and everyone who desires data-driven decision-making access. Snowflake offers ready-to-query access to dozens of third-party data sets.

Why Is the Snowflake Platform Important?

For modern businesses, generating raw data is a part of the standard operating procedure. In fact, with the continuing trend toward business digitalization, generated data has become so plentiful that it tends to overwhelm systems and their ability to use it in a meaningful way. Just because data is plentiful does not mean it is also useful—at least not until it is properly stored, retrieved, analyzed, and processed.

Data warehouses provide the platform and tools needed to achieve the goal of efficiently and effectively storing, retrieving, analyzing, and processing data so that raw data becomes useful and actionable information for business decision-makers. How data warehouses achieve those goals requires an approach that varies significantly from traditional data techniques, which allows data warehouse systems to store data from many different sources, creating a central enterprise-wide repository.

The Snowflake platform offers all the tools necessary to store, retrieve, analyze, and process data from a single, readily accessible, and scalable system. Snowflake concentrates on data accessibility through queries, high-volume capacity for many users, and no-maintenance automated scalability.

Snowflake’s data warehouse platform is now serving more than 3,000 customers, varying in size from small businesses of fewer than 50 to Fortune 500 companies employing thousands. In July 2020, the company processed more than 500 million separate data warehouse queries. Without a doubt, Snowflake is a leader in the data warehouse cloud-based platform as a service industry.

Snowflake: An Overview

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