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Snowflake to Acquire Ponder, Company Behind Modin: The Scalable Pandas Solution

Snowflake to Acquire Ponder, Company Behind Modin: The Scalable Pandas Solution

Snowflake, a leading cloud data platform, has made the strategic decision to acquire Ponder. This move is primarily aimed at enhancing Python capabilities within Snowflake, leveraging the strength of the Modin open-source project driven by Ponder.

Acquisition Overview

On October 23, 2023, Snowflake publicized its intention to purchase Ponder. This acquisition aims to enrich Snowflake's ecosystem by leveraging Ponder's expertise with the Modin project. Ponder's origins trace back to the UC Berkeley RISE Lab, founded by a professor and its alumni, specifically targeting bridging the divide between popular data science tools and cloud-native data warehouses.

Understanding Ponder and Modin

Ponder specializes in connecting widely-used data science libraries to data repositories. Modin (opens in a new tab), a noteworthy project under Ponder, optimizes the Pandas library's operations for scalability and production usage. For clarity, Pandas is a prevalent Python tool that simplifies data manipulation and analysis. Modin enhances Pandas by allowing scalable tasks that utilize parallel computing, boosting efficiency. Additionally, Modin is exploring scalable adaptations for NumPy, a primary Python library for numerical computations.

modin star grows in github (opens in a new tab)

Lots of Python library for analytic benefits a lot from modin. For example, PyGWalker (opens in a new tab) can accept a modin dataframe instead of a pandas dataframe. It will automatically use the scalability of modin to speed up the computation and allows users to make visual exploration of large-scale data.

A Brief on Snowflake

Snowflake is a dominant player in the data cloud sector. It offers scalable, concurrent, and efficient solutions for data management. Snowflake's platform spans from data warehousing to data lakes, ensuring data integrity, security, and seamless data-sharing.

Reasoning the Acquisition

Python's significance in tech, from machine learning to app development, has soared in recent years. Snowflake has embraced the Python community through features like Snowpark, integrating non-SQL code effortlessly. By acquiring Ponder and Modin, Snowflake intends to further amplify Python functionality on its platform. This highlights Snowflake's dedication to Python, positioning it as a leader in scalable data tasks, especially with the growing relevance of integrating data science tools.

Modin's position in LLM for data

Large Language Models (LLMs) are advanced AI models proficient in generating Python code tasks, predominantly using the Pandas API. An LLM's capability has been evident in platforms like ChatGPT Advanced Data Analysis. However, a challenge exists: while Pandas excels in initial analysis, it isn't tailored for large-scale operations. Transitioning from Pandas to scalable platforms often means shifting to less familiar frameworks, which might not harness LLM's Pandas-trained strengths.

Modin addresses this by enabling the conversion of Pandas tasks into scalable data workflows. In the LLM era, Modin stands out by facilitating the use of LLM-designed tasks without the hassle of transitioning frameworks.


Snowflake's purchase of Ponder emphasizes the evolving dynamics in data operations. As the LLM era advances, tools that link initial analysis with large-scale operations become vital. Snowflake's initiative promises a bright future for scalable, Python-focused data operations. As expressed by Ponder: partnering with Snowflake aims to offer the optimal Python data science experience in the Data Cloud.


Snowflake To Acquire Ponder, Boosting Python Capabilities In the Data Cloud (opens in a new tab)