Welcome to Snowflake! This entry-level guide, designed for database and data warehouse administrators and architects, will help you navigate the Snowflake interface and introduce you to some of our core capabilities. Sign up for a free 30-day trial of Snowflake and follow along with this lab. Once we cover the basics, you'll be ready to start processing your own data and diving into Snowflake's more advanced features!

Free Virtual Hands-on Lab

This Snowflake Guide is available as a free, instructor-led Virtual Hands on Lab. Sign up for the VHOL today.

Prerequisites:

What You'll Learn:

Data You'll Use:

Cybersyn is a next generation data company creating a real-time view of the world's economy with analytics-ready data exclusively on Snowflake Marketplace. Initially focused on consumer insights, Cybersyn enables you to access external data directly in your Snowflake instance — no ETL required.

This lab will use the following Cybersyn datasets:

Check out Cybersyn's Consumer Spending product and explore all 60+ public sources Cybersyn offers on the Snowflake Marketplace.

If you haven't already, register for a Snowflake free 30-day trial. This lab assumes you are using a new Snowflake account created by registering for a trial.

The Snowflake edition (Standard, Enterprise, Business Critical, etc.), cloud provider (AWS, Azure, GCP), and Region (US East, EU, etc.) you use for this lab, do not matter. However, we suggest you select the region that is physically closest to you and Enterprise, our most popular offering, as your Snowflake edition.

After registering, you will receive an email with an activation link and URL for accessing your Snowflake account.

Logging into the Snowflake User Interface (UI)

Open a browser window and enter the URL of your Snowflake 30-day trial environment that was sent with your registration email. Enter the username and password that you specified during the registration:

login screen

Navigating the Snowflake UI

Let's get you acquainted with Snowflake! This section covers the basic components of the user interface.

snowflake navbar

Projects > Worksheets

Under Projects on the left-hand panel, select the ​Worksheets​ tab. This provides an interface for submitting SQL queries, performing DDL and DML operations, and viewing results as your queries or operations complete. A new worksheet is created by clicking + on the top right.

worksheets tab main

Worksheet Structure

worksheets tab details

The top left corner contains the following:

The top right corner contains the following:

The middle pane contains the following:

The middle-left panel contains the following:

The bottom pane displays the results of queries and other operations. Also includes 4 options (Object, Query, Result, Chart) that open/close their respective panels on the UI. Chart opens a visualization panel for the returned results. More on this later.

The various panes on this page can be resized by adjusting their sliders. If you need more room in the worksheet, collapse the database objects browser in the left panel. Many of the screenshots in this guide keep this panel closed.

Projects > Dashboards

Under Projects on the left-hand panel, select the ​Dashboards​ tab. This tab allows you to create flexible displays of one or more charts (in the form of tiles, which can be rearranged). Tiles and widgets are produced by executing SQL queries that return results in a worksheet. Dashboards work at a variety of sizes with minimal configuration.

dashboards tab

Data > Databases

Under Data, the Databases​ tab shows information about the databases you have created or have permission to access. You can create, clone, drop, or transfer ownership of databases, as well as load data in the UI. Notice that a database already exists in your environment. However, we will not be using it in this lab.

databases tab

Data Products > Marketplace

The Marketplace tab is where any Snowflake customer can browse and consume data sets made available by providers. There are two types of shared data: Public and Personalized. Public data is free data sets available for querying instantaneously. Personalized data requires reaching out to the provider of data for approval of sharing data.

marketplace tab

Data Products > Private Sharing

Under Data Products, the Private Sharing tab is where data sharing can be configured to easily and securely share Snowflake tables among separate Snowflake accounts or external users, without having to create a copy of the data.

shared data tab

Monitoring > Query History

Under Monitoring there are multiple tabs for tracking your usage of your Snowflake account:

history tab

Admin > Warehouses

Under Admin, the ​Warehouses​ tab is where you set up and manage compute resources known as virtual warehouses to load or query data in Snowflake. A warehouse called COMPUTE_WH already exists in your environment.

warehouses tab

Admin > Cost Management

Under Admin, the Cost Management tab shows an overview of account consumption and budgets. It also includes details on all the resource monitors that have been created to control the number of credits that virtual warehouses consume. For each resource monitor, it shows the credit quota, type of monitoring, schedule, and actions performed when the virtual warehouse reaches its credit limit.

resource monitors tab

Admin > Users & Roles

The Roles sub-tab of the Users & Roles tab shows a list of the roles and their hierarchies. Roles can be created, reorganized, and granted to users in this tab. The roles can also be displayed in tabular/list format by selecting the Table sub-tab.

roles tab

Users

The Users sub-tab of the Users & Roles tab shows a list of users in the account, default roles, and owner of the users. For a new account, no records are shown because no additional roles have been created. Permissions granted through your current role determine the information shown for this tab. To see all the information available on the tab, switch your role to ACCOUNTADMIN.

users tab

Clicking on your username in the bottom right of the UI allows you to change your password, roles, and preferences. Snowflake has several system defined roles. You are currently in the default role of SYSADMIN and will stay in this role for the majority of the lab.

user preferences dropdown

The Lab Story

You work at a grocery retailer. You want to understand the performance of major consumer goods (CPG) companies in the US that supply your store. This lab takes a look at daily stock price data and quarterly and annual Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) company filings to understand the performance of the CPG landscape. Public companies are required to submit a quarterly and annual report to the SEC detailing their financial data.

We will start by collecting data from three different sources:

  1. Load company metadata .csv file.
  2. Load SEC filings from a semi-structured JSON format.
  3. Use the Snowflake Marketplace to find free stock price data from Cybersyn.

Let's start by preparing to load structured .csv data into Snowflake.

We are using company metadata developed from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that details the consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies we want to evaluate. The data has been exported and pre-staged for you in an Amazon AWS S3 bucket in the US-EAST region. It is in comma-delimited format with a single header line and double quotes enclosing all string values, including the field headings in the header line. This will be important when we configure the Snowflake table to store this data.

Getting Data into Snowflake Data can be ingested into Snowflake from many locations by using the COPY command, Snowpipe auto-ingestion, external connectors, or third-party ETL/ELT solutions. For more information on getting data into Snowflake, see the Snowflake documentation. For the purposes of this lab, we use the COPY command and AWS S3 storage to load data manually. In a real-world scenario, you would more likely use an ETL solution or grab data directly from the Snowflake Marketplace!

Create a Database and Table

Ensure you are using the SYSADMIN role by selecting your name at the top left, Switch Role > SYSADMIN.

Navigate to the Databases tab. Click Create, name the database CYBERSYN, then click CREATE.

worksheet creation

Now navigate to the Worksheets tab. You should see the worksheet we created in step 3.

new worksheet

We need to set the context appropriately within the worksheet. In the upper right corner of the worksheet, click the box to the left of the Share button to show the context menu. Here we control the elements you can see and run from each worksheet. We are using the UI here to set the context. Later in the lab, we will accomplish the same thing via SQL commands within the worksheet.

Select the following context settings:

Role: SYSADMINWarehouse: COMPUTE_WH

context role and warehouse settings

Next, in the drop-down for the database, select the following context settings:

Database: CYBERSYNSchema: PUBLIC

context database settings

To make working in the worksheet easier, let's rename it. In the top left corner, double-click the worksheet name, which is the timestamp when the worksheet was created, and change it to ZERO_TO_SNOWFLAKE_WITH_CYBERSYN.

Next we create a table called COMPANY_METADATA to use for loading the comma-delimited data. Instead of using the UI, we use the worksheet to run the DDL that creates the table. Copy the following SQL text into your worksheet:

CREATE OR REPLACE TABLE company_metadata
(cybersyn_company_id string,
company_name string,
permid_security_id string,
primary_ticker string,
security_name string,
asset_class string,
primary_exchange_code string,
primary_exchange_name string,
security_status string,
global_tickers variant,
exchange_code variant,
permid_quote_id variant);

Run the query by placing your cursor anywhere in the SQL text and clicking the blue Play/Run button in the top right of the worksheet. Or use the keyboard shortcut [Ctrl]/[Cmd]+[Enter].

Verify your COMPANY_METADATA table has been created. At the bottom of the worksheet, you should see a Results section displaying a "Table COMPANY_METADATA successfully created" message.

TRIPS confirmation message

Navigate to the Databases tab by clicking the HOME icon in the upper left corner of the worksheet. Then click Data > Databases. In the list of databases, click CYBERSYN > PUBLIC > TABLES to see your newly created COMPANY_METADATA table. If you don't see any databases on the left, expand your browser because they may be hidden.

TRIPS table

Click COMPANY_METADATA and the Columns tab to see the table structure you just created.

TRIPS table structure

Create an External Stage

We are working with structured, comma-delimited data that has already been staged in a public, external S3 bucket. Before we can use this data, we first need to create a stage that specifies the location of our external bucket.

From the Databases tab, click the CYBERSYN database and PUBLIC schema. Click the Create button, then Stage > Amazon S3.

stages create

In the Create Securable Object dialog that opens, replace the following values in the SQL statement:

Stage Name: cybersyn_company_metadataURL: s3://sfquickstarts/zero_to_snowflake/cybersyn-consumer-company-metadata-csv/cybersyn_consumer_company_metadata.csv

Note: Make sure to include the final forward slash (/) at the end of the URL or you will encounter errors later when loading data from the bucket. Also ensure you have removed ‘credentials = (...)' statement which is not required. You can also comment it out like the picture below by using ‘–'. The create stage command should resemble the below picture or not include the 3rd line.

create stage settings

Now let's take a look at the contents of the cybersyn_company_metadata stage. Navigate back to the Worksheets tab and open the ZERO_TO_SNOWFLAKE_WITH_CYBERSYN worksheet we made.

Add the following SQL statement below the previous code and then execute:

LIST @cybersyn_company_metadata;

In the results in the bottom pane, you should see the list of files in the stage:

worksheet result

Create a File Format

Before we can load the data into Snowflake, we have to create a file format that matches the data structure. In the worksheet, again add the following command below the rest and execute to create the file format:

CREATE OR REPLACE FILE FORMAT csv
    TYPE = 'CSV'
    COMPRESSION = 'AUTO'  -- Automatically determines the compression of files
    FIELD_DELIMITER = ','  -- Specifies comma as the field delimiter
    RECORD_DELIMITER = '\n'  -- Specifies newline as the record delimiter
    SKIP_HEADER = 0  -- No headers to skip, starts reading from the first line
    FIELD_OPTIONALLY_ENCLOSED_BY = '\042'  -- Fields are optionally enclosed by double quotes (ASCII code 34)
    TRIM_SPACE = FALSE  -- Spaces are not trimmed from fields
    ERROR_ON_COLUMN_COUNT_MISMATCH = FALSE  -- Does not raise an error if the number of fields in the data file varies
    ESCAPE = 'NONE'  -- No escape character for special character escaping
    ESCAPE_UNENCLOSED_FIELD = '\134'  -- Backslash is the escape character for unenclosed fields
    DATE_FORMAT = 'AUTO'  -- Automatically detects the date format
    TIMESTAMP_FORMAT = 'AUTO'  -- Automatically detects the timestamp format
    NULL_IF = ('')  -- Treats empty strings as NULL values
    COMMENT = 'File format for ingesting data for zero to snowflake';

create file format

Verify the file format has been created with the correct settings by executing the following command:

SHOW FILE FORMATS IN DATABASE cybersyn;

The file format created should be listed in the result: create file format settings

Resize and Use a Warehouse for Data Loading

We will now use a virtual warehouse and the COPY command to initiate bulk loading of structured data into the Snowflake table we created.

Compute resources are needed for loading data. Snowflake's compute nodes are called virtual warehouses and they can be dynamically sized up or out according to workload, whether you are loading data, running a query, or performing a DML operation. Each workload can have its own warehouse so there is no resource contention.

Navigate to the Warehouses tab (under Admin). This is where you can view all of your existing warehouses, as well as analyze their usage trends.

Note the + Warehouse option in the upper right corner of the top. This is where you can quickly add a new warehouse. However, we want to use the existing warehouse COMPUTE_WH included in the 30-day trial environment.

Click the row of the COMPUTE_WH warehouse. Then click the [...] in the upper right corner text above it to see the actions you can perform on the warehouse. We will use this warehouse to load the data from AWS S3.

compute warehouse configure

Click Edit to walk through the options of this warehouse and learn some of Snowflake's unique functionality.

warehouse configure settings

Warning - Watch Your Spend! During or after this lab, you should be careful about performing the following actions without good reason or you may burn through your $400 of free credits more quickly than desired:

We are going to use this virtual warehouse to load the structured data in the CSV files (stored in the AWS S3 bucket) into Snowflake. However, we are first going to change the size of the warehouse to increase the compute resources it uses. After the load, note the time taken and then, in a later step in this section, we will re-do the same load operation with an even larger warehouse, observing its faster load time.

Change the Size of this data warehouse from X-Small to Small. then click the Save Warehouse button:

configure settings small

Load the Data

Now we can run a COPY command to load the data into the COMPANY_METADATA table we created earlier.

Navigate back to the ZERO_TO_SNOWFLAKE_WITH_CYBERSYN worksheet in the Worksheets tab. Make sure the worksheet context is correctly set:

Role: SYSADMINWarehouse: COMPUTE_WHDatabase: CYBERSYNSchema: PUBLIC

worksheet context

Execute the following statements in the worksheet to load the staged data into the table. This may take up to 30 seconds.

COPY INTO company_metadata FROM @cybersyn_company_metadata file_format=csv PATTERN = '.*csv.*' ON_ERROR = 'CONTINUE';

In the result pane, you should see the status of each file that was loaded. Once the load is done, in the Query Details pane on the bottom right, you can scroll through the various statuses, error statistics, and visualizations for the last statement executed.

Next, navigate to the Query History tab by clicking the Home icon and then Activity > Query History. Select the query at the top of the list, which should be the COPY INTO statement that was last executed. Select the Query Profile tab and note the steps taken by the query to execute, query details, most expensive nodes, and additional statistics.

history and duration

Now let's reload the COMPANY_METADATA table with a larger warehouse to see the impact the additional compute resources have on the loading time.

Go back to the worksheet and use the TRUNCATE TABLE command to clear the table of all data and metadata:

TRUNCATE TABLE company_metadata;

-- Verify that the table is empty by running the following command:
SELECT * FROM company_metadata LIMIT 10;

The result should show Query produced no results. Change the warehouse size to LARGE using the following ALTER WAREHOUSE:

ALTER WAREHOUSE compute_wh SET warehouse_size='large';

-- Verify the change using the following SHOW WAREHOUSES:
SHOW WAREHOUSES;

resize context to large in UI step 1

The size can also be changed using the UI by clicking on the worksheet context box, then the Configure (3-line) icon on the right side of the context box, and changing Small to Large in the Size drop-down:

resize context to large in UI step 2

Execute the same COPY INTO statement as before to load the same data again:

COPY INTO company_metadata FROM @cybersyn_company_metadata file_format=csv PATTERN = '.*csv.*' ON_ERROR = 'CONTINUE';

Once the load is done, navigate back to the Queries page (Home icon > Activity > Query History). Compare the times of the two COPY INTO commands. The load using the Large warehouse was significantly faster.

Create a New Warehouse for Data Analytics

Let's assume our internal analytics team wants to eliminate resource contention between their data loading/ETL workloads and the analytical end users using BI tools to query Snowflake. As mentioned earlier, Snowflake can easily do this by assigning different, appropriately-sized warehouses to various workloads. Since our company already has a warehouse for data loading, let's create a new warehouse for the end users running analytics. We will use this warehouse to perform analytics in the next section.

Navigate to the Admin > Warehouses tab, click + Warehouse, and name the new warehouse and set the size to Large.

If you are using Snowflake Enterprise Edition (or higher) and Multi-cluster Warehouses is enabled, you will see additional settings:

warehouse settings

Click the Create Warehouse button to create the warehouse.

Going back to the lab's example, our company's analytics team wants to evaluate the performance of CPG companies through the lens of their reported metrics in SEC filings. To do this, in this section, we will:

The JSON data consists of SEC filings provided by Cybersyn, detailing the historical performance of consumer-packaged goods companies from 2019-2023. It is also staged on AWS S3. If viewed in a text editor, the raw JSON in the GZ files looks like:

raw JSON sample

(The full dataset available for free in Snowflake Marketplace from Cybersyn – no ETL required. For the purposes of this demo, we will focus on working with the semi-structured JSON file to learn how to load structured data into Snowflake.)

Create a New Database and Table for the Data

Next, let's create two tables, SEC_FILINGS_INDEX and SEC_FILINGS_ATTRIBUTES to use for loading JSON data. In the worksheet, execute the following CREATE TABLE commands:

CREATE TABLE sec_filings_index (v variant);

CREATE TABLE sec_filings_attributes (v variant);

Note that Snowflake has a special data type called VARIANT that allows storing the entire JSON object as a single row and querying the object directly.

In the results pane at the bottom of the worksheet, verify that your tables, SEC_FILINGS_INDEX and SEC_FILINGS_ATTRIBUTES, were created:

success message

Create Another External Stage

In the ZERO_TO_SNOWFLAKE_WITH_CYBERSYN worksheet, use the following command to create a stage that points to the bucket where the semi-structured JSON data is stored on AWS S3:

CREATE STAGE cybersyn_sec_filings
url = 's3://sfquickstarts/zero_to_snowflake/cybersyn_cpg_sec_filings/';

Now let's take a look at the contents of the cybersyn_sec_filings stage. Execute the following LIST command to display the list of files:

LIST @cybersyn_sec_filings;

In the results pane, you should see a list of .gz files from S3: results output

Load and Verify the Semi-structured Data

We will now use a warehouse to load the data from an S3 bucket into the tables we created earlier. In the ZERO_TO_SNOWFLAKE_WITH_CYBERSYN worksheet, execute the COPY command below to load the data.

Note that you can specify a FILE FORMAT object inline in the command. In the previous section where we loaded structured data in CSV format, we had to define a file format to support the CSV structure. Because the JSON data here is well-formed, we are able to simply specify the JSON type and use all the default settings:

COPY INTO sec_filings_index
FROM @cybersyn_sec_filings/cybersyn_sec_report_index.json.gz
    file_format = (type = json strip_outer_array = true);

COPY INTO sec_filings_attributes
FROM @cybersyn_sec_filings/cybersyn_sec_report_attributes.json.gz
    file_format = (type = json strip_outer_array = true);

Verify that each file has a status of LOADED: query result

Now, let's take a look at the data that was loaded:

SELECT * FROM sec_filings_index LIMIT 10;
SELECT * FROM sec_filings_attributes LIMIT 10;

Click any of the rows to display the formatted JSON in the right panel:

JSON data snippet

To close the display in the panel and display the query details again, click the X (Close) button that appears when you hover your mouse in the right corner of the panel.

Create a View and Query Semi-Structured Data

Next, let's look at how Snowflake allows us to create a view and also query the JSON data directly using SQL.

Snowflake also supports materialized views in which the query results are stored as though the results are a table. This allows faster access, but requires storage space. Materialized views can be created and queried if you are using Snowflake Enterprise Edition (or higher).

Run the following command to create a columnar view of the semi-structured JSON SEC filing data, so it is easier for analysts to understand and query. The CIK corresponds to the Central Index Key, or unique identifier that SEC gives to each filing entity. The ADSH is the document number for any filing submitted to the SEC.

CREATE OR REPLACE VIEW sec_filings_index_view AS
SELECT
    v:CIK::string                   AS cik,
    v:COMPANY_NAME::string          AS company_name,
    v:EIN::int                      AS ein,
    v:ADSH::string                  AS adsh,
    v:TIMESTAMP_ACCEPTED::timestamp AS timestamp_accepted,
    v:FILED_DATE::date              AS filed_date,
    v:FORM_TYPE::string             AS form_type,
    v:FISCAL_PERIOD::string         AS fiscal_period,
    v:FISCAL_YEAR::string           AS fiscal_year
FROM sec_filings_index;

CREATE OR REPLACE VIEW sec_filings_attributes_view AS
SELECT
    v:VARIABLE::string            AS variable,
    v:CIK::string                 AS cik,
    v:ADSH::string                AS adsh,
    v:MEASURE_DESCRIPTION::string AS measure_description,
    v:TAG::string                 AS tag,
    v:TAG_VERSION::string         AS tag_version,
    v:UNIT_OF_MEASURE::string     AS unit_of_measure,
    v:VALUE::string               AS value,
    v:REPORT::int                 AS report,
    v:STATEMENT::string           AS statement,
    v:PERIOD_START_DATE::date     AS period_start_date,
    v:PERIOD_END_DATE::date       AS period_end_date,
    v:COVERED_QTRS::int           AS covered_qtrs,
    TRY_PARSE_JSON(v:METADATA)    AS metadata
FROM sec_filings_attributes;

SQL dot notation v:VARIABLE is used in this command to pull out values at lower levels within the JSON object hierarchy. This allows us to treat each field as if it were a column in a relational table.

The new view should appear as SEC_FILINGS_INDEX_VIEW under CYBERSYN > PUBLIC > Views in the object browser on the left. You may need to expand or refresh the objects browser in order to see it.

JSON_WEATHER_DATA _VIEW in dropdown

Notice the results look just like a regular structured data source:

SELECT *
FROM sec_filings_index_view
LIMIT 20;

Snowflake Data Marketplace

Make sure you're using the ACCOUNTADMIN role and, navigate to Data Products > Marketplace:

data marketplace tab

Find a listing

Type stock prices in the search box at the top, scroll through the results, and select Financial & Economic Essentials (provided by Cybersyn).

health tab

In the Cybersyn Financial & Economic Essentials page, you can learn more about the contents of the data listing, explore data dictionaries, and see some sample queries. You will also see links to documentation and the dataset's cloud region availability. When you're ready, click the Get button to make this information available within your Snowflake account:

get data fields

Review the information in the dialog and click Get again:

get data fields

You can now click Done or choose to run the sample queries provided by Cybersyn:

get data fields

If you chose Query Data, a new worksheet opens in a new browser tab/window:

  1. Set your context
  2. Select the query you want to run (or place your cursor in the query text).
  3. Click the Run/Play button (or use the keyboard shortcut).
  4. You can view the data results in the bottom pane.
  5. When you are done running the sample queries, click the Home icon in the upper left corner.

get data fields

Next:

  1. Click Data > Databases.
  2. Click the Financial__Economic_Essentials database.
  3. You can see details about the schemas, tables, and views that are available to query.

covid19 databases

That's it! You have now successfully subscribed to the Financial & Economic Essentials datasets from Cybersyn, which are updated daily with global financial data. Notice we didn't have to create databases, tables, views, or an ETL process. We simply searched for and accessed shared data from the Snowflake Data Marketplace.

In the previous exercises, we loaded data into two tables using Snowflake's COPY bulk loader command and the COMPUTE_WH virtual warehouse. Now we are going to take on the role of the analytics users at our company who need to query data in those tables using the worksheet and the second warehouse ANALYTICS_WH.

Execute Some Queries

Go to the ZERO_TO_SNOWFLAKE_WITH_CYBERSYN worksheet and change the warehouse to use the new warehouse you created in the last section. Your worksheet context should be the following:

Role: SYSADMINWarehouse: ANALYTICS_WH (L)Database: CYBERSYNSchema: PUBLIC

sample data query results

Run the following query to see a sample of the company_metadata data:

SELECT * FROM company_metadata;

sample data query results

Now, let's look at the performance of these companies in the stock market. Run the queries below in the worksheet.

Closing Price Statistics: First, calculate the daily return of a stock (the percent change in the stock price from the close of the previous day to the close of the current day) and 5-day moving average from closing prices (which helps smooth out daily price fluctuations to identify trends).

SELECT
    meta.primary_ticker,
    meta.company_name,
    ts.date,
    ts.value AS post_market_close,
    (ts.value / LAG(ts.value, 1) OVER (PARTITION BY meta.primary_ticker ORDER BY ts.date) - 1)::DOUBLE AS daily_return,
    AVG(ts.value) OVER (PARTITION BY meta.primary_ticker ORDER BY ts.date ROWS BETWEEN 4 PRECEDING AND CURRENT ROW) AS five_day_moving_avg_price
FROM Financial__Economic_Essentials.cybersyn.stock_price_timeseries ts
INNER JOIN company_metadata meta
ON ts.ticker = meta.primary_ticker
WHERE ts.variable_name = 'Post-Market Close';

post-market close query results

Trading Volume Statistics: Then, calculate the trading volume change from one day to the next to see if there's an increase or decrease in trading activity. This can be a sign of increasing or decreasing interest in a stock.

SELECT
    meta.primary_ticker,
    meta.company_name,
    ts.date,
    ts.value AS nasdaq_volume,
    (ts.value / LAG(ts.value, 1) OVER (PARTITION BY meta.primary_ticker ORDER BY ts.date) - 1)::DOUBLE AS volume_change
FROM cybersyn.stock_price_timeseries ts
INNER JOIN company_metadata meta
ON ts.ticker = meta.primary_ticker
WHERE ts.variable_name = 'Nasdaq Volume';

volume query results

Use the Result Cache

Snowflake has a result cache that holds the results of every query executed in the past 24 hours. These are available across warehouses, so query results returned to one user are available to any other user on the system who executes the same query, provided the underlying data has not changed. Not only do these repeated queries return extremely fast, but they also use no compute credits.

Let's see the result cache in action by running the exact same query again.

SELECT
    meta.primary_ticker,
    meta.company_name,
    ts.date,
    ts.value AS post_market_close,
    (ts.value / LAG(ts.value, 1) OVER (PARTITION BY primary_ticker ORDER BY date) - 1)::DOUBLE AS daily_return,
    AVG(ts.value) OVER (PARTITION BY primary_ticker ORDER BY date ROWS BETWEEN 4 PRECEDING AND CURRENT ROW) AS five_day_moving_avg_price
FROM cybersyn.stock_price_timeseries ts
INNER JOIN company_metadata meta
ON ts.ticker = meta.primary_ticker
WHERE variable_name = 'Post-Market Close';

In the Query Details pane on the right, note that the query runs significantly faster because the results have been cached. cached query duration

Clone a Table

Snowflake allows you to create clones, also known as "zero-copy clones" of tables, schemas, and databases in seconds. When a clone is created, Snowflake takes a snapshot of data present in the source object and makes it available to the cloned object. The cloned object is writable and independent of the clone source. Therefore, changes made to either the source object or the clone object are not included in the other.

A popular use case for zero-copy cloning is to clone a production environment for use by Development & Testing teams to test and experiment without adversely impacting the production environment and eliminating the need to set up and manage two separate environments.

Run the following command in the worksheet to create a development (dev) table clone of the company_metadata table:

CREATE TABLE company_metadata_dev CLONE company_metadata;

Click the three dots (...) in the left pane and select Refresh. Expand the object tree under the CYBERSYN database and verify that you see a new table named company_metadata_dev. Your Development team now can do whatever they want with this table, including updating or deleting it, without impacting the company_metadata table or any other object.

trips_dev table

Joining Tables

We will now join the JSON SEC filing datasets together to investigate the revenue of one CPG company, Kraft Heinz. Run the query below to join SEC_FILINGS_INDEX to SEC_FILINGS_ATTRIBUTES to see how Kraft Heinz (KHC) business segments have performed over time:

WITH data_prep AS (
    SELECT 
        idx.cik,
        idx.company_name,
        idx.adsh,
        idx.form_type,
        att.measure_description,
        CAST(att.value AS DOUBLE) AS value,
        att.period_start_date,
        att.period_end_date,
        att.covered_qtrs,
        TRIM(att.metadata:"ProductOrService"::STRING) AS product
    FROM sec_filings_attributes_view att
    JOIN sec_filings_index_view idx
        ON idx.cik = att.cik AND idx.adsh = att.adsh
    WHERE idx.cik = '0001637459'
        AND idx.form_type IN ('10-K', '10-Q')
        AND LOWER(att.measure_description) = 'net sales'
        AND (att.metadata IS NULL OR OBJECT_KEYS(att.metadata) = ARRAY_CONSTRUCT('ProductOrService'))
        AND att.covered_qtrs IN (1, 4)
        AND value > 0
    QUALIFY ROW_NUMBER() OVER (
        PARTITION BY idx.cik, idx.company_name, att.measure_description, att.period_start_date, att.period_end_date, att.covered_qtrs, product
        ORDER BY idx.filed_date DESC
    ) = 1
)

SELECT
    company_name,
    measure_description,
    product,
    period_end_date,
    CASE
        WHEN covered_qtrs = 1 THEN value
        WHEN covered_qtrs = 4 THEN value - SUM(value) OVER (
            PARTITION BY cik, measure_description, product, YEAR(period_end_date)
            ORDER BY period_end_date
            ROWS BETWEEN 4 PRECEDING AND 1 PRECEDING
        )
    END AS quarterly_value
FROM data_prep
ORDER BY product, period_end_date;

weather results

Snowflake's powerful Time Travel feature enables accessing historical data, as well as the objects storing the data, at any point within a period of time. The default window is 24 hours and, if you are using Snowflake Enterprise Edition, can be increased up to 90 days. Most data warehouses cannot offer this functionality, but - you guessed it - Snowflake makes it easy!

Some useful applications include:

Drop and Undrop a Table

First let's see how we can restore data objects that have been accidentally or intentionally deleted.

In the ZERO_TO_SNOWFLAKE_WITH_CYBERSYN worksheet, run the following DROP command to remove the SEC_FILINGS_INDEX table:

DROP TABLE sec_filings_index;

-- Run a query on the table:
SELECT * FROM sec_filings_index LIMIT 10;

In the results pane at the bottom, you should see an error because the underlying table has been dropped: table dropped error

Now, restore the table:

UNDROP TABLE sec_filings_index;

The SEC filing index table should be restored. Verify by running the following query:

SELECT * FROM sec_filings_index LIMIT 10;

restored table result

Roll Back a Table

Let's roll back the COMPANY_METADATA table in the CYBERSYN database to a previous state to fix an unintentional DML error that replaces all the company names in the table with the word "oops".

First, run the following SQL statements to switch your worksheet to the proper context:

USE ROLE sysadmin;

USE WAREHOUSE compute_wh;

USE DATABASE cybersyn;

USE SCHEMA public;

Run the following command to replace all of the company names in the table with the word "oops":

UPDATE company_metadata SET company_name = 'oops';

Now, run a query that returns the companies. Notice that the company names are all the same:

SELECT *
FROM company_metadata;

one row result

Normally we would need to scramble and hope we have a backup lying around. In Snowflake, we can simply run a command to find the query ID of the last UPDATE command and store it in a variable named $QUERY_ID.

Use Time Travel to recreate the table with the correct company names and verify the company names have been restored:

-- Set the session variable for the query_id
SET query_id = (
  SELECT query_id
  FROM TABLE(information_schema.query_history_by_session(result_limit=>5))
  WHERE query_text LIKE 'UPDATE%'
  ORDER BY start_time DESC
  LIMIT 1
);

-- Use the session variable with the identifier syntax (e.g., $query_id)
CREATE OR REPLACE TABLE company_metadata AS
SELECT *
FROM company_metadata
BEFORE (STATEMENT => $query_id);

-- Verify the company names have been restored
SELECT *
FROM company_metadata;

restored names result

In this section, we will explore aspects of Snowflake's access control security model, such as creating a role and granting it specific permissions. We will also explore other usage of the ACCOUNTADMIN (Account Administrator) role.

Continuing with the lab story, let's assume a junior DBA has joined our internal analytics team, and we want to create a new role for them with less privileges than the system-defined, default role of SYSADMIN.

Create a New Role and Add a User

In the ZERO_TO_SNOWFLAKE_WITH_CYBERSYN worksheet, switch to the ACCOUNTADMIN role to create a new role. ACCOUNTADMIN encapsulates the SYSADMIN and SECURITYADMIN system-defined roles. It is the top-level role in the account and should be granted only to a limited number of users.

USE ROLE accountadmin;

Notice that, in the top right of the worksheet, the context has changed to ACCOUNTADMIN:

ACCOUNTADMIN context

Before a role can be used for access control, at least one user must be assigned to it. So let's create a new role named JUNIOR_DBA and assign it to your Snowflake user. To complete this task, you need to know your username, which is the name you used to log in to the UI.

Use the following commands to create the role and assign it to you. Before you run the GRANT ROLE command, replace YOUR_USERNAME_GOES_HERE with your username:

CREATE ROLE junior_dba;

GRANT ROLE junior_dba TO USER YOUR_USERNAME_GOES_HERE;

Change your worksheet context to the new JUNIOR_DBA role:

USE ROLE junior_dba;

In the top right of the worksheet, notice that the context has changed to reflect the JUNIOR_DBA role.

JUNIOR_DBA context

Also, the warehouse is not selected because the newly created role does not have usage privileges on any warehouse. Let's fix it by switching back to ACCOUNTADMIN role and grant usage privileges to COMPUTE_WH warehouse.

USE ROLE accountadmin;

GRANT USAGE ON WAREHOUSE compute_wh TO ROLE junior_dba;

Switch back to the JUNIOR_DBA role. You should be able to use COMPUTE_WH now.

USE ROLE junior_dba;

USE WAREHOUSE compute_wh;

Finally, you can notice that in the database object browser panel on the left, the CYBERSYN and Financial__Economic_Essentials databases no longer appear. This is because the JUNIOR_DBA role does not have privileges to access them.

Switch back to the ACCOUNTADMIN role and grant the JUNIOR_DBA the USAGE privilege required to view and use the CYBERSYN and Financial__Economic_Essentials databases. Note that the Cybersyn database from the Marketplace uses GRANT IMPORTED PRIVILEGES, instead of GRANT USAGE.

USE ROLE accountadmin;

GRANT USAGE ON DATABASE cybersyn TO ROLE junior_dba;

GRANT IMPORTED PRIVILEGES ON DATABASE Financial__Economic_Essentials TO ROLE junior_dba;

USE ROLE junior_dba;

Notice that the CYBERSYN and Financial__Economic_Essentials databases now appear in the database object browser panel on the left. If they don't appear, try clicking ... in the panel, then clicking Refresh.

object browser panel with databases

View the Account Administrator UI

Let's change our access control role back to ACCOUNTADMIN to see other areas of the UI accessible only to this role. However, to perform this task, use the UI instead of the worksheet.

First, click the Home icon in the top left corner of the worksheet. Then, in the bottom left corner of the UI, click your name to display the user preferences menu. In the menu, go to Switch Role and select ACCOUNTADMIN.

switch UI role

Notice that once you switch the UI session to the ACCOUNTADMIN role, new tabs are available under Admin.

Admin > Cost Management

account usage

The Cost Management tab shows your usage of Snowflake credits, with filters by account and consumption types:

Admin > Security

account usage

The Security tab contains network policies created for the Snowflake account. New network policies can be created by selecting "+ Network Policy" at the top right hand side of the page.

Admin > Billing & Terms

The Billing & Terms tab contains the payment method for the account:

For the next section, stay in the ACCOUNTADMIN role for the UI session.

Snowflake enables data access between accounts through the secure data sharing features. Shares are created by data providers and imported by data consumers, either through their own Snowflake account or a provisioned Snowflake Reader account. The consumer can be an external entity or a different internal business unit that is required to have its own unique Snowflake account.

With secure data sharing:

Snowflake uses secure data sharing to provide account usage data and sample data sets to all Snowflake accounts. In this capacity, Snowflake acts as the data provider of the data and all other accounts.

Secure data sharing also powers the Snowflake Data Marketplace, which is available to all Snowflake customers and allows you to discover and access third-party datasets from numerous data providers and SaaS vendors. Again, in this data sharing model, the data doesn't leave the provider's account and you can use the datasets without any transformation.

View Existing Shares

In the home page, navigate to Data > Databases. In the list of databases, look at the SOURCE column. You should see one database with Local in the column, which we created previously in the lab. The other database, SNOWFLAKE, shows Share in the column, indicating it's shared from a provider.

arrow over database icon

Create an Outbound Share

Assume we are the Account Administrator for our Snowflake account. We have a trusted partner who wants to analyze our data on a near real-time basis. This partner also has their own Snowflake account in the same region as our account. We can use secure data sharing to allow them to access this information.

Navigate to Data Products > Private Sharing, then at the top of the tab click Shared By Your Account. Click the Share button in the top right corner and select Create a Direct Share:

shares outbound button

Click + Select Data and navigate to the database and schema you want to share. Select the tables and click the Done button:

share fields

The default name of the share is a generic name with a random numeric value appended. Edit the default name to a more descriptive value that will help identify the share in the future (e.g. ZERO_TO_SNOWFLAKE_SHARED_DATA). You can also add a comment.

In a real-world scenario, the Account Administrator would next add one or more consumer accounts to the share, but we'll stop here for the purposes of this lab.

Click the Create Share button at the bottom of the dialog. The dialog closes and the page shows the secure share you created.

TRIPS_SHARE share

You can add consumers, add/change the description, and edit the objects in the share at any time. In the page, click the < button next to the share name to return to the Share with Other Accounts page.

We've demonstrated how it only takes seconds to give other accounts access to data in your Snowflake account in a secure manner with no copying or transferring of data required!

Snowflake provides several ways to securely share data without compromising confidentiality. In addition to tables, you can share secure views, secure UDFs (user-defined functions), and other secure objects. For more details about using these methods to share data while preventing access to sensitive information, see the Snowflake documentation.

If you would like to reset your environment by deleting all the objects created as part of this lab, ensure you are using the ACCOUNTADMIN role in the worksheet and run the following commands to drop the objects we created in the lab:

USE ROLE accountadmin;

DROP DATABASE IF EXISTS CYBERSYN;

DROP WAREHOUSE IF EXISTS analytics_wh;

DROP ROLE IF EXISTS junior_dba;

Congratulations on completing this introductory lab exercise! You've mastered the Snowflake basics and are ready to apply these fundamentals to your own data. Be sure to reference this guide if you ever need a refresher.

We encourage you to continue with your free trial by loading your own sample or production data and by using some of the more advanced capabilities of Snowflake not covered in this lab.

Additional Resources:

What we've covered: