The digitization of the financial services industry has opened countless doors to streamlining operations, building customer bases, and more accurately modeling risk. Capitalizing on these opportunities, however, requires financial institutions to address the immense data storage and sharing requirements that digitization requires.  

Recognizing this need, Snowflake has emerged as an industry-leading provider of cloud-computing services for the financial industry. According to estimates, some 57 percent of financial service companies in the Fortune 500 have partnered with Snowflake to address their data needs.1 In this article, we highlight some of Snowflake’s revolutionary data sharing capabilities that have contributed to this trend and RiskSpan’s decision to become a Snowflake partner.     

Financial institutions contemplating migration to the cloud are beset by some common concerns. Chief among these are data sharing capabilities and storage costs. Fortunately, Snowflake is well equipped to address both. 

Data Sharing Between Snowflake Customers

Ordinarily, sharing information across institutions inflates storage costs and imposes security and data integrity concerns.  

Snowflake’s Secure Data Sharing eliminates these concerns because no physical data transfer occurs between accounts. When one Snowflake customer desires to share data with another Snowflake customer, a services layer and metadata store facilitate all sharing activities. As a result, shared data does not occupy any storage in the institution consuming the data, nor does it impact that institution’s monthly data storage expenses. Data consumers are only charged for the compute resources, such as virtual warehouses, they use to query the shared data.  

The setup for Secure Data Sharing is streamlined and straightforward for data providers, while consuming institutions can access shared data almost instantaneously.   

Organizations can easily: 

  • Establish a share from a database within their account, granting access to specified objects within that database.  
  • Share data across multiple databases, provided all databases are under the same account.  
  • Add, remove, and edit access for all users. 

Data Sharing with Non-Snowflake Customers

For institutions desiring to share data with non-Snowflake customers, Snowflake offers an alternative secure data sharing method, known as a “reader account.” Reader accounts offer an efficient and cost-effective solution for data sharing without requiring consumers to register for Snowflake. They are associated exclusively with the provider’s account that established them. Data providers share databases with reader accounts, but each reader account can only access data from its originating provider account. Individuals using a reader account can perform queries on shared data but are restricted from carrying out DML operations, such as data loading, insertions, updates, and other data manipulations. These accounts serve as cost-effective solutions for organizations seeking to limit the number of more expensive user profiles. 

Secure Sharing with Data Clean Rooms

Clean room managed accounts are another way for Snowflake customers to share data with non-Snowflake customers. Data clean rooms are created by data providers to avoid privacy concerns when sharing their data. This is accomplished by allowing data consumers to compile aggregated results and analysis without permitting access to query the original raw data. Data providers can granularly control how their data is accessed and the types of analysis that can be run using their data. The data is encrypted and uses differential privacy techniques for further protection.   

How Can RiskSpan Help?

Knowing that you want to be on Snowflake isn’t always enough. Getting there can be the hardest part, and many organizations face challenges migrating from legacy systems and lack the expertise to fully utilize new technology after implementation. RiskSpan has partnered with numerous companies to help guide them towards a sustainable framework that holistically addresses all their data needs. No matter where the organization is within their data journey, RiskSpan has the expertise to help overcome the challenges associated with the new technology.    

RiskSpan is equipped to help institutions with the following as they embark on their Snowflake migration journey: 

  • End-to-end migration services, including architecture design, setting up the Snowflake environment, and properly validating the new platform.   
  • Adaptive project management. 
  • Data governance including the creation of a data catalog, tracing data lineage, and compliance and security requirements. 
  • Establishing data warehouses and data pipelines to facilitate collaboration and analysis. 
  • Creating security protocols including role-based access controls, disaster recovery solutions, and ensuring the utmost protection of personally identifiable information.   
  • Optimizing extract, transform and load solutions   

Snowflake’s data sharing capabilities offer an innovative solution for businesses looking to leverage real-time data without the hassle of traditional data transfer methods. These features not only enhance operational efficiency but also provide the scalability and security necessary for handling extensive datasets in a cloud environment.

Contact us with any questions or to discuss how Snowflake can be tailored to your specific needs.