[Ed. note: Changed 8/3/22 to read “It also helped lower Snowflake expenses by 27%, improve the cost per query by 45%, and save over 55,000 hours of labor.”]
The massive banking corporation Capital One has bundled its huge cloud migration efforts into a brand-new software company called Capital One Software. Slingshot, the company’s first offering, assists businesses in automating governance and managing cloud costs on the Snowflake platform.
The news is significant for both businesses. According to Snowflake, this shows how tightly regulated sectors can fully embrace cloud data migration. It represents a chance for Capital One to make money off of its massive data management operations in order to open up attractive new opportunities in the technology sector.
The new service assists in expense management by making wise suggestions for cost savings. Additionally, it enhances self-service capabilities, dynamic warehouse provisioning, and custom workflows to provide better insight and visibility into Snowflake expenses and automated governance. As part of Capital One’s early shift to the cloud, these features had to be developed out of necessity.
Entire bet on cloud data
One of the first institutions to fully commit to the AWS cloud in 2015 was Capital One. According to Salim Syed, head of engineering at Capital One Software, the cloud could grow the amount of queries its 6,000 business analysts could perform continuously and make it simpler to exchange data around the company.
Capital One started moving all of its data to Snowflake in 2017, which greatly aided in automating various processes related to data maintenance and sharing. However, this created fresh problems with data management. Because of the platform’s ease of use, analysts could create new analyses as quickly as they could aggregate datasets. However, they soon realized that many of these searches were ineffective and frequently led to the installation of extra cloud infrastructure, which raised costs.
How to use Snowflake as effectively as possible was the difficulty, according to Syed. As a result, his team worked on a new management tier that assisted Capital One in developing and enforcing best practices.
Many regulated businesses were concerned about some governance issues when shifting their processes off of internal servers in the early days of the cloud. The success of Capital One indicates that even some of the biggest and most regulated companies can be successful in going all-in on the cloud.
Any Snowflake customer would have to be fascinated by Capital One’s application, particularly for governance, said Nick Kramer, leader of applied solutions at SSA & Company, a worldwide consulting firm that offers companies strategic execution advice.
The emphasis on and close relationship with Snowflake, the modular building blocks for customization, and the governance procedure, according to Kramer, are the most encouraging characteristics. In response to user feedback, Slingshot should be able to develop features more quickly thanks to this mix of governance-enabled data quality and usability.
Last-mile analytics made easier
The second important feature of this collaboration shows how Snowflake is creating an ecosystem to capitalize on its fundamental strength in cloud data management. As a crucial differentiator, Priya Iragavarapu, VP of the Center of Data Excellence at global management consulting firm AArete, cited Snowflake’s leadership in massively parallel processing, intelligent indexing, and speedy querying.
This makes it possible for quick analyses, but it is up to each organization to decide how to put them into practice. The analytics user journey, according to Iragavarapu, is dissimilar because it entails establishing a connection to the appropriate data source, submitting queries through the Snowflake user interface (UI), and then extracting the data for more potent visualization using programmes like Tableau or Power BI.
By combining content management, project management, and communication into a single interface, Capital One made this process simpler by removing the need to navigate between apps. The term “last mile analytics” describes the improvements necessary to complete the last section of the analytics journey. Because of the need for customization, the limitations of automation, and the requirement to accommodate complicated, varying team dynamics and communications, this is the area where Iragavarapu perceives the biggest inefficiencies.
This gap is filled by the collaboration between Capital One and Snowflake.
A design for the transformation of banking
Finally, this points to a strategy that banks may use to not only innovate but also gain an advantage over emerging financial technology startups that are chasing after them.
Ronak Doshi, partner at Everest Group, an advisory firm, stated, “This FinTech revolution is putting technology as the growth driver for banks and the lead steers in the market like Capital One are now in an advantaged position to take these early bets and monetize them.”
The top software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications are being integrated with financial services and products from banks and payment businesses utilizing APIs.
It also implies how Snowflake will maintain its advantage in the data management industry. Iragavarapu stated, “Vendors may effectively exploit the foundation Snowflake already has as long as they are seeking to address a specific pain point utilizing data. There is no need for them to reinvent the wheel.”
The only qualification is that Snowflake is not designed to meet the needs of transactional applications and is instead focused on online analytical processing. Depending on the quantity, structure, and necessity for aggregation of the data, she thinks businesses may use other databases for transactions.