Announcing Hightouch Events: Event Collection for the Data Warehouse
Hightouch Events allows companies to easily collect and load events into the warehouse to support analytics and the Composable CDP.
September 6, 2023
We’re thrilled to announce the private preview launch of our latest product: Hightouch Events, a best-in-class event collection solution. Hightouch Events helps you collect rich behavioral data from websites, mobile apps, servers, or any other point of customer interaction and load it into the data warehouse.
If you follow Hightouch, you know we’re firm believers that the center of gravity for data is the data warehouse. We began by helping companies make the warehouse actionable by syncing data directly from their data warehouse into applications like CRM, e-mail, or ad platforms with our Reverse ETL and Customer Studio products. Recently, we also began helping companies organize and prepare their data with our Customer 360 Toolkit.
While our current product offerings align with our mission to use the data warehouse to drive growth, there's a key component we've yet to touch: getting data into the warehouse in the first place. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution here– diverse enterprise data means there will always be many pipelines into the warehouse, such as custom ETL, Fivetran, and Informatica– but we’ve seen that companies are often missing behavioral and analytics data in the warehouse from their digital touchpoints such as websites and apps. This is often why companies buy CDPs despite their many drawbacks.
Today, we’re excited to announce that we are releasing a new product to help our customers solve the problem of event collection - in a fully composable and warehouse-centric way.
What makes Hightouch Events different?
Event collection or event tracking refers to software that gathers clickstream behavioral events like page views, clicks, and purchases from digital assets like websites and mobile applications. This data can then be used for analytics and data activation. Hightouch Events is a new approach to event collection software that is warehouse-native, composable, developer-centric, and priced fairly.
Hightouch Events is purpose-built for the warehouse
Hightouch Events was built specifically to capture and transfer event data into the warehouse, where it can power identity resolution, data modeling, machine learning algorithms, analytics, and more.
The benefits of this approach start on the very first day of implementation. Hightouch Events gives you complete control of your data schema so you can structure your data however you like. For example, you can upload all events into a single table to simplify funnel analysis. Alternatively, you can have separate tables to streamline your activation use cases. This schema flexibility applies down to the column level, allowing you to use semistructured operators to consolidate or separate columns at your discretion. Schema flexibility may sound obvious, but it starkly contrasts with the rigidity of most event collection software, which typically mandates a data schema decided semi-arbitrarily by the vendor.
In the long term, there are even more benefits to being warehouse-native. Cloud data warehouse providers like Snowflake, Databricks, BigQuery, and Redshift release new features every month. Warehouse-native event collection fully benefits from these constant improvements. For example, Hightouch Events can use Snowflake’s Dynamic Tables for real-time event ingestion and deduplication. We’ll share more about these future innovations as we approach general availability.
Hightouch Events is composable
Hightouch Events is fully composable. This means that it:
- Runs on your data infrastructure.
- Is schema-agnostic.
- Is modular and interoperable so that it works with what you have, lets you swap out any component, and doesn’t force you to buy things you don’t need.
To be 100% clear, you don’t have to buy the rest of Hightouch to use Hightouch Events, and you don’t have to buy Hightouch Events to use the rest of Hightouch. That’s the beauty of the Composable CDP architecture.
With all that said, we’ve found that many customers find it intimidating to partner with multiple vendors for something as essential as customer data. If that’s how you feel, that’s okay. Hightouch is unique because it can be a complete solution for customer data or implemented for just a single use case. Hightouch is complete and composable- just buy what you need.
Hightouch Events is easy to implement and production-grade
At Hightouch, we believe data should be managed like mission-critical production software. This is a common theme across our platform. To achieve this, Hightouch Events follows four core principles:
- Ease of Implementation. Hightouch Events is backward-compatible with Segment and Rudderstack by design. So, if you’re using one of those event collection products, you can pivot to Hightouch in minutes with a simple ‘find + replace’ in your codebase.
- Data Quality. Event collection data powers more than just analysis; it also drives operational workflows in downstream business tools. Our Data Contracts feature ensures that all collected data conforms to expected formats, making it easy to govern your data proactively.
- Version Control. Event collection is a business-critical capability. Event data powers countless reports, models, and operational workflows, so it needs to be maintained like production software. Git sync management makes it easy to manage events alongside your code so that you can keep your tracking up to date and catch regressions before they reach production.
- Observability. We provide deep per-event observability to make it easy to diagnose any data-load issues and customizable alerting to catch production issues and data violations so you can triage quickly.
Hightouch Events is priced fairly and transparently
Many traditional CDPs and behavioral analytics tools that offer event collection charge for each incremental “monthly tracked user” (MTU). There is widespread frustration with MTUs as a pricing metric. We think that MTUs are an outmoded and punitive metric for behavioral tracking. Here’s why:
- MTU-based pricing doesn’t align with value. Paying by MTUs means paying the same amount for each incremental tracked user, no matter their value to your business. Most businesses can’t afford to pay the same amount for a single-page anonymous visitor or a repeat multi-session known user. It’s expensive and penalizes you for growing your audience.
- MTU-based pricing puts you in the passenger seat. You can control what events you track, but you can’t really control how many users visit your website or application. That means you’re not in control of your bill if you’re charged based on MTUs.
- MTU-based pricing can explode on you. We’ve talked to numerous companies whose MTUs exploded for one reason or another. A holiday promotion, a viral tweet, a configuration error, a super successful advertisement - almost everyone has a horror story of a massive overage bill they didn’t expect, which didn’t correlate to any real business value.
Hightouch Events is priced based on event count. You only pay for as many events as you choose to track - no matter how many unique users visit your site.
How does Hightouch Events work?
Hightouch Events is a comprehensive tracking solution that anyone can adopt to collect clean behavioral data and load it into their data warehouse. It offers:
- API and Data Pipelines - Hightouch Events offers a fully managed API with high availability across multiple regions, including the USA and Europe. Hightouch’s API offers compatibility layers with Segment, Rudderstack, and other specs to simplify migration efforts.
- Tracking Libraries - Hightouch Events offers tracking SDKs across web, mobile, and various server-side languages. Hightouch’s best-in-class features include the ability to proxy these libraries through your sub-domain to mitigate the impact of ad blockers on your data.
- Data Contracts - We understand the value of enforcing data quality at the point of collection at an enterprise scale. Hightouch Events includes governance tools to proactively enforce schemas (called “contracts”), provide git-based workflows to manage and audit these contracts, quarantine non-compliant data, and proactively alert contract owners to ensure tracking instrumentation is consistent and governed.
- Flexible Warehouse Schemas - Organizations can configure the schema of event tables in the warehouse to meet their specific needs. They can opt for different table combinations and/or one comprehensive “atomic events” table. Similarly, opting for separate or consolidated columns powered by semistructured operators is easy.
- Observability - As with all of Hightouch’s products, Hightouch Events is highly transparent, allowing organizations to resolve issues quickly. It’s easy to see data passed in each event and troubleshoot errors as they emerge.
One last thing to note is that Hightouch Events is not a tag management solution. It works with any tag manager, and the SDK is agnostic of its deployment.
Hightouch Events is the best option for warehouse-first companies. As we continue to build for the future, we’re already developing features that will add even more value, like real-time collection and event forwarding.
We think composable and warehouse-native event collection is the future for every business. It is technically superior, easier to adopt, and less costly. It also aligns with the ongoing shift toward warehouse-centric operations and the future of enterprise AI.
If you agree, we’d love to show you Hightouch Events to get started with a composable, warehouse-native alternative to traditional event collection. Sign up here for a demo of Hightouch Events.
-Tejas and Kashish
P.S. If you don’t want a demo right now but want us to let you know when Hightouch Events is generally available - let us know here. We won’t spam you, we promise.
We're also hosting a webinar for our customers and prospects about our future plans, if you want to join us then submit your name here to request to join. We can't let everyone join, since we will be doing live Q&A with customers, but we'll add as many people as we can.