May 3, 2022

6 Things to Know When Considering Sigma Computing

By Katrina Menne

The first step to exploring a new platform is considering your current business opportunities and pain points. Compiling use cases will help identify the common needs of your data, developers, and stakeholders. 

A technology-agnostic approach will allow for the focus to be on finding the best tool for your unique needs rather than makeshift repairs. 

In this blog post, we will cover six considerations when looking at Sigma Computing, plus answers to frequently asked questions about the platform.

What is Sigma Computing?

Sigma Computing is a spreadsheet inspired Business Intelligence (BI) platform built to help your analytics and business run faster.  Using Snowflake DB’s flexibility and speed, users can enrich, visualize, combine, and view all levels of their data in every imaginable way. Sigma’s code-friendly and code-free offerings make analytics accessible to everyone in your organization.  

Want a more in-depth view of Sigma? Check out this blog: What is Sigma Computing?

Example Dashboard Image

How will Sigma Amplify your Business Opportunities? 

One of the most important features of a data platform is its ability to connect and empower all users across your team regardless of skill sets or rank.

The central component around this link is the ease of use. Sigma’s intuitive platform addresses each building block to unite your organization: Data Accessibility, Users, Speed of Implementation, Governance & Security, Cost, and Augmented Analysis.  

#1: Data Accessibility

These days, data comes in all shapes and sizes from various sources. Data-driven organizations must utilize best-in-class solutions that address current data needs and expand and adapt to unknown challenges.


Sigma is optimized for and endorsed by Snowflake. The tool can connect to other databases and any static files with no sizing limitations and utilize a wide variety of data types.

Once connected, Sigma’s interface provides unambiguous data manipulation. Snowflake’s engine makes it fast and easy for users to see and understand their data as they combine and transform it.

Sigma’s code and low-code-friendly options help technical and business experts engage on a level playing field. 

Sigma’s cloud-based approach unlocks unlimited potential for your data to be easily accessed, manipulated, enhanced, and managed. This allows for the correct data to be quickly accessed by all levels of the organization.

#2: Users

Your users can be your greatest asset in establishing a data-focused organization. It is essential to assess your workforce’s data fluency when reviewing business opportunities. Sigma helps maximize your creators’ and consumers’ existing knowledge, skills, and abilities.  

Onboarding creators

Your creators are responsible for building analytics solutions across the business. Combining domain knowledge and technical skills allows the organization to expand its capabilities using data. Your total dollar investment into any platform should be matched by upskilling of your teams using the tools.


Sigma users need to understand typical functions found in common spreadsheet tools. They will also have to understand that any business logic follows a parent-child relationship across tables, pivots, and charts.

The total time for upskilling much of your organization will be minimal. 

Onboarding consumers

In addition to upskilling your creators of analytics solutions, you should also spend time making sure your consumers will be able to find the insights they intend quickly. This means creating training on how to interact with products created on the platform.


Sigma’s data manipulation options make it easy for explorers to try prototype data pivots and combinations on the fly, with no engineering experience required.

On Dashboards, Sigma users have the ability to interact with filters, parameters, and buttons at any grain within the data. They also can save views, download the data or share reports with others or themselves. 

With a user-friendly development and exploration process, the time for upskilling Sigma users can be almost ten times faster than other platforms.

#3: Speed of Implementation

While a successful implementation comes with time, some platforms lower entry barriers by focusing on ease of use for the administrators, creators, and users. 


Sigma uses your existing active directory, or you can govern from within the platform. Permissions can be set up in under an hour.

Creators create analytics in an environment similar to a spreadsheet and directly connect to tables in the database–decreasing the speed of reporting.

Additionally, Sigma offers templates to decrease the time to implementation.

Consumers can view or explore the data. This interactivity can happen directly on the Sigma platform or in an embedded state.

In under one hour, Sigma users can access, enhance, and analyze data, build visualizations, and create new dashboards to start answering business questions. 

A screenshot showing the process of how to do a data join on Sigma Computing

#4: Governance & Security

Every business needs to strike a balance between protecting its data, ensuring its proper use, and enabling everyone to engage in the discussion and data-driven decision-making. 


Sigma offers several ways to combine and customize access at the data and dashboard levels. This allows users to play with the data without the risk of overwriting verified data or having all or nothing access.

There are three default groupings for permission, but additional groups can be created that customize any user’s experience on the platform.

You can also integrate SSO to make the sign-in process seamless.

Column-level and row-level security is easily implemented.

Sigma’s security customization options don’t force organizations into a one-size-fits-all scenario. Plus, with Sigma’s row-level access, a single dashboard can dynamically support different users’ access.

#5: Cost

Sigma’s flexible pricing model can be significantly less expensive (and less cumbersome) to deploy, manage, and own compared to Looker. The following differences highlight where companies will save with Sigma.  


  • Platform fee
  • License fees For Admins and Power Users
  • Unlimited No Cost Internal Viewer License
  • All you can eat External Viewer License for Embedded Analytics

Sample Scenario

1,000-employee Company X is deploying an internal analytics solution to support their lines of business needs around data insights and self-service analytics, supported by a 20 person BI and Analytics team.

They also have an application that their customers log into to understand their orders that Company X manufactures and ships to them. Company X has 800 Customers, and they have 100 on average at each company logging infrequently. Company X is thinking about deploying another application in the future to manage their suppliers that ship them raw materials. 


  • 1x Platform fee for ALL Use cases
  • Internal
    • 80x Paid Licenses for BI & Analytics Team (20) + LOB Users (60)
    • 920 No Cost Licenses for Internal Consumers viewing reports & dashboards
  • External Application(s): 2 options for external embedded users:
    • Pay-as-you-go for monthly unique users
    • Flat fee Unlimited External Users + modest annual uplift to renew 

Cost of Ownership

Cost of ownership can be a hidden expense that many companies don’t often factor in. Sigma empowers all users across an organization – irrespective of skill sets or rank – to create data insights and make data-driven decisions. In turn, they are not bogged down by long BI team wait times, and they can easily & quickly produce new insights (internal or external).

See how Sigma drove costs down by over 600% compared to Looker.

#6: Augmented Analysis

Augmented Analysis can be thought of as the platform’s ability to pass data back outside its environment for additional analysis–such as machine learning or natural language analysis–then pass the results of the additional analysis back into the platform.


Custom plugins can be created that allow for custom visualizations or analyses to be completed and returned to Sigma.

Sigma also offers the ability to push data back to Snowflake. They also provide a live edit option with datasheets for flexible analysis and scenario planning. 

Although Augmented Analysis is currently not Sigma’s primary focus, it offers an easier path to sharing and updating data for your data scientist to use. 


Sigma’s familiar spreadsheet blueprint, combined with the power of Snowflake, provides accessible analytics to everyone in your organization. If you are looking for an uncomplicated path to unlock data decisions, Sigma is a best-in-class option. To learn more about how Sigma can improve your organization, reach out to one of our expert consultants. 

Sigma Feature Quick Look 

Sigma FAQs

Sigma is designed for anyone who wants a better spreadsheet experience. Advanced data engineers and business analysts will be comfortable using Sigma’s data manipulation tools and familiar formula syntax. Additionally, non-technical roles such as executives, sales teams, and analytics consumers will easily understand how to navigate and interact with dashboards. 

Sigma lives between your database and end-users. It covers from when your data is in the database and needs manipulation and all the way up to data visualization on dashboards.

Yes, visualizations, tables, and dashboards can be created in Sigma and embedded into other applications. The same security and design offers are still available with embedding allowing your users to have a customized experience. 

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