It’s only natural to edge forward incrementally. But every once in a while, there is a step-level change that really alters the game. The Data Cloud is exactly that – an opportunity to completely mobilize your data in the service of your business.
The Data Cloud is a new type of cloud, so you can avoid bunkering and siloing your data across the infrastructure and application clouds, as well as your on-premise systems. The problems with data silos are numerous. First, it is difficult to join, augment, and integrate data from different silos, preventing us from gaining critical insights and understandings. Second, fragmented and proliferated data is a data governance nightmare. And finally, there is the economics of it all. We end up paying way more than we need to because it’s impossible to manage the use of capacity in such a fragmented environment.
The Data Cloud eliminates all of that. The Data Cloud starts with the Snowflake Cloud Data Platform, which thousands of customers around the world continue to use and is the technology that underpins the Data Cloud. But what makes the Data Cloud unique is this large ecosystem of customers AND their data. Each customer has a single source of truth for their own data, and the ability inside the Data Cloud to instantly share live data with each other in governed and secure ways.
Our Secure Data Sharing technology is part of the Snowflake Cloud Data Platform and the bedrock technology of the Data Cloud. What makes it so special? It’s virtual and frictionless. There’s no copying and replicating data. Customers designate data for sharing and grant permissions to it. The recipient can then process against data in place, without ever gaining physical custody of that data. This means data is always up to date, with zero latency, and any updates to shared data sets by the providers are instantly available to their consumers.
The Data Cloud also transcends public cloud and geographical boundaries. Snowflake customers can acquire and share data with each other by granting governed access to specific data sets in their Snowflake accounts. They can be located in different clouds and in different geographic regions of a cloud. On Snowflake, data silos are a thing of the past.
One of the important dynamics of our Data Cloud is the network effect. The more users who join, the more data scope and reach these users gain. In other words, you join the Data Cloud not just because of speeds and feeds but because of all other data that is part of this cloud. You can browse data far and wide, and also seek out specific partnerships with consumers and providers of data and data services.
In addition, we at Snowflake have the opportunity to extend the reach of the Data Cloud beyond adding customers and cloud regions. The rise of the Data Cloud coincides with the latest innovations from our strategic partnership with Salesforce. This year, our joint customers will be able to more easily access their Salesforce data in Snowflake Cloud Data Platform and easily combine their Snowflake and Salesforce data to derive the deepest insights possible. This capability further increases what’s possible in the Data Cloud.
Pure data providers, who make a living selling data, view Snowflake Cloud Data Platform and the Data Cloud as avenues to expose their wares to a much broader community, and to make it incredibly easy to access data and process against that data. The network effect is driving consumers and producers of data to the Snowflake Data Marketplace, where they can easily find one another.
A recent case in point is Starschema, a widely popular COVID-19 data set, which more than 2,000 Snowflake customers have requested already. The data is curated and analytics-ready for any Snowflake customer. Customers have also joined it with other COVID-19 data sets available from Snowflake data providers, such as data sets from Weather Source, to understand the impact weather has on the virus. In addition, our customers have combined these shared data sets with their own business data to help determine when and where to reopen brick-and-mortar locations, what inventory to carry based on demand, and other business decisions as COVID-19 social distancing policies continue to ease.
As a Snowflake user, you are part of the Data Cloud. It comes with the Snowflake Cloud Data Platform. Any Snowflake user out there has a fast and frictionless pathway to any other data set in the growing Snowflake orbit. You may or may not need it on day one, but why keep siloing and bunkering data when you don’t need to? The Snowflake Cloud Data Platform and the Data Cloud are opportunities to completely mobilize your data in the service of your business.
Originally published on Snowflake on June 2, 2020 by Frank Slootman