Snowflake Data Science Guide 101: Simplified

on Data Science, data scientist, Data Warehouses, ETL Tutorials, Snowflake, Snowflake • January 25th, 2022 • Write for Hevo

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The Snowflake Data Science platform is designed to integrate and support the applications that data scientists rely on on a daily basis. The distinct cloud-based architecture enables Machine Learning innovation for Data Science and Data Analysis.

Platforms for Data Science are essential tools for Data Scientists. It allows for the exploration of data, the development of models, and the distribution of models. They also make data preparation and visualization easier while also providing a large-scale computing infrastructure.

By providing a centralized platform, Data Science platforms enable users to collaborate. They are a one-stop shop for data modeling because Data Science platforms include APIs that allow for model production and testing with minimal outside engineering requirements.

This article will introduce you to Snowflake Data Science. You will comprehend the significance of Snowflake and Data Science as well as its features.

Data Scientists are increasingly relying on Cloud-based services, and as a result, many companies have begun to build and sell such services. Snowflake also started the trend, which now generates $1.8 billion in revenue annually. Snowflake’s popularity grows with each passing year.

Finally, you’ll look at the Data Science Snowflake tools that Data Scientists use. So continue reading to gain more insights and knowledge about Snowflake Data Science.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Data Science

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Data Science is the study of massive amounts of data with advanced tools and methodologies in order to uncover patterns, derive relevant information, and make business decisions.

In a nutshell, Data Science is the science of data, which means that you study and analyze data, understand data, and generate useful insights from data using specific tools and technologies. Statistics, Machine Learning, and Algorithms are all part of Data Science, which is an interdisciplinary field.

Before arriving at a solution, a Data Scientist employs problem-solving skills and examines the data from various angles. A Data Scientist uses Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) to gain insights from data and advanced Machine Learning techniques to forecast the occurrence of a given event in the future.

A Data Scientist examines business data in order to glean useful insights from the information gathered. A Data Scientist must also follow a set of procedures in order to solve business problems, such as:

  • Inquiring about a situation in order to gain a better understanding of it
  • Obtaining data from a variety of sources, such as company data, public data, and others
  • Taking raw data and transforming it into an analysis-ready format
  • Developing models based on data fed into the Analytic System using Machine Learning algorithms or statistical methods
  • Conveying and preparing a report in order to share the data and insights with the appropriate stakeholders, such as Business Analysts

What is Snowflake?

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Snowflake is a popular Cloud Data Warehouse that provides a plethora of features without sacrificing simplicity. It automatically scales up and down to provide the best Performance-to-Cost ratio. Snowflake is distinguished by the separation of Compute and Storage. This is significant because almost every other Data Warehouse, including Amazon Redshift, combines the two, implying that you must consider the size for your highest workload and then incur the associated costs.

Snowflake does not necessitate the Selection, Installation, Configuration, or Management of hardware or software, making it ideal for organizations that do not want to devote resources to the setup, maintenance, and support of in-house servers. It enables you to centralize all of your data and size your Compute independently.

For example, if you need real-time data loads for complex transformations but only have a few complex queries in your reporting, you can script a massive Snowflake Warehouse for the data load and then scale it back down once it’s complete – all in real-time. This will save you a lot of money while not jeopardizing your solution goals.

Key Features of Snowflake

The following are some of Snowflake’s key features:

  • Scalability: Snowflakes’ Multi-Cluster Shared Data Architecture separates compute and storage resources. This strategy allows users to scale up resources when large amounts of data need to be loaded quickly and scale back down when the process is finished without disrupting any kind of operation.
  • No Extra Activity: It enables businesses to set up and manage a solution without the need for extensive involvement from Database Administrators or IT teams. It does not require the installation of software or the activation of hardware.
  • Security: Snowflake includes a number of security features, ranging from how users access Snowflake to how data is stored. You can manage Network Policies by whitelisting IP addresses to restrict access to your account. Snowflake supports a number of authentication methods, including Two-Factor Authentication and SSO through Federated Authentication.
  • Semi-Structured Data Support: By utilizing the VARIANT schema on the Read data type, Snowflake’s architecture allows for the storage of Structured and Semi-Structured data in the same location. VARIANT supports both structured and semi-structured data storage. Snowflake automatically parses the data, extracts the attributes, and stores it in Columnar Format once it is loaded.

Snowflakes as a Data Science Platform

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Machine learning is a data-intensive activity, and each predictive model’s success is dependent on large amounts of diverse data that must be collected, persisted, transformed, and appeared in a variety of ways in various ways.

Snowflake Data Science platform assists businesses in streamlining their Data Science initiatives. In a recently released Deloitte report that surveyed more than 2,700 global companies about how they are preparing for AI, modernization of their data infrastructure was ranked as their top initiative for gaining a competitive advantage because it is “Foundational to Every AI-Related Initiative” evidence that a modern cloud data platform such as Snowflake can be the linchpin for delivering successful data science projects.

Snowflake Data Science platform is designed to integrate and support the applications that data scientists rely on on a daily basis. The distinct cloud-based architecture enables Machine Learning innovation for Data Science and Data Analysis.

This necessitates the use of large amounts of data characterized by a large number of dimensions and details and results from a variety of circumstances

Importance of Snowflake Data Science

Here are a few important aspects of Snowflake in Data Science

1) Snowflake Data Science: Data Discovery

Data discovery is the first step in developing any ML model. Data scientists must gather or collect all available data relevant to the ML application at hand during this phase. Gathering data becomes trivial if all of your data is already in Snowflake.

After gathering data, data scientists will conduct Exploratory Data Analysis and Data Profiling to better understand the data’s quality and value. Ad-hoc analysis and feature engineering are simple with the Snowflake UI or SnowSQL. The Snowflake Connector for Python excels at extracting data to an environment where the most popular Python data science tools are available.

2) Snowflake Data Science: Training Data

When it comes to model training, the most important feature that Snowflake offers is access to data – and a lot of it! Snowflakes can store a large amount of data if your company has a large amount of data. Snowflake, in addition to using your own data, can provide you with access to external data via its Data Marketplace.

Reliable training and maintenance of ML models necessitate a reproducible training process, and lost data is a common issue for reproducibility. Snowflake’s time travel features can come in handy here. Due to its limited retention period, time travel will not support all use cases, but it can save a lot of headaches for early prototyping and proof of concept projects.

3) Snowflake Data Science: Deployment

With the release of Snowpark and Java user-defined functions, Snowflake support for ML model deployment has greatly improved (UDFs). UDFs are Java (or Scala) functions that take Snowflake data as input and generate a value based on custom logic.

The distinction between UDFs and Snowpark is subtle. Snowpark itself provides a mechanism for handling tables in Snowflake from Java or Scala in order to perform SQL-like operations on them. This is distinct from a UDF, which is a function that produces an output by operating on a single row in a Snowflake table. Snowpark, of course, integrates with UDFs, allowing the two tools to be used in tandem.

4) Snowflake Data Science: Monitoring

Snowflake Scheduled Tasks can be a useful orchestration tool for tracking ML predictions. You can even monitor for complex issues like data drift by scheduling tasks that use UDFs or building processes with Snowpark.

When problems are discovered, any analyst or data scientist can use the Snowflake UI to delve deeper and figure out what’s going on. Dashboards based on Machine Learning predictions can also be created using the Snowflake connector or integrations with popular BI tools such as Tableau.

Simplify Snowflake ETL using Hevo’s No-code Data Pipelines

A fully managed No-code Data Pipeline platform like Hevo Data helps you integrate data from 100+ Data Sources (including 40+ Free Data Sources) to a destination of your choice such as Snowflake in real-time in an effortless manner. Hevo with its minimal learning curve can be set up in just a few minutes allowing the users to load data without having to compromise performance. Its strong integration with umpteenth sources provides users with the flexibility to bring in data of different kinds, in a smooth fashion without having to code a single line. 

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  • Completely Automated: The Hevo platform can be set up in just a few minutes and requires minimal maintenance.
  • Real-Time Data Transfer: Hevo provides real-time data migration, so you can have analysis-ready data always.
  • 100% Complete & Accurate Data Transfer: Hevo’s robust infrastructure ensures reliable data transfer with zero data loss.
  • Scalable Infrastructure: Hevo has in-built integrations for 100+ sources, that can help you scale your data infrastructure as required.
  • 24/7 Live Support: The Hevo team is available round the clock to extend exceptional support to you through chat, email, and support calls.
  • Schema Management: Hevo takes away the tedious task of schema management & automatically detects the schema of incoming data and maps it to the destination schema.
  • Live Monitoring: Hevo allows you to monitor the data flow so you can check where your data is at a particular point in time.
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What are the Key Features of Snowflake Data Science?

Here are four Snowflake Data Science features that help businesses run successful data science projects so they can leverage AI and ML to enable advanced analytics and gain a competitive advantage.

Snowflake Data Science: A Single Consolidated Source

To achieve the highest level of accuracy, data scientists must incorporate a wide range of information when training their ML models. However, data can reside in a variety of locations and formats. During the course of a single project, data scientists frequently need to return to collect additional data. This entire process can take weeks or months, adding to the data science workflow’s latency. Furthermore, the data used for analysis must be of high integrity, or the results will be invalid or untrustworthy.

Snowflake provides all data in a single high-performance platform by bringing data in from multiple environments, removing the complexity and latency caused by traditional ETL jobs. Snowflake also includes data discovery capabilities, allowing users to find and access their data more easily and quickly. Snowflake also offers instant access to a wide range of third-party data sets via the Snowflake Data Marketplace.

Snowflake Data Science: Data Preparation & Computing Resources

Data scientists require powerful compute resources to process and prepare data before feeding it into modern ML models and deep learning tools. Developing new predictive features can be complex and time-consuming, requiring domain expertise, familiarity with each model’s unique requirements, and multiple iterations.

Most legacy tools, including Apache Spark, are overly complex and inefficient at data preparation, resulting in brittle and expensive data pipelines.

Snowflake’s distinct architecture allocates dedicated compute clusters to each workload and team, ensuring that there is no resource contention between data engineering, business intelligence, and data science workloads. Snowflake’s ML partners push much of their automated feature engineering down into Snowflake’s cloud data platform, significantly increasing the speed of Automated Machine Learning (AutoML).

Snowflake Data Science: A Large Partner Ecosystem

Data scientists use a wide range of tools, and the ML space is rapidly evolving, with new tools being added on a yearly basis. However, legacy data infrastructure cannot always meet the demands of multiple toolsets, and new technologies like AutoML require a modern infrastructure to function properly.

Customers can benefit from direct connections to all existing and emerging Data science tools, platforms, and languages such as Python, R, Java, and Scala; open-source libraries such as PyTorch, XGBoost, TensorFlow, and sci-kit-learn; notebooks such as Jupyter and Zeppelin; and platforms such as DataRobot, Dataiku, H2O.ai, Zepl, Amazon Sagemaker, and many others through Snowflake’s extensive partner ecosystem

Snowflake Data Science: Snowflake Is a Business Value Generator

Once predictive models are in place, the scored data from them can be fed back into traditional BI decision-making processes and embedded into applications like Salesforce. Returning powerful data science results to business users can reveal insights that enable unprecedented business growth.

Furthermore, when combined with leading ML tools, Snowflake can significantly reduce latency in the Data Science workflow by reducing the time required for developing models from weeks or months to hours.

What are the Applications of Snowflake Data Science?

Here are some notable applications of Snowflake Data Science:

1) Snowflake Data Science: Consolidated Source for all Data

Data Scientists respond to their sources, so Snowflake provides data that is real-time, always up-to-date, and accurate. Snowflakes’ one-of-a-kind data exchange and marketplace put ready-to-use data sources at your fingertips.

2) Snowflake Data Science: Efficient Data Preparation

A dedicated virtual Data Warehouse for each team and workload eliminates bottlenecks, allowing teams to spin up powerful clusters in seconds and only pay for what they use. Snowflake Data Scientists quickly discover that they have more time to investigate.

3) Snowflake Data Science: Choice of Framework, Tools & Language

Snowflake data scientists quickly discover that they have more time to experiment with new models and Machine learning tools thanks to the Snowflakes extensions partner ecosystem(Harmony). Snowflake helps thousands of customers accelerate their data science workloads every day.

Conclusion

Data science is being used for a wide range of purposes, from providing personalized movie and TV show recommendations to forecasting where a virus is likely to spread next and assisting in the saving of lives.

The cloud has largely enabled this massive leap to advanced analytics. Companies can collect, store, and analyze more data than ever before, and with graphics processing unit (GPU), Accelerated computing, they can train multiple ML models concurrently in minutes and then select the most accurate ones to deploy.

Snowflake Data Science has introduced you to this article. You have also gained an understanding of the significance of Snowflake and Data Science, as well as its features. Snowflake has become one of the most sought-after Cloud Computing platforms in the Data Science field due to its popularity among enterprises. Having hands-on experience with Snowflake gives you an advantage in the Data Science race.

To meet the growing storage and computing needs of data, you would need to invest some of your Engineering Bandwidth in integrating data from all sources, cleaning and transforming it, and finally loading it to a Cloud Data Warehouse like Snowflake for further Business Analytics. All of these issues can be efficiently addressed by a Cloud-Based ETL tool like Hevo Data, A No-code Data Pipeline, and has awesome 100+ pre-built Integrations that you can choose from.

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Hevo can help you integrate your data from numerous sources and load them into destinations like Snowflake to analyze real-time data with BI tools of your choice. It will make your life easier and Data Migration hassle-free. It is user-friendly, reliable, and secure.

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Share your experience of learning about the Snowflake Data Science Guide in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!

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