Alternative data contains orthogonal or usually non-traditional data sets that, when analyzed, may provide additional insights to organizations about their products, services or broader business operation.
Alternative data is a long-established niche practice in the financial services industry but is now starting to be adopted across a wider range of both B2C and B2B verticals.
For companies seeking a competitive edge for their data-driven strategies, alternative data has become a go-to source for non-traditional data. However, like anything else that pushes the envelop, ingesting alternative data offers no guarantees around its ultimate usefulness. Organizations that explore alternative data sets for augmentation or enrichment may need strong data science skills to gain useful and actionable insights from them. In addition, some data sets may turn out to be of limited value after they are analyzed and massaged.
Here's one typical example of how alternative data can be used: a retail business wants to open a new location. This new location is in a larger geo where several outlets already exist. The first, and natural, instinct is to take a look at data from those existing locations. The second is to acquire demographic research within a defined distance radius from the proposed location and then compare those demographic profiles with other locations with existing outlets. This is where alternative data comes in. Alternative data sets could include area foot traffic statistics, social media feeds from that geography, or even nearby parking lot data. With this extra information in hand, it may be possible to glean additional insights to determine if this particular expansion location is the best fit.
Snowflake's Platform and Marketplace
Once an organization decides to go down the alternative data path, CIOs and analysts need to consider two things: how to easily access and consume these data sets and whether they have the right data platform to store, process, and analyse the data once it is acquired.
Snowflake's platform offers the performance, flexibility, and near-infinite scalability to easily load, integrate, analyze, and securely share data from disparate data sources, both structured and semi-structured. As a fully-managed service, Snowflake is simple to use but can power a near-unlimited number of concurrent workloads. Snowflake delivers data warehousing, data lakes, data engineering, data science, data application development, and secure data sharing workloads.
Snowflake Marketplace gives data scientists, business intelligence and analytics professionals, and everyone who desires data-driven decision-making access to live and ready-to-query data from business partners and customers, and from potentially thousands of data providers and data service providers. Snowflake can become a go-to source for data consumers seeking alternative data sets.