When talking about marketing automation and data, most people instantly steer towards the demographic data going into the platform to create marketing campaigns. However, an often-overlooked aspect is the data being amassed by their marketing systems themselves. This engagement data can provide invaluable insights into your customer actions, behaviors and intents. Luckily, many of the well managed marketing software vendors of today have thought through this and created pre-configured APIs for porting this engagement data to different systems.
In the case of Braze, their mechanism for porting engagement data out is called Currents. It’s an add-on feature they developed for effortlessly exposing event data to an array of 3rd party systems. This includes Data Warehouses, Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), and Analytics Platforms.
To help illustrate things, we’ve outlined how to connect Braze to an Amazon S3 bucket.
Prepare to Launch:
As you begin your journey of integrating your Amazon S3 bucket, make sure you have charted your course to:
Enable the Currents feature on your Braze Account – ask your Braze Customer Success Manager if you’re unsure
Secure an AWS account and have administrative access
This is required for creating the S3 bucket to be associated to Braze along with configuring the necessary roles and policies for access to land your Braze data
Secure a resource with a Braze administrative account
Braze Admin access is necessary to perform the Currents configuration within the Braze interface
The first thing you’ll want to do is to setup the AWS S3 bucket for capturing all the event data from your Braze App Group. Make sure you get all the meta data, like BUCKET NAME, from the new S3 bucket recorded somewhere.
The next task is to start the configuration of the Currents feature within Braze. To get to the Currents configuration page, navigate to Partner Integrations and then click on Data Export:
If Currents is enabled for the target app group in your Braze account, the +Create New Current button will be activated and displayed. Click that button to start the process. Choose Amazon S3 Data Export and this will display a couple options for setting up the integration.
In this guide, we’ll focus on the use of the ARN (Amazon Resource Name) option. You’ll notice that once you click on the bullet for AWS Role ARN, the Braze Account ID and Braze External ID will be auto populated with values that you will use in the next step.
Pro Tip: Write the Braze Account ID and Braze External ID down before you move on!
Once the AWS S3 bucket has been created, and the Braze Currents configuration has started, it’s time to create a security role (via the AWS IAM Portal) that Braze will use to access the S3 Bucket. This role should have the appropriate security policy assigned that gives the assigned entities the privileges to access the S3 bucket utilized by the Currents feature. It is very important that when creating the role within AWS, the role creation route taken must be through the AWS Account. It is during this process where the Braze Account ID and Braze External ID are populated as provided by Braze (see above Pro Tip!). Ultimately, this step should generate the Role ARN that is needed for the Currents configuration within Braze.
Now that the AWS Role ARN is available, navigate back to the Currents integration configuration in Braze. Here you’ll need to populate the following fields based on the information collected along the way:
AWS Role ARN
AWS S3 Bucket Name
AWS S3 Bucket Folder (if applicable)
It is recommended to Enable Encryption as well
Charting Your Course:
With the storage repository for events all set up, you’re ready to define what events to capture to further your understanding of customer behaviors. There are many organizations that believe “you can’t have too much data,” but then get lost trying to find the right data in the tsunami of information they created. Don’t get caught in the “paralysis by analysis” net!
Let’s talk strategy. Before finalizing your event selections, have a discussion with your stakeholders about what data you need to achieve their marketing goals and KPIs. Just because you have the data available to select doesn’t automatically make it the right choice to take it.
Once events are decided and selected, the final step is to click on the LAUNCH CURRENT button.
When the Currents feature has been launched, it will take about 15 minutes for data to start landing in the target S3 bucket (assuming there are active campaigns running that directly relate to the events captured). After data starts to land, the observed data transfer frequency has been clocked in at every 5 minutes. Let the data flow!
It’s clear to see that Braze’s Currents feature is a key utility needed to get granular event-based customer behavior out of Braze and into other parts of your marketing technology ecosystem. And while it may seem overwhelming to set up, it actually requires very little configuration for integration. There are several partner platforms that have pre-made connections to Currents. If you’re not seeing an obvious path forward to capture your event data efficiently, let us know, we’d love to help you achieve success.
If you liked this article, then you might also enjoy our video on removing duplicate customers from your Braze database here.