A Composable Approach with Tealium: An Architecture Discussion for Customer Data Management - Tealium (2023)

The beauty of Tealium is its flexibility. You talk to 10 Tealium customers and 10 of them will tell you that Tealium's flexibility is amazing. As Brian P. stated in the Tealium AudienceStream G2 review profile, "Overall, AudienceStream unlocks a powerful and flexible environment for fine-tuning user journeys, making them specific to each user's journey and known attributes. Very Getting close to fabulous personalization at scale.”

When you use Tealium, you reduce dead-ends in using data to generate value.

The same can be said for the concept of composable architecture for your tech stack.Gartner defines composableAs follows: "Composable business means creating an organization composed of interchangeable building blocks." And further added, "Composable business is a natural acceleration of the digital business that you live in every day. It allows us to provide all that is needed in these interesting times. required flexibility and agility,” said Daryl Plummer, Distinguished Vice President Analyst.

Recently a popular saying "Composable CDP", has become a promotional term for vendors offering one component of an overall CDP solution. The use of this term can be confusing and imply that a packaged CDP cannot achieve a composable architecture. This enables these vendors to Solutions that are value but promise maximum flexibility compete in a hot market. While some packaged CDPs may lack the flexibility to enable a composable approach, this is not the case with Tealium. Ultimately, modules are obtained from one vendor rather than multiple There are some significant benefits to the function of customization.

For any composable architecture strategy, it's important to understand scope; how far should modularity and interchangeability go? If computing workloads run more efficiently on other platforms, then a multi-vendor "composable CDP" can certainly benefit from analytics and audience building capabilities that are components of external systems such as enterprise data warehouses (EDWs) or Lakes. The same goes for storage; if storage volumes are available on external platforms, does it make sense to store CDP data on those platforms rather than paying for additional storage through CDP?

Tealium's position on a composable architecture for customer data management is that the component modules should include:

  1. data collection:Technology to automate and manage data collection should be independent of the CDP. Tealium achieves this composable aspect because its event data frameworks (Tealium iQ Tag Management + EventStream API Center) are truly interchangeable. Tealium customers can choose any tag management, file management, API streaming solution they prefer, including the OOTB capabilities that Tealium provides in the Customer Data Hub (CDH).
  2. Profile/Audience Management and Activation: Some composable CDPs advocate that the CDP calculations reside outside of the CDP itself; in other words, the SQL queries used to calculate profile changes and audience criteria satisfaction occur on external systems. While this might make economic sense, it raises questions about how to do real-time identity resolution on the device/source (the EDW won't be able to connect to the device in real-time). It also questions what the actual role of a composable CDP is if it is not analyzing or managing audiences. This should be validated as many proponents of Composable CDP don't consider the real-time use case mandatory, they see it more as a separate identity resolution process that can simply be resolved outside of the EDW and updated later it.

    Regarding activation, it can be argued that no-code API activation systems benefit from being a modular piece of the puzzle. This will only be the case if the modular option for the no-code API is less expensive and more functional. None of these projects resonated with Tealium; in Tealium's case, the no-code APIs were provided free of charge to our customers, and Tealium's management of these APIs was managed by a team of enterprise-level business development, engineering, technical education and support organized by personnel. This makes the idea of ​​forming an external vendor for Activation moot for many, if not most, enterprise customers.
  3. storage: A composable CDP premise with storage managed by an external provider is suitable. Tealium does allow other platforms to store data that is first collected and then continuously collected and enriched over time. Tealium provides this composable technology for free; both event data and audience data can be routed to any EDW, Data Lake or Lakehouse. Tealium will keep a copy of the latest profile state and audience state in its CDP database to ensure real-time capability, but this is not to be confused with the cost of greater storage requirements.

Tealium will offer a licensable solution for the necessary "CDP Data Retention" under a separate pricing model than its "Historical Data Storage". Historical data storage can indeed be licensed from Tealium (the solution is called DataAccess and offers storage in S3 and Redshift, as well as additional features such as Data Insights for analytics and reporting and Integrated Audience Building at no additional cost), or Any of our customers can choose their own storage endpoint.

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How does Tealium Customer Data Center compare to Composable CDP?

Tealium's modularity is composable in nature. Functionality in Tealium is modular, interchangeable, cloud-based, and increasingly accessible through APIs. This allows us to build solutions that make sense for our clients' unique data environments and internal skill sets, ensuring maximum use of Tealium's own components while maximizing the use of systems integrated with Tealium. While Tealium's solutions are, of course, designed to work together, the goal is value. Tealium's modularity enables our customers to take a composable approach to building their technology stacks in a way that makes sense in the context of their own diverse data ecosystems.

Let's compare "Composable CDPs" (Defined by vendors using this term) to composable methods powered by Tealium.

The diagram below explains how Tealium's packaged CDP solution compares to the capabilities that make up a "composable CDP" from 6 different vendors:

What Composable CDP Providers Show You (click to enlarge):

A Composable Approach with Tealium: An Architecture Discussion for Customer Data Management - Tealium (1)Segmentation:

supplier 1

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Vendor 1 is the computing and storage capabilities of the customer data itself and, for all intents and purposes, represents what people think of when they think of a CDP. It is important to note that customer data is computed and stored differently than historical datasets (see Vendor 5). Tealium as a packaged CDP is best suited to the fact that customer data storage and computation is a real-time capability that is "composed" and separate from Tealium's historical data processing and storage technology. Tealium is a single CDP technology platform that manages only the most recent datasets available for profiles and audiences for increased efficiency, aligned with historical data in the data warehouse.

As a supporting anecdote: most CDP vendors don't segregate compute and real-time storage within the CDP itself, because doing so has negligible value (i.e. cost savings don't make sense in most cases).

Providers 2 and 3

Vendor 2 and Vendor 3 are fully modular in Tealium, as in the "Composable CDP" scenario; for example, Tealium works with customers who choose alternate tag management, file ingestion, and streaming data collection technologies. However, there are significant advantages (heard of garbage-in, garbage-out?) to integrate collection natively with activation...or in other words, always "connected" to your "collection".

supplier 4

In composable solutions, this is often a very technical tool that only technical resources have access to. However, business users have a stake in identity resolution and customer modeling, and siloing them ultimately leads to poor experiences and inefficient operations.

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supplier 5

This is the CDP system and Tealium's historical data store, which is composable. Tealium offers DataAccess as a way to execute BI use cases on Warehouse or Lake (S3 and Redshift are the platforms used with Tealium); alternatively, customers can choose any Warehouse/Lake/Lakehouse for this purpose, Tealium provides data synchronization and Built-in integration for webhook templates.

supplier 6

This is the data activation component of CDP. Tealium offers its own set of data activation APIs, no-code interfaces, and direct event and audience integration out-of-the-box at no cost, which should alleviate the need to write this article. Tealium is the leader in the activation space and the reverse ETL approach is a technique that can be used if desired, in addition to using Tealium's activation marketplace. In many cases, one will find that Tealium's integration is superior to outsourced integration, as this is a discipline within Tealium managed by a dedicated team of engineers, business development and educators, to which independent vendors have difficulty matching output .

While the Tealium Connector Marketplace is not considered composable as it cannot be used outside of the Tealium platform, Tealium customers are free to use any integration they want for any platform. To this end, data from Tealium's CDP can be routed to any platform in real-time, or customers can choose to have their integration platform of choice simply pull data from a warehouse designated by Tealium as storage. Both options are free, the option of using Tealium's built-in integration is more attractive because of its ease of use, and the downside of unnecessarily complicating a business application of this nature.

What does Tealium's composable approach look like?

Hopefully it's clear from the above that the answer is indeed, "it depends". Tealium's modular, componentized architecture means there are multiple configurations based on our unique ecosystem of adding value. For simplicity, let's look at 2 scenarios. One is where we leverage only Tealium's real-time event data infrastructure, and the other includes the full suite of Tealium customer data centers.

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First, in a schemaTealium's event data frameworkReal-time data collection and distribution are being utilized:

A Composable Approach with Tealium: An Architecture Discussion for Customer Data Management - Tealium (2)Tealium can be used directly as a no-copy event data pipeline to unify event data collection and management

in the framework of the exploitComplete Tealium Customer Data CenterFor customer data management, we recommend an approach as shown in the diagram below, which ultimately provides similar capabilities to the "Composable CDP" above, but without sacrificing real-time data and trusted partners, which can become a support nightmare:

A Composable Approach with Tealium: An Architecture Discussion for Customer Data Management - Tealium (3)Additionally, Tealium has the inherent flexibility to perform customer analytics and experience orchestration with or without Tealium's infrastructure offerings.

Ultimately, we believe the composable approach supported by Tealium has more advantages than a "composable CDP" built with 5-6 or more vendors. These include:

  • Complete pipeline accessible to business teams– Composable CDP component systems are technically complex and create new silos.
  • Powerful real-time use cases– Composable CDP systems fail to deliver true real-time use cases, reducing flexibility to adapt to customer expectations.
  • Faster time to value– Rather than cobbling together 5 or 6 systems, work with a single vendor that can deliver end-to-end value.
  • Improve operational efficiency– Cross-system governance should not be underestimated.
  • Flexible optimization to add value– A "composable CDP" approach means swapping in and out of new systems within a single ecosystem, rather than maturing over time.
  • Mitigate risk of consent, identity, etc.– It’s not worth the risk in a world of increasing regulatory requirements and heightened expectations for privacy. Tealium comes with purpose-built consent management capabilities.
  • Trusted Strategic and Support Partner– Setting up a solid strategic route and troubleshooting issues between 5 or 6 suppliers can sometimes be complex and downright impossible.

As always in a diverse and rapidly changing CDP environment, selecting the right provider can be harder than it seems. Make sure to consider your team's skill set and ultimately the use cases you want to empower (not just now, but in the future) during the selection process.

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