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Four Keys To Success With Snowflake

four keys to success with snowflake

Four Keys To Success With Snowflake

Today the key to success lies in effective data management. The downfall of many enterprises is solely due to their ancient data warehouse solutions and on-premise hardware that are costly and time-consuming to maintain. What one needs is quick, easy, and secure access to data at all times with minimal effort. Something precisely like “Snowflake.”

Snowflake

Snowflake is a data warehouse or an information stockroom. It is where all your data comes together. Many companies have what is commonly referred to as “Data Islands,” or pockets of data that are not used beyond the first time. It primarily happens because this data fails to mesh with other data. Snowflake helps overcome this obstacle. Its design or architecture is such that it allows storing and stockpiling data and computing to scale independently. Therefore, the users pay separately for storage and computation. Furthermore, the sharing usefulness makes it simple for enterprises to share secure information progressively and in real-time rapidly.

What Makes Snowflake Special

  • It has unique data sharing and data cloning features along with separation between storage and processing and spontaneous scalable computation.
  • It provides unlimited, seamless scalability across AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Microsoft Azure. There are high chances that Google Cloud, too, shall be added soon.
  • It is most suited for dynamic usage trends and agile methodology because of its modern design architecture.
  • Snowflake can provide insightful data analysis even with large quantities of raw data.
  • It gives its users the capability to analyze and blend different data structures using SQL.

Four Keys To Success With Snowflake

Snowflake is probably the best Cloud data platform out there today. Nevertheless, just like any other Cloud data platform, the key to its success lies in its correct implementation. So here are the four keys to achieving success with Snowflake:

1. Choosing The Correct Deployment Type – Snowflake gives its users three deployment options. You need to choose the one that is the best fit for your organization. Choosing correctly will determine whether your implementation will make you a winner or become a cause for your downfall. So the three options to choose from are:

  • Single Account – One account for all the three environments DEV (development), TEST (testing), and PROD (production).
  • Double Or Two Accounts – Two separate accounts. One which is used for both development and testing (DEV + TEST) and the second, solely for production (PROD).
  • Triple Or Three Individual Accounts – Three separate accounts for each DEV, TEST, and PROD environment.

The most recommended option is “Single Account,” as it makes for easy data management and administration. In fact, it makes for the least amount of confusion as one account is used for all the environments.

2. Designing Or Architecture – Snowflake has hybrid architecture or design. It consists of the traditional shared-disk and shared-nothing architectures to offer the best of both worlds. In order to ensure the successful implementation of Snowflake, it needs to be designed to fit and accommodate your complete business data architecture. If the foundation, which in this case is the architecture, is not strong, the implementation will be shaky at best and challenging to manage.

A quick tip is to build the data lakes either over the file landing sector or integrate them with Snowflake inside the staging zone.

3. Appropriate Data Modeling Approach – You can’t just pull the map of a data warehouse out of thin air. There has to be a proper modeling approach that is customized for your enterprise. Essentially speaking, a data model defines the manner in which the data packets are stored, connected, accessed, and processed. In this step, the sources of data are identified along with the location and availability of the data sets. It forms the basis for designing the physical and logical structures as per the organizational requirements.

Snowflake gives its users a choice between three types of modeling approaches. These are:

  • Inmon Approach – Typically, this approach is associated with a high start-up cost. It is considered exceptionally good if you wish to achieve tactical organization-wide data integration. Herein, data marts are used as physical separation from the complete enterprise data warehouse.
  • Kimball Approach – This one has a relatively low start-up cost. It is most suited for strategic individual business needs. Herein, a star schema or a dimensional model is used to set up data within a dimensional data warehouse.
  • Data Vault Approach – In comparison to the above two approaches, this one is still pretty new. It is a hybrid of star schema and Third Normal Front. It is considered to be highly beneficial for historical tracking and audit purposes.

If you are a first-time user and beginning from scratch, the Kimball Approach will be a better option as it is simple and easy to manage.

4. Data Processing – Snowflake supports various data intake and integration or incorporation patterns. Namely

  • Scheduled (batch), 
  • Event-based (near real-time) 
  • Streaming (real-time). 

A critical evaluation of your company’s data use cases will facilitate the detection of the most suitable pattern to use. Also, once that is done, you have the freedom to pick and mix the patterns any way you want to show the flow of data through your company. Furthermore, the pattern you choose will usher the necessary toolset for the absorption and amalgamation of data. One can use ETL tools like DBT and Matillion along with other third-party ETL tools like Informatica and Ab Initio. Snowflake also supports hand-coding using Python, Node JS, and Java.

Bottomline

Ultimately, the key to the successful implementation and deployment of Snowflake is in its apt management. You need to manage access by defining roles and privileges, monitoring the resources to keep operational costs within budget, and establishing tough security practices. Snowflake is fast gaining momentum, and if your organization can harness its power and capability, you will come out a winner. It’s time you start doing things differently instead of blindly following how people did it before. If you want to succeed – think out of the box.