Further user notes on SNOW

I posted yesterday a few thoughts on SNOW as a user, and was surprised at the number of comments and recommendations, so I will add a few that I decided to leave out of the earlier post. I wasn’t sure how detailed to get when I first wrote it, nor if anyone would find it useful, but since there was some interest, here are the rest of my comments.

After the first big push to get data up into snowflake and users connected to it, I moved on to other problems, and only attended to snowflake when something needed to be added. We are near (sort of) the snowflake headquarters, and as we were a fairly early adopter (and also convenient to them) we were notified when they had some technical presentations, sales presentations, etc nearby. One day they held one in Sacramento, so we decided to sit in and see what happened. Those kinds of half sales/half technical sessions are mostly useful because you see other users, and sometimes get to talk to technical staff in the company. Nearly all the other users at the session were government and health care, which was a surprise to me. It may be less significant that it seems because Sacramento is basically government and health care ONLY, but the snowflake guys said they had many clients in health care. There were a number of capabilities that we were looking for in snowflake that limited a lot our use of it, and the snowflake guys either had them in the pipeline, or were very interested in how we use them. They offered to add us as beta users, and even go so far as to visit and help out – we’ve seen this in other vendors we use that are really world class paradigm busters (believe it or not Sacramento has a couple!). That was a very encouraging sign, though in the end we couldn’t take them up on it, mostly because I couldn’t sneak it through the skunkworks at the job.

A second thing that is worth mentioning is when we started (about a year ago) implementing a new software package (I referred to it in an earlier post) that is hosted in snowflake, I had to set up some data sharing functions with that company. In the course of that project, I found that snowflake had ‘suddenly’ added an immense set of tools to pretty much seamlessly, securely, and powerfully share data between companies. I also found that they had third source data (things analogous to Nielsen consumer data) that was if not free quite affordable and very importantly simple to access and blend in with your own data. That last part is huge, btw.

All what I describe above is several years old (for the first story) and at least one year old for the second one. Who knows what they’ve been up to in the meantime, or what is in the pipeline now. That is what I meant when I said in the earlier note that maybe even snowflake doesn’t really know what kind of animal it is, whose tail they’ve grabbed hold of.