Snowflake Usage Consumption: Cracking the Code on Hidden Costs

By: Phil D'Amico | April 5th, 2024
As a Snowflake user, you understand the beauty of paying only for what you consume.

However, the quest for full visibility in data consumption is like navigating a labyrinth. It’s possible for hidden spikes in usage to slip by unnoticed and cause unnecessary headaches, challenges, and expenditure. 

The preventable causes and resulting challenges of unanticipated Snowflake data consumption simply underscore the importance of proactive monitoring, optimization, and governance strategies to mitigate risks and ensure cost-effective resource utilization. 

And that importance is something that’s top of mind for many organizations today…

With nearly half of the data and workloads in the cloud, managing cloud spending is the top challenge facing organizations according to a recent study.

With that in mind, let’s discuss some of the challenges that result from usage that slips under the radar, what they mean for your organization, and how you can combat them.

Hidden consumption = hidden implications 

When we talk about “hidden Snowflake consumption” we’re referring to the usage of Snowflake resources that are not easily visible or trackable through traditional monitoring mechanisms. This can include unused or underutilized resources, inefficient query execution, data storage redundancy, and new data projects that haven’t been accounted for in the budget. 

Even with Snowflake’s pay-as-you-go model, ensuring you’re only paying for what you use can be a daunting task. That hidden and unanticipated data consumption can easily sneak under your radar, leaving you scratching your head at inflated bills and far-reaching consequences across various fronts including:

  • Cost overruns: If you can’t properly track or monitor Snowflake usage, you may exceed budget allocations and cause cost overruns and financial strain.
  • Difficulty forecasting: Hidden consumption might be making it challenging for you to accurately forecast future usage and budgetary needs. Without visibility into usage patterns, it becomes difficult to predict future costs and allocate resources appropriately.
  • Resource optimization: It’s possible you may be paying for improperly sized resources which can lead to wasted spending and inefficiencies. 
  • Compliance and governance risks: You could inadvertently violate data privacy regulations or internal compliance policies if you’re unaware of all the data being stored and processed within Snowflake.
  • Performance issues: Data consumption that sneaks by unnoticed can impact the performance of Snowflake and other systems within your organization’s IT infrastructure. This can lead to slower query times, increased latency, and overall decreased productivity for anyone relying on Snowflake for data analysis and processing.
  • Difficulty identifying usage patterns: You may be finding it a struggle to identify usage patterns and trends before they become larger problems. That’s why it’s critical to understand how Snowflake is being used across different teams and departments so you can optimize resources and maximize ROI.

To ensure you’re paying for what you use, it’s important to leverage a data observability tool that can help you keep your systems in check, optimize like a pro, and eliminate wasted resources.


The Solution: SnowPulse

Enter SnowPulse–your guardian angel in the realm of data observability. Utilizing the power of Tableau Pulse, SnowPulse monitors and informs you on your resource utilization within Snowflake. By analyzing credit usage across a spectrum of considerations, SnowPulse enables you to identify patterns, inefficiencies, and opportunities for improvement so you can make informed decisions regarding your Snowflake resource allocation and performance optimization.

Imagine having a bird’s-eye view of your Snowflake credit consumption, neatly laid out before you. SnowPulse offers just that with an intuitive interface that showcases five major areas of credit utilization. From warehouse names to user roles, SnowPulse leaves no stone unturned in its quest for transparency. But it doesn’t stop there–you can dive deeper, adjust metrics, compare data across time periods, and unearth actionable insights that drive smarter decision-making.

SnowPulse by CoEnterprise

Powerful SnowPulse Insights
  • Credits consumed by warehouse name, size, user, role, and more
  • Changes in consumption 
  • Identifying if consumption is above/below expected amounts 

Behind SnowPulse’s prowess lies Tableau Pulse–a reimagined data experience, built on the Tableau platform, that empowers you with intelligent, personalized, and contextual insights delivered in the flow of work.. Leveraging generative AI technology, it helps you go beyond the how and what and shows you the why behind your data.

Your journey to data enlightenment

As experts in Tableau and Snowflake, we can help you get set up with SnowPulse and on the fast track to achieving faster Snowflake insights and more informed decision-making.

To get started or to learn more about what it can do, reach out to

Let’s unlock the full potential of your data, together.

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