Profiles Onboarding Guide
Profiles requires a Business tier account and is included with Engage.
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This guide walks you through the set up process for a simple Profiles space, which you can use if your Segment implementation is simple. If your implementation is complex, you can use this to demonstrate and test Profiles before working on a more complex configuration.
If you’re using Engage, visit the Engage Foundations Onboarding Guide for additional steps to create audiences, connect to destinations, and more.
Profiles configuration requirements
To configure and use Profiles, you need the following:
- A Segment account and Workspace.
- Events flowing into Connections from your digital properties where most of your valuable user behavior occurs.
- Profiles or Engage identity admin access. You must have edit access to identity resolution rules. You can check your permissions by navigating to Access Management in your workspace settings. See the Segment Access Management documentation for more details.
Step 1: Create a new Developer space
When you first start working with Profiles, you should start by creating a “Developer” space. This is your experimental and test environment while you learn more about how Profiles works. You can validate that identity resolution is working correctly in the Developer space, and then apply those changes to your Production space once you’re sure everything is working as expected.
This two-space method prevents you from making untested configuration changes that immediately affect production data.
Step 2: Invite teammates to your Segment space
You probably have teammates who help set up your Segment Workspace with the data you need. Invite them to your Profiles dev space and grant them access to the space. Navigate to Access Management in your workspace settings to add them.
Step 3: Connect production sources
- From your Segment space, navigate to Profiles Settings and click Sources.
- On the screen that appears, choose one or two production sources from your Connections workspace. Segment recommends connecting your production website or App source as a great starting point.
If the source you want to add doesn’t appear on the list, then check if the source is enabled. If the source is enabled, verify that you have set up a connection policy which enforces that you can only add sources with specific labels to this space. Read more about Segment’s connection policy here.
Tip: It sounds a little counter- intuitive to connect a production source to a developer space, but your production sources have rich user data in them, which is what you need to build and validate user profiles.
Once you select sources, Segment starts a replay of one month of historical data from these sources into your Profiles space. We’re doing this step first so you have some user data to build your first profiles.
The replay usually takes several hours, but the duration will vary depending on how much data you have sent through these sources in the past one month. When the replay finishes, you are notified in the Sources tab under Settings, shown below.
Note: Data replays start with the earliest (oldest) chronological events in the one month window, and finish with the most recent. Don’t continue to the next step until all replays are marked complete. If you do, the data in your Profiles data will be stale.
Once the Source(s) finish replaying, data from your connected Sources flows into Profiles in near real time, just like it does for sources in your Segment workspace.
Step 4: Check your profile data
Once the replay finishes, you can see the data replayed into Profiles using the Profile Explorer. You should have a lot! The data should include information from multiple sources and multiple sessions, all resolved into a single profile per user.
Before you continue, check a few user profiles to make sure they show an accurate and recent snapshot of your users.
A good test is to look at your own user profile, and maybe some colleagues’ profiles. Look in the Profile Explorer for your Profile, and look at your event history, custom traits and identifiers. If these identifiers look correct across a few different profiles (and you can verify that they are all correct), then you’re ready to create an audience.
If your user profiles look wrong, or you aren’t confident users are being accurately defined and merged, stop here and troubleshoot. It’s important to have accurate identity resolution before you continue. See the detailed Identity Resolution documentation to better understand how it works, and why you may be running into problems. (Still need help? Contact Segment for assistance.)
Step 5: Create your production space
Once you validate that your data is flowing through Profiles, you’re ready to create a Production space. Segment recommends that you repeat the same steps outlined above, focusing on your production use cases and data sources.
If you’re using Engage, view additional steps to complete your space set up in the Engage Foundations Onboarding Guide.
You can rename the Segment space UI name, but can’t modify the space slug. As a result, you can’t change the URL of a space.
This page was last modified: 21 Mar 2023
Questions? Problems? Need more info? Contact Segment Support for assistance!