The PRQL: Auto Tracking in Product Analytics with Ken Fine of Heap

August 21, 2023

In this bonus episode, Eric and Kostas preview their upcoming conversation with Ken fine of Heap.


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Eric Dodds 00:05
Welcome to The Data Stack Show prequel where we replay a snippet from the show we just recorded. Kostas, are you ready to give people a sneak peek? Is? Let’s do it. Okay, fascinating show with Ken from Heap. Kostas, I think my big takeaway was his answer to my burning question around auto track. And this story around the Heap founders commitment, over a long period of years, to actually make that a viable solution with all the engineering problems involved was a fascinating story, right? I mean, you have security concerns, because you’re auto capturing all of this data, you have severe gross margin problems, because of the amount of data that you’re actually collecting, right? When you have to put that somewhere. And so compression issues, and I mean, pretty wild. And then you actually have to make it usable for someone and you’re talking about, you know, truly a firehose of data. And they’ve done it really well. And that was just a great story. Of course, the engineering parts are interesting. But the commitment to a vision by the founders, especially the technical ones, was really a great story. I mean, definitely a must listen to.

Kostas Pardalis 01:35
Yeah, I found that was saying, it was a very, like, extremely fascinating conversation. But we have many different levels. I agree about auto drugs. And you know, like, auto track is like one of these interesting problems, because it’s extremely easy to implement. I mean, at the end, like, all you need to do is like, just capture every change on the DOM tree. But it’s extremely hard to make it work at the end for the user. Yeah, like, it’s, there’s like, a huge distance between, like the basic engineering work and what needs to be done on top of that, in order like to make these feature like something that actually works for everyone. So that’s one thing. The other thing that’s, I keep, like from the, they’re like, two other things that like I keep, like friendly conversation with him. One is the part where with this, we were discussing about this whole process of going to the market states in the past couple of years where like, we have like this boom of like, all these tools coming out there. And how now, we’ll be getting into lighting environment where we will see more integrated solutions instead of like, all the difference, like every possible feature being the product control. And she gave us like some very interesting insights there. And the other thing is what he she talked about, like the different types of people that are needed, at different stages of the building of a company, right. And I think that resonates a lot also like with the founders of Heap, right. And that part was like, extremely interesting. I’m not going to share more because I think like, that’s like the least interesting what he has to say. But it was like, very insightful for me.

Eric Dodds 03:39
Yeah, I agree. Also, a great tidbit for anyone interested in what it would be like to be a product manager slash engineer for submarine technology. That was a really crazy story. So definitely take a listen, subscribe if you haven’t lots of great episodes coming up. And we’ll notify you and your favorite podcast app. Tell a friend and we will catch you on the next one.