I’ve written several blogs that focus on the modern data warehouse and doing your analytics in the cloud. In case you want to check out what I said:
But hold on, don’t start that free Snowflake trial just yet. Look before you leap! In this blog I will highlight critical steps to consider before you spin up your data lake or modern data warehouse using Snowflake (these steps are applicable for any data lake or modern data warehouse in the cloud). Especially if you are looking to do a POC project or prototype project.
Warning, detour ahead!
I mention POC and prototype projects, their purposes are different. A POC focuses on a small piece of the overall solutions. A prototype project is larger in scale, covering an entire use case for a select audience. In either case, these steps apply.
Let’s get to it, here are the five points to consider.
1. Identify what you are trying to achieve with your data lake or modern data warehouse (POC or prototype project).
In order to execute a successful POC or prototype Snowflake project you must clearly identified what you are trying to achieve and how you are going to measure it. This is critical as your success is determined by solving some pain point for some audience.
- Identify your stakeholders that are impacted by the solution using Snowflake.
- Define the business goals for the solution using Snowflake as specifically as you can.
- List the pain points that the Snowflake solution will address.
- Connect the goals and the exact criteria (performance indicators) that will be used to measure the success.
Dunn Solutions Snowflake consultants will ensure that these important requirements are addressed and documented.
2. Have a well-defined and achievable scope for your Snowflake POC or pilot project.
A POC or prototype project is just that, a project. It should be treated with the same due diligence of a real project. These projects are to prove out that specific pain points are addressed by a solution using Snowflake. The scope of the project must be appropriate for a POC or pilot project and must be achievable in the appropriate time frame for a POC (less than a week or so) or a prototype (a few weeks or so).
It’s an important balancing act that focuses on the right amount of rigidity in process; not loosey-goosey, but not enterprise roll out. This brings us to the third point ...
3. Partner with Dunn Solutions Group (a Snowflake partner) to execute the Snowflake project.
At Dunn Solutions, we love technology, we love Snowflake. But technology for the sake of technology does not bring business value. Dunn Solutions will ensure that a POC or prototype Snowflake project results in a confident go/no-go decision, in the case of a POC, or reusable components in the case of a prototype project, for our clients. This is why it’s important to work with Dunn Solution Snowflake consultants to ensure that the project is run like a real project, with enough structure to ensure success, and the technology is incorporated correctly.
4. Assess and reflect on the Snowflake pilot project experience.
Once the POC or prototype project completed, the work is not done! Dunn Solutions Snowflake consultants will execute a formal evaluation of the POC or prototype Snowflake project. This results in the definition of next steps. The outcomes include:
- Discard – the POC or prototype is not worth the investment.
- Evolve – there was evidence that tweaking would yield good results. Using the lessons learned, adapt the approach and try again.
- Graduate to the next step (POC to prototype to pilot) - the results were sufficiently positive that moving to the next step is appropriate.
- Go to Scale – The results were so positive that the risks are low. No further evidence is needed, and the solution should be implemented.
5. Define your modern data warehouse and data lake roadmap with Snowflake as the platform.
With the assessment completed (fourth point) and results known, it’s time to define the roadmap. Dunn Solutions Snowflake consultants will work with your team to define, not just the next step, but a roadmap that considers how expanding the Snowflake footprint can strategically benefit other aspects of your business. And rest assured, Dunn Solutions will be there to help you execute on the roadmap initiatives.
While clicking on a “Free Trial” period button is tempting, don’t just jump in (unless it’s for a free trial of a game on your smart phone, then go for it!). To make the most of your Snowflake free trial you should consider the five points discussed in this blog and work with Dunn Solutions Group, a Snowflake partner, to ensure that your Snowflake trial is purposeful and moves you further along in your modern data warehouse initiative. Contact Dunn Solutions today!