What Type of Data Can Be Stored in Snowflake?


Larry Thompson

When it comes to data storage, Snowflake provides a versatile and powerful platform that can handle various types of data. Whether it’s structured, semi-structured, or unstructured data, Snowflake has got you covered. Let’s take a closer look at the types of data that can be stored in Snowflake.

Structured Data

Structured data refers to organized and well-defined data that fits neatly into pre-defined schemas. This type of data is typically stored in relational databases and follows a tabular format. Examples of structured data include employee records, sales transactions, financial statements, etc.

Snowflake excels at storing structured data and offers robust support for SQL queries. With its columnar storage architecture and advanced indexing techniques, Snowflake provides lightning-fast query performance even with large volumes of structured data.

Semi-Structured Data

Semi-structured data is characterized by its flexible and schema-less nature. It does not conform to the strict rules imposed by relational databases but still retains some organizational properties. Common examples of semi-structured data include JSON documents, XML files, CSV files with varying columns, etc.

In Snowflake, semi-structured data can be easily ingested and stored using the VARIANT datatype. VARIANT allows you to store JSON, XML, Avro, or Parquet files directly in Snowflake without the need for any preprocessing or schema modifications. You can then leverage Snowflake’s powerful SQL capabilities to query and analyze this semi-structured data.

Unstructured Data

Unstructured data refers to free-form text or binary content that does not have any predefined structure or organization. Examples of unstructured data include emails, social media posts, images, videos, audio recordings, etc.

While Snowflake is primarily designed for structured and semi-structured data, it also provides limited support for unstructured data. You can store unstructured data in Snowflake by using the VARIANT datatype or by leveraging Snowflake’s integration with external cloud storage platforms like Amazon S3 or Azure Blob Storage.


Snowflake offers a powerful and flexible platform for storing various types of data. Whether your data is structured, semi-structured, or unstructured, Snowflake provides the necessary tools and capabilities to handle it efficiently. With its robust SQL support, columnar storage architecture, and seamless integration with external storage platforms, Snowflake empowers organizations to analyze and derive insights from their diverse datasets.

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