How Sigma’s Latest Feature Release is Putting the User Experience at the Heart of AI-Driven Innovation

Learn how Sigma’s latest feature rollout, including AI copilots and multi-user workflows, is making cloud-native analytics more powerful and intuitive than ever before.
May 2, 2024
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When your organization is struggling to keep up with the latest advancements in the modern data stack, it can often feel like change is the only constant. For many companies, that constant flux can begin to feel like outright chaos as they struggle to future-proof their business with a data strategy that leverages the best tooling available while not losing sight of their central mission. With the constant evolution and expansion of AI tools in particular, it’s no surprise that so many organizations feel fatigued and intimidated by the prospect of staying ahead of the curve while charting a path to AI-driven innovation.

Luckily, change isn’t the only constant, thanks to companies like Sigma who understand the importance of tying the latest and greatest AI advancements back to their business use cases, and have baked organization-wide access and intuitive user experiences into the core of their AI integrations. Built to stay ahead of the AI curve, Sigma makes the most cutting edge AI tools easy to use so that data teams can focus on what really matters: deploying these tools to increase organizational efficiency and profitability.

Hakkoda has always been deeply invested in working with the very best tools in the space to drive value for our clients, and we are so excited by the new features Sigma is implementing to help clients harness the transformative power of AI while driving a more powerful and intuitive approach to analytics.

Sigma’s accessible yet powerful user interface allows organizations to harness the innovative AI and data tools that come with cloud data platforms like Snowflake within an intuitive, governed format. At Hakkoda, we love that Sigma has the power to transform your chaotic data stack into something truly powerful and innovative, all while still offering the convenience and trustworthiness that data modernization has promised.

Let’s take a look at some of the most promising new features from Sigma’s most recent rollout.

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Generative AI

1. Innovative AI Functions that Help You Harness the Power of LLMs to Build Incredible Data-Sifting and Automation Capabilities

Last year, Sigma provided their users with a way to write custom functions within their interface—a game-changing innovation that has continued to evolve with one of their newest developments, AI Functions. This tool allows users to discriminately leverage the power of Large Language Models like OpenAI to enhance data-sifting and automation capabilities like never before.

Once you’ve called upon your API endpoints within the Sigma interface, AI Functions will be capable of cross-referencing and even feeding into different data columns, as well as internalizing your written feedback to create even more robust functionalities.

AI Functions puts the power of AI in your hands, no matter how new to the Sigma interface you are, and through the power of LLMs, combines the very best of what machines and humans can achieve with organizational data. 

2. AI Forecasting that Translates the Predictive Power of Snowflake Cortex into an Easy-to-Use Spreadsheet Interface

The announcement of Snowflake Cortex last year had data experts buzzing over the service’s potential to unlock the power of AI through LLM functions. With AI Forecasting, Sigma is enhancing Snowflake Cortex’s exciting potential by bringing its capabilities into an user-friendly, spreadsheet-like interface.

Within this convenient UI, Snowflake Cortex’s forecasting functionality is only a click away. Users won’t need to know Python or SQL, nor will there be any need for writing time-intensive stored procedures calls. You’ll still be able to call upon custom models you’ve created in Snowflake, and you’ll even have the power to quickly train models to a set cadence.

3. Sigma Copilot Acts as Your Personal Assistant, Speeding Up Generative Processes While Giving You Insight Into Their Underlying Functions

Sigma already offered superior processing power when working with complex data sets, but with the new Sigma Copilot, users can leverage an LLM-driven AI assistant to help process and organize data even more quickly and efficiently. It’s a tool meant to aid both new and experienced Sigma users, with an interface that’s as simple to use as a search bar.

But what’s extra special about Sigma Copilot is that it allows you to check the underlying functions that drive its results. While other generative AI tools leave their functions hidden, leaving you to wonder if their processes were sound, the Sigma Copilot always lets you look “under the hood” and make sure that its outputs  foster meaningful AI-driven innovation for your organization and aren’t just the result of an AI hallucination.

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Data Apps

1. It’s Never Been Easier to Create Your Own Applications Using Sigma and Your Data in Snowflake. 

By now Sigma has made a name for itself in the realm of cloud-native data analytics. With the latest feature release, however, users will be able to go beyond analyzing their data by building their own secure and compliant data applications—all without code. This is a huge opportunity for the 64% of organizations who report that they intend to start monetizing their data, and introduces a whole suite of new possibilities into Sigma. 

This includes providing a standardized way to collect and curate data, via the new Forms feature, a set of controls that govern who can take what actions with regard to that data, via Multi-user Workflows, a method to trigger actions when certain conditions are mets, and a way to write back new information directly to your cloud data platform.

2. Forms Allow Data to be Easily and Securely Collected and Stored at Scale.

First, the introduction of Forms in Sigma means they’ve introduced a standardized way to collect and curate data. This scalable method of collecting information can leverage workflows, such as notifying employees, sending data to external systems, or calling on a webhook, to save organizations time and streamline manual processes. It also reduces the risk of human error throughout the data collection process, and can be leveraged for one-off use cases like event registration, or as a long-term, scalable way of collecting data for use in an application.

3. Multi-User Workflows Establish Guardrails that Allow Collaboration Between Teams in Highly Complex Data Sets Without Sacrificing Security or Legal Compliance. 

The introduction of Multi-User Workflows, meanwhile, allows organizations to easily control who has access to perform certain actions, such as viewing, entering, modifying, or deleting data. This allows different teams to seamlessly work together around the same data, but within a set of established guardrails that keep said data secure and compliant at scale.

4. Actions Facilitate Codeless Interactivity for End Users, When Certain Data Criteria are Met. 

The true power of both Forms and Multi-User Workflows, however, is activated when Sigma Actions are added to the picture. Put simply, Actions allow app owners a simple, code-free way to define specific conditions in the data as well as what should happen when those conditions are met, such as navigating to a separate sheet, enabling or disabling a button, or overlaying a specific filter, for example. This serves as the engine for the whole data application, making it as easy for your teams to define interactive elements as it is for your end users to utilize them. 

Python Workbooks

Last but not least, Sigma is rolling out a Python integration, which will allow users to run Python scripts in any frame of the Sigma workbook, leverage Python functionalities to run complex analysis on data from anywhere in the workbook, and build dependent elements from Python outputs. 

This is a huge intervention that will bridge gaps between data science, engineering, and business intelligence teams and processes while enabling new approaches to collaboration. It will also allow collaborators across the organization to leverage the best features of Python, SQL, and AI—all within the same workbook. This will bring still more flexibility to Sigma’s user-friendly workbook interface while allowing teams to seamlessly collaborate in their language(s) of choice.

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Future-Proofing Your Business with AI-Driven Innovation and Data Applications

The market is saturated with data support tools in 2024—a fact that only adds to the chaos of data modernization for many organizations. But what separates Sigma from the competition is its dedication to combining the best of human ingenuity and machine intelligence to let internal teams and end users do more with your data. The Sigma team continues to synthesize the transformative potential of LLMs and the sophistication and compute power of cloud data platforms to empower its users to unlock the potential of their data.

Like Hakkoda, Sigma is dedicated to cutting through the chaos to deliver on the fundamental promises of the modern data stack—usability, performance, insight, and innovation—and these exciting new features prove they’re moving mountains in order to honor that commitment to their users. Hakkoda’s data consultants take pride in partnering with some of the most innovative players in the modern data stack, and can’t wait to deliver more value to our customers with the help of the Sigma platform.

Ready to learn how Sigma’s latest developments can kickstart your path to AI-driven innovation in the cloud? Watch the full feature release here.

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