Snowflake Data Governance directly from Snowsight

Last year I blogged about how to use Snowflake functionality to; “Know your Data”. Especially in these times where Generative AI becomes more and more mainstream, it’s essential to know what data is input for the LLM’s. Now Snowflake has made this a few clicks easier, offering classifying functionalities directly from Snowsight. This functionality is currently in Public Preview.

In the blogpost I wrote earlier, I stated that the classification of data was a 3 step process with SQL-statements. This now can all be done from within the Snowsight UI.

This blogpost will show how easy it can be to do the tasks from the Snowsight UI instead of via SQL statements.

Setup Environment

I chose a simple setup, just to see for myself how easy things are. Therefore I created two tables; Customers and Transactions and generated some data. For the Customer-table I used the Faker-package I used earlier.

Classify and Tag Sensitive Data

Now that I have the data in place, I can navigate to the schema where the two tables reside.

Snowflake Data Classification from the Snowsight UI

From the dropdown in the upper-right corner I can select; ‘Classify and Tag Sensitive Data’.

Execute Classify and Tag Sensitive Data

In the next screen I can select which tables I would like to classify. Select (or de-select) the tables of your choice. Clicking the blue botten starts the ‘Classify and Tag Sensitive Data’-process

Classify and Tag Sensitive Data in Progress
Finished Classify and Tag Sensitive Data Process

When you see the green check marks the ‘Classify and Tag Sensitive Data’-process is finished and ready to be analyzed.

Verify the results of the the 'Classify and Tag Sensitive Data'-process

Each column can be checked to see whether and how Snowflake has classified each column.

Like I mentioned in the previous blog, automatic Data Classification analyzes columns in structured data for personal information and provides customers with a set of pre-defined Snowflake System Tags to automatically categorize this data according to the supported types.

These System Tags automate the process of classifying data.

The System Tags are:

  • semantic_category – tells you what the cells of the column contain
    • some possible values are: name, gender, age, us_postal_code, phone
  • privacy_category – tells you what kind of personal information it is
    • some possible values are: identifier, quasi_identifier, insensitive

If, for some reason, you do not agree with the outcome of the classification, you can make any adjustment necessary. In my case I had to mark the names as ‘IDENTIFIER’. After that the tags can be applied and the classification completed.

No I can switch to the Governance Summary Dashboard in Snowsight to see the tagged and protected assets with workflows to take action.

You either need ACCOUNTADMIN or a role that has been granted the following Database roles; GOVERNANCE_VIEWER & OBJECT_VIEWER.

Via the Snowflake, Monitoring, Governance menu you can access the Governance Dashboard.

Snowflake, Monitoring, Governance menu
Snowflake Data Governance dashboard - Summary

The Governance dashboard gives an a consolidated view of all the tagged and classified objects. Note: “Information latency can be up to 2 hours”

Drilling down on the ’tagged columns’ gives a detailed view of the tagged objects.

Snowflake Data Governance dashboard - Detail


With the Data Governance functionality in the Snowsight UI, currently in Public Preview, Snowflake has improved the ease of use when it comes to ‘Getting to Know your Data’. With a few clicks, Data can be tagged and classified, without having to write any SQL.

Next Steps

For more details, please refer to the following information:

  • Blog: www.snowflake.com/blog/empower-data-governance-snowsight/
  • Blog: https://www.snowflake.com/blog/data-classification-snowsight-ui/
  • Documentation: https://docs.snowflake.com/user-guide/governance-classify-using
  • Documentation: https://docs.snowflake.com/en/user-guide/governance-classify-concepts
  • Documentation: https://docs.snowflake.com/en/user-guide/governance-classify-concepts#system-tags-and-categories

Till next time.

Snowflake Data Superhero. Online also known as; DaAnalytics.

Daan Bakboord

DaAnalytics signature picture with Snowflake Data Superhero avatar.

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