Scope of Snowplow

Hey everyone,
I am neither an analytics expert nor a snowplow user at this point - but might become one.
I stumbled upon Snowplow in my search for a tool to make sense of data that is captured from an application written in Qt, an interface for an entertainment system. I am looking to grab events from that GUI and analyse them, in order to improve useability of the system. I am aware that this will most likely need custom hooks in the source code of the GUI, but am wondering if Snowplow can help with the “Backend-Work”, namely sorting that data in databases and create recipes to analyze it.

Can anyone point me in the right direction? Where do I start? Is Snowplow suitable for what I am looking to do?

Any help is kindly appreciated!

Best regards,

Hi @ljorzick,

I think it might be helpful to take a look at the image on this overview page.

In terms of collecting data, a quick search tells me that Qt is for app dev in C++ - so you’d use the C++ Tracker. If it’s another language you might want to look into one of the many other trackers.

The idea behind Snowplow is that the data quality work is done up front - either you’re tracking standard events, or you define the event up front, so by the time it lands it’s usable in the database (with a lot of additional data added via the enrichment process).

So in terms of what you refer to as backend work, you should be able to just aggregate over the data straight away if you’ve set up your tracking and event definitions properly.

You might get an idea of this from the web data model, the documentation for which has an overview of this kind of aggregation structure, and the SQL to do so for a simple page-views based web model to show you what’s involved.

Finally it might be helpful to set up a Snowplow Mini instance and send some data - it’s pretty easy to set up and then you’d get first hand experience of what you get with Snowplow data (but you won’t get the data in a database).

I hope that helps.



Hey @Colm,
thank you so much - that is more than I had hoped for. I’m away from my desk for the day, but I’ll get right started on Monday and follow up on your links. I’ll get back to this topic if I get stuck :slight_smile:

Have a great weekend and thanks again!

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Hey Colm,
I have looked into your links and tried to set up a mini instance - but can only seem to find instructions to set it up at AWS or GCP. Are those the only possibilities? Or can I also utilize a simple ubuntu server?

Thanks again for the assistance!


No, Snowplow is only available on those platforms at present. It’s opensource so you could try to amend it to work elsewhere, but that sounds like far too much work for just testing it out - I think Mini is small enough to fit on a free AWS account without charges so that should be pretty straightforward.

Yepp, that’s true. I just had my hopes up, because I read release notes regarding the packing of Snowplow Instances in Docker containers…
Well, I’ll go the route of a free aws instance and try it out, but for my future use I’m gonna need an isolated environment anyway. But for now: one step at a time!


It might be possible via Docker, I don’t understand the tech sufficiently to say for sure to be honest. :slight_smile: