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Snowflake announces updates geared towards data mobilisation

By Catherine Knowles, Mon 23 Nov 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Snowflake has announced new features designed to deliver more value for customers within Data Cloud.

Key features include expansion of Snowflake Data Marketplace, unveiling of Snowpark developer experience, support for unstructured data, and new data governance technology.

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The Data Cloud is a global network where organisations mobilise data with scale, concurrency, and performance.

Inside the Data Cloud, organisations can unite their siloed data, discover and securely share governed data, and execute diverse analytic workloads, Snowflake states.

The new features will enable Snowflake customers to work with more types of data, have a more powerful developer experience, deliver more control over data, and access data services more simply, the company states.

The speed at which data is generated continues to increase but the proliferation of data silos means organisations can access only a small proportion of data inside or outside their businesses.

Snowflake created the Data Cloud to unlock the value of data by eliminating on-premises and cloud-generated data silos created within organisations and across their subsidiaries, business ecosystems, geographies, and the one or more public cloud providers they use.


Snowpark is a new developer experience that will allow data engineers, data scientists, and developers to write code in their languages of choice, using familiar programming concepts, and then execute workloads such as ETL/ELT, data preparation, and feature engineering on Snowflake.

According to the company, this simplifies an organisations IT architecture by bringing more data pipelines into Snowflake's single, governed core data platform.

By doing so, data professionals seamlessly leverage the scalability, performance, security, and near-zero maintenance benefits of Snowflake.

Snowpark will enable developers to leverage existing skill sets, improve team productivity, reduce cost with fewer systems in a customers architecture, and extend Snowflake's capabilities for additional data engineering and data science use cases.

Snowpark is currently available in testing environments only.

Data Services on Snowflake Data Marketplace

Snowflake Data Marketplace enables any Snowflake customer to discover and access live, ready-to-query, third-party data sets from more than 100 data providers, without needing to copy files or move the data.

The marketplace now also features data service providers.

A Snowflake Data Marketplace user can create live, secure, and bi-directional access to the data they want a service provider to perform a range of data enrichment services on, such as running risk assessments on a customers data, augmenting a data set with behavioural scoring, or simply outsourcing the more advanced analysis such as predictive and prescriptive data analysis.

Unstructured Data

The portion of the world's data that is unstructured is quickly increasing.

In addition to structured and semi-structured data, Snowflake announced support for unstructured data such as audio, video, pdfs, imaging data and more which will provide the ability to orchestrate pipeline executions of that data.

Unstructured data management in Snowflake means customers will be able to avoid accessing and managing multiple systems, deploy fine-grained governance over unstructured files and metadata, and discover new revenue opportunities thanks to gaining more complete insights.

This feature is currently in private preview.

Row Access Policies

Customers will be able to advance their data governance across all data objects and workloads in Snowflake, the company states.

Row access policies will give Snowflake customers the ability to create policies for restricting returned result sets when queries are executed.

By creating an umbrella policy to restrict access, users will no longer need to worry about ensuring their queries contain all the right constraints, and security administrators can ensure policies are applied across all workloads running on the platform.

For example, an organisation's security team can implement a policy that returns to its sales reps only the rows of customer data they need to see and not customer data associated with other sales reps.

Row access policies are designed to mitigate risk, improve governance, and help organisations better adhere to regional and industry-specific data privacy regulations.

Snowflakes row access policies feature is expected to be in private preview later this year.

Mobilising data with Snowflake

Snowflake cofounder and president of products Benoit Dageville says, “Data is central to how we run our lives, businesses, and institutions. Many of today's organisations still struggle to mobilise all of their data in service of their enterprise.

"The Data Cloud contains a massive amount of data from Snowflake customers and commercial data providers, creating a powerful global data network effect for mobilising data to drive innovation and create new revenue streams."

Snowflake senior vice president of product Christian Kleinerman says, “Snowflake’s platform enables organisations to leverage the power of the Data Cloud regardless of which supported public cloud they use, or where an organisation's data or users are located.

"The new features announced today are another example of Snowflake's commitment to delivering the technology customers need to fully mobilise their data and achieve meaningful business value.”

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