What is Snowflake (And How Can It Be Used for BI)?

Snowflake is one of the most popular data warehousing tools on the market. With most organizations generating petabytes of Big Data in various formats, it becomes necessary to find ways to collect and manage the data to provide meaningful and actionable business insights. Learn below about Snowflake and how it can support business intelligence within your organization.

What is Snowflake?

Snowflake is a cloud-based data warehouse tool that offers organizations a flexible and scalable storage system. Great for hosting data that can then be queried and accessed by a business intelligence solution (more on that later). Even though it is wholly built and hosted on the cloud, it pairs well with both cloud and on-premise BI solutions.

Organizations can acquire storage and computing resources separately on a subscription-based model. It also offers elastic storage, applying both hot and cold storage techniques to reduce costs and scalable computing, which side-steps the traditional concurrency caps of other data warehousing tools.

The Pros of Snowflake

You can use Snowflake to store both structured and semi-structured data, and the platform can transform it into SQL-compatible and usable formats. Pricing plans are based on usage, but organizations can also opt for fixed-rate payment models. A flexible payment structure allows computing resources to be activated for specific instances when needed without bearing the long-term costs.

A few more advantages include:

  • Snowflake is cloud-agnostic, meaning that customers can be multi-cloud. It is currently hosted in the main cloud service providers – AWS, Google Cloud, and MS Azure.
  • It boasts flexible cloud server systems to decentralize data, allowing various departments or stakeholders to access specified data sets without requiring complex data transfers.
  • It is possible to query data quickly without impacting the underlying data set, thereby receiving almost real-time data.
  • Single source data – Snowflake implements one, governed, and query-able source of all data in all formats, with almost unlimited and cost-efficient storage.
  • BI and Analytics support supports unlimited and dedicated compute resources to offer almost-unlimited access for all concurrent users in an organization. You can use SQL to query semi-structured data, and it supports most business intelligence (BI) and machine learning (ML) tools, including DashboardFox.
  • Low maintenance – it is possible to scale Snowflake up and down, both automatically and on the fly, thanks to its per-second pricing. It creates a single data copy that’s available almost in real-time throughout the organization.
  • Security and governance – provides governed access to authorized users, with automated encryption for data in transit, dynamic tokenization and masking of data, and the necessary compliance and certifications for data privacy and security.

The Cons of Snowflake

Like all other software tools, Snowflake has its limitations and areas of improvement. The following are some common complaints from users:

  • Snowflake has room for improvement in its advanced analytics use cases, especially the addition of Scala, Java, or Python to run natively in their virtual warehouses.
  • It is reportedly somewhat unintuitive, especially for customers familiar with relational databases since some of its concepts are radically different from the RDBMS mode of operation.
  • Snowflake is not well-suited for several database use cases, like OLTP scenarios – of course, this isn’t what Snowflake was made to do, but users should know that it isn’t well-supported.

How Can Snowflake Be Used for Business Intelligence

Data warehousing is a critical part of any business intelligence operation.

Using a tool like Snowflake allows organizations to benefit from faster implementation of data warehouses.

You can implement a cloud-based system in a fraction of the time needed for traditional ETL tools since they are made to be defined and automated quickly and then deployed.

With Snowflake, your BI tool like DashboardFox also benefits from easier iterations and updating of data warehouse solutions, creating a data management system that is more aligned to the needs of the IT and data analysis teams.

Its lightweight querying and scalable architecture make the tool ideal for companies exploring the data-driven business model. These organizations may similarly benefit from DashboardFox, an easy and intuitive BI tool that supports non-technical Dashboards, Reporting, and Data Analysis.

Snowflake’s flexibility and usability makes it valuable for growing organizations that are looking to test new systems, create custom analytical models, or leverage out-of-the-box approaches to fulfill their BI and analytical needs.

Users can use Snowflake for ad-hoc analysis since users can create queries. Its virtual warehousing also allows users to build their own ‘databases’ using cached or live data to result in faster queries and almost real-time BI insights.

Finally, users can embed analytics thanks to Snowflake’s elasticity, flexibility, and scalability. Embedded analytics applications require these three characteristics for effective and efficient operation.

Snowflake is an innovative data warehousing tool that aims at data democratization for all users in an organization. Provided in their subscription model (Data Warehouse as a Service), its platform allows users to focus on their BI projects while accelerating the performance of their chosen BI tool.

How Can DashboardFox Help With Snowflake?

We are saying this not because we are hard-selling our baby here. Still, DashboardFox can truly help you with using Snowflake and maximizing every penny spent on it — without breaking the bank for a presentation layer business intelligence tool.

How? It’s simple: with DashboardFox, you can easily visualize and present whatever data you have in Snowflake in a way that everyone can understand without compromising the security of your data.

With DashboardFox, visualization and security go hand-in-hand in giving you the best presentations.

Not only that, DashboardFox is easy to use: even those without any professional background in business intelligence can use DashboardFox as though they know it like the back of their hands. Add to that its self-hosted feature and affordable price ranges, DashboardFox is the perfect tool that you can use to get the most out of your Snowflake subscription.

Why is DashboardFox Potentially a Better Option?

Of course, there are other options that you can use to complement Snowflake and make the most out of it. Still, DashboardFox has all the checkboxes ticked with its simple and easy-to-use interface, regardless of your background in business intelligence or information technology in general.

Not only that, but DashboardFox is also:

Cost-efficient. As mentioned earlier, DashboardFox brings you the top quality service of a platinum-level tool with bronze-level pricing. That means no need to sign up for any form of subscription. Yep, you read that right. We will only charge you once, and that’s it — feel free to use everything on DashboardFox without any hidden charges. We know how hard it is to maintain operating costs, and this is how we help you.

Allows codeless reports. Thanks to DashboardFox, you can now create ad-hoc reports, datasets, and visualizations without the aid of a developer, SQL skills, or any proprietary syntax from Power BI, such as DAX. DashboardFox is intended for corporate users, and no development expertise (or expense) is required.

Complete BI platform. DashboardFox has everything that most companies need, and we add that caveat as there’s always 5% of use cases that we don’t meet, but we fit the bill for most organizations.

DashboardFox can turn such reports into interactive dashboards, mobile views, scheduled email notifications, direct sharing links, and embeddable dashboards and reports with a range of personalization and data-level security capabilities, all without requiring development or advanced technical skills.

Reach Out to Us

This is where our talk about DashboardFox ends, and our invitations for you to see things by yourself begin. Contact us and schedule a meeting, or better yet, book a live demo for free. Heck, we can even have a free trial just for you! We want to show you what we can do because we’re not just all talk. Again, actions speak louder than words.

What do you think about Snowflake? In the comments below, let us know your feedback on the platform and how you plan to use it or plan to in your organization.

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Questions? Let’s talk about your use case and see if DashboardFox is a fit.

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