RudderStack Cohorts and Activations give business teams unprecedented Customer 360 access

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The hardest part about data activation isn’t the execution or the audience building – it’s building a solid data foundation. We believe this is a job for the data team, and we built RudderStack Profiles to make it easier. The product enables you to rapidly model complete customer profiles in your data warehouse or data lake. Our customers like Wyze and Statpearls use it to establish a single source of truth that combines every data point for every user into a comprehensive customer 360.

But a customer 360 is functionally worthless unless you get the customer profiles into the hands of the teams that create your customer experiences. Today, we’re announcing Cohorts and Activations, two new features for RudderStack Profiles that make this possible.

  • Cohorts: Enables data teams to define core customer segments in the warehouse, which serve as a starting point for audience creation.
  • Activations: Allows non-technical users to explore the customer 360, filter core cohorts into audiences, and sync them directly to their tools for tactical activation.

With Cohorts and Activations, you establish core customer segments in the warehouse, and you have a safe way to provide business users with unprecedented access to Customer 360 so they can explore the data, build audiences for their use cases, and self-serve the exact data they want in their own tools.

Aligning the business and reducing tedious last-mile data work

Delivering data to fuel key business use cases involves non-trivial engineering work, especially for real-time use cases. However, democratizing modeling and management of the customer 360 to include business users can be hazardous, and it’s intimidating for folks who don’t live and breathe data in the warehouse.

At the end of the day, though, creating competitive advantage with data requires getting complete customer profiles into the hands and tools of downstream business teams. Ideally, this involves three important steps:

  • The data team works with the business to identify and define core segments of the customer 360. Examples could include ‘active users’ or loyalty program members. The data team then establishes these segments in the warehouse, aligning the business around a foundational source of truth.
  • Business users explore the cohorts to understand how to best apply the customer 360 data to their use cases, and then they filter on specific features to create audiences.
  • Once audiences are created, someone does the last mile work to sync the lists to the correct tools or experiences for activation.

Traditionally, you faced a binary choice. Either the data team controls all access to customer 360 data in the warehouse and does the last mile work required to get it downstream, or business teams use their own tools and suffer from limited data and rigid models. Both of these options are problematic. The first often involves data teams writing custom Python scripts to sync data or exporting CSVs to upload to business tools. The second makes a complete customer view impossible, creates more data silos, and contributes to painful data drift.

These limitations made it impractical, and in many cases impossible, for business users to self-serve on a truly complete customer view. Reverse ETL tools solved part of the problem by simplifying the filtering and syncing of tables in the warehouse, but they don’t address the underlying data modeling challenges. As part of RudderStack Profiles, Cohorts and Activations provide an integrated solution that solves the problem from end-to-end.

Empowering business users with data

Now there’s a way for the data team to own the customer 360, align the business around core segments, and provide business users safe access, removing the burden of last-mile work. Cohorts and Activations make it possible to give non-technical teams unprecedented access to your customer 360 through an intuitive UI with guardrails to keep them (and your data) safe.


When business users alter or duplicate core datasets, you end up with different teams and tools using different definitions of critical business metrics like ‘active users,’ leading to painful misalignment that gets worse over time. By defining and creating core segments in the warehouse, you can ensure the entire company operates from a single source of truth for business-critical customer groups.

Profiles’ Cohorts feature makes it easy for you to define core customer segments, or cohorts, in the warehouse via a simple YAML config. Once defined, Profiles creates a new feature table that represents that cohort and automatically updates it on a set schedule. These cohorts are then available in the RudderStack UI for business users to explore and use as a starting point for audience creation.


With cohorts established, Activations enables anyone to get the data they need downstream into the tools they use or experiences they manage through an intuitive UI. It gives you a safe way to provide business users access to explore the customer 360, build audiences off of cohorts, and sync them directly to their tools. Plus, it includes a simple toggle to make the Customer 360 table, or specific cohorts, available in real time via API to personalize product experiences.

Interactive demo: Cohorts and Activations

Check out the interactive demo below to see Cohorts and Activations in action.

Power your business with reliable, complete customer profiles

When data teams can build the Customer 360 with a complete set of data in the warehouse, and business teams can access reliable, complete customer profiles to fuel their use cases, every team can do their best work.

RudderStack Profiles introduces a groundbreaking approach to creating and delivering complete customer profiles. It gives you a way to bring business teams closer to the data than ever before without comprising control, so every team can help turn your customer data into competitive advantage.

Give business teams unprecedented Customer 360 access
Schedule a demo with our team today to find out how RudderStack Profiles can help you solve identity resolution at the root and give business users unprecedented access to complete customer profiles.
May 16, 2024
Ryan McCrary

Ryan McCrary

Product Manager

Brooks Patterson

Brooks Patterson

Product Marketing Manager