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Warehouses by Segment, a great way to dive deeper into your analytics data

50Points

5 years ago

A few weeks ago Warehouses was released by Segment. It is a new product that let us use SQL to handle the raw analytics data we are collecting with Segment (sounds cool, doesn’t it?). In this article I’m going to summarize what Warehouses is, how it works and how it could help us take better product decisions based on very specific and self-defined metrics.

Development

It has been almost a month since Segment introduced Warehouses in a blog post. As we now know, it allows us to handle our raw analytics data with SQL, since our events can be loaded directly into our self hosted warehouse cluster (Amazon Redshift or Postgres database) or into a Segment-managed warehouse (they manage your Amazon Redshift instance for you), which is great if you are not interested in database administration matters.

warehouses

Without writing a single line of code, I was able to connect my data warehouse hosted in RedShift with Warehouses and every event coming from my integrated analytics tool, all of which were loaded into my warehouse. It was clean and simple. In other words, beautiful.

You might be wondering, “why would I need to store my analytics events into a database?". Well, when it comes to dealing with the constraints of out-of-the-box reporting tools, it becomes your best partner.

Let me explain: out-of-the-box reporting tools are great for understanding customers and business, but sometimes they fall short when you need very specific and self-defined metrics or when you want to diagnose issues with your current metrics. It is also hard to do with the Segment debugger tool, due to the huge amount of data.

With SQL you can have as much freedom as you want over your events. If you have been thinking about developing an in-house solution for storing your analytics data into a warehouse, you better think twice. Segment is adamant that it would take a dedicated team of engineers at least 6 months to create this data pipeline.

Conclusion

If you are struggling with analytics data, I encourage you to give Warehouses by Segment a chance (you can get started with a free account with a 50,000 rows limit). It might have a great impact in your company growth and could save you a lot of your money and time.

If you still need convincing, here is an interesting article about how a company called Instacart uses Warehouses to drive its growth. Read about its story.

Header Image:K2_UX Flickr

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