It was thrilling to be back in the field for our first big post-COVID event with Snowflake in Las Vegas. We ran into people we’d only met virtually over the last two years – Snowflake contacts, new partners and potential customers. We’re very focused on the Snowflake ecosystem so every conversation, every session, every meeting became a learning experience. Here are some of our favorite presentations, conversations and takeaways.
How Do You Define “Data Governance” Anyway?
- Bethany Dziekan, ALTR Business Development Representative
Lunch was the best time to have some off-the-cuff conversations, and one of my favorites was with representatives from an automotive parts company using Snowflake and Matillion. They have a lot of on-premises data they need to migrate and were actually at the conference to find a data control and governance solution to add to the mix. What was surprising, but maybe shouldn’t have been, was how frustrated they were by the ecosystem. They said, “So many vendors claim they do data governance, and there seems to be so much overlap in vendors… so what makes you any different?” They found it really difficult to distinguish the differences because the terminology was so vague that data governance could mean something entirely different depending on the source. We knew this was an issue lots of companies face but it was startling to run into that frustration first hand.
Not (Yet) at Its Peak: Data Sharing
- Carl Wolf, Product Manager
Snowflake has built awesome data sharing capabilities, but they don't seem to be something the majority are activating yet. Many people were excited, but there are still challenges to properly handling massive data sets and many organizations are not mature enough in Snowflake to really take advantage of this yet. That being said, I think this is a core advantage for Snowflake, and is likely to get bigger - not smaller - as time goes on. I stopped by a data vendor I worked with at a previous company - one of the massive legacy vendors where we had complex sFTP flows for huge files and process - and their booth was dead while some of the newer dataset companies leveraging Snowflake natively were hopping. There’s a huge opportunity in organizations more easily, securely, and responsibly sharing data assets, and I’m excited to see the space grow!
A New Era in Data Tools
- Pete Martin, Co-founder / Director of Product Marketing
While the cloud data revolution is well underway, led by Snowflake and other cloud data storage and warehouse solutions, the tools for managing that data still seemed to be stuck on the ground. But not anymore. At Summit, I felt a breath of fresh air seeing a clear break with a new era of data tools that support companies using Snowflake. Atlan, Select Star, ALTR, Rivery, and Matillion Data Loader are all SaaS products in the catalog, policy, and ELT space. Companies now have the ability to do what used to cost $100k - $1M / year or more… for free (sometimes for life; sometimes to start). Data teams are attracted to this model because they can try out solutions for themselves and avoid lengthy sales conversations, as well as costly and time-consuming infrastructure maintenance. The future of Snowflake (and the data ecosystem) is plug and play.
Data Mesh? So Hot Right Now
- Neha Shah, Senior Product Manager, and Pete Martin
Data mesh is HOT - people want to centralize storage of data but also decentralize access to enable a multitude of use cases. This is something people have talked about for years, but Snowflake’s cloud technology is now enabling folks to make it a reality. And this year, everyone and their mother were talking about it. It’s viewed as the evolutionary goal for companies on their data journey. Snowflake also put real heft behind data mesh with its newly announced extended support for external tables (in addition to native governance capabilities).
Until Snowflake Summit 2023
We can’t emphasize enough what a great experience Summit was for the ALTR team. We hope that what happened in Vegas, in this case, doesn’t stay in Vegas — we plan to keep the conversation going with new friends and colleagues throughout the rest of 2022. Until we meet in person again, check out these upcoming virtual events with ALTR partners!