Connections is Segment’s core product offering: you can collect event data from your mobile apps, websites, and servers with one API, then pull in contextual data from cloud apps like your CRM, payment systems, and internal databases to build a unified picture of your customers.
What’s a Source?
In Segment, you create a source (or more than one!) for each website or app you want to track. We highly recommend creating a Source for each unique source of data (each site, app, or server), though this isn’t required.
Sources belong to a workspace, and the URL for a source looks something like this:
You can create new sources using the button in the workspace view. Each source you create has a write key, which is used to send data to that source. For example, to load
What’s a Destination?
Destinations are business tools or apps that you can connect to the data flowing through Segment. Some of our most popular destinations are Google Analytics, Mixpanel, KISSmetrics, Customer.io, Intercom, and KeenIO.
All of these tools run on the same data: who are your customers and what are they doing? But each tool requires that you send that data in a slightly different format, which means that you’d have to write code to track all of this information, again and again, for each tool, on each page of your app or website.
Enter Segment. Do it once!
We eliminate this process by introducing an abstraction layer. You send your data to us, and we understand how to translate it so we can send it along to any destination. You enable destinations from the catalog in the Segment App, and user data immediately starts flowing into those tools. No extra code required!
We support many categories of destinations, from advertising to marketing, email to customer support, CRM to user testing, and even data warehouses. You can view a complete list of our destinations or check out our destination page for a searchable list broken down by category.
What information can I see on Sources and Destinations pages?
The Sources and Destinations pages allow each user to decide what information appears in their personal view for each 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 properties.
The following information is available for Sources:
- Created At
- Created By
On the Destinations page, you can choose among the following properties:
- Created At
You can then sort or filter each column to just the values you care about, by clicking on the arrow next to each displayed column.
What is a Warehouse?
A warehouse is a central repository of data collected from one or more sources. This is what commonly comes to mind you think about a relational database: structured data that fits neatly into rows and columns.
In Segment, a Warehouse is a special type destination. Instead of streaming data to the destination all the time, we load data to them in bulk at a regular intervals. When we load data, we insert and update events and objects, and automatically adjust their schema to fit the data you’ve sent to Segment.
When selecting and building a data warehouse, there are three questions to consider:
- What type of data will be collected?
- How many data sources will there be?
- How will the data be used?
Relational databases are great when you know and predefine the information collected and how it will be linked. This is usually the type of database used in the world of user analytics. For instance, a users table might be populated with the columns “name”, “email address”, “plan name”, etc.
Examples of data warehouses include Amazon Redshift, Google BigQuery, MySQL, and Postgres.
Questions? Problems? Need more info? Contact us, and we can help!