UPDATED 16:27 EDT / JUNE 27 2023


The future of data integration and AI: theCUBE analysts weigh in at Snowflake Summit

TheCUBE’s coverage of this week’s Snowflake Summit kicked off with a thorough financial and strategic analysis of the company, highlighting its success in data management and the potential impacts of economic headwinds.

The analysis showcased Snowflake’s ongoing competition with Amazon Web Services Inc., Google LLC, Databricks Inc. and Microsoft Corp. for domination of the next-generation data platform market.

“Snowflake, as people know, have been on a wild ride. They’re basically on a run rate … about $2.4 billion,” said industry analyst Dave Vellante (pictured, right), remarking on the company’s high net revenue retention. He also stressed Snowflake’s ongoing commitment to investing in growth, but not at all costs.

During an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, Vellante and his fellow industry analysts Lisa Martin (middle) and George Gilbert (left) discussed the company’s trajectory and strategy, as well as the future of data integration and artificial intelligence. (* Disclosure below.)

AI industry dynamics and the pursuit of a ‘single source of truth’

A key topic of discussion was the unfolding dynamic between AI companies and other players in the tech industry. The current state of the industry isn’t just about “AI washing,” because companies like Snowflake are doing something different — integrating deep into the data, according to Gilbert.

“Snowflake’s advantage is that they own a lot of data. And the play they’re making with AI is really twofold,” said Gilbert, emphasizing Snowflake’s capabilities to harness analytic data to train models and then combine it with other complex structured data for more predictive analysis.

The ultimate aspiration is to have a single source of truth for all knowledge and data within an organization. However, such a goal is not without its challenges. Despite the industry’s repeated promise of a “single source of truth” and a 360-degree view of the customer, many companies have failed to deliver. But that may be changing, according to Vellante.

“I think we’re finally at a point where that could happen,” he said.

Also up for discussion was the possibility of a shift in the platform, including Nvidia Corp. and its proposed stack that promises to turbocharge Snowflake. The analysts broke down a keynote address from Jensen Huang, chief executive officer of Nvidia, and Frank Slootman, chairman and CEO of Snowflake, during the event.

“What [Jensen] was saying was it’s a big platform shift,” Gilbert said. “If you throw out essentially all your CPUs and all your data center infrastructure and you build it all around the Nvidia stack, they have a new way of not just building the GPUs, but building the clusters, building the data centers, building the software on top of that. But you do that and embed it in a Snowflake container service only if you’re training a new LLM from scratch.”

However, Gilbert also acknowledged the limitations, noting that not many people would take this route due to the immense resources required.

Unifying data management: The heart of Snowflake’s strategy

The conversation also touched upon the case of Blue Yonder Group Inc., a supply chain company undergoing a rearchitecting of its system around Snowflake and relational AI. The use case proves that an entire enterprise app, not just the analytics part, but also the operational part, can be hosted on Snowflake.

At the heart of Snowflake’s strategy lies a promise of unified data management. Snowflake’s “secret sauce” is its ability to handle various data types from different query types, an accomplishment unmatched by other companies, according to the analysts. It acts as a translation engine, hiding the complexity of managing different data types and thus providing a more simplified user experience.

With AI, Snowflake can forecast what will happen or what should happen, bridging the gap between historical data and future predictions, according to Gilbert.

“It’s the fact that they’re integrating all the different query types and managing all the different data types. That’s so powerful,” he said.

For industries such as retail, healthcare, life sciences and manufacturing, Snowflake’s integrative platform can bring significant benefits, according to the analysts. It enables companies to break down data silos and offer a comprehensive understanding of customer behavior, contributing to improved decision-making processes and business outcomes.

Here’s the complete video analysis, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of Snowflake Summit:

(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for Snowflake Summit. Neither Snowflake Inc., the sponsor of theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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