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Modern Data + AI Integration:Strategies and Architectures

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5 Key Takeaways for Snowflake Summit 2023 

Snowflake Summit 2023 was undoubtedly more exciting than the previous two Summits. With great innovation announcements, keynotes and sessions, and some quality time with customers, partners, and some former colleagues, I can’t help but write about it.

In this 3-day event, we learned about the advancements Snowflake made to support generative AI and large language models (LLMs), data clean rooms, Apache Iceberg, flexible programmability, application development, and much more.

Day 1 started with a CEO fireside chat which was moderated by Sarah Guo, CEO of Conviction, with Jensen Huang from NVIDIA and Snowflake’s Frank Slootman, who discussed trends in Generative AI and its impact on every industry.

Let me share some of the key takeaways from the Summit. Here are the top 5 for me:

  1. Breaking silos with Snowflake Data Cloud
  2. Collaboration while keeping data secure
  3. Snowflake brings the power of generative AI (LLMs) to the data cloud
  4. Snowflake Native App reaches a new level of adoption
  5. Snowpark Container Services Snowflake extends programmability for developers

 Breaking Silos with Snowflake Data Cloud

On day 2, in the opening keynote, Frank Slootman discussed how Snowflake has been on a journey to break down silos to help organizations put their data to work. With updates to Iceberg Tables to further eliminate data silos and allow organizations to use open table formats with fast performance and enterprise-grade governance, Snowflake continues to redefine what’s possible with data.

From high-performance analytics at scale to global collaboration across shared data to enabling full programmability without sacrificing governance, Snowflake makes it easier for organizations to get value from all of their data. This is great if you have all your data in Snowflake, but we know, in reality, that data is still spread on different data sources (i.e., silos).

Nexla enables data consumers to make use of any internal data – including Snowflake Data Cloud, or third-party data, regardless of its source, format, type, or volume. Nexla’s bi-directional universal connectors help you connect to files and databases to emails, or APIs whether streaming, batch or real-time, in only a few clicks – making it easy for you to achieve your business goals at speed.

Collaboration while keeping data secure.

Day 2 of the Summit had its share of buzz around data clean rooms. Snowflake’s Global Data Clean Room framework provides new capabilities that enable businesses to securely share data and collaborate with external parties. And, you guessed it: Nexla announced a clean room solution for Snowflake!

Nexla simplifies and streamlines clean room solutions for these organizations through automation while helping them maintain the highest standards of security and compliance. Nexla’s universal connectivity and ready-to-use data product capability adds velocity and brings operational scale to Snowflake data clean room projects. Nexla helps organizations realize the full potential of business by making it easier for providers to set up and use a clean room with their partners and helps consumers easily connect to and activate data on any platform of their choice.

 
Snowflake Brings the Power of Generative AI (LLMs) to the Data Cloud

With new innovations like Document AI (Snowflake’s acquisition of Applica (Sept. 2022)), Snowflake launched a new large language model (LLM) based on generative AI technology to help customers understand documents and put their unstructured data to work. A large language model (LLM) is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that uses deep learning techniques and massively large data sets to understand, summarize, generate, and predict new content. By integrating this model within Snowflake’s platform, organizations will be able to easily extract content like invoice amounts or contractual terms from documents and fine-tune results using a visual interface and natural language.

LLM in Snowflake

But how do you connect a vast majority of business users to Snowflake?

In particular, how do you connect users to their tools of their choice? Whether that’s business intelligence tools like Tableau for data analysts, Jupyter Notebook for data scientists, or APIs for devices, Nexla’s universal connector makes it easier for a business user to quickly connect to the Snowflake Data Cloud. This enhances user productivity in secure and scalable ways, helping businesses make smarter data-driven decisions. 

Snowflake Native Apps reaches a new level of adoption

Snowflake Native Apps empower developers with the tools needed to easily create apps on Snowflake. As these apps run directly within their Snowflake accounts, they operate more effectively by reaping the benefits from the performance, scale, and efficiency of the Snowflake platform

This native deployment and distribution model reimagines the traditional approach of copying data to apps, instead bringing the work to the data by enabling apps to run inside an end users’ existing Snowflake account. Customers no longer have to export or provide external access to their data, significantly accelerating the path to customer acquisition and adoption for providers. This results in enabling thousands of Snowflake customers to easily discover and install these apps without having to move or expose their data.

Snowpark Container Services Snowflake Extends Programmability for Developers

With the launch of Snowpark Container Services, Snowflake has expanded the scope of Snowpark*. This will enable developers to unlock broader infrastructure options such as accelerated computing with NVIDIA GPUs, Notebooks, and AI software to run more workloads within Snowflake’s platform. The result is the ability to run a wider range of AI and machine learning (ML) models, APIs, internally-developed applications, and more without complexity.

Again, the question is how do you connect all tools and apps with Snowflake?

Nexla’s automated bi-directional connector helps with this connectivity. With 300+ pre-generated connectors ready to go out-of-the-box and the ability to auto-generate new connectors in days instead of months, Nexla’s converged all-in-one platform provides bidirectional access to all data, regardless of format or source.

 *Snowpark provides a way for secure deployment and processing of non-SQL code with various runtimes and libraries on the Data Cloud. It lets builders work with data more effectively in their programming languages and tools of choice.

Conclusion

It was great to experience the energy that only an in-person event can deliver. I relished talking to customers about how Nexla can help them meet their business goals. For me, the most valuable part of it was hearing customer and partner reactions to the launch of our Snowflake Data Clean Room solution.

To read more on how Nexla enables Snowflake Data Clean Rooms, check out the press release here. If you’re ready to accelerate your data and deliver data securely both internally and externally, get a demo or book your free data solution consultation today. 

For more on data, check out the other articles on Nexla’s blog.

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