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Data sharing and SaaS: strategy, pricing and more

In this post, we will walk through what data teams want from SaaS products, why existing capabilities are not meeting requirements, and breakdown how some of the biggest software companies in the world are building and marketing data sharing as their next big feature.

Steven Jacobs

Vice President of Marketing


The data your application generates matters. Product leaders at software companies have known this for years: almost every business software company offers analytics and reporting capabilities that allow customers to generate insights within the four walls of their app. 

What’s changed is that customers now want to access these data elsewhere. Over the past decade, businesses have built sophisticated data teams with even more sophisticated technology. These teams do not work in an individual app’s analytics tools; instead, they ingest data from multiple sources into a new generation of cloud data platforms (e.g. Snowflake, Databricks, BigQuery). They build dashboards, reports and models that draw on data from across domains, databases and applications.

Leading software companies have responded by expanding their analytics capabilities beyond in-app functionality. Companies like Braze, Hubspot, Stripe and Heap have launched new capabilities that enable customers to access application data instantly in their cloud data platforms with zero integration work required. These new “data sharing” offerings not only delight customers; they create substantial new analytics revenue streams that will only grow in an AI-powered future.  

Rise of data teams

If you sell software to enterprises, data teams are now part of your sales process (whether you see it or not). They might not show up on your calls, but they’re likely in the background demanding things from your champion or bothering your SE team once they sign. Chief Data Officers are now common in larger enterprises (think CISOs a few years ago), and they increasingly can influence buying decisions.

What do data teams want from software? For one, they want to spend less time wrangling data and more data analyzing it for insights. That means access to well-structured, freshly updated data products in the platform of their choice. One study found that data teams spend on average 70% of their time with a new dataset on prep versus only 30% conducting the actual analysis.

Why APIs aren't enough

But don’t we have an API? Sure, and your customers spend money and time each year to use it. The problem is that they’re not paying you. Instead, data teams pay integration-as-a-service (IaaS) companies like FiveTran and Matillion millions each year to ingest data from SaaS APIs into their data warehouse, lake or application. 

Data teams have to do this because APIs are not built for analytics. APIs were built to access transactional data to embed in other applications, not retrieve and update large analytical datasets. 

The power of data sharing

In 2017, Snowflake, one of the leading cloud data platforms, launched the first data sharing product. With Snowflake Sharing, a company can securely share a dataset to another Snowflake user outside their organization. What makes Snowflake Sharing groundbreaking is that the data never moves: the provider grants access to the data and the consumer simply see that data ready-to-analyze in their own Snowflake instance. That means there's no ETL work required for the customer to get started.

In the years since, every major data platform has built similar technology. Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift, Databricks and others have launched their own data sharing protocols, which offer more or less the same big benefits as Snowflake Sharing: access to external data without zero integration required.  

The business case for data sharing

Software companies have started to recognize the opportunity to expand their analytics offerings beyond in-app capabilities by offering native data sharing to customers. Companies like Braze, Hubspot and Heap have built successful new data sharing offerings that allow their customers to access ready-to-query natively in their cloud data platform (e.g. a cloud data lake or warehouse.) These offerings generate net-new revenue, further differentiate their products and win over data teams.

  • Create new revenue streams. Software companies typically offer sharing as a premium "add-on" that customers can buy in addition to a subscription. Data sharing can generate 15-20% incremental revenue on top of an existing subscription.
  • Turn data into a differentiator. Data teams are more powerful than ever. Turn blockers into champions by offering ready-to-query data in the platforms where data scientists and engineers work.
  • Improve your customer’s analytics experience. Your customers’ AI and ML initiatives depend on access to the data created in your app. Generate instant value by removing a major barrier to analysis and eliminating the need for costly third-party services.

Case studies: offering, pricing, messaging

Below, we break down the data sharing offerings from leading software companies. The case studies include details on the solution, the platforms (or “destinations”) they support, how it’s priced (where available) and how the company is positioning the offering to customers and prospects.


Who is Braze? Braze is a leading customer engagement platform that powers personalization and omnichannel marketing campaigns across email, SMS, in-app and browser-based messaging.

What is their data sharing offering? Braze offers two solutions for companies to access their data as part of a broader data sharing offering. 

  • Braze Currents (docs): Companies can use Braze Currents to steam data into cloud storage (Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, and Microsoft Azure Blob Storage). Currents delivers data to a customer environment as AVRO files, which a customer needs to load into a warehouse or platform.
  • Braze Snowflake Integration (docs): Braze launched Snowflake Sharing in 2020 as one of the early software partners. Braze customers that are on Snowflake can access their data via a Snowflake Sharing natively in their account.

What destinations does Braze support?

Data warehouses (docs)

  • Snowflake 

Data storage (docs)

  • AWS S3
  • Microsoft Azure Blob Storage
  • Google Cloud Storage

How do the position data sharing to customers?

  • “Break down data silos across technologies and teams.”
  • “Continuously send rich data from Braze to the leading data technologies your teams currently use.”


What is Heap? Heap is a digital insights platform that allows product, marketing and data teams to better understand customer behavior across their web and product journey.

What is Heap’s data sharing offering?

  • Heap Connect (site / docs): Heap launched Heap Connect in 2019 to allow customers to access behavioral data in their data lake and warehouse. Heap connect currently supports sharing into several of the data warehouses as well S3 cloud storage. 

What destinations does Heap Connect support? 

Data warehouses (docs)

  • Snowflake
  • Redshift
  • BigQuery

Cloud storage (docs)

  • AWS S3

How is HeapConnect priced?

  • Heap includes Heap Connect as part of their enterprise tier (“Premiere”) and as an available “add-on” for their “Pro” tier (pricing).

How does Heap position their offering?

  • “Centralize your data sources”
  • “Less time munging, more time analyzing”
  • Focus on insights, not pipelines


What is Stripe? Stripe provides a suite of APIs that power online payment processing and commercial solutions for internet businesses.

What is Stripe’s data sharing offering? 

  • Stripe Data Pipeline (site / docs): In 2022, the payments company launched Stripe Data Pipeline, a new offering that allows customers to access up-to-date data from Stripe in Snowflake and Amazon Redshift. 

What destinations does Stripe support? (see all):

Data warehouses

  • Snowflake (Deployed on AWS)
  • Amazon Redshift

Cloud storage

  • Not supported

How does Stripe price their data sharing offering?

  • Customers pay 3¢ per transaction to enable the feature. There is no additional charge to access data in an individual warehouse (pricing).

How does Stripe position their data sharing offering?

  • “Set up your pipeline in minutes—no data engineering required”
  • “Save the time and resources required to build and maintain an API integration”
  • “Get answers faster with centralized data”


What is Mixpanel: Mixpanel is a product analytics platform that helps businesses understand how users interact with their websites and apps by tracking and analyzing user actions and behaviors. It provides insights and tools to improve digital products and make data-informed decisions.

What is Mixpanel’s data sharing offering?

  • Mixpanel Data Pipelines (docs): Data Pipelines allows users to continuously export events in Mixpanel to several cloud storage and data warehouses. Mixpanel allows users to export events as either JSON files to cloud storage or “schematized” tables to both cloud storage and data warehouses.

What destinations does Mixpanel Data Pipelines support?

Data warehouses  (docs)

  • BigQuery
  • Snowflake

Cloud storage (docs)

  • Amazon S3
  • Google Cloud Storage
  • Azure Blob Storage

How does Mixpanel price Data Pipelines?

  • Data Pipelines is included as an “add-on” (20% of core bill) for Mixpanels paid plans, which are all based on the number of events processed. (pricing)

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