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Segment launches Data Lakes To Simplify CDP Complexity
by Daniel Newman | September 10, 2020

The News: Segment, the world’s leading customer data platform (CDP), announced the launch of Data Lakes, a new data architecture product built specifically to help companies create cutting-edge customer experiences with their customer data. Flexible, affordable and easy to use, Segment Data Lakes provides companies with the foundation needed to produce advanced analytics, uncover rich customer insights, and power machine learning and AI initiatives. Read the full news on MarTechSeries.

Analyst Take: As I’ve been watching the data conversation rapidly shift more toward CDP, Segment is proving to be a company with serious ambition.

The announcements of its new Data Lakes architecture focuses on the complexities that most companies are facing when trying to do more with their data. Essentially, the fragmented, multi-schema, distributed nature of data means a lot of data goes untapped for companies. The idea of Data Lakes appears to be all about simplifying those complexities.

Zoom with margin

Initially, Segment Data Lakes will be built on Amazon (AWS), but the company does intend in the coming months to expand to also support Microsoft Azure. I envision other clouds will follow based upon customer demand and popularity.

Perhaps more interesting, is the way Data Lakes work, to provide a “Data Warehouse” layer for users eliminating a lot of the manual work for data engineers. Segment Data Lakes does this inherently, which is one of the key benefits of a data warehouse.  It can then break down what is typically unstructured data and creates a schema that is accessible via a metadata store – AWS Glue Data Catalog in this case.

The system continuously monitors event logs to infer from the schema and then use the data to create new tables and columns in Glue Data Catalog. From here data is further partitioned by day and hour to significantly reduce the amount of data which needs to be scanned to return even faster query results–This is a very important capability to work with larger, more complex data sets.

Overall Impressions of Segment Data Lakes 

In the end, it is about better use of data with less effort. Segment Data Lakes is addressing these two needs allowing data engineers, teams and organizations to:

  • Unlock richer customer insights with less effort
  • Reduce time building and maintaining their data lake
  • Optimize data storage and compute costs
  • Future-proof architecture to build the fundamentals for machine learning investments

I firmly believe that customer data is essential to delivering exceptional products and experiences, but since data lakes are difficult to build and maintain, few businesses have the architecture in place to truly make the most of it. Therefore, as a data lake built specifically for customer data, I feel that what Segment is planning to deliver with its new Data Lakes provides the foundation to unlock complex use cases like machine learning and advanced analytics, so businesses can do more with their data and power deeper personalization of the customer journey.

Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice

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Image:  Segment

Daniel Newman