Why Houseware’s Product Analytics is Built Different

 Sidhant Gupta
Sidhant Gupta
 • 
June 26, 2024
Why Houseware’s Product Analytics is Built Different

In today’s landscape, every company operates as a digital product company, and analytics is essential where there’s a product. Product analytics grew alongside two significant trends: the proliferation of mobile apps and digital platforms (Airbnb was founded in ‘08, Uber in ‘09) and the emergence of the Product Manager role (Mixpanel & Heap were founded in ‘09, Amplitude in ‘12). Consequently, product teams began leveraging analytics to drive meaningful improvements, enhance user value, and increase revenue. Now, organizations across all industries recognize themselves as digital-first entities, necessitating an understanding of how users derive value across their digital experiences.

At Houseware, we embarked on our journey with a bold vision. We identified a significant gap in how most organizations approached their analytics portfolio and recognized the need for a substantial upgrade. Since our inception in 2022, we have been pioneering what we term the third generation of product analytics—one that is composable and seamlessly integrates across a company’s digital experience.

The shift in "product" analytics over the decades.

Over the past year, our approach has seen tremendous success. As the leader of customer deployments at Houseware, I want to share how our team built a robust, scalable digital experience stack for the next decade. If you’re implementing analytics for your digital products in 2024, read on—you’ll learn something new. This is our secret sauce, after all.

We'll cover the following unique elements of Houseware’s approach to analytics:

  • Analytics on the Cloud Data Warehouse
  • Uncovering Critical Cross-Functional Insights
  • Scaling to Billions of Users
  • Getting Closer to Users Through Real-Time Data Processing
  • Quick, Seamless and Collaborative Analytics Experience
  • Simplified Data Ownership & Localization
  • No AI Strategy Without a Solid Data Strategy

One key question is: Where should the analytics run? We chose the cloud data warehouse and adopted it early.

If I were to highlight one pivotal belief that underlies our strategy as a company and product, it would be our early and unwavering belief in cloud data warehouses. This initially unpopular choice proved to be transformative. Shortly after Houseware’s inception, we won the Snowflake Startup Challenge in June 2022, validating our approach with the endorsement of the leading data cloud in the industry. Why did we take this unconventional route?

Our customers highlighted the challenges in setting up their product analytics stack. Organizations wanted to activate insights and analytics on top of their own data, governed by them, to avoid vendor lock-in, hefty fees, and data silos. We termed this the composable stack for product analytics, providing customers the flexibility to choose their own CDP, utilize their preferred data warehouse, and benefit from their chosen product analytics tool. This ideal solution simply didn’t exist. In the 2010s, SaaS was built to centralize data with vendors, effectively making them gatekeepers of the value derived from that data. In 2024, customers reject this notion.

Here’s a clip from Spencer Skates, CEO of Amplitude, during the Q4 2023 earnings call. It echoes what we’ve been hearing from our customers since 2022.

As data warehouses became more accessible and capable of handling complex workloads, this trend began to shift. In a composable, warehouse-native architecture, SaaS vendors can now build applications that operate directly on top of your data warehouse, eliminating the creation of new data silos.

We are proud to see our approach become the de facto choice in our category. Amplitude recently re-platformed its product on Snowflake, and while Mixpanel isn’t truly warehouse-native, it is attempting to copy data into its own less effective data store.

But you may ask, “Do customers, especially those in product roles, choose products for their architecture?” I would be the first to say no. It is never just about the architecture; it’s about what this architecture enables in terms of providing better value. Houseware’s strategic decisions on a macro timeline have allowed us to deliver superior value. So, let’s delve deeper into what makes Houseware’s product analytics truly different:

Beyond Data Silos: Uncovering Critical Cross-Functional Insights

Product usage data alone rarely provides the full context customers deserve for digital experience. Organizations need access to cross-functional insights to guide business objectives as a Product Manager effectively. For example, by combining sales and product usage data, patterns can emerge about how the highest-paying users utilize the product.

Organizations can unlock more than product usage statistics from their cloud data warehouse. By integrating product usage data with information from sales and marketing channels, they can create a comprehensive picture of their customers’ digital experiences, ultimately driving better user value and increased revenue.

Missing insights in today's analytics landscape.

Houseware has pioneered a unique data model called Terra. Beyond event stream data about product usage, Terra integrates entities—distinct objects or items within your business that are not tracked as events, such as user transactions.

Check out our documentation to learn more about entities and how Terra operates behind the scenes. Unlike Mixpanel's lookup tables, Terra imposes zero limitations on data size, refresh frequencies, and the need for data engineering teams.

Integrate and analyze business entities seamlessly on Houseware.

Scale: Billions of Users? No Problem.

One of Houseware’s core strengths is its ability to manage event stream data with billions of rows and real-time streaming. Our data platform is optimized for top performance on data warehouses like Snowflake and BigQuery. Additionally, Houseware empowers customers to configure their setups, allowing them to balance user experience and cost based on their workload. Gone are the days when product managers had to pitch budget requests to CFOs, as seen in the video below.

Getting Closer to Users Through Real-Time Data Processing

At Houseware, one of our biggest challenges was delivering on the promise of real-time and interactive product analytics while using a data warehouse architecture. Digital experience teams must make swift, informed decisions based on the latest data. We leverage technologies such as Snowflake’s Snowpipe streaming with Hybrid Tables and BigQuery’s Dataflow for real-time streaming to ensure up-to-date data. Houseware allows customers to configure data freshness according to their use case, allowing updates from a few times a day to several times a minute.

Quick, Seamless and Collaborative Analytics Experience

Houseware’s architecture minimizes data latency and maximizes concurrency, facilitating collaboration and quick insights across teams. We achieve this through intelligent caching strategies at multiple levels—browser, application, and warehouse. Additionally, Houseware supports a multi-warehouse approach, where different workloads run on different warehouses, providing an unparalleled interactive user experience.

Simplified Data Ownership & Localization

Since Houseware runs on top of your own warehouse, your data always stays with you. This ensures that customers control the region where their data is stored. With the flexibility of their warehouse, customers can enforce their own data retention and governance policies to ensure data safety and compliance with all standards. Houseware’s SaaS product, with its composable architecture, is available and localized across all major geographies: North America, Europe, and Asia. With this, our customers in highly regulated markets & industries can scale confidently.

They say that users are your best evangelists. We can’t agree more. Hear what our customers have to say:

No AI Strategy Without a Solid Data Strategy

Agentic and AI systems are inherently non-deterministic. While chatbots and co-pilots serve as great user interfaces for Q&A, they often leave product managers with broken trust due to challenges in accuracy and reproducibility. At Houseware, we have long believed in the maturation of Generative AI (GenAI), launching iterative features as early as March 2023. Our users have guided us to think beyond co-pilots and chatbots, leading us to build an agentic workflow tailored for product managers.

Catch our co-founder, Divyansh, discussing agents at the 2024 Snowflake Summit. He shared a behind-the-scenes look at how our team builds agents capable of operating at a billion-user scale.

What’s next for Houseware?

We believe we are just starting, and our vision has never been more ambitious. In the coming days, you will see how Houseware is evolving to support and build the next generation of AI-powered digital experiences, essential for a world of endless possibilities. Stay tuned!

I would love to hear your feedback, thoughts, and questions. Feel free to reach out to me at sidhant@houseware.io.

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