Reduce your reliance on building one-off integrations
Ok, so you’ve migrated all of your data to a cloud data warehouse. Congratulations, this is a great first step! Now you have a central, and more importantly, secure source of customer data. But, that data does you no good if it just sits in your warehouse unused. It’s a major asset that’s simply wasting away. That data could be used to help you analyze your customers, their behaviors, buying patterns, and on and on and on. The possibilities really are endless.
So naturally, you want to access it and make it actionable. That’s where your data team comes in. It’s their job to take requests from your other teams (marketing, sales, etc.) and pull specific segments of customers from your data warehouse for use in your downstream tools. But doing so isn’t as simple as it sounds, and is a process that’s often rife with inefficiency. And if you’re not careful, you’ll find your data team drowning in a backlog of requests.
The old way
To understand the shift currently taking place in data warehouse management, you need to first understand the old way that it’s always been done. Traditionally, it goes something like this:
Your marketing team is launching a campaign touting a new video product they just built. And they need the data team to access a list of all users who engaged with any video marketing content in the last three months, and therefore, may be interested in the product. Once they have that list, they want to export it to one of their ad platforms so they can specifically target those users with a free trial offer for the video product. Sounds easy enough.
So your developers now go into the data warehouse, access the segment of customers that meet marketing’s defined criteria, and have to build a one-off integration from the data warehouse to the ad platform in order to transfer the data. This creates two key problems:
- The one-off connector is exactly what it sounds like, a one-off. That means if marketing wants to use the same list in a different ad tool, your data team needs to build another completely new integration just to transfer the same data.
- More connectors, more clutter. Creating dozens of one-off integrations means your IT team is forced to constantly babysit them all. So now whenever a downstream platform makes an update, the integration stops working properly and IT has to drop everything to troubleshoot and remedy the problem.
Every time your marketing team needs data transferred to a downstream ad platform like Google ads, LinkedIn ads, Facebook ads, etc, (and spoiler alert, this is a common request), your developers are going to get bogged down and burnt out building and maintaining one-off integrations from your data warehouse. And worse, their day-to-day work will fall to the wayside as they desperately scramble to keep up with the bevy of internal requests.
There has to be a better way.
The new (and better) way: reverse ETL
As a refresher or new lesson for those who don’t know, I should first define what ETL is. ETL is the process of moving data from all your disparate downstream tools into your cloud-based data warehouse. It stands for:
Extract: Grabbing the data from its various sources
Transform: Cleaning the data and changing it into the appropriate storage format and structure
Load: Inserting the data into the new database
Reverse ETL then is just the opposite. It’s the process I was just speaking to in the previous section. It’s when your developers gather specific segments from your data warehouse and send them out into your downstream tools. More on Reverse ETL here.
Lytics Cloud Connect: a reverse ETL solution
A reverse ETL solution allows you to connect your entire data warehouse with all of your downstream tools, so that your developers don’t have to duplicate their efforts (and your data) every time marketing has a request.
That’s where Cloud Connect comes in:
Cloud Connect uses a standard reverse ETL approach, but where it differs from traditional data warehouse management processes, is that it allows you to export only the data you need to ALL of your downstream tools. No more one-off integrations. No more data duplication. Your developers simply need to query the specific data segments marketing needs from your data warehouse, and they can send them to any of your downstream tools instantly. And with automated syncs, you’re continually refreshing your audience segments, ensuring you have the most up to date information.
Cloud Connect takes the burden of data transfer from your data warehouse off of your developers. They can get you all the customer segments you need into any of your downstream tools without all the hassle. Now marketing can be more efficient, and your data team is freed up to focus on their day-to-day development work.