Kashish Gupta: Democratizing Data Access Insights with Hightouch
In the latest episode of the Data Chaos podcast, I had the privilege of hosting Kashish Gupta, the co-founder, and co-CEO of Hightouch, a reverse ETL data activation and composable customer data platform SaaS company.🧑💼💻
Key conversation highlights include:
🔍 The complexities of managing chaotic customer data
🔧 Hightouch's engineering approach to creating a schema-agnostic product
🌐 The benefits of Snowflake for data management
🔨 The complexities of building a Customer Data Platform (CDP)
🧩 Hightouch's 220 unique data connectors to help customers synchronize their data to various SaaS tools, leveraging strong abstraction frameworks to simplify the process.
🎯 Hightouch's latest product line, the Customer 360 Toolkit
This episode is a gold mine for anyone looking to understand and navigate the chaotic world of customer data platforms. 💡
Don't miss out on the enlightening insights and practical tips shared by an industry expert. Tune in now! 🎧🎙️
(0:00:11) - Chaos and Entropy of Customer Data (7 Minutes)
I chat with Kashish Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Hightouch, a reverse ETL data activation and composable customer data platform SaaS company. We discuss the chaos and entropy of data in organizations, the difficulty in building a CDP or customer data platform, and the complexities of creating a true customer 360. Kashish shares his insights on the entropy of customer data and how Hightouch has built over 220 connectors to help customers sync data to their SaaS tools. He also talks about the ORM framework, strong abstraction frameworks, and how they enable developers to build integrations with minimal effort.
(0:07:12) - Data Abstraction and Schema-Agnostic Product (9 Minutes)
We discuss the challenges of data synchronization for modern and legacy products, and how Hightouch took an engineering approach to build a fully schema-agnostic product. We also explore the benefits of building a semantic layer and the ability for marketers to build visual queries without writing SQL. Lastly, we consider the implications of companies that don't have this technology and how it limits their ability to serve customers who are willing to pay for their services.
(0:16:10) - Snowflake Benefits for Data Management (9 Minutes)
Kashish Gupta and I discussed the potential of dynamic tables to unlock new use cases in Snowflake, the advantages of using Snowflake for streaming in and out of data, and how Hightouch has helped customers solve complex engineering problems. We also explored how writing data back to Snowflake can have a positive impact on democratizing data access for teams across an organization.
(0:24:55) - Build CDP With Hi-Touch and Identity Resolution (7 Minutes)
We explore how many companies are able to build a Customer Data Platform (CDP) in-house using existing engineering infrastructure such as Airflow jobs, AWS hosting, and Lambda functions. For those companies that are able to build a true CDP, it typically takes two years and a team of at least 10 people. For the majority of companies, they don't have the engineering resources to build a CDP and instead rely on ad hoc engineering work to maintain and update data pipelines. Hi-Touch's Customer 360 Toolkit was launched to help companies take this engineering work off their plate, providing them with identity resolution and a closer 360 view without the hassle of maintaining and reliability. We also discuss how Hi-Touch's solution works natively in Snowflake and Databricks, without the need for data to flow to Hi-Touch, and the potential of dynamic tables to unlock new use cases in Snowflake.
(0:31:57) - Data Integration in SAS (4 Minutes)
We continue our conversation with Kashish Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Hightouch, exploring the benefit of an abstraction layer to streamline data integration. Hightouch acts as the logic layer that helps transform data, eliminating the need for manual ETL processes. We examine the potential of dynamic tables to unlock new use cases in Snowflake, providing customers with a richer, continually updating data set. We also consider how the market is shifting to recognize the importance of APIs not just for data transfer, but also to instruct tools to do different things.
(0:36:00) - Building Trust With Customer Data (6 Minutes)
We discuss how Hightouch took an engineering approach to build a fully schema-aware UI for customers to gain insights into their data and how they sync it from one place to another. The importance of giving customers visibility into each step in the data pipeline is discussed, as well as how Hightouch provides an in-depth look at each row for debugging and capturing metrics. The potential of dynamic tables to unlock new use cases in Snowflake, as well as the advantages of using Snowflake for streaming ingestion, is explored. The benefit of an abstraction layer to streamline data integration and how it can help companies build a Customer Data Platform (CDP) in-house is also discussed.
(0:42:15) - Learnings From Launching an Identity Product (6 Minutes)
We examine the importance of customer feedback and how Hightouch took the feedback they received and turned it into a product offering. We explore the challenges that came with building an abstract solution that could work for any company, and the realization that it was possible. We discuss how the product is helping reduce redundant work and the overwhelmingly positive customer feedback that has followed the product launch. Finally, we look at the excitement of learning from customer use cases and continuing to iterate and improve the product.
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