Agile Insights During COVID-19 with ThoughtSpot, Snowflake, and Starschema
Jul 13, 2020 | 5 Min Read
Author: Sean Zinsmeister | Contributing Authors: Russ Ratshin
Snowflake Data Marketplace, Snowflake Ecosystem
The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing every business to see the world differently. From examining business continuity plans, modernizing workforce plans, or building supply chain resiliency, no facet of business has gone untouched. As organizations combat the economic fallout now and in the coming years, agility has never been more important.
The key to remaining agile is a better use of data. With COVID-19, organizations need to make fast, data-driven decisions, which have accelerated moving data to the cloud. The world around us will continue to change, and organizations need insights they can act on to adapt and transform.
The 2019 release of ThoughtSpot Embrace for Snowflake unlocked a whole new world of data, making data in our customers’ cloud warehouses immediately accessible to other business users. Instead of waiting on ETL or mapping data loads, businesses can simply connect and instantly start searching shared data for critical insights.
As we reflect on the last year working with Snowflake customers and consider the needs of the current moment, it’s clear that speed and access are the foundations of true transformation. For modern data leaders to increase the rewards of their cloud data platform while adapting to the current crisis, we need to bring together critical data sets and increase access so businesses can unlock insights.
Searching COVID-19 Data
Companies cannot afford to rely on guesswork or intuition during the COVID-19 crisis. The risks to their teams and the ability to operate are simply too great.
We built an application to help businesses navigate the crisis as it evolves. The application directly connects ThoughtSpot Embrace to Starschema data from Snowflake Data Marketplace, and combines it with inventory planning data in Snowflake. The Starschema data set includes daily COVID statistics on tests, confirmed cases, hospitalizations, and patient outcomes from every U.S. state and territory. Business users, executives, policymakers, and healthcare experts can search and analyze the data directly without writing a single line of code or SQL.
By having direct access to this data, regardless of technical sophistication, organizations can understand everything from how many positive cases are in a particular region to the number of tests done, then they can use that information as a gauge for the safety of reopening, for example.
For more details, check out the entire «Introducing the Stack of the Future for Modern Data Leaders» below.
After we created the Embrace connection, we could treat the COVID-19 data set like any other data set in ThoughtSpot. We simply created a worksheet by selecting appropriate fields and adjusting the column-specific metadata accordingly.
The Power of Third-Party Data
When it comes to addressing COVID-19, mixing proprietary and third-party data isn’t just optional; it’s essential. Combining data from different sources can provide powerful insights. For example, weather data or street traffic information can often tell us a lot about why retail performance has improved. But the challenge of finding these data sets, loading them into the database, then transforming the data has created an insurmountable obstacle to achieving the goal of combining data.
Snowflake Data Marketplace and Starschema have made this previously painful experience simple by doing most of the work for you. The data in the data marketplace is already accessible to view, query, and search via ThoughtSpot, letting you discover causal and correlational relationships between third-party data sets and your own.
Meeting the Demands of the New Normal
As COVID-19 rewrites the rules of business, there will be both long- and short-term effects. Businesses must contend with how to reopen safely. More remote workforces, shifts in consumer spending, and ongoing waves of infection will continue to disrupt business. By connecting ThoughtSpot to Snowflake Data Marketplace you can go beyond just seeing your data to understanding the impact on your business and changing course, whether it’s adjusting your demand forecasts, shifting sales model to telesales, or recalibrating your channel strategy.
For example, when in-store sales plunge, businesses can quickly search and create pinboards to show where online sales are surging. But they can take this a step further and understand customer preferences for curbside pickup and the viability of such a model when it comes to their workforce.
As we enter our new normal, businesses need insights at every level of their organization more than ever. ThoughtSpot, Snowflake, and partner data providers like Starschema are here to help. Watch the demo to see Snowflake and ThoughtSpot in action.