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Snowflake Room for Improvement

SreenivasanRamanujam - PeerSpot reviewer
Director -Data Architecture and Engineering at Decision Minds

Portability is a big hurdle right now for our clients. Porting all of your existing SQL ecosystem, such as stored procedures, to Snowflake is a major pain point. Currently, Snowflake stored procedures use JavaScript, but they should support SQL-based stored procedures. It would be a huge advantage if you can write your stored procedures using SQL. 

It seems that they are working on this feature, and they are yet to release it. I remember seeing some notes saying that they were going to do that in the future, but the sooner this feature comes out, it would be better for Snowflake because there are a lot of clients with whom I'm interacting, and their main hurdle is to take their existing Oracle or SQL Server stored procedures and move them into Snowflake. For this, you need to learn JavaScript and how it works, which is not easy and becomes a little tricky. If it supports SQL-based procedures, then you can just cut-paste the SQL code, run it, and easily fix small issues. 

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MedhaValvekar - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr Manager at Cognizant

The solution could use a little bit more UI. Something was in process, however, it's not yet deployed or in the version that I'm using it is not deployed. If we have to use any table or any schema in other DB features, the prompt comes over after a dot. Whenever we are using it it would really help if it looked better. 

If you're running a procedure, it just gives a standard error instead of the exact error captured. If you have to look at it, you need to go into the history to look into which query failed, and we need to figure it out. Instead, if the error, whatever it is, is instead displayed in the history, showing the point of failure, it would be more visible. It would save some time for all the people who are using it.

There are some reporting analytics that we can use. I'm aware of those. However, if there was more reporting, we'd appreciate that. We'd like for it to become a complete one-stop-shop solution. 

We'd like to have some automation around small tasks, especially around scheduling.

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Solution Architect at a wholesaler/distributor with 10,001+ employees

They need to incorporate some basic OLAP capabilities in the backend or at the database level. Currently, it is purely a database. They call it purely a data warehouse for the cloud. Currently, just like any database, we have to calculate all the KPIs in the front-end tools. The same KPIs again need to be calculated in Snowflake. It would be very helpful if they can include some OLAP features. This will bring efficiency because we will be able to create the KPIs within Snowflake itself and then publish them to multiple front-end tools. We won't have to recreate the same in each project. 

There should be the ability to automate raised queries, which is currently not possible. There should also be something for Exception Aggregation and things like that.

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June 2022
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director of business operations at a logistics company with 51-200 employees

One area for improvement would be the stored procedures. Currently, their stored procedures can only be executed at a transactional level versus being able to run and do updates and run things in a sequence.

An additional feature I'd like to see is called materialized views, which can speed up some run times. I'd like it to be able to be used where you can have multiple tables inside them; materialized view. That would be nice. As well as being able to run cursors, to be able to do some bulk updates and some more advanced querying, table building on the fly.

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Anirban Bhattacharya - PeerSpot reviewer
Practice Head, Data & Analytics at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees

There are three things that came to my notice. I am not very sure whether they have already done it. The first one is very specific to the virtual data warehouse. Snowflake might want to offer industry-specific models for the data warehouse. Snowflake is a very strong product with credit. For a typical retail industry, such as the pharma industry, if it can get into the functional space as well, it will be a big shot in their arm.

The second thing is related to the migration from other data warehouses to Snowflake. They can make the migration a little bit more seamless and easy. It should be compatible, well-structured, and well-governed. Many enterprises have huge impetus and urgency to move to Snowflake from their existing data warehouse, so, naturally, this is an area that is critical.

The third thing is related to the capability of dealing with relational and dimensional structures. It is not that friendly with relational structures. Snowflake is more friendly with the dimensional structure or the data masks, which is characteristic of a Kimball model. It is very difficult to be savvy and friendly with both structures because these structures are different and address different kinds of needs. One is manipulation-heavy, and the other one is read-heavy or analysis-heavy. One is for heavy or frequent changes and amendments, and the other one is for frequent reads. One is flat, and the other one is distributed. There are fundamental differences between these two structures. If I were to consider Snowflake as a silver bullet, it should be equally savvy on both ends, which I don't think is the case. Maybe the product has grown and scaled up from where it was.

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Mauricio Ruiz Falcón - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Information Management Architect at Raken

I think that the area of improvement with Snowflake is to improve the administration. It would benefit from an administration that allows you to be aware of your credit consumption once you have the service so that you may be sure how many credits you are consuming when you use the platform and to make sure that you are making the most efficient use of these resources. In other words, to improve their interface so that you may monitor the consumption of your credits on Cloud.

I also heard from a company we work for that it could be more user-friendly because it provides some tools but they are not user-friendly.

Additionally, it would be very helpful if Snowflake integrated machine learning and some other advanced analytics features within their language or product capabilities. Right now, they do it through some other company where you have to buy these capabilities from other vendors. There are some customers that don't have complex needs for machine learning or advanced analytics so they don't have to buy it from another vendor but can use it from the product itself if they have it.

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Data Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees

The aspect of it that was more complicated was stored procedures. It does not support SQL language-based stored procedures. You have to write in JavaScript. If they supported SQL language and stored procedures, it would make migration from on-prem much simpler. In most cases, if an on-prem solution has stored procedures, they're usually written in SQL. They're not written as what most on-prem DBMS would refer to as an external stored procedure, which is what these feel like to most people because they're written in a language outside of SQL.

The other thing that people found difficult to deal with was that they had several Oracle DBAs who were very experienced DBAs, but they were used to on-prem. They were used to having the ability to turn any dial and flip any switch. Moving to Snowflake did cause some issues there because they had to completely readdress the fact that they couldn't touch the engine, and they had to spend more time analyzing performance.

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AVP Enterprise Architecture at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees

Their strategy is just to leverage what you've got and put Snowflake in the middle. It does work well with other tools. You have to buy a separate reporting tool and a separate data loading tool, whereas, in some platforms, these tools are baked in. In the long-term, they'll need to add more direct partnerships to the ecosystem so that it's not like adding on tools around Snowflake to make it work. They can also consider including Snowflake native reporting tools versus partnering with other reporting tools. It would kind of change where they sit in the market.

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Senior Vice President at a tech services company with 201-500 employees

We've spoken with Snowflake about the fact that there are a few bare minimum requirements now these days for any data cloud, data lake, or platform. They've lacked a bit here, however, they're adopting some new measures that will be available in the next release, so that is sorted.

Snowflake is partners with only AWS as a cloud platform. However, in India, Microsoft has got a big subscription. The product needs to be able to adapt to Azure a bit more in order to meet the local market demands. 

It's difficult to know how to size everything correctly.

They should incorporate at least a basic ETL framework.

It's early days, however, I would put the solution at a seven out of ten. It needs a bit more time to mature. If I were to look at it strictly from a warehousing perspective, I'd rate it at an eight out of ten.

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Senior Data Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

Although the UI has improved lately, they still need to work on their UiPath, the workspace area.

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Director Consultoria at tecnoscala consulting

The documentation could improve. They should provide architecture information.

There could be better integration with tools other than the common databases used to receive data. There are other tools that have ETL tools within, such as Tableau. You are able to work with information prior to sending it to Tableau. This feature would be nice to have in a tool from Snowflake.

In a future release, they should make it easier to do reporting. A drag and drop type feature would be good. If not a drag and drop feature, there should be some other easier way to do it than it is now.

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CEO at a computer software company with 51-200 employees

It would be better if they had a data profile tool that tells me where the gaps are in my time series data. We are anxiously waiting for them to release their data catalog and analytics capabilities, which is going to happen in June or July. If that works the way we think it might, then that would just extend our firm's capabilities into a space that we have never been interested in building ourselves. It could be a really good thing for us.

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Senior Snowflake Data Architect @ COOP Financials NC at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees

The UI could improve because sometimes in the security query the UI freezes. We then have to close the window and restart.

There should be an IDE concept similar to the Java IDE or Eclipse feature. I should be able to see all of the functions available on a particular object. Every time we need to go to the Snowflake documentation and look if there are any methods we need. It is hard to remember everything, go and search, and use that that eventually found method. If it was possible to list out all the methods and functions available in an object that would help the developer's a lot.

In an upcoming release, we should be able to send or receive data from external systems but this is not able to be done. There should be built-in logging and monitoring features, we should not need to be dependant on third-party solutions, such as Splunk. There should be more DevOps features to reduce the usage of third-party tools. If these features were part of Snowflake it would be a fully functional complete solution.

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Yash Mittal - PeerSpot reviewer
Lead Data Engineer at a consultancy with 51-200 employees

One thing which I believe Snowflake needs to improve is related to product activation queries. It's not possible to change the warehouse size while executing. It means, for example, that the query is sometimes activated on a larger surface even if I've switched to extra small, the grading in the background is running on extra large. The result is that I have to pay for extra large until the execution is complete. The cost implications can be quite large. There should be a system where they provide a prompt so you can know the current warehouse size.

It would also be helpful if they would simplify the process of using Snowpipe. The way it works now is quite complicated. There are certain steps that you have to follow which is fine but if they could simplify that process, it would be helpful. 

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Enterprise BDM and Solutions Speacialist at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees

The pricing of the solution should be much easier to calculate or find by yourself.

Clients want to get a rough idea as to how much it's going to cost for year one, year two, year three, et cetera. There is a calculator that Snowflake gives you, however, more often than not, you have to go to Snowflake to get those numbers. You can't do it yourself. To simplify things, it could be easier if they made it maybe easier to understand the cost and what the outgoing cost for a customer would be.

In the future, if they added AI capabilities, that would be ideal.

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Founder & CIO at a computer software company with 11-50 employees

There are always a few operation updates here and there that can be made. However, overall, there aren't any features or glaring shortcomings. It's pretty good. We can't complain.

While the solution is quite inexpensive, there is always a push from clients that want it to be cheaper in the future.

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Veerendra Karnam - PeerSpot reviewer
General Manager at itcinfotech

We've come to realize that for many customers, pricing of this solution is an issue. Maintaining Snowflake clusters is challenging and cost intensive. Reporting could also be improved. Any data that moves out of Snowflake is being cached. If I have 400 to 500 end users, with 100 or 200 reports on a daily basis, all the reports will be cached. It's a matter of ensuring that costs can be optimized. The combination of Red Warescape plus Snowflake is a combination from the design and development perspective. But the combination from the reporting perspective to micro strategy on top of Snowflake could be a better feature, so there's a combination that has to be considered.

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Yaniv Meir - PeerSpot reviewer
BI & BIG DATA Director at Malam-Team

In future releases, it can also support full unstructured data.

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Lead Data Analyst at a wholesaler/distributor with 1,001-5,000 employees

Its pricing or affordability is one of the big challenges. Pricing was the only thing that we didn't like about Snowflake. In terms of technical features, it is a complete solution.

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Senior Software Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees

Right now, Snowflake doesn't have any analytical functions, especially in comparison to Oracle and other databases. The analytical performance needs to improve. It would be ideal if Snowflake was able to use the analytical functions, and what we have in the relational database. That would be really helpful. 

They don't have any SLAs in place. It would be better if they did.

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DBA at a venture capital & private equity firm with 11-50 employees

Snowflake has support for stored procedures, but it is not that powerful. They have a lot of limitations. For example, it is really basic and there are limitations on subqueries.

The functions are not very good. Improving this would help to make sure data manipulation much easier. Right now, the inbuilt stored procedures and functions are all Java-based.

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Sanjay Bheemasenarao - PeerSpot reviewer
Director - Data Engineering expert at Sankir Technologies

They have a new console, but I couldn't figure out anything in the new console. So, if I shift to the old console, I can figure out where to create the database schema and other things, but I have no idea where to go in the new console. That's one thing they can improve. I don't know why they created a new console to confuse. The old, classic console is much better.

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Manager IT BRM/FRM at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees

The data sharing capabilities across business units within the organization should be better. There could also be better integration.

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RAHULVERMASIR - PeerSpot reviewer
Technical Architect at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees

There are a lot of features that they need to come up with. A lot of functions are missing in Snowflake, so we have to find a workaround for those. For example, OUTER APPLY is a basic function in SQL Server, but it is not there in Snowflake. So, you have to write complex code for it.

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CEO, Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 1-10 employees

There are some functions in the SQL language in other products which are not yet included in Snowflake's SQL. It would be helpful to have those included, they're nice features. It's a minor issue because all those things can be implemented in some other way. Not essential, but it would be nice to have them. 

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Sr. Solution Architect at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees

I haven't found that the solution is lacking any features. It's quite complete.

I would like to see a client version of the GUI. Right now, it is a web GUI, which has stored the SQL, the worksheets. We are asking for that from Snowflake. We'd like to understand how can we save these worksheets on our local desktop. That is not there at this point.

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NitinKumar - PeerSpot reviewer
Director of Enginnering at Sigmoid

Several areas need to be improved, as follows:

  1. Cost reduction: This is always good to have, and nobody would say no to it.
  2. Implement multiple result windows as tabs to compare results. If we can have a feature where the results can be moved to different tabs, so that I can compare the results with earlier queries before applying the changes, it would be great. Also, it should be optional, where it can be enabled or disabled as needed.
  3. I would like to be able to copy the results onto the clipboard and paste them directly into Excel.
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Manager at SSM VIT Global Solutions

There are some challenges with loading unstructured data and integrating some message queues or brokers. In one project, we had a problem connecting to one of the message queues and we had to take a different route altogether on Microsoft Azure. 

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Technology & Innovation at a consultancy with 201-500 employees

Every product has room for improvement, although in this case, it needs some broadening of the functionality. They could become more complete.

Including more AI functionality would be nice. Microsoft does have more in this regard, although that also has to do with the size of the company.

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Biraja Mishra - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Principal Consultant at Genpact - Headstrong

There are some gray areas. For example, there is no clarity on where the data sits exactly. That is their proprietary information, and they are not sharing those details. 

Its price should be improved. On the cost-side, it is more expensive than others.

If they could bring in some tools for data integration, it would be really great.

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Ravi Kuppusamy - PeerSpot reviewer
CEO and Founder at BAssure Solutions

Snowflake has to build more capabilities because they have only built very few adapters, but they're growing and they're building. They should provide provisions to collect ETL pipeline capabilities, reduce developer work, and make more rapid application development, rather than some customizations. There are very few options, but they are building. I hope they will build ETL rapid application development provisions with more variety.

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Tom Bruce - PeerSpot reviewer
Co-founder & Delivery Lead at a tech services company with 1-10 employees

Whilst flexibility is one of its key strengths, it would be useful if there could be some better governance built into the product. In addition, functionality out of the box to deal with common data warehousing scenarios (e.g. slowly-changing dimensions etc.) would be great.

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Associate Manager at a consultancy with 501-1,000 employees

I am still in the learning stage. It has good security, but it can always be more secure. 

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Sr Lead Data & Information Architect at a pharma/biotech company with 5,001-10,000 employees

The solution needs to offer more functionality related to machine learning and artificial intelligence.

The solution needs more connectors.

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Hussain Modu - PeerSpot reviewer
Technical Lead at Wipro Limited

Sometimes when I'm trying to refresh the data, my different application or tool has to connect to its backend database through the connection I create. Sometimes, I face some issues like not having permissions. These aren't as crucial, but there are common errors sometimes where the database is down, or a table is nullified and a new table is added and you are not given access to that. With those errors, you don't have permissions.

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ML Lead at a tech services company with 201-500 employees

The scheduling system can definitely be better because we had to use external airflow for that. There should be orchestration for the scheduling system. Snowflake currently does not support machine learning, so it is just storage. 

They also need some alternatives for SQL Query. There should also be support for Spark in different languages such as Python.

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General Manager of Data Science at a non-profit with 501-1,000 employees

They need to improve its ETL functionality so that Snowflake becomes an ETL product. Snowpipe can do some pipelines and data ingestion, but as compare to Talend, these functionalities are limited. The ETL feature is not good enough. Therefore, Snowflake can only be used as a database. You can't use it as an ETL tool, which is a limitation. We have spoken to the vendor, and they said they are working on it, but I'm not sure when they will bring it to production.

They should also make its initial setup easier. Its customization and configuration are not very straightforward.

Their technical support is awesome, but it is just too expensive.

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Solutions Architect-AI & ML at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees

We would like to have an on-premises deployment option that has the same features, including scalability.

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Anoop Anoop SLK - PeerSpot reviewer
Enterprise architect at a computer software company with 201-500 employees

There is a need for improvements in the documentation, this would allow more people to switch over to this solution. I would like to see in the future a wizard for data modelization automation.

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Subhrajit Mitra - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. Technical Architect - Business Intelligence / Data Warehouse at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees

For the Snowflake database, there should be some third-party features for the ETL. It would also be good to be able to use some kind of controls to get the data either from another database or a flat file.

Its price should be improved. It should be cheaper than Microsoft.

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Vice President of Business Intelligence and Data Engineering at a comms service provider with 201-500 employees

There could be better ELT tools that are appropriate for Snowflake. We decided on Matillion and it seemed to be the only one. There need to be better choices, it would be great if Snowflake provided an ELT solution that people could use. Additionally, if there was a pure cloud-based ELT tool it would be useful.

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Data & Analytics Practitioner (BIDW, Big Data) at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees

There are certain special features that are not available. For example, in Oracle, we have an SQL field. We have functions, procedures, packages, et cetera, which you can create similarly in Snowflake. However, it's not that flexible when compared to Oracle.

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Big Data & Cloud Manager at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees

We would like to be able to do modeling with Snowflake. It should support statistical modeling.

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Chief Data Architect - Europe at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees

There is a scope for improvement. They don't currently support integration with some of the Azure and AWS native services. It would be good if they can enhance their product to integrate with these services.

It would also be great if it can support stored procedures.

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Vinoth Raj Prabhakaran - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Data Architect at Tata Consultancy Services

Snowflake could improve if they had an Operational Data Store(ODS) space.

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HarishAjjarapu - PeerSpot reviewer
Associate Director at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees

I would like to see more transparency in data processing, ATLs, and compute areas - which should give more comfort to the end-users. 

Improvement to the end-to-end process of loading data into Snowflake could be made as well.

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Senior Solutions Architect at NessPRO Italy

They should improve the reporting tools. 

They could increase their bandwidth to connect to other ETL tools. 

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Data Architect and ETL Manager at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees

We would like to see more security including more masking and more encryption at the database level.

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Buyer's Guide
June 2022
Learn what your peers think about Snowflake. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
608,010 professionals have used our research since 2012.