Reflections on Snowflake Summit 2024

The Need for Better Storytelling in Tech

This past week, I had the opportunity to attend Snowflake Summit 2024 in San Francisco. As an analyst, I was treated to an exclusive pre-day of content from the Snowflake team, which proved both enlightening and thought-provoking.

The event kicked off with Snowflake addressing the recent “hack” reported in the news. They assured us that their collaboration with Crowdstrike and other partners has revealed no signs of compromise within Snowflake itself. The evidence points to compromised customer credentials, and the investigation remains ongoing.

One of the highlights was the introduction of new products, including the Trust Center. This innovative tool assesses the security of your Snowflake data estate, utilizing AI and ML to identify potential issues such as privacy mismatches, user access inconsistencies, and poor data classification. However, there was no mention of whether the Trust Center provided similar insights into user accounts—a critical consideration given the hack discussion. I managed to get clarity on this from the Trust Center’s product manager later in the day.

This experience underscored a recurring issue I see in the vendor space: a distinct lack of cohesive storytelling. Vendors often present without any sense of overarching narrative. This fragmented approach can feel like a song composed entirely of solos. Individually, each instrument may showcase talent, but without the common purpose of harmony, no audience will ever sing along. It’s chaotic and discordant—much like many of the tech presentations I sat in on.

We need change. We don’t just need better messaging; we need better stories. We need to ask ourselves: Who are we? Why do we exist? Where are we going? What are the stops along the way? What sights will we see? Where do we board? Improving how we communicate is essential.

On a positive note, Snowflake showcased all the components necessary to build a compelling data story for your enterprise. Their partners can fill in any gaps in your business narrative. The only missing piece is a cohesive purpose, which you can personalize to meet your specific needs.

The good news is that there are people like me here to help. I aim to demystify what is presented, help you create a strategy, and build a plan to achieve your goals. Together, we can create your story, one chapter at a time.