The technology options and capabilities available to us are constantly improving and evolving. At Aptitive, we consider it our job to keep up with the changing technology around us so that we can help our clients make the best decisions possible. Recently, two of our key technology partners, Snowflake and Microsoft, have made some pretty impactful technology announcements. Here are some of the most important updates and what they could mean for your business.
Snowflake Data Marketplace
Snowflake is a data platform built specifically for cloud computing. It offers a variety of features to help you maintain your solution such as scalable compute power, centralized storage, and automated metadata management.
Snowflake’s recent feature, the Snowflake Data Marketplace, allows you to seamlessly integrate third-party data from other businesses and government reports with your company’s data. Examples include COVID data, census and neighborhood insights data, and AIRBNB data. Integrating this third-party data enables you to drive more advanced and insightful analytics.
In addition to empowering you to easily incorporate third-party data, the Data Marketplace additionally reduces costs associated with maintaining APIs or other technologies needed to implement this data. If any third-party data your company currently leverages is unavailable in the Marketplace, you can easily send Snowflake a request to add that data to the Marketplace. Lastly, the data updates automatically on a daily or hourly basis depending on the data set, requiring little maintenance on your end. Details on how to get started browsing the Data Marketplace can be found here.
Many companies can immediately derive value by integrating COVID data with their sales and marketing data to directly assess the impact the pandemic has had on business. A financial services company could leverage the FactSet data that covers financial reorganization announcements would allow analysts to easily track updates and incorporate them with daily reports. One easy way to unlock insights would be to automatically flag key reorganization announcements based on the stocks clients hold so you can proactively respond.
Microsoft Azure Data Factory Integration with Snowflake
Azure Data Factory is the cloud ETL service within Microsoft’s Azure environment. It is responsible for orchestrating and automating the movement of data via pipelines from one data source to another using a relatively code-free interface. Recently Microsoft added a connector to support integration with Snowflake, a long awaited feature. With this addition, you can now easily reference data from Snowflake using a Lookup Activity, ingest data from Snowflake to load elsewhere with Copy Activities, and load data into Snowflake from various sources. Additionally, it supports the use of several key Snowflake commands such as COPY INTO.
For companies that currently use both ADF and Snowflake, the Snowflake integration removes the need for custom code to connect the two, making development and support much easier. Instead of writing custom code to run via an Azure Function (or finding some other work around) you can simply add a Snowflake activity into your Pipeline. Microsoft is also planning to add support for loading semi-structured data and integrating Snowflake options into Mapping Data Flow to enable easy data transformations. One thing to note – this connector does not yet support calling Snowflake stored procedures. For those who have been considering utilizing Snowflake and Azure Data Factory for their data platform and orchestration needs, your development to implement those tools just got much easier.
These are just a few of the recent exciting announcements. There are a slew of other new features available in Snowflake (Search Optimization, Snowsight, External Functions) and Microsoft Azure (increased auto-scaling, new insights in Azure Monitor, API management updates). The options are nearly endless. Aptitive has helped many clients assess emerging technologies and determine how they would fit into their technology architecture and derive business value. If you are interested in taking advantage of new features, reach out to Aptitive for a free 90 minute whiteboarding session to evaluate what would work best for your company and leverage our wealth of knowledge around our technology partners and their new offerings.
Shane Kalepp is a Data Management and Analytics Consultant at Aptitive. In his role, Shane enables companies to discover insights and access the information held by their data.