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Introducing Event Streaming: Sync Data to Tools in Real-Time

It’s easier than ever to forward real-time behavioral event data directly to downstream destinations.

Kevin Lin,

Nate Wardwell

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February 14, 2024

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5 minutes

Introducing Event Streaming: Sync Data to Tools in Real-Time

We are excited to announce the release of our Event Streaming feature. Event Streaming allows teams to forward behavioral event data directly to messaging and analytics tools the moment it is collected. It’s particularly useful for real-time triggers based on user behavior, such as triggering an email to a customer with a personalized welcome message and discount code when they sign up for your loyalty program.

Our early customers are using Event Streaming with the behavioral data collected by Hightouch Events on their website or mobile app. Now, in addition to loading the events directly into their data warehouse, they can use event streaming to send the data directly to their downstream destinations to power real-time use cases.

Event Streaming supports real-time messaging platforms, including Iterable and Braze, and analytics platforms such as Mixpanel and Google Analytics. We also support Materialize and Kafka as Event Streaming sources so that you can send data from these tools directly downstream in real-time. We have designed Event Streaming with flexibility and scalability in mind so we can quickly add new sources and destinations as our customers request them.

What’s the difference between Event Streaming and Reverse ETL?

Simply put: Reverse ETL activates data from wherever it’s stored at rest, such as a data warehouse, to downstream destinations. Event Streaming activates data “in flight”, before events ever reach your warehouse, sending data directly to those destinations.

Event streaming architecture

Reverse ETL activates data from the data warehouse. Event Streaming bypasses the data warehouse.

When companies load data into their warehouses, they dramatically improve it, with modeling processes that clean it up, resolve duplicates, unify events to user profiles, and more. Data activated via Reverse ETL benefits from all of these improvements; it is more complete, more accurate, and more valuable when it is activated to downstream tools.

The only tradeoff when using Reverse ETL instead of Event Streaming, historically, has been latency: warehouse data modeling can take several minutes or more. We broke this barrier last year when we released Streaming Reverse ETL, which uses streaming tables in warehouses to model and activate data through the warehouse at low latencies. We believe that the data warehouse will be the center of all customer data and marketing, including for real-time use cases– and we’re already seeing that happen with our forward-looking customers.

Streaming Reverse ETL Architecture

Streaming Reverse ETL activates data from the warehouse in real-time

If Reverse ETL is so powerful, why did we build Event Streaming? Not every company has fully adopted a data warehouse yet, and not every warehouse has released streaming capabilities. But we’re on a mission to make data actionable at every company, so we don’t want to wait. Event Streaming allows anyone to set up simple real-time data streams, in just a few minutes, regardless of the state of their data infrastructure. Event Streaming is a quick, easy solution for time-sensitive data flows that anyone can implement.

Finally, Event Streaming is a feature that anyone using a traditional customer data platform (CDP) is deeply familiar with. This is how most CDPs send data to downstream tools. We’re already helping customers leave their traditional CDPs behind, in favor of a Composable CDP that achieves better outcomes at a lower cost, with their own data warehouse. Our Event Streaming feature will make this migration, which we typically implement in just a few weeks (or even minutes), even easier: companies can choose to re-create their CDP event streams one-to-one in Hightouch.

Setting Up Event Streaming

It’s simple to set up an event stream inside Hightouch.

Event Streaming Setup GIF

Generally, you select the source you’d like to stream events from. In this example, we’ll stream events from a website where we’ve implemented Hightouch Events.

Then, you choose where you want to send your events to, such as Google Analytics. We include default event types for each tool as well as the ability to set up your own custom events. It’s easy to map any fields from your event data to the destination, for each event you map.

Alternatively, sending a message based on events is simple. Select a message destination, what event you want to trigger that message based on, and what the message should say

Finally, it’s easy to observe all of your event streams across Hightouch, find issues, and dig in to learn more.

Event Streaming Observability Gif

In just a few minutes, you can configure your events to stream into your tools. Hightouch offers best-in-class configurability, an easy-to-use interface, and robust observability to easily diagnose and correct errors.

Getting Started

Event Streaming is available for anyone using Hightouch Events. If you’re interested in real-time event streams, or in shifting to Hightouch Events from a traditional CDP, we’d love to talk! You can book a demo with our solutions engineers to get started.

More on the blog

  • What CDPs got right–and wrong–about behavioral events.

    What CDPs got right–and wrong–about behavioral events

    Customer Data Platforms put themselves on the map with event collection and real-time event streaming. They’ve left room for improvement.

  • Announcing Hightouch Events: Event Collection for the Data Warehouse.

    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.

  • What is a Composable CDP?.

    What is a Composable CDP?

    Learn why Composable CDPs are seeing such rapid adoption, how they work, and why they're replacing traditional CDPs.

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