Andy Yeo on July 16th 2020
More of the customer experience is online than ever before. While this offers your business new opportunities to tailor each user’s journey, it also creates a lot of complexity below the hood. Most companies are using 80+ vendor tools to run their business, and half of the enterprises we surveyed maintain 7+ disconnected islands of customer data.
Today, we’re proud to announce that Functions is generally available to all customers, and you can start building now. If you want to learn more, here are a few of the most common ways customers are using Functions.
While Segment already supports 300+ sources and destinations, you can use Functions to create your own sources and destinations directly within your workspace to bring new types of data into Segment and send data to new tools:
Collect customer data across any data source that supports webhooks
Send customer data to any tool or internal service with a public API endpoint
We’ve seen customers primarily use Functions to build a more complete customer view, with a specific lens toward connecting an internal service or an industry-specific tool to Segment. For example, Adversus is an outbound call center platform that used Functions to create a new data source and destination for their new financial automation tool, Fenerum.
By integrating Segment to Fenerum using Functions, the Adversus team is able to keep track of changes in user subscriptions and related invoices in real-time. These integrations have also empowered their Finance team to use their data warehouse as a source of truth for their own analysis.
At Adversus, we need the freedom to control our data and Functions lets us do just that. Integration projects are now done in a few days instead of weeks, and our development team can focus on the core product development instead of internal IT projects. We’re now looking to move even more of our data integrations into the Segment product. Mads Jepsen, Co Founder, Adversus
When your business has multiple business units or products, it can be tough to balance keeping data clean and reliable across the company, while also making it work for every tool your teams use.
For Adevinta, a marketplace specialist with over 30 brands, this had led to serious data inconsistencies in order to optimize their ad performance.
One of their real estate brands, Fotocasa, wanted to advertise to users via Google, Facebook, and Criteo with personalized ads based on whether users want to buy or rent. Their data team wanted to keep the data clean with a single event for House Lead, with properties for type: sell and type: rent to help them avoid reporting on redundant events. However, their ad tools required them to send two separate events for Sell House Lead and Rent House Lead for personalization.
In order to better balance data quality and ad performance, Adevinta created a Source Function to collect a single House Lead event and create separate events downstream so their ad platforms could properly use the data. This quick solution helped them keep their global analytics clean while unlocking better personalization for Fotocasa.
Not only does this save them hours of engineering and reporting time, but it also helped them further optimize their ads to create a 4-5x improvement in campaign performance.
With Functions, you can go far beyond implementing new tools by creating functions that allow you to automate away complex workflows. This is especially true for industries like consumer packaged goods where offline and online data need to interplay to create great experiences.
A multinational CPG business is using Functions to provide delivery visibility for the store owners who distribute their products. They use Foxtrot to manage deliveries in Latin America, and every time a delivery is about to go out, Foxtrot triggers a route created event that contains the IDs of all the stores that are going to get hit on that route.
By plugging that same data into Segment using a Source Function, they can use Segment to match Foxtrot data, customer ID, and store ID. They can then pass that data from Segment to Braze, which triggers a message to the store owners informing them their items are out for delivery.
Even more impressive is that they were able to complete the entire project within four days, giving them a huge personalization win in less than a week.
Functions is built on AWS Lambda, and we’ve continued to rapidly expand the feature set since our developer preview. We’ve partnered with early users to build in more ease-of-use and reliability to ensure the functions you build can truly become core to your data pipeline.
Here’s what we’ve improved over the last few months:
Error tracking: You can find useful information about errors triggered within your function in both our debugger and in event delivery.
Advanced permissions: You now have more control over who can create, edit, or deploy functions in your workspace.
Data replay for Source Functions: We’ve built a tool to help establish more reliability for your event pipeline and to help respect GDPR/CCPA compliance.
Custom settings for Destination Functions: You can now include configurable fields either required or encrypted for things like API keys, secrets, and event mapping.
Autofill for Destination Functions: Test your function with real events from any of the active sources within your Segment workspace.
Functions is a paid product, but every customer is granted a generous set of compute hours to build, test, and use Functions for your business. We invite you to start building within your workspace today.
Calvin French-Owen, Geoffrey Keating on June 10th 2020
Calvin French-Owen on March 18th 2020
Each year, I like to reflect on what’s now different about Segment. Thinking back to a year ago, there’s an incredible amount that we’ve managed to accomplish.
In many ways, I see the Segment of 2020 as a new company, with fresh challenges and lots of new opportunities.
But as the famous saying goes—the days are long but the years are short. Without further ado, here are the major highlights from Segment over the past 12 months.
Segment helps businesses connect and use reliable customer data to fuel product experimentation, marketing, analytics, data science, and so much more. And in 2019 we doubled down to ensure that companies could truly add data into Segment and use the data wherever they needed.
Simple code editor to build a function
While we’ve made it possible to build any connection with Functions, we’ve also added more than one new integration per week in 2019 to our integration catalog.
That means our customers can more easily set up 350+ tools (37% growth from 2018) to connect new sources and destinations. About 1 in every 3 customers has already tried one of the newest tools in our catalog.
Since the early days of Segment, we’ve stood for privacy and responsible data handling. We’ve tried to avoid dealing with sketchy data brokers and third-party cookies, and instead make it easier for companies to comply with privacy-first legislation like the GDPR and CCPA.
At Synapse, our annual user conference, we launched our new Privacy Portal that allows organizations to automate detect and classify information flowing through Segment, and control where it is sent. It’s currently used by hundreds of customers to help enforce data standards at their companies.
Aliya Dossa and Tido Carriero announce our new Privacy Portal at Synapse
One of our core values is karma, and we want to make sure we treat our customers’ data in a way they would expect. Privacy isn’t just a big deal for our customers. It’s a big deal to end-consumers as well.
We went beyond being ready for CCPA when it became effective on January 1, 2020. We also stood up a Privacy Program and a Public Policy Team in 2019. We made multiple trips to Washington to help campaign for privacy rights. We’ve also been very active in California around the CCPA.
Destination Filters are being used by more than one out of every three business plan customers. They are key in helping customers control their API costs and instrument basic privacy controls. Protocols Transformations allow users to alter their events without changing their code. We’re seeing companies use transformations to help standardize event names between new and old systems, connect previously siloed data, and more.
Simple UI to build a Destination Filter in a few steps
In 2019, we grew from roughly 350 employees to 500+. In March 2019, we launched our Denver office as a new hub for our Customer Success org with a plucky landing crew of 3. Since then, we’ve grown the office to 17 strong, and made 24/7 customer support possible.
Segmenters around the world
We saw similar growth across our other offices too. In April, we expanded our NYC office to a high-rise right next to Times Square. In November, we expanded the SF office an entire floor. And in November, our EMEA team in Dublin made its 50th hire! There’s never been a better time to join!
In February 2019, we launched the Segment Startup Program, to give early stage startups access to $50,000 in free Segment, and more than a million dollars in free software from companies like Intercom, AWS, and HubSpot.
We’ve onboarded 3,000+ startups into the program, and continue to add hundreds each month. More importantly, we’ve helped the next generation of startups make data-driven decisions powered with good customer data.
This year, we expanded our customer conference, Synapse, in a big way. We hosted a record-breaking 1200 attendees. We had two full days of talks from experts and customers, as well as a partner summit.
Main stage audience at Synapse 2019
Synapse was an opportunity to learn from the best, and we continue to be impressed by the level of depth and expertise that customers shared.
For example, it’s humbling to hear that Segment played a meaningful role in helping Allergan increase revenue by $250 million. We hope to share many more stories like this over the next year.
Full-page Wall Street Journal advertisement
We have come together with over 100 partners to cut through the noise and make sure that businesses know that there is an entire alternative ecosystem outside of their CRM suites.
There are alternatives that meet the demands of today’s customers, are flexible, and work together seamlessly, so that businesses can build customer technology stacks that are unique to their needs, versus a one-size-fits-all approach.
We rebuilt our documentation site
Our documentation is one of the most-visited parts of our website, and while it had grown organically over time, it was starting to show the strain. In late November we released an entirely new docs site, with a fresh, readable design, greatly improved information architecture, and better navigation. We also released new content in the form of an all-new intro to Segment, and some introductory guides tailored to different user roles.
In August 2019, we launched one of the more iconic startup campaigns on the market: “What good is bad data?” To highlight the importance of clean, accurate data, we staged a series of mixups that found their way into billboards across Austin, New York, Los Angeles, and more. You can read more about it here.
Our billboard in San Francisco
The campaign created quite the storm, as we saw tweets and Reddit posts shared from celebrities, friends, and customers.
Segment has the privilege of working with many different types of clients, including Fortune 500 enterprises to industry-specific small businesses. In every case, we want to build trust and show every customer our commitment to security.
Throughout late 2019, we completed our SOC 2 Type 1 attestation. I’m excited to share that this is one of many steps we are taking to continue to build trust with our customers.
Thanks to all who made the above possible. If you’re interested in helping us build the next wave of progress, we’re hiring!
Alexandra Agnoletti on March 5th 2020
Updated on March 12, 2020
Our focus remains on three main priorities: keeping the Segment team and families safe, helping contain the spread of COVID-19, and supporting our customers who depend on Segment. Below are the measures we’ve implemented toward these priorities:
As of Monday March 16th, all Segment employees in all global offices are either strongly encouraged to work from home or are mandated work from home. This recommendation follows the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus in every region where a Segment office is located.
We are also restricting all business travel, not just travel to certain locations. We continue to discourage all personal travel.
We recognize the period of transition that Segment is undergoing as we adjust to a fully-distributed workforce — we are providing manager workshops on how to manage remote teams and resources for our employees on how to stay healthy while working remotely.
As a cloud-based platform supported by a flexible, globally-dispersed team, we are able to continue supporting our customers with minimal disruption while transitioning to a remote workforce. Our internal tooling and business systems are comprised of industry-recognized cloud solutions that allow our team to effectively communicate and collaborate both inside and outside of our offices. We are continuing to evaluate our business continuity plans to best support our customers during the developing situation with COVID-19 and to further strengthen our resiliency for future unforeseen events.
This post will be updated as new developments occur. Original post published March 05, 2020.
Given the current developing situation with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Segment is acutely aware of its responsibility as corporate citizens to employees, customers, and the broader community. Here is how we’re approaching our responsibility to slow the spread of the virus and to keep conditions as safe as possible in all our global offices.
Segment has implemented the following precautionary measures, effective March 5, 2020:
We are allowing all employees to work remotely at this time and encouraging all SF-based employees to work remotely in accordance with the increased pace of the spread of COVID-19 in the region.
We are also requiring employees who have been to a CDC level 2-3 country within the past 2 weeks to work in self-quarantine for the amount of time recommended by the CDC.
For the safety of our customers, partners, and those in the interview process to work at Segment, we are moving live meetings to occur over video. In tandem, we are restricting all business travel to and from San Francisco and any CDC level 2-3 locations, as well as discouraging personal travel.
We are dedicated to ensuring business continuity for our customers while we take precautions to keep our employees and broader community safe and secure. Due to the nature of our business, we aren't expecting any disruption to the Segment service. We welcome any and all feedback you may have.
Calvin French-Owen, Geoffrey Keating on February 26th 2020
Geoffrey Keating on February 26th 2020
Aliya Dossa on December 19th 2019
This New Year’s Eve, businesses will be counting down to something more than just a new year. They will be counting down to the beginning of a new wave of consumer data privacy legislation in the Americas, starting with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) which goes into effect on January 1, 2020.
How prepared your company is will dictate whether you will be celebrating or scrambling when the clock strikes twelve.
Our focus at Segment is to help companies easily get their first-party data from where it lives to where it’s most useful for them, and subsequently to enable and deliver personalized experiences for their customers. But to provide an amazing customer experience, respecting consumer data privacy is key.
That’s why we have built a variety of products to help companies prepare for the CCPA — from Consent Management to help with the CCPA’s “Right to Know” and the “Right to Opt-Out,” to Deletion Request Management, to Data Subject Access Requests.
Here are the top five ways that Segment can help your company prepare for the CCPA.
Under the CCPA, consumers have the right to know what data is being collected about them at, or before, the point of collection. At Segment, we’ve built a couple of different solutions that can be used to help with this requirement.
Segment’s Open Source Consent Manager
Segment has an Open Source Consent Manager that anyone can use, free of charge. Better yet — it’s something you can set up in a single day.
The Open Source Consent Manager works by conditionally loading tools based on a user’s preferences. Segment makes sure that the user’s data will be sent to the tools the user consents to, and not sent to the tools the user does not.
Take the screenshot below.
If a user selects
no to opt-out from having data collected by
Advertising tools, the tools listed in that category (in this case, Adwords and Facebook Pixel) would not be loaded, even if the user selects
yes to opt-in for the other categories of data collection (in this case,
Marketing & Analytics).
If you’re already using Segment, your Segment Destinations will automatically pre-populate the
tools column using the default Categories they fall under. But what’s great about the Open Source Consent Management solution is that the Categories, Purpose descriptions, and tool-mappings are completely customizable. Your own teams can ultimately decide how to handle and categorize user consent preferences based on your own use cases and needs.
Learn more about how to use our Open Source Consent Manager here.
Integrating Segment with alternative Consent Managers
If you’re not using Segment’s Open Source Consent Manager, you can connect any alternative Consent Manager your teams use (like OneTrust or TrustArc) to Segment instead. This will enable your Segment Destinations (e.g. Google Analytics, Fullstory, etc.) to be loaded appropriately based on a user’s consent preferences.
To get started, you’ll need to map the alternative Consent Manager’s Consent Groups (usually integers from 0 through 4) to Segment Destinations and pass that mapping when you initialize analytics.js in your site header.
The CCPA gives consumers the right to opt-out from the sale of their data at any time. With the CCPA’s broad definition of “sale,” the sale of data refers to the sharing of certain cookies. You can use Segment’s Open Source Consent Manager to get one step closer to giving your consumers the ability to opt-out from the sale of data.
All you have to do is create a new Category for the tools that involve the sale of data — bearing in mind that whether or not a tool involves the sale of data ultimately depends on how you use the tool, and how your own company interprets what counts as selling data.
We recommend using a perpetual link on your site so users can access the Consent Manager to update their consent preferences at any time — not just at the initial point of interaction with your website.
If you would like to keep a running list of opt-outs, you can use Segment to instrument, and fire track calls any time a user clicks to opt-out from the sale of data. From there, you can use Segment to send those track calls downstream to a Data Warehouse (or any other tool in the Segment Catalog) and query it to pull a list of opt-outs whenever you need it.
Learn more about how to use our Open Source Consent Manager and how to create custom categories such as
Do Not Sell here.
Segment has also partnered with a handful of our Destination Partners (such as Intercom, Amplitude, and Braze) so that when you issue a user deletion request in Segment, we not only delete that user’s data from within Segment, but we also forward that deletion request downstream to some of your downstream tools.
The CCPA gives users the right to have their data deleted. With Segment, User Deletion and Suppression Requests can be handled through a UI or API, based on your preferences.
Learn more about how you can use Segment’s Deletion and Suppression Request Management features here.
Under the CCPA, users have the right to access information collected about them. You can streamline access requests (also known as Data Subject Access Requests or DSAR for short) using Segment.
With Segment, you can easily enable a raw data integration like S3 or a Data Warehouse to organize data about a given user, so that you can easily share it in a structured format if requested by one of your consumers.
Because of Segment’s powerful identity resolution engine and our Personas Profile API, you can more easily rectify user data knowing that user profiles and traits are automatically updated in Segment and in downstream tools whenever new information is received.
The foundation of any best-in-class data privacy posture begins with a strong Data Inventory. It means you can easily keep track of what data you are collecting, where you are collecting it from, as well as where you’re sending or storing that data.
That’s why we built the Privacy Portal for our customers to handle Data Discovery and Data Mapping on the fly — at no additional cost.
The Privacy Portal helps you automatically detect Personal Information, monitor it, and even block it from your downstream tools.
Learn more about how you can start using the Privacy Portal here.
The CCPA may be just around the corner, but Segment has you covered with a number of solutions that can help as we countdown to the new year.
If you have any questions about how Segment can help your company with getting ready for the CCPA, feel free to reach out to our team here.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. You should contact your own attorney to obtain advice with respect to the CCPA.
Special thank you to Audrey Kittock, Alan Kyle, Andy Schumeister, Geoffrey Keating, and Jonny Marsh for help reviewing and editing this post.
Josephine Liu, Leah Bro, Francisco Alberini on November 18th 2019
When you’re using great data across teams, you need to be able to keep track of what data is going where and be able to make quick changes on the fly. Our latest updates provide more custom views into your Sources and Destinations, the ability to transform data at the source, and environments that match exactly what each group within your company needs.
Here are the latest features, product updates, and integrations launched at Segment.
In order to help customers better organize and navigate all of the tools connected to Segment, we’ve created new Sources and Destinations pages. The new Sources and Destinations pages allow each user to decide what information appears in their personal view for each page.
New Source page
On both pages, you can click the stack icon in the upper right-hand corner of the table to see and select Source properties to show. You can select up to five columns of new properties, such as “Created At”, “Type”, “Category” and “Created By”.
Here are a few more Connections updates:
More powerful Salesforce Marketing Cloud destination: You can now use any
Track event or
Identify call to any API Event you’ve set up in your Salesforce Marketing Cloud destination. This means you can now trigger Journey Entry events, send SMS or email messages, and kick off Campaigns based on customer actions. You can get started in the Salesforce Marketing Cloud destination settings, under
Updated Braze integration: With our new client-side library, Braze middlewares, you will be able to avoid delivery of duplicate identify events and reduce your API calls. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in early access.
We recently launched Protocols Transformations so that customers can change data as it flows through Segment to either correct bad data or customize the structure of an event.
The next time you see an event come through with the wrong event or property name, you can easily apply an immediate fix—instead of having to wait for your next app release. And if you find yourself needing a way to change an event to satisfy a destination requirement, transformations are an easy way to map event and property names exactly how you need them. Learn more in our launch blog post.
Here’s one more Protocols update:
Tracking Plan Libraries: To help Protocols customers scale Tracking Plans within their organization, we launched libraries. Libraries allow you to create event or property groups which can then easily be imported to multiple Tracking Plans, making it much easier to scale consistent tracking across business units, apps, teams, platforms, etc. Learn more here.
These new features are available to all customers using Protocols. If you’d like to see how Protocols can help you protect the integrity of your data, request a demo today.
Customers can now permission Segment across multiple business units within one workspace using Label-Based Access Control. Workspace owners can then use custom labels to restrict permissions on user access, restrict which sources can be connected to a Personas space through a Connection Policy, and organize sources by viewing these labels as columns in the Sources page. Learn more in our Segment docs.
Label management now available to select customers
Here are a few other Permissions updates:
Require MFA across the workspace: Workspace owners can now enforce the use of multi-factor authentication for all users by clicking on “Advanced Settings” under the “Authentication” tab.
Custom Environments: All workspaces can now create up to five custom environments. Users can still use the default “dev” and “prod” options or add their own options, such as “QA”, “Staging” or “Testing.” Learn more here.
You can now subscribe to Personas activity in User Settings to be proactively notified when an audience is created, an audience or computation sync fails, or when a destination sync fails, among other activities. Not only does this help you create more visibility, but it also makes it easier for teams quickly identify and fix data issues.
Control your notifications for Personas updates
Here’s one more Personas update:
Connection Policies: To ensure that only dev data can enter a dev space, workspace owners can now configure the source labels that a Personas admin can connect to a space. For most customers, this will be restricting “Dev” sources to the Dev space or “Prod” sources to the Prod space. Workspace owners can configure this in the “Settings” page within the Personas space.
These new features are available to all customers using Personas. If you’d like to see how Personas can help you personalize every interaction, request a demo today.
We’re always making updates to Segment! To see everything for yourself, log in to your workspace.
New to Segment and want to learn more? Request a personalized demo.