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Visualisations for SnowFlake

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

SnowFlake has revolutionised the data warehousing market. It’s performance and capabilities are incredible for anyone who is responsible for managing data. Having worked with databases, specifically SQL Server for many years, I have to say I have fallen in love with SnowFlake.

Moving to SnowFlake from on-prem or a cloud hosted legacy database is a significant undertaking. Actually getting it done in a business, while keeping up with all of the other day to day tasks, is a great achievement.

What is the value of your data?

Once you have your data in SnowFlake I think of it as akin to building a library and having all the books in there ready to go. Just like a library full of books, it’s “nice”, but the real value comes when someone reads the books and does something with that knowledge.

The value in the data comes when it’s in the hands of people within your business that can use it to understand what is happening, and to adapt a strategy or a process, to improve business performance. So how do you expose the data for your business users?

Increasing your data value

SnowFlake has just released a set of out of the box visualisation tools with SnowSight. These tools are available for your SnowFlake users. The visualisation tools are similar in approach to traditional BI tools like PowerBI, Tableau or Qlik. So definitely not intended for your typical business user.

The key to increasing data value is to get the insights out of SnowFlake and into the hands of your business users in a way that allows them to explore, investigate and understand the data on their own.

This is where I think it’s interesting to note that SnowFlake made a significant investment in 2020 in the yet to be IPO’d ThoughtSpot. ThoughtSpot is a search and AI driven analytics tool, think Google for data. It has been built from the ground up for business users and for large data volumes. ThoughtSpot addresses the performance issues that traditional BI have been struggling with and also the issue of organisation wide adoption of self-service analytics.

ThoughtSpot provides a clean and simple search bar that allows business users to type in their question in simple language. ThoughtSpot interprets the question and converts it to a fully formed SQL query that is executed against the data within SnowFlake. The answer is then visualised on a chart within ThoughtSpot for the user to further drill into and explore.

With SnowFlake and ThoughtSpot working together you are taking the performance and data management capabilities of arguably the leading Cloud Data Warehouse and exposing your valuable data for your business users to search and ask questions of data. With ThoughtSpot you close the loop on the data supply chain and turn your SnowFlake investment into a competitive data advantage for your business.

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