How to decide between real-time and batch updates for your HubSpot integration

How to decide between real-time and batch updates for your HubSpot integration

If you're like most people diving into HubSpot integration, you're probably thinking, "Of course I want real-time updates. Why wouldn't I?" It sounds like a no-brainer to have your databases perfectly in sync at all times, right? But hold on a minute—there's more to this decision.

While real-time updates offer the allure of instant data syncing, they can also come with a hefty price tag in terms of middleware usage and costs. Batch updates, which might seem less glamorous, have many advantages, particularly when it comes to efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

So, before you jump on the real-time bandwagon, let's dig deeper into the real implications of choosing between fast and slow systems for your HubSpot integration. We'll explore when each approach makes sense, how they can complement each other, and what you really need to consider to make an informed decision.

Ready to break some misconceptions and make the best choice for your business? Let's dive in!

Understanding fast and slow systems

Not all HubSpot integrations are created equal.

Some are built for speed, offering real-time updates that keep your databases in perfect harmony. Others take a more measured approach, updating records in batches. Both have their merits and shortcomings, and understanding these can help you make an informed choice.

Fast systems

What are they?

Fast systems are designed for immediacy and are typically driven by webhooks. These systems ensure that your databases are continuously in sync, updating records in real-time as changes occur.

Pros and cons of fast systems

  • Pros:
    • Real-time syncing: Your databases are always up to date.
    • Immediate reflection of changes: No lag time means you're always working with the most current data.
  • Cons:
    • High middleware usage: Real-time systems often use more of your middleware resources
    • Increased costs: The extra workload can translate into higher operational expenses.

Slow systems

What are they?

Slow systems operate on a different principle. Rather than constantly updating, they use 'cron jobs' to gather and process data at specific intervals, typically updating large batches of records at once.

Pros and cons of slow systems

  • Pros:

    • Lower middleware usage: Batch processing is generally more resource-efficient.
    • Efficient API calls: Gathering data in chunks allows for more streamlined operations.
  • Cons:

    • Not updated as frequently: Your databases might not reflect the most current information at all times.

When to use a fast system

So, you're enticed by the allure of real-time data syncing. It's an attractive proposition, especially if you're dealing with time-sensitive or infrequently updated data. Let's explore the circumstances under which a fast system could be your go-to solution.

Time-critical data

Real-time updates shine when you're dealing with data that needs immediate attention—where every minute counts, and delays could lead to lost opportunities or even revenue.

Examples of time-critical data

  1. Lead notification systems: In sales, time is often of the essence. Having real-time updates means your sales team can follow up on leads the moment they come in, giving you an edge over competitors.
  2. Inventory management: Keeping track of stock levels in real-time can help you avoid over-selling items, especially during peak sales periods.
  3. Customer service inquiries: The quicker you can address customer issues, the better your chances of keeping them satisfied. Real-time syncing ensures that your customer service team has the latest information at their fingertips.

Infrequent updates

Counterintuitively, fast systems can also be a great fit when updates are rare but extremely important. Because the system is always listening for changes, you can be assured that infrequent but critical updates won't go unnoticed or get lost in a batch of other data.

When to use a slow system

Now that we've explored the high-speed world of real-time updates, let's shift gears and consider the more leisurely, but equally valuable, approach of slow systems. These systems excel in certain scenarios that might surprise you, particularly when you're dealing with large volumes of records or less time-sensitive information.

Less time-sensitive data

Batch updates are often more than sufficient for data that doesn't require immediate attention. This could be information that is valuable but not urgent, allowing you to benefit from the efficiencies of batch processing.

Examples of less time-sensitive data

  1. Sending updates to a data warehouse: Real-time isn't always necessary when you're dealing with large-scale data storage. Batch updates can be more efficient and less resource-intensive.
  2. Archival data: When you're dealing with historical data that is seldom accessed, the need for real-time updates diminishes.
  3. Employee records: Think of annual reviews, training records, or other HR-related information that doesn't require constant updates.

Handling large volumes of records

If your business operations involve updating or creating large numbers of records daily, a slow system might be your best bet. The batch processing approach can efficiently handle these bulk updates without overburdening your system resources, making it a cost-effective solution.

Combining fast and slow systems

You've seen the pros and cons of both fast and slow systems, and perhaps you're wondering, "Why settle for just one?" Good news—you don't have to!

Many businesses find that a hybrid approach offers the optimal balance between real-time responsiveness and the cost-efficiency of batch processing.

Why a hybrid approach?

A hybrid system allows you to allocate resources where they are most needed, combining the immediacy of real-time updates for critical data with the efficiency of batch updates for less time-sensitive or bulk information.

How to decide what data goes where

  1. Identify Time-Sensitive Data: Start by listing out all the types of data you handle and identify which are time-critical. These are your candidates for real-time updates.

  2. Assess Volume and Frequency: For data types that are updated or created in large volumes, consider using a slow system to handle them efficiently.

  3. Weigh Costs and Resources: Take a look at your middleware capabilities and budget constraints to decide the most cost-effective way to divide data between fast and slow systems.

By tailoring your HubSpot integration to include both fast and slow systems, you can create a more flexible, efficient, and cost-effective data management solution.

Making the right choice for your HubSpot integration

Choosing between fast and slow systems for your HubSpot integration isn't a binary decision, and hopefully, we've cleared up some misconceptions you might have had.

Real-time updates are undeniably enticing, but they come at a cost both in terms of middleware usage and, well, actual cost. On the other hand, slow systems offer their own set of advantages, particularly when you're dealing with large volumes of data or less urgent updates.

Key takeaways

  • Fast systems excel at handling time-critical and infrequently updated data, giving you real-time syncing capabilities where it matters most.
  • Slow systems are your go-to for large volumes of records or less time-sensitive data, offering a more cost-effective and resource-efficient approach.
  • A hybrid approach often provides the best of both worlds, allowing you to allocate resources more effectively and keep your databases in sync in the most efficient way possible.

The optimal solution often lies in a combination of the two, tailored to fit the specific needs and challenges of your business. So why compromise when you can have the best of both worlds?

How SpotDev can tailor your HubSpot integration for optimal performance

You've navigated the complexities of choosing between fast and slow systems, and perhaps you're wondering how to implement these insights into your HubSpot integration. That's where SpotDev comes in. We specialise in designing and building bespoke HubSpot integrations that fit your unique business needs like a glove.

Why choose SpotDev?

  1. Expertise: We bring extensive experience in HubSpot CRM implementation, migrations, integrations, and RevOps.

  2. Accredited by HubSpot: We're one of the first HubSpot Solutions Partners in the world to be recognised with the HubSpot Custom Integration Accreditation.

  3. No outsourcing, no offshoring: We promise never to outsource or offshore your work. If you engage SpotDev to deliver your project, then all the work will be completed in the UK by our PAYE employees.

SpotDev's approach

  • Diagnostic Consultation: We start by understanding your business processes, data needs, and the challenges you face.

  • Design and Build: Based on the consultation, we design and build an integration system that aligns with your business goals and data sensitivities.

  • Ongoing Support: Our job doesn't end with implementation. We offer ongoing support to ensure your integration continues to serve you effectively.

If you're ready to take the guesswork out of your HubSpot integration and want a solution that's both efficient and effective, SpotDev is here to help.

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