BigQuery vs Snowflake vs Redshift

Knowing which data warehouse is right for your business can be a challenge. With many businesses needing real time access to their data to pull precise reports, modern data warehouses can be the solution, as they are designed to work with the raw data without having to maintain a data warehouse infrastructure.

There are plenty of modern data warehouse products on the market, within our network we are seeing a rise in the use of three main tools: BigQuery, Snowflake and Redshift.

What are the main differences?


“BigQuery is a serverless, highly-scalable, and cost-effective cloud data warehouse with an in-memory BI Engine and machine learning built in.” (source: https://cloud.google.com/bigquery/)

BigQuery is Google’s serverless Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution to data warehouses. BigQuery has the ability to run “blazing-fast” SQL queries.


“Snowflake is a fully relational ANSI SQL data warehouse, so you can leverage the skills and tools your organization already uses.” (source: https://www.snowflake.com/product/)

Launched in 2014 Snowflake is a cloud-based data warehouse, offering date storage and analytical capabilities.


“Redshift powers mission critical analytical workloads for Fortune 500 companies, startups, and everything in between.” (Source: https://aws.amazon.com/redshift/)

Owned by Amazon, Redshift is a part of the larger cloud platform AWS (Amazon Web Services). Redshift is a fully managed data warehouse hosted in the cloud.

Which is better?

To find out which tool is preferred by the users I asked my network which modern data warehouse they think is better. I think the results are quite interesting and very close between two of the three.

Which is better for scalability?

BigQuery vs Snowflake vs Redshift - Scalability

Which has better usability?

BigQuery vs Snowflake vs Redshift - Usability

Which is better for security?

BigQuery vs Snowflake vs Redshift - Security

*Other: Hadoop (7.14%)

Which has better storage facilities?

BigQuery vs Snowflake vs Redshift - Storage

Which has better SQL capabilities?

BigQuery vs Snowflake vs Redshift - SQL

Which is better for large data sets?

BigQuery vs Snowflake vs Redshift - Data Sets

Which has better support?

BigQuery vs Snowflake vs Redshift - Support

Which has faster query speeds?

BigQuery vs Snowflake vs Redsift - Query Speeds

Which has a better pricing model?

BigQuery vs Snowflake vs Redshift - Pricing

BigQuery vs Snowflake vs Redshift – overall winner

BigQuery vs Snowflake vs Redshift

*Other: see individual responses above

What do these results tell you?

While Snowflake leads the way overall, Redshift is closely matched up in many of the categories and only beating Snowflake once for faster querying speeds. What’s interesting is the clear lag for BigQuery, getting the lowest score in every category.

Are we starting to see the decline of BigQuery? Will modern data warehouses have to get faster and smarter in order to compete? What can we expect in the next 5 years? It’s an exciting time for this technology and more businesses are moving to the cloud.

KDR Recruitment is the home of the best data, technology and analytics jobs. For more data news and views check out the KDR blog or follow KDR on LinkedIn.

Mike Thacker-Cooke

August 14th, 2019 View my profile

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