Sydney-based data and analytics partner Altis Consulting has deployed Snowflake for Sigma Healthcare to improve the pharmaceutical company’s data storage consolidation, access, and analytics. 

The ASX-listed owner of Amcal, Discount Drug Store, PharmaSave, WholeLife and Guardian Pharmacies said in a statement that Altis Consulting was selected because of its experience working with the US-based data warehousing vendor. 

“Selecting the right implementation partner with deep Snowflake experience and accelerators was critical in us meeting our tight timelines,” said Sigma Healthcare head of data and analytics Dean Reynolds.

Altis Consulting was one of the earliest Australian adopters of Snowflake and was awarded Snowflake’s Trailblazer Partner Award in 2019. 

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The wholesaler and distributor of pharmaceutical products said its IT team and Altis completed the upgrade in 2021. 

Reynolds said Snowflake was selected based on its ability to meet five criteria: value-for-money, required management resources, privacy obligations, data sharing support and advanced analytics.

“We had been looking for an alternative to our legacy, on-premise infrastructure that was ageing and no longer able to meet the increasing needs of the company.” 

“We were also restricted by the fact that we actually had three data warehouses in use which meant our data was very fragmented and siloed.”

Reynolds said Altis Consulting’s deployment of Snowflake had reduced ongoing support costs by 30 percent compared to the previous on-premise infrastructure, and that batch processing jobs, which used to take between eight and ten hours, were now finished in three hours.  

“We could see that Snowflake could also provide us with the opportunity to work with both structured and semi-structured data within the same platform.” 

“Its design also means there is no longer a need for us to undertake indexing, partitioning, or compression as that is all handled by the platform.”

Reynolds said that the ease of data management Altis Consulting’s deployment of Snowflake had provided had led Sigma Healthcare to view its 10 terabytes of data as a valuable asset. 

The company also said that it was creating “a dedicated marketplace” for sharing different datasets with external partners “where appropriate”.

Sigma said its subsidiary Nostra Data was receiving “de-identified data” to support pharmacies with analytics. 

Reynolds said that analytics and internal data sharing had been a key benefit of Altis Consulting’s deployment of Snowflake which was allowing Sigma Healthcare to be a more responsive and agile company.  

“We need to be able to reliably deliver critical medicine to those who need them within 24 hours regardless of where they are located in the country.” 

“Knowing, understanding and being able to access our data is an important resource that helps to make this capability a reality.”


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