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Introducing Approval Flows

Require specific users to receive in-app approval before pushing changes to models and syncs into production.

John Tan.

John Tan

Mitch Friedman.

Mitch Friedman

October 20, 2022

4 minutes

image of Hightouch approval flow diagram.

Today, we’re excited to announce the general availability of approval flows in Hightouch. By turning on approval flows, customers can ensure any change to a sync in Hightouch is approved by a privileged user before it’s published live. This frequently-requested feature is part of a series of management capabilities designed to protect key business systems from being corrupted by bad data.

The Pain of Pushing Bad Data

Customers rely on Hightouch Reverse ETL to supercharge their marketing campaigns, key internal workflows, and other critical processes. But as Peter Parker came to learn: with great power comes great responsibility.

Image of Spiderman power and responsibility quote

We have customers like Red Ventures and AXS use Hightouch syncs to power campaigns that reach tens of thousands of users. At this scale, the impact radius of an error caused by a bad sync is serious, impacting internal teams, customers, and brand equity.

Data quality and accuracy are non-negotiable. No one wants to deal with the repercussions of errors, like:

  • Enrolling a thousand users into the wrong Hubspot contact list
  • Overwriting a critical field in Salesforce with a bad calculation
  • Accidentally uploading 10K+ duplicative leads into Marketo
  • Sending PII into Braze that was included in outbound comms

To date, our customers have created onerous workarounds to minimize this risk. Some require any new sync to be approved in Slack, for example. Many customers end up not inviting all the team members they want to, for fear of a bad sync getting pushed.

The conundrum becomes: how can you enable Reverse ETL for as many use cases and teammates as possible, without risking your critical systems?

🎉 With approval flows, Hightouch admins now have an intuitive way within the app to:

  • Assign which users must get approval before publishing models or syncs
  • Allow users to tag teammates or admins to review and approve changes
  • Review changes in the configuration of models and syncs before approving

We’re excited to add these approval flow capabilities to further bolster our workspace management features (including role-based access controls, label-based access controls, and more), making Hightouch the most reliable and robust Reverse ETL tool.

How it Works

Approval flows can be applied for changes to both syncs and models.

For syncs:

  • Creating a new sync
  • Editing an existing sync (changing sync configs, changing sync schedules)

For models:

  • Creating a new model
  • Editing an existing model (changing queries, changing column types)

Users can now save a working version of any edit to a model or sync as a “draft” and continue to make changes to the unpublished draft until it’s ready to either be pushed into production or submitted for approval.

To get started, an admin simply needs to toggle “require approvals” in the settings tab.

image of Hightouch approval configuration

Enable approval flows in the Settings → Workspace tab

This will enable approval flows for the entire workspace, at which point admins must then assign the “Workspace Draft Contributor role” to users who will need to go through the approval flow process. This can be undone and edited at any time.

image of Hightouch approval permission grants

Roles for approval flows

From the workspace draft contributor’s point of view, when they change or create a resource (e.g., a sync or model), they will be prompted to submit an approval request and select teammates to notify for review. The reviewer will be linked to the summary of unpublished changes, and options to approve or deny the request. Once approved, the changes will go live.

image of Hightouch approval request

Approval flow sequence for a workspace draft contributor

With approval flows enabled, customers enjoy the following benefits:

  • Protect GTM systems and brand equity. Reduce the likelihood of embarrassing or damaging issues that could cost untold amounts in revenue or brand equity.
  • Streamline internal processes. Automate and scale how you push changes to your product and ensure they’re approved by the right stakeholders.
  • Enable more teammates to embrace Data Activation. Have the peace of mind that as you empower more team members with Hightouch, you have the proper safety checks in place to ensure your syncs and models stay in ship shape.

Get Started Today

Approval flows and drafts are GA today for all Business Tier customers at no additional cost. To upgrade your plan, click here. Check out the docs to learn more.

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