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How does Snowflake handle historical data and support data lineage in a Data Vault setup?

341 viewsData Lake, Data Mesh, Data Vault
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How does Snowflake handle historical data and support data lineage in a Data Vault setup?

Daniel Steinhold Answered question July 23, 2023
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1. Snowflake provides built-in features that facilitate the handling of historical data and support data lineage in a Data Vault setup. These features include Time Travel, Zero-Copy Cloning, and Metadata Services. Let's explore how each of these features contributes to historical data management and data lineage in Snowflake's Data Vault implementation:
2. **Time Travel:**
- Time Travel is a powerful feature in Snowflake that allows users to query data at different points in time, enabling historical analysis without the need for additional data copies or snapshots.
- In a Data Vault setup, Time Travel allows for tracing changes to hub and satellite data over time. Users can query the data vault's tables and satellites at specific historical points, ensuring the ability to perform historical trend analysis and identify data changes.
- Time Travel is especially useful for capturing changes to descriptive attributes in the satellites, as it maintains a complete history of those changes without the need for manual versioning.
3. **Zero-Copy Cloning:**
- Zero-Copy Cloning is a feature that enables the quick creation of identical clones of Snowflake objects without duplicating data. Instead of physically copying data, it creates pointers to the original data, saving storage space and minimizing data replication.
- In a Data Vault setup, Zero-Copy Cloning is beneficial for creating "branch" vaults for parallel development or versioning. This allows for different teams or projects to work independently without affecting the original Data Vault, promoting data lineage by preserving the original data's integrity.
4. **Metadata Services:**
- Snowflake provides a Metadata Services layer that captures metadata information about the data in the warehouse. This includes details about tables, columns, schemas, users, roles, and access privileges.
- In a Data Vault setup, Metadata Services help maintain a record of changes to the data warehouse's structure and access controls. It allows administrators to track who made changes to the Data Vault objects and when, providing valuable insights into the data lineage and governance.

By leveraging Time Travel, Zero-Copy Cloning, and Metadata Services, Snowflake enables robust historical data management and supports data lineage in a Data Vault setup. These features provide a comprehensive view of data changes over time, ensure data provenance and traceability, and enable controlled development and versioning of the Data Vault structure. As a result, Snowflake empowers organizations to build and maintain an auditable, flexible, and reliable Data Vault implementation with a strong focus on historical data tracking and lineage.

Daniel Steinhold Answered question July 23, 2023
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