A Deep Dive Into Snowflake Data Exchange and How It Works


Table Of Contents

The emergence of third-party data is starting to flourish nowadays, making it one of the most essential tools for enhancing business insights. The idea of a data exchange has emerged as data sharing hubs where organizations can become data providers for their industry or a specific subject matter or consume data from other organizations to augment their own.

Snowflake is a data fulfillment organization with a robust platform that organizations can use to exchange, share, or monetize data. As a system with thousands of users in various industries, organizations can use an established user base to access relevant data or share their data. Snowflake data exchange is one of the company’s data sharing tools that organizations can take advantage of.

This guide specifically looks at the importance of Snowflake data exchange, including its unique features and how you can set it up for your organization.

What is Snowflake Data Exchange?

Snowflake data exchange is a  data hub allowing organizations to enable data collaboration among group members as long as they receive an invitation. The data hub allows providers to publish and release data so consumers can see and discover it.

Snowflake data exchange allows total control, access, and governance when sharing crucial data within your organization. It also enables the safe distribution of data with your customers, suppliers, and other partners through following:

  • Personalized and free listing options to give control over who can view what data
  • Membership management
  • Application security controls
  • Data usage auditing

This helps organizations move data around faster, especially when building data products and pipelines. A Snowflake data exchange allows various systems to mix, match, and organize data together.

One of the essential key concepts of Snowflake Data Share  is understanding the three prominent roles in data exchange: provider, admin, and consumer. Each role has critical actions that should be accomplished for smooth and convenient data exchange.

Data Exchange Administrator

A Snowflake data exchange administrator is responsible for hosting the data in the exchange. They can also configure what data can be stored and takes care of managing the data consumers and providers.

A data exchange administrator controls the following:

  1. Data visibility on the data exchange
  2. Manual approval or disproval of data requests
  3. Membership status
  4. Setting up rules for the data exchange

Data Exchange Provider

Another member of the Snowflake data exchange is the provider. They are responsible for  configuring data samples, documentation, metadata, and cloud visibility of listings. A  data exchange provider can also accomplish the following tasks:

  • Creating a listing and defining its access (whether it’s standard or personalized)
  • Publishing the listing without waiting for the data exchange admin’s approval
  • Granting access to personalized datasets and listings even when they reside in another region

Data Exchange Consumer

A data exchange consumer is the last member of Snowflake’s data exchange and does the following within the exchange environment:

  1. Discovers exchange listings
  2. Switches between Data Exchange and Snowflake Marketplace
  3. Consuming datasets by request or instantly

Difference Between Snowflake Data Exchange and Data Marketplace

To be able to use  Snowflake’s data exchange and marketplace wisely means you must be aware of their differences. Both are equally important for your organization to use but serve different purposes.

Snowflake Data Exchange Snowflake Data Marketplace
Exchanging data between members of a group Allows buying and selling of third-party data
Exchanges happen between legal entities or  corporate groups Handles distributing, publishing, discovering, and licensing
Can either be single or two-way data exchanges for better value propositions Businesses with a platform model
No associated financial transaction External-facing financial transactions between legal entities
Workflow requires deeper functionality through collaboration Allows businesses to scale up and connect with other businesses on the platform, helping improve networking

In other words, data exchange enables private data sharing from a single provider to several consumers invited in private groups. On the other hand, a data marketplace enables data transactions (buying and selling) to take place.

Understanding their differences is essential, especially when choosing which option suits particular cases. Data marketplaces are more suitable when facilitating financial transactions of data, while data exchanges are better for direct data sharing between specific organizations or individuals only.

While data exchange can also occur on the Snowflake data marketplace because of its innovation in adding value transfer between consumers and suppliers and its ability to handle data discovery, distribution, publishing, and licensing. Snowflake data exchange is a more focused option that takes these aspects of the marketplace and adds deeper functionality, tailoring them to support a more collaborative data sharing environment.

How to Share Data on the Snowflake Data Marketplace

Data sharing is made easy on Snowflake because it offers a variety of options. It can be of the two: sharing your data explicitly or making it available for all data consumers.

It’s possible to utilize data exchanges, direct shares, and the data marketplace on Snowflake. In fact, one of the simplest ways to share data is through direct shares, especially when it occurs from one account to another. On the other hand, Snowflake data marketplace and data exchanges are better suitable for larger data access.

Snowflake’s data exchanges serve as your safe space for secure data collaboration among invited members. After deciding to push through with data monetization and sharing, the following are helpful questions to decide how you want to share your data:

  • In what way do you want to accomplish your security implementation?
  • How much budget is available for your computing resources?
  • How broad is your data share?

Data share on Snowflake is possible by sharing information with a co-Snowflake or a reader account. The one responsible for the organization of virtual warehouses is the data consumer. These objects are essential for shared data queries.

End consumers with no Snowflake account can set up reader accounts instead. The reader accounts will serve as leverages during object computation in the provider’s account.

Snowflake’s secure data sharing also guarantees the views, UDFs, and materialized views are all safe and secure. These also help consumers to access and read data even when they have no visibility of the underlying SQL.

Key Benefits of Snowflake Private Data Exchange

Snowflake’s Private Data Exchange was recently launched in 2019. A centralized data hub managed internally grants organizations privacy in sharing data sets within their desired ecosystem to allow real-time, informed, and collaborative decision-making.

The launch of Snowflake’s Private Data Exchange also enabled organizations to establish their own private internal data ecosystem marketplace where team members have complete control. This allows employees to track data assets and show who gets access or not.

With this, Private Data Exchange is the exclusive platform that permits clients to have secure access to alternative data sources and real-time second parties. Let’s talk about some of the significant benefits of this project.

Secure Data Share

Nowadays, security, privacy, and confidentiality of data are essential. They are considerations that help keep everything contained to avoid miscommunications that can make businesses potentially lose their business and clients. This is the key reason why professionals love exploring new platforms they can rely on to keep their data safe.

Snowflake’s Private Data Exchange establishes a centralized place where business owners can monitor and utilize key analytics to access and browse the data they need. This can all be  accomplished with data in a curated and secure environment.

With Snowflake’s Private Data Exchange guarantees secure data sharing among your team members, partners, suppliers, and even clients. It reduces the risk of a data breach, conflict, and scams, making businesses feel more reassured that no data leakage will occur.

Private Data Exchange has high levels of security, including

  • Technically support for HIPAA customers through PHI data
  • Password encryption in all network communications

Break Down Data Silos

Before Snowflake’s Private Data Exchange was established, most companies depended on EDWs or Enterprise Data Warehouses. These help them ensure all data are organized, clean, and safe. EDWs also helped organizations prevent data from going into silos. But EDWs are not unlimited, and they started to run out of storage.

EDWs losing capacity was a nightmare for most organizations because data silos worsened. When Snowflake’s Private Data Exchange emerged, it paved the way for organizations to establish a united view of data across multiple regions and cloud platforms.

And aside from breaking down data silos, Snowflake Private Data Exchange also allows companies to utilize a centralized unit where they can control data access and governance, helping to prevent data misplacements and loss.

Additionally, Snowflake Private Data Exchange has enabled customers and businesses with Snowflake accounts to access data directly. It gives them the ability to invite data consumers and providers as well.

Reduce Time to Market

Another key advantage of Snowflake Private Data Exchange is its bi-directional data interchange. It’s secure and confidential, allowing organizations to interchange data products freely and conveniently with various third-party vendors. This helps business owners augment internal datasets, speeding up the process of gleaning insights from data.

When significant time is reduced, it gives companies extra time to finish other relevant tasks that are also essential for data sharing. Snowflake data exchange also allows the interchange of data among third-party vendors. This helps with augmenting and keeping internal datasets safe and organized.

Govern Data Access

Because Snowflake’s Private Data Exchange is a free-to-join data marketplace, it allows seamless connection with Snowflake customers. This leads to better discovery, access, and generating of data insights.

This platform enables widespread data access governance, breaking down barriers, data silos, and possible client loss for organizations. Snowflake’s Private Data Exchange also ensures convenient data governance, allowing companies to live by their business models and prevent data silos.

This new technology allows private data sharing, making it a disruptive new platform that enables the redefinition of how companies monetize, acquire, and leverage data. And when data is empowered, companies can power their businesses.

Generally, Snowflake data exchange helps users govern data access by the following:

  • Applying data security controls
  • Fixing data access through personalized and free listings
  • Managing membership
  • Auditing data usage

Data providers can also establish brand-new revenue streams in the most governed way possible using Snowflake’s data marketplace, so they can promote the data services they offer to all Snowflake customers–more than 2000 at that. Providers can also make their data available without creating more data copies.

Setting Up a Snowflake Data Exchange as a Data Provider


Setting up a Snowflake Data Exchange varies when you’re a data provider and a data consumer. Data providers are more targeted for fellow business providers, allowing them to share and exchange data without actually recopying the data involved.

Step Purpose
Creating a Provider Profile To establish boundaries about your role and duties as a data provider
Setting Up a Data Exchange To ensure that the data exchange is unique
Assigning Roles and Accessing a Data Exchange Clears out the responsibilities of each role in the data exchange
Managing Data Listings Consists of creating, editing, and unpublishing of data listings according to what data consumers want and need
Configuring a Data Exchange Ensures all data included in listings are kept secure and confidential

Creating a Provider Profile

Creating a data provider profile is one of the essential steps in the profile configuration process. This primary step includes the following:

  1. Logging in as ACCOUNTADMIN in Snowsight
  2. Go to the Data Tab and click on Private Sharing. Under Private Sharing, select Manage Exchanges, where you will see the Provider Profiles tab.
  3. Select the Add Profile button.
  4. Fill in the required fields and click Save.

Setting Up a Data Exchange

One thing you must know about setting up a data exchange on Snowflake is that the platform solely performs it. When you want to create your own, you must contact a Snowflake support or customer representative directly.

Setting up a data exchange involves thinking of a unique name and inputting a description simultaneously.

Assigning Roles and Accessing a Data Exchange

When inviting new members and assigning roles, they should also have their own Snowflake accounts because you need to invite them using the platform. The following are the important steps to follow when assigning roles:

  1. Click Snowsight on the interface’s left menu.
  2. Select the Members tab.
  3. Add members by clicking the Add Members button.
  4. Enter the account URL of the member you intend to add
  5. Select the role you want to assign to the member to be added.

Managing Data Listings:

Managing data listings involves editing, unpublishing, removing, and republishing certain listings. Let’s discuss each aspect’s step-by-step guide below:


Publishing a data listing’s new version overwrites the previous one. When editing a data listing:

  1. Log in as ACCOUNTADMIN on Snowsight.
  2. Head to the left navigation bar, where you can click Data and Private Sharing. The drop-down menu views Shared by My Account. Select that option.
  3. Select the data listing’s name for updating.
  4. Select New Draft next to the title of the data listing.
  5. Edit the sections you want to update. Then publish.


Unpublishing data listings can still let old consumers access what’s written. They will only not be able to access them when you entirely remove the listing from the share. To unpublish a listing:

  1. Log in as Account Administrator on Snowsight.
  2. Follow the same steps when editing a data listing.
  3. Instead of selecting New Draft, select Unpublish in the interface’s top-right corner.

Configuring a Data Exchange

Configuring a data exchange involves distinguishing what role you want–a data provider or a consumer. It also allows you to browse existing data listings, access shared data, and view listing requests.

Methods of Snowflake Data Exchange

Snowflake utilizes two main methods of data exchange: data marketplace and secure data sharing. While both methods are different, they boast convenience in sharing and accessing data. But exactly how are they different?

Secure Data Sharing

Snowflake’s secure data sharing allows sharing of selected database objects. The sharing can take place from one database to another Snowflake account. Reader accounts are provided for data providers without their own Snowflake accounts.

All editions allow secure data sharing, except VPS or Virtual Private Snowflake. But when you’re sharing from a Business Critical Edition to another standard account, you must be aware of the following business considerations:

  1. There should be a signed Business Associate Agreement between the involved accounts before data sharing can take place.
  2. Sensitive data should not be shared between a non-business critical account and a critical business account.
  3. Secure views should always be leveraged when sharing more private and confidential data. These views ensure safety because they hide view definitions from people without privileges.

If you wish to create a Snowflake Share, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Create an empty share via SQL.
  2. Enable privileges to the objects and database you desire.
  3. For individual objects, the container objects should be granted first.
  4. Share the objects with data consumers. You can do this by adding the Snowflake or reader accounts of all involved.

Snowflake Data Marketplace

Snowflake Data Marketplace does not require data providers to publish their data listings to maintain channels or APIs for their data. But there should be standard listings with aggregated or generic data that providers have to establish.

Data consumers can freely customize their personalized listings. The listings give data providers a chance for data monetization if they desire. But to be a data provider, you must abide by the following requirements:

  1. You possess a signed Snowflake Provider agreement and have a Snowflake account in corresponding supported regions.
  2. All data should be fresh, real, and legally shareable.
  3. You are responsible for setting up your profile as a data provider on Snowflake. You must upload your business logo, company name, company description, contact information, and information about the data you will be providing.

Leveling Up Snowflake Data Exchange with Revelate

We know Snowflake’s data exchange and marketplace are both robust platforms in the application’s ecosystem. But that can also be a problem. Because everything is exclusive in the platform, people without a Snowflake account or not part of the Snowflake ecosystem cannot access the data they need. This creates barriers that can limit businesses.

The birth of Revelate and its ability to work with Snowflake allows data discovery and visibility, even to people outside of Snowflake. This means that if an individual or organization wants to move data outside of the Snowflake environment, they can do so using Revelate. Since Revelate is platform agnostic, data can be transferred from any source to any target, provided that the target platform or software can read the data correctly.

Unlock Your Data's Potential with Revelate

Revelate provides a suite of capabilities for data sharing and data commercialization for our customers to fully realize the value of their data. Harness the power of your data today!

Get Started



Snowflake Data Exchange changed how clients and businesses can access the data they need from data providers. It allowed more accessible and safer data governance without duplicating and copying data.

Additionally, the collaboration of Snowflake with Revelate widened the reach of data, allowing users without Snowflake accounts to access data within Snowflake through agnostic data sharing.

To start taking advantage of this collaboration and transform how your team shares data, implementing Revelate can help. Get started with Revelate today to learn more about how this collaboration can benefit your business.