Data Management

Actian Beats Snowflake and BigQuery in GigaOm TPC-H Benchmark Test

Louis Grosskopf

July 19, 2023

depiction of a person learning that Actian beat Snowflake and BigQuery in benchmark test

Driven by the desire for organizations to get better business insights, data systems are becoming more specialized, and data stacks are increasing in complexity. As companies continue their quest toward data-driven operations, they must balance speed and cost. This is why we recently engaged with GigaOm Research to conduct a TPC-H Benchmark Test against Snowflake and BigQuery – the results were clear, the Actian cloud data platform offers superior performance at a fraction of the cost of these competitors.  

Actian’s operational data warehouse is designed to support real-time data analytics so customers can maintain a competitive advantage. The TPC-H benchmark consists of a series of ad-hoc analytical queries that involve complex joins, aggregations, and sorting operations. These queries represent common decision support tasks to generate sales reports, analyze trends, and perform advanced data analytics. In today’s rapidly changing business climate, there is no room for delays when it comes to accessing data to support business decisions.  

Our data analytics engine ensures that the warehouse capability in the Actian platform delivers on the promise of performance without runaway costs. The GigaOm field test, informed by TPC-H spec validation queries, highlights the price and performance ratio and cost-effectiveness of the Actian platform, providing independent validation of the Actian Data Platform in terms of both performance and cost. 

The Results

In the GigaOm benchmark, the Actian Data Platform outperformed both Snowflake and BigQuery in 20 of the 22 queries, clearly illustrating Actian’s powerful decision support capabilities. Leveraging decades of data management experience, the Actian platform provides data warehouse technology that uses in-memory computing along with optimized data storage, vector processing, and query execution that exploits powerful CPU features. These capabilities significantly improve the speed and efficiency of real-time analytics. 

The benchmark results reveal query execution and price efficiencies that outperform competitor solutions, lowering the total cost of ownership without sacrificing speed. Overall, the Actian platform delivered query results that were 3x faster than Snowflake and 9x faster than BigQuery. Performance improved with additional users, highlighting the platform’s ability to scale with concurrency to meet the demands of all business users. 

In terms of cost, the GigaOm field tests further prove the value of the Actian Data Platform over the competition. Snowflake’s costs were nearly 4x higher than Actian’s, and BigQuery ranged from 11x to 16x more expensive based on concurrency. 

Louis Grosskopf headshot

About Louis Grosskopf

Accomplished product leader with proven experience in software product management, development, and strategy. Extensive leadership of global product management teams across all aspects of product lifecycle – from initial feasibility, through business plans, requirements, patents, UI design, development, pricing, internationalization, training, support, and marketing. Led numerous products to market leadership in multiple verticals. Deep technical knowledge of current and past technology platforms, with roots as machine level coding engineer, and most recently delivering highly scalable cloud/SaaS offerings. Patent holder. Has a rare blend of business acumen and technical savvy.