Best practices, Building data pipelines, Product

How to Gain More Value from your Snowflake Investment

Have you built a cloud data warehouse with Snowflake? The feature set and scalability is pretty awesome, right? Do you wish you could share the love with more users?

That requires putting well-curated data in front of every decision-maker who can use it. But the process to acquire enterprise data and make sense of it for the business is still a major commitment of resources involving weeks of ETL coding, testing and iterations between domain experts and data engineers. During this time, no value is being delivered, and big assumptions are being made about what users really need.

And, when all this work is done, getting it in front of some eyeballs means even more discussion, iteration and training. This is why end-user self-service has been the big lie for almost 20 years—end-users get predetermined views of the data, which are delivered to them with enormous effort.

Now there’s a faster way to collect and curate enterprise application data and provide it to all of your users, at scale, with speed, and in a way that doesn’t let costs spiral out of control. The Incorta Snowflake connecter gives Snowflake users additional capabilities to:

  • Make enterprise application data ready for analytics users with less time and effort
  • Provide true self-service analytics to business users
  • Provide query acceleration to BI tool users needing high-performance drill-down into detailed and complex transactional data

Let’s dive into the details and a use case for each one of these benefits.

Reducing Time from Data to Insights

Enterprise application data is complex, sometimes consisting of hundreds of tables for a single application area. It takes a lot of time and effort to understand all the relationships and decode all the columns.

Incorta Blueprints are pre-built analytics projects for popular enterprise applications such as Oracle e-Business Suite, Oracle ERP Cloud, Netsuite, SAP, JD Edwards, and Salesforce, in solution areas such as Accounts Payable, Procurement, Enterprise Asset Management, and Tariffs Reporting.

The use case involves connecting to enterprise applications, storing the detailed transactional data, leveraging Blueprints to create materialized views, and making the query-ready tables available to Snowflake as Parquet files.

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By replacing legacy ETL with Incorta connectors, the Data Loader and Blueprints, Incorta customers have been able to dramatically reduce the time and effort needed to bring enterprise application data to analytics users.

True End-User Self-Service Analytics

Incorta includes a simple end-user data visualizer and dashboard builder our customers use to open up data to large user populations, including front-line workers.

Because the new connector allows access to all the data in Snowflake via Incorta, Snowflake IT shops can get out of the business of providing simple reports and dashboards, handle increased user loads and keep a lid on query processing costs.

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Users can independently derive insights from the data in your Snowflake data warehouse, and they can also connect to, query, and join with other data — both local and remote sources — all on their own and without IT.

Greater Accuracy for BI tool users

Many users of BI tools like Tableau or PowerBI are used to not being able to drill into transactional details since they are working against transformed and aggregated data. So what do they do? They set up another monitor on their desk so they can dive into the source system alongside their BI tool.

However, the likelihood of systems being out of sync is high, especially when there is complex ELT and/or multiple pipelines. It would be so much better to be able to seamlessly flow from KPIs and aggregations to detail data, but up until now that hasn’t been possible without complex hacks or writing custom applications.

Incorta’s Direct Data Mapping allows users to issue real-time queries against detailed transactional data, even queries that involve dozens of joins.

In a slight variation of the use case above, detail data held in Snowflake is accessed via the Incorta Snowflake Connector, processed in Incorta, and made available to users running either their own BI tools or Incorta’s native analyzer and dashboards.

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This use case lets users seamlessly drill down from a high-level KPI or aggregation into supporting details in order to find the root cause of a problem, or take action on specific transactions.

Better Together

These three use cases are just some of the ways that Incorta is helping Snowflake customers simplify their IT footprint, manage costs, handle different kinds of workloads, and give users more options.

In the coming months expect to see more ways for Incorta to work alongside Snowflake to lower complexity and costs. But for now, head over to the Incorta Snowflake page for more details and links to whitepapers and other resources.