How Capital One improves visibility into Snowflake costs

by | Aug 2, 2022 | Technology

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Banking giant Capital One has packaged its extensive work to migrate to the cloud into a new software business called Capital One Software. Its first product, Slingshot, helps enterprises manage cloud costs and automate governance on top of the Snowflake platform. 

This is big news for both companies. For Snowflake, this demonstrates the ability of highly regulated industries to go all in on cloud data migration. For Capital One, it reflects a way to monetize its extensive work in data management to unlock lucrative new opportunities in the technology industry. 

The new service helps manage costs through intelligent cost savings recommendations. It also improves insight and visibility into Snowflake costs and automated governance using custom workflows, dynamic warehouse provisioning and self-service capabilities. These capabilities were built by necessity as part of Capital One’s early transition to the cloud. 

All in on cloud data

Capital One was one of the first banks to go all in on the AWS cloud in 2015. Salim Syed, head of engineering at Capital One Software, told VentureBeat they believed the cloud could help scale the number of queries its 6,000 business analysts could run concurrently and make it easier to share data across the business. 

In addition, the cloud promised a way to enable workload isolation so queries from one team of analysts did not impact others. This had been a big challenge with their on-premise database, particularly at busy times of the month.

The cloud also suggested a way to scale and change directions quickly when needed. “We were betting on the fact that the cloud would become this place where apps could be developed quickly,” Syed explained.

In 2017 Capital One began migrating all its data to Snowflake, which helped automate many aspects of data management and sharing. However, this introduced new data management challenges. The platform’s simplicity allowed analysts to develop new analytics as fast as they could combine datasets. But they soon discove …

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