michelangelus - Fotolia

Partnership enables Alteryx users to prep data in Snowflake

Alteryx and a rising cloud data warehouse vendor unveiled a new partnership that will enable joint customers to more easily and inexpensively prepare data for analytics.

Alteryx and Snowflake unveiled a new partnership agreement that will enable Alteryx customers to prepare data directly in Snowflake.

Alteryx, a data management vendor founded in 1997 and based in Irvine, Calif., whose tools automate much of the data preparation process with its Analytics Process Automation platform, previously had a relationship with Snowflake, a cloud data warehouse vendor founded in 2012 and based in San Mateo, Calif.

The new partnership, however -- revealed on Jan. 14 -- advances what Alteryx customers can do in Snowflake beyond what they could do previously.

Alteryx and Snowflake previously had a connector called the Bulk Loader that enabled Alteryx customers storing their data in Snowflake -- the vendors have about 500 customers in common, according to Sharmila Mulligan, Alteryx's chief strategy and marketing officer -- to easily pull their data into Alteryx to prepare data and then send it back into Snowflake.

Now, they are able to do all of that data preparation directly in Snowflake without having to pull data into Alteryx for transformation and then send it back to Snowflake.

And it's that ability to do in-database analytics work that will most benefit Alteryx customers, according to Mulligan.

In addition, the partnership advances the capabilities of the Snowflake Bulk Loader to handle large-scale analytics and data science initiatives, adds ready-to-use templates that will enable users to get outcomes from their data science projects and initiatives in minutes rather than days and weeks, and includes the listing of Alteryx on the Snowflake Data Exchange.

"With this partnership, one of the benefits is being able to actually push down a lot of the data processing, data transformation and data preparation into the Snowflake compute layer," Mulligan said. "By doing so, you're able to process and prep a lot of data at scale. … We went from a loader/connector model to a highly integrated in-processing model."

An overview of an organization's data is displayed in a sample gif from Alteryx.
A sample gif from Alteryx gives an overview of an organization's data.

She added that by pushing the data preparation down into Snowflake rather than shuttling the data back and forth between Alteryx and Snowflake, customers can see cost savings since users only pay for the compute power they actually use when operating in Snowflake.

Similarly, Doug Henschen, principal analyst at Constellation Research, cited the ability to do in-database data prep work as a significant advancement in the collaboration between Alteryx and Snowflake. He noted that such capabilities are not unique to Alteryx and Snowflake, but they're nevertheless important for the 500 customers the vendors share.

"The bulk data loader and in-database processing option announced by Alteryx are pretty typical for database partnerships, but these features will bring significant benefits to joint customers," he said. "Bulk loading obviously saves time, but I see the in-database processing option as the real win, enabling Alteryx automated prep and processing steps to be executed within Snowflake."

I see the in-database processing option as the real win, enabling Alteryx automated prep and processing steps to be executed within Snowflake.
Doug HenschenPrincipal analyst, Constellation Research

And like Mulligan, Henschen said in-database processing will lead to cost savings by eliminating the labor involved in moving data back and forth and taking advantage of the speed and power of Snowflake's database.

"In-database processing and bulk-loading options are pretty typical to these sorts of database partnerships, but they're important because they save customers time, effort and money in handling data-prep, data-transformation and data-analysis workloads," he said.

While the new partnership agreement between Alteryx and Snowflake enhances what joint customers of the vendors can do with their data, Alteryx also has partnership agreements of varying levels with each of the other major cloud data warehouse providers.

Snowflake is now an Alteryx Featured Select Partner -- Alteryx, meanwhile, is recognized as a Premier Partner by Snowflake -- and Alteryx has a similar agreement with Microsoft Azure Synapse in the works, according to Mulligan.

"With Azure Synapse we have the same model of the loader, and we're in the process of moving to a push-down processing model," she said. "That's not done yet, but more to come on that news."

Meanwhile, Mulligan said Alteryx is judicious about with whom it enters into partnerships agreements.

"We're super selective," she said. "We don't believe in partnering just for the sake of partnering. We're highly selective about the strategic tech and strategic global system integrated partnerships."

Under such partnership agreements, Mulligan added Alteryx and its partners collaborate not only on the technology but also on a go-to-market strategy and on accounts.

"That's the scope of the Snowflake agreement," she said. "We're working on accounts together; you'll see joint programs go out from us come February. It's not just about technology."

Next Steps

AutoML, cloud-native tools highlight Alteryx platform update

Alteryx platform update includes automated recommendations

Dig Deeper on Business intelligence technology

Data Management
Content Management