Josephine Liu, Sherry Huang on June 9th 2021

Our latest feature, Journeys, empowers teams to unify touchpoints across the end-to-end customer journey.

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Andy Schumeister on October 2nd 2017

We recently released version 4.3.0 of the Android library, making it easier for you to implement middlewares. Support for middlewares has been a part of our Android SDK in beta and used by hundreds of customers since May, and we are excited to promote the beta to a stable release.

What are client-side middlewares?

Middlewares are custom functions that you can write to modify the client-side event stream. These simple functions can now be invoked by the Segment SDK and used to monitor, modify, or reject events, before being sent to your Destinations.

Middlewares are invoked for all events, including automatically tracked events and external event sources like Adjust and Optimizely. This offers you the ability to customize these messages to fit your use case even if the event was sent outside your source code.

For example, you might want to record the property, device year class, with your events. Previously, you would have had to manually track this everywhere you trigger an event with the Segment SDK. With middlewares, you only have to write a single function, regardless of how many unique events you track. 

We also released some smaller features and bug fixes as part of this release. See our Github changelog for more details. If you’re using an older version of the Android library, head on over to the docs for instructions on upgrading to version 4.3.0.

Diana Smith on July 25th 2017

Analytics insights are useless if they’re locked away in your BI platform. 

Though many strong data teams are building out per-user metrics like engagement score, predicted lifetime value, and favorite product category, few ever put this data to work.

Most businesses leave their custom analyses, and more, to rot away in their data warehouses. What if you could use these traits to inform your marketing, for instance, to build different email pathways for engaged and dormant users? And you didn’t want to do the tedious work of downloading and uploading your results to email tools every week?

Introducing the Looker Source for Segment

With the new Looker Source, we’re making your insights portable, so you can automatically target complex cohorts in your favorite marketing platforms. 

In Looker, a popular business intelligence product, you can develop nuanced audiences and build custom traits based on any parameter in your data warehouse. 

Then, you can use Segment to tag users with these traits and pipe them to your favorite marketing tools, like Marketo, Appboy, Mailchimp, and more, where you can trigger personalized campaigns.

Check out our documentation for more details.

Here’s how it works

The Looker Source is the first of its kind on the Segment platform, allowing you to build custom audiences to use across your marketing tools. Let’s dive into a use case to walk you through what’s possible with the new Source.

It’s near the end of the quarter, and your company really needs that pipeline to close. What could block these deals? Your data has the answer. First, you explore Salesforce and Zendesk data in Looker to identify a group of people who are in active deal cycles but have rated their experiences with your product poorly through Zendesk.

You create a Look called Sales Risks that includes these users’ IDs.

Then you hop into Segment. From our Sources catalog, you choose Looker and add that to your account.

Next, you connect your preferred marketing automation tool to the Source, let’s say Marketo, by adding your credentials in the Destinations Catalog. 

From Looker, you add Segment as an integration and export your Look.

Under the hood, the results pass through Looker’s Integration API, and Segment accepts this information as a trait on the identify call (sales risk = true).

We’ll automatically send the users and their traits to Marketo, recomputing on the schedule you chose. Within Marketo, you can set up a campaign to trigger when you see a customer who is a sales risk and try to redeem the account.

Getting started

This is just one of the ways you can use the new Looker Source. For example, you could send ecommerce customers with a high LTV more coupons. You can filter out customers that send you tons of returns from your campaigns.

If you already have a marketing automation provider in mind, it’s likely you’ll find them on the Segment platform. Salesforce Marketing Cloud, SailThru, Appboy, and MailChimp are just a few of our server-side integration partners that you can power with customer insights from Looker. 

To get started, reach out to us if you’re new to Segment or Looker. We’ll help you get set up! If you’re already a customer,  jump into the docs and contact your Looker Account Manager today.

Peter Reinhardt on July 13th 2017

Today we’re rolling out a major update to the Segment app, designed to clarify how your data flows through Segment.

We’ve improved the top navigation, visualized your data flow, given you top-level access to integrations, and made a number of other smaller design updates. There are two changes particularly worth highlighting:

  • Product Naming — Data now flows from your Sources to your Destinations. Destinations combine data warehouses and other integrations for analytics, email, and marketing.

  • App Design — The new design reflects the flow of your data from Sources to Destinations across the Navigation, Overview page, and more. Now you can easily scan the list of Sources and Destinations you have connected to Segment.

Here’s the new Workspace Overview page, showing data flowing from Sources to Destinations:

Your Sources are all still visible on the Sources page, but the page has been switched from a grid layout to a vertical table layout that is easier to read.

Your old Warehouses view has also been switched from a grid layout to a vertical table layout that is easier to read… and now includes all your existing integrations as well as warehouses.

You can still enable a destination, use the debugger stream, and inspect your schema in the same place as before on every source.

Over the next few weeks you'll see improvements ship throughout the app as we finish updating it to show how data flows from your Sources to Destinations.

We believe the new updates will clarify how Segment is working for you, and improve your experience using Segment. If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know!

Peter Reinhardt on July 13th 2017

We’re excited to share that Segment has raised $64 million in Series C funding, led by Y Combinator Continuity and joined by GV. Our existing investors at Accel, Thrive, NEA, and Ron Conway’s SV Angel also participated.

We’re also thrilled to welcome Ali Rowghani, CEO of YC Continuity, to our board of directors. Ali helped build two iconic Silicon Valley companies — at Pixar as CFO and SVP of Strategic Planning, and at Twitter, as CFO then COO. There’s so much we can learn from him and we’re excited to continue building Segment with guidance from him and our other board members, Vas Natarajan from Accel and Will Gaybrick from Stripe (previously lead investor at Thrive.)

Every round of funding has allowed us to grow the customer base that we serve, and invest in new parts of our core product and platform (more on this soon.) This funding is no different, and we’re incredibly excited about what’s coming down the pike on product.

Looking back, each round has opened up a core new part of the platform for customers.

Y Combinator: The beginning

Y Combinator has been woven into the Segment story from the beginning. YC made a bet on four college dropouts in the summer of 2011. The four of us worked out of our apartment (which doubled as the office), toiling away trying to introduce a new analytics tool into the world, but it wasn’t sticking. Potential customers kept telling us they already spent enough time making their data flow into multiple marketing and analytics tools, and they didn’t want to have to spend more integrating into yet another one (ours). We wanted to make it easier for potential customers to install our analytics tool, so we created a javascript library that was an abstraction for event tracking, enabling our prospects to send their data into our analytics tool as well as the other ones they were currently using. We sent it to a handful of prospects, and they liked our abstraction. 

They liked it so much that they wanted to use it entirely on its own, not to send data to our analytics product at all. Their enthusiasm was contagious, even if it wasn’t for the analytics tool we had been trying to breathe life into. So we put Analytics.js up on Hacker News to gauge the engineering and startup world’s interest… did it solve a problem for folks? The a.js repo climbed to the top of Hacker News, got several thousand stars in Github in a couple days, and (even cooler) the community jumped in to start building new integrations. The hosted version of analytics.js, Segment itself, was launched a couple weeks later.

The $600k we raised from Y Combinator, NEA, General Catalyst and a number of angels got us to initial product market fit. We had discovered a product that helped engineers and marketers work better together. Engineers could implement a single analytics tracking plan, and marketers could turn on whatever analytics, email, advertising, etc. tools they needed by just dropping an API key into a settings page.

Seed Round 2013: More Integrations

Our seed round, led by eventures and KPCB funded us to build the early team and expand the product dramatically. From that very first post on Hacker News, customers said they wanted mobile SDKs, server-side libraries, ecommerce plugins, and a huge array of new integrations—all to make using customer data easy rather than an engineering headache. Among the 1,000+ free customers, XO Group became our first paying customer when they deployed us on a single mobile app. Today they use Segment across 30+ mobile apps and 50+ websites… collecting data via 11 different libraries and SDKs and sending that data to 30 distinct tools. Simplifying a complex web of data collection and routing like this gets us incredibly excited, and XO Group is now one among hundreds of enterprises that are using Segment more and more deeply across their business.

Series A 2014: Connecting to Warehouses

By spring 2014 we had 4,000 companies using Segment and revenue was growing quickly. The product made it easy to send data to tools via integrations, but businesses also wanted to pipe a copy out for themselves. They desperately wanted to get their raw data into a warehouse so they could query it however they wanted. More and more companies were focused on using SQL to answer deeper questions unique to their business, and we saw again and again that companies would get blocked by the intense pain of setting up a seemingly simple pipeline from user actions to warehouse. So we launched Warehouses to make it super easy to load your web, mobile, and server user data into your Redshift, Postgres, or BigQuery database without writing a single line of ETL code. This was a breakthrough product for us. There are nearly 2,000 companies loading their warehouses through Segment today, and its growth is only accelerating as new warehouses like BigQuery and Snowflake enter the market to compete with Redshift.

Series B 2015: Leave no data behind

Warehouses grew incredibly quickly straight out of the gate, and our revenue doubled in just 6 months. The team swelled to 50 people, and we crossed 100 integrations. But we were starting to see a curious new request. Many customers wanted to get their data out of their marketing tools. They wanted to centralize data from all their customer touchpoints, and they wanted all that data loaded into their warehouse. So it became our mission to “Leave No Data Behind!” We launched Cloud Sources in April 2016 to help customers load data from payments systems like Stripe, helpdesks like Zendesk, CRMs like Salesforce and many others into their warehouse. Many of our most advanced customers, like Deliveroo, Instacart and HotelTonight, started using Cloud Sources heavily to understand user behavior deeply across all their touchpoints. Sources also grew quickly in the past year. We already sync 10 billion Cloud Source data points per month for over 1,000 customers.

Series C 2017: The standard for customer data infrastructure in 2017 (and beyond!)

But we’re still just getting started, and there’s so much to build. Today more than 15,000 companies rely on Segment to process 80 billion end-user actions a month. We serve companies of all sizes across the world: half the startups in the Andreesen Horowitz portfolio, and a growing chunk of the Fortune 500 including enterprises like Intuit, Reuters, IBM, and Gap.

With each new (daily) release, we’re building a more complete customer data platform to help our customers unify their customer data in a single place. We’re incredibly excited for the product launches coming later this year, and we’re even more excited to see what our customers and partners build on top. Today’s funding will be a key part of making this happen.

A huge “thank you!” goes out to all of our customers and integration partners. We’re incredibly excited to build more together. And an even bigger thanks goes to you. If you’re reading this, you’re a teammate, a customer, a community member, or friend. And we couldn’t have done any of this without your help, so thank you! The biggest challenges are still ahead, as we double our 160-person team over the next 18 months and double down on unifying customer data in a single place. Excited by the challenge? Then join us! We need you here! We’re hiring in San Francisco, New York and Vancouver. We can’t wait to show you what’s coming next.

Chris Sperandio on July 12th 2017

In order to help you set up new Sources faster in the Segment platform, we’ve launched new functionality that enables you to copy Destination settings across your Sources. This is one of our most requested features, and our goal is to streamline how you configure Destinations in multiple Sources. For example, you might want your web and mobile data going to the same Mixpanel account. Previously, setting up these connections was a bit repetitive as you were required to enter the settings in each source. Not anymore!

Now, when you activate a Destination that has already been set up in a different Source, you can either configure the settings manually or copy your existing settings from an eligible Source. 

Copying your settings is easy — first, click on the menu button in the top right corner of the Destination settings window. Then, choose an eligible Source that is already set up, and click “Copy Settings.” Segment will instantly apply your settings, and you’ll be ready to activate the Destination. Note that copying settings into an already configured Destination will overwrite any existing settings. 

If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know!

Diana Smith on June 23rd 2017

This week, we’ve shipped a few improvements to managing Destinations for warehouses within Segment to give you more visibility into and control of your data.

Warehouse Overview

First, we’ve improved the warehouse overview page to give you more helpful information for managing your settings at a glance. The new design surfaces:

  • When the last sync finished

  • When your next sync is scheduled

  • The status of in-process syncs

The updated page gives you more visibility into what’s happening with your data, so you can focus your time on finding insights.

Selective Sync

Available on the Business Plan

We’ve also updated the Selective Sync feature, so you can filter out data you don’t want in your warehouse before any data starts syncing.

Previously, when you connected a warehouse, Segment would start syncing all of your data from your connected Sources automatically. That means some unnecessary data snuck in on the initial sync.

We recently added the option to disable Warehouse syncing by default when you set up your warehouse. Then, you can set your preferred filters on the Selective Sync tab before any data is sent.

When you’re happy with the filters, you can click Enable Syncing, which will only load selected Sources and events into your warehouse. The new feature gives you the power to keep your tables clean and ensure only the data you want finds its way into your database.

Learn more about warehouses here.

Maya Spivak on June 22nd 2017

Selecting a new solution for your business can be a daunting process. What tools do you add to your short list? What’s a comparable tool to the one that you’re trying to replace? What does the UI actually look like? Finding the right information and ensuring it’s accurate can be an extremely time consuming process.

Today, we’re introducing the new Destination Catalog to help streamline the vendor selection process. Segment empowers your team to send customer data to over 200 Destinations. With the new Destinations Catalog, it’s even easier to browse integrations and warehouses that enable you to personalize campaigns, analyze product usage, and more. 

Within the Destinations catalog, we’ve added two new categories, “Most Installed” and “New & Noteworthy, to help you discover new tools within the Segment app. You can still browse the catalog by category or search for a Destination by name. 

Clicking on an integration will now provide you with a host of new detailed information on what the tool does, how it works, what the UI looks like, and how you can get more out of it with Segment (in addition to the painless integration process). Once you’re ready to add a Destination, simply click the “Configure” button to complete the setup in the Segment app.

You can access the Destinations Catalog at segment.com/catalog or by signing into the app and clicking the “Add Destination” button on the Overview page.

Diana Smith on June 12th 2017

At Segment, we’re committed to ensuring you have complete visibility into what data you’re tracking through the platform. For example, we offer tools for visibility including the Debugger and Schema. With the Debugger, you can test calls in real-time, examine the full payload, and identify any tracking errors. With Schema, you can view a list all of the events, traits, and page calls you’ve ever sent to Segment. You can also view their properties, frequency, and filter events from hitting particular Destinations on advanced plans.

We’ve recently made some improvements to Schema so you can see all of your events and more easily find what you’re looking for. Now, no matter how many events you have, you’ll be able to see them in the Schema. We’ve increased our capacity to show up to 2,000 events on the Schema page!

You can also now search the Schema to find an event or sort by the name of the event, the number of times it’s been fired, or how recently it’s been sent. You can look at events from the last 60 days, 30 days, or 24 hours.

Find the Schema page by navigating to Sources > click into a Source > then Schema.

If you’re excited about these Schema updates because you have lots of events to search through, you might want to review how you can optimize your tracking plan. Most businesses shouldn’t have more than 100 events.

These resources share best practices for which and how many events to track.

Enjoy!

Courtney Root on June 2nd 2017

At Segment we pride ourselves on being data-driven. Wherever we can use data to solve or surface problems, we do.  Among other things, we use surveys to measure our engagement, motivation, happiness and ability to focus.

Last year, one of our surveys showed that we were having a tough time focusing in the office, mostly due to noise. So we launched a full-scale investigation using an acoustic measurement app called Decibel. By measuring both the levels and location of noise, we were able to pin-point the loudest areas of our office—later leading to a restructuring of our office layout and some recognition from Wall Street Journal for our quirky dedication to the scientific method. 

More recently, our burgeoning team needed to make the jump to a new, larger office in downtown San Francisco. As we began digging into this project, one area of concern was the effect this move would have on the team’s commute since studies show that there is a direct connection between commute time and health: shorter commutes reduce stress, create a stronger sense of connection with family and friends, and increase your ability to focus.

We feel very strongly about improving on all these dimensions for our team, so when it came time to begin our new office search, our data-driven approach to problem solving kicked into high gear once again.

First, we needed to determine what area of the city to focus our office search efforts. By doing a quick scan of our teammates addresses, we found that the majority lived within the city, with a small percentage in adjacent counties. So we knew we wanted to stay within San Francisco. But a quick scan didn’t exactly help us pin-point what neighborhood of SF; so we took it a step further.

By doing a quick export of all our team’s home addresses we used the Google Maps API to determine the areas with minimal average commute time. The shortest average commute times are shown in dark green here:

With this handy map, our office search team hit the ground running, zero-ing in on available offices in the dark green zone. Going further, we knew that this was our “target area”, but it didn’t tell us exactly how this change would impact our team’s distribution of commutes. So, after we narrowed the search to a couple final possibilities, we did a detailed analysis.

We ran everyone’s addresses through the Google Maps API once more to generate the distribution of commute times, comparing new and old offices:

Based on our analysis, we determined that the move from 101 15th St to 100 California St would decrease the median commute time from 29 minutes to 24 minutes, with an average drop from 32 minutes to 27 minutes and that overall the new office would save the existing team, in aggregate, about 16 hours per day (at 140 people, more as we double this coming year!)

As a final measure, before announcing the new office location to the company, we asked all the team leads to sit down with teammates whose commutes were negatively affected, walk them through the new office decision and address any concerns. And while it was hard to say goodbye to our much beloved home in Potrero Hill, the proximity to the Caltrain, Bart, Ferry Building, and even the iconic SF Cable cars that our new home provides assured everyone that long term, it was the best move for our company.

If you’re looking to move your team soon, we’ve open-sourced the analysis code so you can run it for your team and city too. You can find the code here.

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