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Snowflake aims at financial services with data cloud

Snowflake launches its new Data Cloud offering as it continues to expand the range of applications and capabilities for its customers, including Western Union and Capital One.

Snowflake Inc. today unveiled its new Financial Services Data Cloud platform that provides an integrated set of data services designed for financial services organizations.

The cloud data vendor introduced the new platform at its virtual Financial Services Data Summit.

The Financial Services Data Cloud is built on Snowflake's Data Cloud, which provides software-as-a-service data management, governance and data warehouse capabilities.

With the new platform, Snowflake has an industry-specific offering that enables users to pull in their own data as well as industry datasets such as Acxiom, S&P Global and FactSet from the Snowflake Data Marketplace.

Snowflake also revealed that it has achieved the Cloud Data Management Capabilities (CDMC) standard, an emerging effort to help improve best practices and regulatory compliance in the cloud for data.

Tom Mazzaferro, chief data officer, Western UnionTom Mazzaferro

In a roundtable discussion with media, Tom Mazzaferro, chief data officer at Western Union, explained how his firm is using Snowflake and why the CDMC is an important initiative.

"Regulators are looking at cloud platforms like Snowflake and figuring out how to evaluate them and how to ensure that they tick all the boxes and have all the right controls in place," Mazzaferro said.

He noted that in the past regulators have used different approaches to evaluate cloud controls, on a case-by-case basis.

Regulators are looking at cloud platforms like Snowflake and figuring out how to evaluate them and how to ensure that they tick all the boxes and have all the right controls in place.
Tom MazzaferroChief data officer, Western Union

With Snowflake's compliance with the new CDMC framework, Mazzaferro said he sees a better approach to compliance for security and regulatory concerns that affect the financial services industry.

"With this new capability ... it's a disruptive change to the industry we're in," Mazzaferro said. "It will allow customers and regulators to rally around this new standard to define what does it mean to be compliant, what does it mean to be secure and what does it mean to be resilient across multiple regions and multiple clouds."

How Capital One is using the Snowflake Data Cloud

In an interview, Salim Syed, senior director of data engineering at Capital One, outlined how the company has been using Snowflake.

Snowflake is used for several functions across Capital One's operations, including data warehousing and the data engineering work to streamline the company's data transformations.

Syed said Capital One is evaluating the Snowflake Data Marketplace to identify how it can best integrate third-party data.

He emphasized that Capital One is primarily using Snowflake to increase scalability and resiliency.

"The number of users we have, the number of concurrent queries we run and the number of total queries we run per day -- it's just astronomical," Syed said. "We needed a platform that could scale up to the demand and guarantee predictable performance, no matter what else was running."

He also noted that Snowflake has helped enable some consolidation across Capital One's data architecture, with an increasing number of data workloads moving to the cloud.

Consolidating data

The idea of bringing disparate sources of first- and third-party data together is one of the drivers behind Snowflake's new Financial Services Data Cloud offering.

In the media session, Matt Glickman, vice president, customer product strategy and global head of financial services at Snowflake, said the new offering brings industry-specific data together.

"Industry data is really the backbone of the Financial Services Data Cloud," Glickman said. "This is what allows our customers to embrace data and connect the data in real time without moving it using Snowflake's unique secure data sharing, and data sets particularly focused on [the] financial services ecosystem are now becoming front and center."

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