Snowflake Best Practices for Data Engineering

Data EngineeringData Science

Data engineering in Snowflake demands precision and strategic planning to leverage its capabilities effectively. Below are essential Snowflake best practices for data engineering that will optimize your data workflows and maximize the potential of Snowflake.

Snowflake Best Practices for Data Engineering

Transform your data incrementally.

Snowflake’s ability to handle semi-structured and structured data is remarkable. However, it’s beneficial to transform your data incrementally rather than all at once. Break down your transformations into smaller, manageable steps to improve performance & reduce the risk of errors.

Load data using COPY or SNOWPIPE

Leverage Snowflake’s COPY and SNOWPIPE features for efficient data loading. COPY is ideal for bulk data loads from files stored in cloud storage, while SNOWPIPE allows for real-time data ingestion from sources like streaming platforms.

Use multiple data models.

Snowflake supports multiple data models within the same database. Leverage this flexibility to efficiently accommodate various types of data, using schemas, tables, and views per your organization’s specific needs.

Choose a required Virtual Warehouse size.

Optimize your Virtual Warehouse size based on workload requirements. Choosing the right size ensures efficient resource utilization without unnecessary scaling, thus managing costs effectively.

Keep raw data history.

Preserving the raw data history is essential for audit trails, compliance, and reprocessing requirements. Use Snowflake’s Time Travel and Fail-Safe features to retain historical data without significantly impacting storage costs.

Do not use JDBC or ODBC for normal large data loads

While JDBC and ODBC drivers are helpful for smaller datasets, they might not be the most efficient choice for large data loads due to potential performance issues. Instead, I prefer Snowflake’s native data-loading capabilities.

Avoid scanning files

Minimize file scanning by optimizing data organization and structure within Snowflake. Utilize clustering keys and partitions to reduce the need to scan large data volumes, thereby enhancing query performance.

Use the Tool according to the requirement

Select tools and methods based on specific requirements. Snowflake offers a range of integration options, and choosing the right Tool for the job ensures optimal performance and efficiency.

Ensure 3rd party tools push down.

When using third-party tools for data processing, ensure they support query pushdown. This allows Snowflake to execute more operations on the server side, optimizing performance.

Using Query Tag

Implement query tags to label and track queries effectively. Query tags assist in categorizing, monitoring, and optimizing queries based on different criteria, facilitating better management of workloads.

Use Transient Tables for Intermediate Results

Leverage transient tables for intermediate results during data processing. These tables automatically delete data after a specified duration, freeing up resources and optimizing storage.

Avoid row-by-row processing

Snowflake’s strengths lie in handling bulk data operations efficiently. Avoid row-by-row processing, as it can lead to performance bottlenecks. Instead, leverage set-based operations for optimal performance.

Follow standard ingestion patterns.

Standardize your data ingestion patterns to maintain consistency and efficiency across various data sources. This ensures streamlined processes and easier maintenance in the long run.


Optimizing Snowflake for data engineering involves leveraging its features effectively and adhering to best practices. By following these guidelines, you can harness the full potential of Snowflake for your data workflows while ensuring performance, scalability, and cost-effectiveness.


  • Vikrant Chavan

    Vikrant Chavan is a Marketing expert @ 64 Squares LLC having a command on 360-degree digital marketing channels. Vikrant is having 8+ years of experience in digital marketing.

Leave a Reply

× WhatsApp