When To Use Snowflake

When To Use Snowflake

The Data and Analytics tooling market is large and crowded. In categories including data warehouses, data lake technology, ETL tooling and business intelligence tools, there are no shortage of choices from the open source world, commercial vendors and cloud providers.

Though many of these tools in the market have strengths and are the best choice for specific problems, we believe that Snowflake is the optimal solution for working with data for the vast majority of businesses and the vast majority of use cases.

A Fully Managed Platform

Snowflake is delivered as a fully SaaS and fully managed solution, meaning there is very minimal software to run and configure.

This means there are no servers or middleware to install and operate, no cloud service to configure, and you can get started on the business level work of organising, transforming and analysing your data and bringing you products to market right away.

More Than A Warehouse

Snowflake started life as a simple cloud data warehouse, but over time has grown into more of an integrated platform. This includes the ability to query data stored outside of Snowflake, integration tools for bringing data into Snowflake, and tools for transforming, analysing it using SQL or Python and for sharing outside of your organisation.

Avoiding the need to integrate, manage and use multiple tools is a big win for keeping your estate simple to manage and reducing total costs.

Consumption Based Billing

Snowflake is based around a genuinely consumption based billing model, where you only pay for the data that you store by the byte, and the compute that you use by the second.

This means that new initiatives and data platforms can be tested with no capital expenditure and low costs, and costs only begin to rise as you extract more value from your platform.

In addition, the cost of your Snowflake deployment includes the cost of the underlying compute. This means that your costs are consolidated in one place and on one monthly invoice.

Scalability From Vanilla To Advanced Use Cases

Snowflake is an enterprise class product, which will scale with you from a simple business intelligence requirement through to big data and complex analytical workloads.

As a cloud based platform, it also has effectively unlimited scalability and elasticity. This means that it is a platform which will can scale up and down in line with your business usage patterns and growth over time.

Limited Lock In

Though there is always a degree of migration effort into or away from a data product, Snowflake has a relatively low level of lock-in. It is a standard relational data warehouse, and much of the business logic to load, transform and analyse data will be written in standard ANSI SQL or Python.


As the market leader, almost any commercial or open source analytics tool that you use will integrate with Snowflake. This includes tools for ingesting data, tools for transforming data and dashboarding and analytics tools.

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