There are meme stonk traders, and then there are BlackRock customers. Those in the latter category will soon be able to use a new data management cloud service built in partnership with Snowflake, the first such collaboration deal struck by the data warehousing darling.
Some of Wall Street's biggest financial services companies use BlackRock's Aladdin cloud service to manage their portfolios and analyze risk. Modern professional investors have a voracious appetite for data that can inform their decisions, and need a sophisticated service that can quickly gather, sort and process reams of investment data, said Sudhir Nair, managing director and global head of Aladdin, BlackRock's technology arm.
The partnership will allow Aladdin users to "combine the multitude of datasets that many organizations struggle to get their arms around today, and at the end of the day, just build, innovate and create analytics reporting in a way that's just much more streamlined than what they've been used to with traditional sort of data warehousing or data management capabilities," Nair said.
Snowflake's technology will underpin the Aladdin Data Cloud, which will be a new option for Aladdin customers later this year and replace the current Aladdin Data Warehouse. This will allow Aladdin users to take advantage of one of the aspects of Snowflake's technology that helped turn it into the biggest software IPO of all time: It is very easy for two Snowflake users to share data with one another, even across different companies.
Even inside sophisticated technology companies, important data tends to settle into different buckets, making it harder to mix all that data and understand the big picture. And on top of this data balkanization, every year brings a new mountain of data to add to the pile.
Financial services companies used to have distinct roles for traders, data scientists and software developers, but "the days of the separation of duties are over," said Matt Glickman, vice president of customer and product strategy for Snowflake. That means investment professionals need to be more involved with data analysis, and making it easier for companies to share data across internal departments and with external partners becomes even more important.
BlackRock is in the process of transferring Aladdin to Microsoft's Azure cloud service, Nair said, a migration that is expected to be completed over the next 18 months. Snowflake runs on all three major U.S. clouds, and customers of one cloud service can share data with Snowflake customers using other cloud services.
BlackRock is also the first company in a new "Powered by Snowflake" effort that the company hopes will bring new business and live up to the expectations set by its record IPO. Snowflake is expected to report its fourth-quarter earnings next week.