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Hightouch vs Census

Hightouch is built for both data and business teams, with unique features no other Reverse ETL solution provides

By Zack Khan and Luke Kline on


As the very first company to coin the term “Reverse ETL”, Hightouch is paving the direction for data integration and the modern data stack. We have one focus and that is turning insights into actions by pulling data out of the warehouse and syncing it back into the native tools of business users.

Every feature we add and every decision we make is focused on simplifying the lives of data engineers and democratizing data for business users.

We were the first to release a visual audience builder and the first to have transparent pricing. As such, we will continue to set the standard for Reverse ETL and always be multiple steps ahead of Census.

Companies like Autotrader, Imperfect Foods, CircleCI, Lucidchart, Betterment and more continue to choose Hightouch over Census because we provide more observability and alerting, custom UI’s, configurable alerts, version control via Git, 70+ integrations, and transparent pricing.

1. Better features for data engineers

More Observability

Our live debugger logs all changes to rows and provides all the info you need (such as API requests and responses) to help you identify errors. Census does not have any debug capabilities so it is nearly impossible to determine why, when, or where a sync failed.

Configurable alerts

With Hightouch you can set up configurable alerts to get updated in real-time within tools like Slack, Datadog, New Relic, and Pagerduty every time you get a sync error. We include the ability to configure project-wide and sync-specific alerts for both fatal errors and row errors. This means you can have global defaults that make sense for your organization while overriding specific syncs that need a little custom love. You can also configure a minimum alerting interval to avoid sending too many alerts at once as well as thresholds on errors.

Version control via git

You can quickly revert issues and require approvals for necessary changes and apply bi-directional updates (see our blog post on Git Sync here). Every time you update a sync, a commit or PR will be made in your git repo. When you update configurations from your CLI, your commits will update in Hightouch as well. We also connect with services you already use such as Github, Gitlab, and Bitbucket based on git protocol. You can also require PRs to ensure all changes get approved and use deep observability to see all edits and roll back unintended changes immediately. (Git Sync docs)

More integrations

Hightouch has 70+ integrations, whereas Census only has 40 (all of which Hightouch already supports).

2. Better features for marketing, sales, & RevOps

Visual Audience Builder

Our Visual Audience Builder gives non-technical business users the ability to visually filter data on top of the models your team has built, creating self-serve audiences for performance marketing tools like Google/FB Ads, Sales CRMs, like Salesforce or Hubspot, and lifecycle marketing tools like Braze & Iterable.

Workflow automation

We uniquely connect with workflow tools like Asana and Slack to automate your internal processes (like a Slack feed of new customers that sign up, or alerts when customers become inactive).

Optimized user experience

Hightouch’s UX is custom-built for each integration, enabling you to more easily configure how you want your data to appear in your tools (unlike Census’s one size fits all design).

3. Transparent Pricing

Better yet, since we don’t base our pricing on destination fields, you can actually sign up and test out one destination for free, using it however you'd like. We also let you try out new destinations for 14 days at no charge. Destinations like Slack and Google Sheets are completely free.


Hightouch has better features for data engineers, marketers, and business teams. As we continue to forge the path for Reverse ETL, we will always be one year ahead of the competition.

You can learn more about Hightouch's features here: https://hightouch.io/data-features

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