Addressing Segment's limitations: From data storage to data strategy

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RudderStack, the Warehouse Native CDP, is the only customer data platform built from the ground up for data teams. Data professionals, we’re building RudderStack for you. We don’t store your data. We don’t focus on UIs for marketing automation. We believe the CDP is more than a marketing platform, and should be owned by data and engineering teams equipped to build the infrastructure required to serve the whole business with data.

Our approach to the data activation lifecycle addresses the needs of businesses looking for operational agility, risk management, deep customer insights, and predictive capabilities – all of which are essential for maintaining a competitive advantage and accelerating growth through data-driven strategies. RudderStack gives you full ownership and control of your data in your data warehouse. It delivers tooling and workflows purpose-built for data teams and unlike Segment, RudderStack enables users to effectively build and maintain a comprehensive Customer 360 profile in their warehouse. This is crucial for businesses to gain a holistic view of their customers using all of their customer data.

When data teams use RudderStack, business teams get two primary benefits:

  • They are no longer slowed down by incomplete data and requests to the data team
  • With a complete view of their customer at the foundation, they can unlock more powerful use cases for better attribution, churn prediction, and advanced personalization in the tools of their choice

Why RudderStack? A look at the modern customer data platform

The pain businesses, and most profoundly, marketers, felt due to data silos helped birth the customer data platform. As a result, CDP vendors promised to bring customer data from all SaaS systems into a single place to give marketers the ability to activate campaigns on different channels. Because these solutions were cloud SaaS tools, marketers could bypass conversations with Engineering to avoid slowdowns. Marketing teams spent huge amounts of money to purchase and deploy traditional CDPs, but their problems persisted.

Segment made strides in the right direction, yet was built before the mass adoption of the modern cloud data warehouse, limiting the ability to fully address the evolving needs of businesses.

RudderStack was built from the ground up as a warehouse-native solution designed to address these limitations by emphasizing control, ownership, and a truly complete view of the customer. With RudderStack you can finally establish a single source of truth, in your own data warehouse.

Data Teams at the Helm

We’re building RudderStack with a fundamentally different set of convictions than Segment. We believe you should have full ownership and control of your data in your data warehouse, the foundation of your CDP, and we believe data tooling should be built for data teams.

Segment has focused increasingly on marketing automation and has tailored its platform to business users at the expense of flexibility, data quality, and governance.

Simply put, Segment is no longer the vendor-agnostic, agile platform that developers knew and loved. At RudderStack, we know the hardest part of marketing automation isn’t the execution, it’s getting the data right. So we’re laser-focused on giving data teams a tool that makes it easy to build a solid data foundation that can power use cases for every team.

With RudderStack's warehouse-native architecture, businesses can ensure that they are not only capturing but also activating their data in real-time, right where it already lives - this maximizes both efficiency and impact. It's not just about storing data; it's about making it work comprehensively to drive real business outcomes.

Mackenzie Hastings

Product Marketing, RudderStack

Creating Value in the Warehouse

RudderStacks warehouse-native architecture is designed on top of the modern data stack. It enables you to leverage the full potential of your warehouse, not just as a storage solution, but as the central hub of your data-driven, decision-making process. By centralizing data in the warehouse and making it accessible through RudderStack, teams across your organization can leverage data for various use cases. Whether it’s marketers personalizing customer interactions, sales optimizing lead scoring, or product teams enhancing user experience, RudderStack democratizes data access, enabling everyone to contribute to data-driven growth.

Here’s a look at how RudderStack helps you get more value from your data warehouse:

Flexibility & integration that eliminates data wrangling

RudderStack’s flexible integration solutions have liberated thousands of data teams from Segment’s constraints. Our integrations and flexibility enable smooth data flows across your entire data ecosystem without the integration headaches, so your tech stack works harmoniously.

RudderStack's data quality toolkit equips you to collect clean data at the source, so you can spend less time wrangling and more time helping your business drive revenue, eliminating the tedious implementation and workarounds normally associated with Segment. You can use it to collaborate on event definitions, manage violations with custom rules, monitor quality, and fix schemas in real-time. This empowers teams to act on richer insights faster, enhancing decision-making and innovation while ensuring data privacy and compliance.

In contrast to Segment’s limited flexibility, RudderStack provides a robust platform for achieving a comprehensive 360-degree customer profile directly within your data warehouse. This capability not only fills the gaps left by Segment's incomplete data ingestion but also empowers data teams to utilize their data warehouse's full strategic potential. This streamlined approach allows businesses to engage more effectively with customers and maintain a competitive edge in their marketing efforts.

Transparent identity resolution and customer 360 inside your warehouse

Segment's platform often struggles with comprehensive data ingestion, leading to gaps in creating a complete, unified customer view. In contrast, RudderStack excels by enabling full integration of disparate data sources directly into your data warehouse, ensuring no valuable insights are lost. This is crucial as many businesses face significant challenges with Segment due to its limited flexibility and integration capabilities, which can hinder a truly holistic view of customer activities in their private cloud environment.

With RudderStack, the process of achieving a comprehensive 360-degree customer profile is streamlined and efficient for data teams, enabling businesses to fully leverage their data warehouse's strategic potential without the constraints experienced with Segment. This capability ensures that data teams can move fast and that business teams can engage with their customers more effectively and maintain a competitive edge in their marketing efforts.

Warehouse native ML and predictive insights

While Segment operates as a black box, RudderStack empowers businesses with customizable ML models that leverage their customer 360 data and run on the ML infrastructure in their data cloud.

RudderStack’s warehouse-native approach facilitates the consolidation of your customer data within your data warehouse and streamlines the implementation of machine learning and predictive analytics directly within your cloud environment. Unlike Segment's closed system, which confines profile and audience insights to predefined models and tools, RudderStack empowers you to customize and apply ML models to your comprehensive datasets. This capability transforms your data warehouse into a dynamic engine for generating actionable insights and advanced predictive outcomes, with full transparency and auditability.

Uncompromising compliance and privacy

With RudderStack, you can embed robust data governance and quality directly into your data management strategy, leveraging your data warehouse for superior control over data access, security, and compliance. This setup ensures data cleanliness and reliability for analytics without storing any data on the platform, alleviating GDPR and other data privacy concerns.

Conversely, Segment's model of storing customer data raises compliance risks and additional costs due to the need for data storage and processing, highlighting the importance of RudderStack's compliance and data quality toolkits in seamlessly integrating with and enhancing existing workflows.

How Joybird maximized their warehouse ROI and operational efficiency

RudderStack simplified Joybirds technical landscape and also magnified the ROI for data infrastructure. With Segment, Joybird was sending customer event data into Snowflake, however, they were unable to turn their data into actionable insights that could contribute to their marketing efforts. They were keen to understand how visitors navigate the website, experience their customer journeys, and complete purchases. They also wanted to connect users' actions on the website to their downstream platforms, triggering automated emails and actions like adding people to their CRM.

Joybird was already tracking events on their website and wanted to build a unified event stream across the entire customer journey that fed downstream destinations, including Facebook Pixel and Kustomer, but they had trouble customizing those integrations to their specific needs with Segment. When Joybird moved their email marketing platform from Bronto to Iterable, they saw an opportunity to migrate their customer data platform from Segment to RudderStack at the same time.

Because of RudderStack’s warehouse-native foundation, Joybird's engineering, product, and marketing teams now enjoy seamless integration between RudderStack, their downstream destinations, and their Snowflake data warehouse. This new data stack has dramatically reduced the time to perform operations like turning destinations on and off, defining new dimensions, and adding new services. RudderStack has turned hours of data engineering time into minutes, and weeks of data wrangling and modeling into hours.

Challenge: Moving Away from Segments Brittle Integrations and Unreliable Data

Joybird experienced significant challenges with Segment due to brittle integrations and a reliance on custom coding, which slowed down data operations and response times. The data inconsistencies that arose from moving customer data across different platforms compromised trust in the data's reliability. By switching to RudderStack, Joybird not only streamlined their data management processes but also enhanced the reliability and utility of their data warehouse, moving away from Segment's rigid and closed system.

With RudderStack, Joybird revolutionized their data management approach and maximized the capabilities of their modern stack. By prioritizing a warehouse-first strategy within an event-driven architecture, Joybird transformed their Snowflake data warehouse into a unified hub for front- and back-end event data, streamlining data flow across various platforms.

This consolidation has empowered Joybird's marketing team to swiftly test activation platforms, iterate campaigns in real-time, and push enriched customer data to downstream destinations like Iterable. Moreover, by leveraging RudderStack's capabilities, Joybird has significantly reduced engineering time, enabling faster innovation and alignment with their event-driven architecture vision. Brett Trani, Joybird's Director of Analytics, underscores the role of RudderStack in realizing these benefits and achieving a holistic approach to data activation.

Outcome: Save Time, Money, and Effort by switching to RudderStack

With RudderStack's integration, Joybird's data warehouse has transitioned from merely storing data to becoming a key asset in driving ROI. This transformation is facilitated by leveraging comprehensive data control and the ability to implement predictive analytics and machine learning directly on their warehouse data, maximizing their return on investment. Joybird's data warehouse has evolved from a storage solution to a crucial asset, with RudderStack's seamless integration capabilities. Brett Trani highlights the reliability and consistency achieved by consolidating data in Snowflake and routing it efficiently with RudderStack across the entire stack. Transitioning to a new email platform, Iterable, was swift and straightforward, taking less than a month, with RudderStack facilitating event instrumentation and workflow architecture.

Joybird leverages RudderStack to validate Iterable workflows and ensure reliability. Beyond speed and efficiency, RudderStack has provided a cost-effective solution, particularly for a high-traffic site like Joybird, where capitalizing on customer journey insights across marketing channels is paramount without incurring excessive costs.

Ready to take the next step? You’re in good company.

Companies like Crate and Barrel, Acorns, Tonal, Joybird and others have migrated from Segment to RudderStack.

Here are a few ways to engage:

April 16, 2024
Mackenzie Hastings

Mackenzie Hastings

Customer Success Manager