Snowflake launches new industry data cloud for government and education


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Today, data giant Snowflake expanded its product portfolio with the launch of a new industry-specific offering: a government and education data cloud.

Targeted at public-sector agencies at the federal, state and local levels as well as educational institutions, the offering gives organizations a fully managed package of sorts to quickly get started with the Snowflake data platform. This gives teams an easy way to bring their data assets together and build downstream applications relevant to their vertical, right from predictive capabilities to historical trend analysis reports. 

The launch marks the introduction of the seventh distinct industry cloud from Snowflake as it races to draw more enterprise customers and take on competition from Databricks.

How does Snowflake government and education data cloud help?

Just like the previous industry clouds, the government and education data cloud from Snowflake brings three different elements together: the company’s core cross-cloud data platform to consolidate structured, semi-structured and unstructured data; its own and partner-delivered prebuilt solutions; and industry-specific datasets.

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These elements ensure teams get ready-made templates in one place to jumpstart their Snowflake data cloud instance and quickly coordinate datasets, plus everything else needed for downstream applications targeting different vertical-specific use cases. Without them, teams have to start from scratch and put together everything using their own know-how to get things up and running.

From the perspective of government agencies and educational institutions, Snowflake’s new data cloud will be particularly handy, as most organizations in these sectors struggle with the challenge of disparate data assets and find it difficult to unify, exchange and collaborate on them for improving citizen and student outcomes. When using the dedicated data cloud, they will be able to combine data sources to create holistic 360-degree views of stakeholders, as well as securely share data across teams, between agencies, and externally with the public or the private sector.

“With Snowflake, organizations have the data they need to drive meaningful change in their communities, including coordinating hurricane relief efforts, intervening when a student is at risk for falling behind, and improving community or patient health across public health systems,” Jeff Frazier, global head of public sector at Snowflake, said while sharing some of the use cases.

So, what solutions and capabilities do orgs get?

With the government and education data cloud, users get Snowflake-powered industry-specific applications like those from PowerSchool and Merit, data providers such as Carto and Vantage Point Consulting, and add-on integrations and out-of-the-box solutions from data infrastructure leaders like AWS, Collibra and Immuta. 

In addition, the package includes pre-built solutions from consulting companies like Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte and Plante Moran to help solve for top-priority use cases, including enabling decision dominance for federal customers, modernizing applications for optimal mission outcomes, and providing care for people experiencing homelessness.

While Frazier didn’t specify how many enterprises are using the industry cloud, he did note that the list of industry customers includes K-12 schools and higher education institutions as well as public-sector organizations, including the state of Montana and the city of Tacoma, Washington. 

“Tacoma used Snowflake to unite 25 distinct lines of business. This has resulted in 22-times growth in the number of users across the city with data access and has allowed the city to achieve greater financial transparency with citizens, and power other programs such as utility bill relief for citizens who were experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic,” Frazier told VentureBeat.

The race for industry clouds

The launch of the government and education data cloud is another effort from Snowflake to simplify access to its offerings and build up its customer base across different sectors.

“This year, we responded to customer demand for dedicated industry data clouds with the launch of our telecom data cloud, manufacturing data cloud, and now our government and education data cloud. We’re excited to focus on growing these industry ecosystems and helping customers modernize their respective industries,” Frazier said.

It must be noted that the company is not alone with this strategy. Databricks, Snowflake’s rival, has also been launching industry-specific lakehouses for different verticals. Snowflake first made the move in September 2021 with its financial services data cloud while Databricks joined the fray in January 2022 with lakehouse for retail.

As of now, Snowflake has a total of seven distinct data clouds, while Databricks has five industry offerings.

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