Skip to the main content.

39 min read

What is HubSpot Operations Hub? Feat. Nick Carbone (HubHeroes, Ep. 21)


When bright orange sprocket rolled out the HubSpot Operations Hub in 2021, they did so while underscoring one of the most common challenges that companies face as they grow. Even with the best laid plans and intentions, as you grow, your systems can and will break if you don't set the conditions for them to grow along with you. 

🎧 Related episodes:

As systems break, productivity plummets as teams are left scrambling and reacting, as they triage what's no longer working. Everyone is too busy chasing revenue and "crushing it" as they swing to smash their goals out of the sky to fix what's no longer working. So, while everyone is "doing the best they can" and "failing fast," the operational chaos continues to multiply. 

Sure, nothing is technically on fire, but what was once a (marginally) well-oiled machine now looks more like Frankenstein's monster. Basically, it's every company founder's worst nightmare, right?

"Congratulations, you're actually 'growing better!' Bad news, nothing works anymore!"

That's where the HubSpot Operations Hub comes in ... 

... at least in theory. 

In reality, when HubSpot unveiled this new hub, some were left scratching their heads. Not because the hub isn't valuable. Quite the opposite. The problem (if you can even call it that!) is the HubSpot Operations Hub a horse of a different color.🐎

πŸ’₯ Go Deeper: Why Go HubSpot? (Free Ultimate Business Growth Guide)

Instead of driving qualified leads, closing deals faster, and improving customer delight (like the other hubs), the Operations Hub is all about data and processes β€” things that can feel a little less urgent and sexy at first glance, especially if your bottom line is barking at you for attention.

Still, sexy or not, if your operations are all out of whack, growing will always be a painful and costly experience. And that's precisely why we invited Nick Carbone of HubSpot to talk through what HubSpot Operations Hub actually is, and whether or not it's worth your investment.

Here's what we cover in this episode ...

  • What does the HubSpot Operations Hub actually do ... and how is it like an HVAC system in your home?
  • What do you need to know about the three Ps (platform, process, and perspective) β€” the driving philosophy behind HubSpot Operations Hub?
  • Why does our gang consider HubSpot Operations Hub to be the most underrated part of the HubSpot stack?
  • When should someone get the HubSpot Operations Hub? Do you dip your toe in the water now, or is it smarter to wait a few years down the road?
  • Do you need a developer resource (in-house or outsourced) to have HubSpot Operations Hub work for you?
  • Why does data quality matter so much to your organization? And how is it costing you big time if it's not something you're prioritizing?
  • Why was discovering the business and data sync in HubSpot Operations Hub was a totally life-changing moment for me?
  • Why should anyone be excited about the HubSpot Operations Hub?

And that's only the beginning! 


Bottom line, if you're not prioritizing the health of the data your teams depend on, your business will suffer. Marketing will suffer, sales will suffer, service will suffer. Even if you don't take the leap with HubSpot Operations Hub, embrace this mindset shift. We're more dependent on technology and automation than ever; don't let a failure to adapt undermine all of the incredible work your people are doing. 



Intro: Do you live in a world filled with corporate data? Are you plagued by silo departments? Are your lackluster growth strategies demolishing your chances for success? Are you held captive by the evil menace, Lord Lack, lack of time, lack of strategy, and lack of the most important and powerful tool in your superhero tool belt, knowledge. Never fear hub heroes.

Get ready to don your cape and mask, move into action, and become the hub hero your organization needs. Tune in each week to join the league of extraordinary inbound heroes as we help you educate, empower, and execute. Hub heroes, it's time to unite and activate your your powers. Before we begin, we need to disclose that both Devin and Max are currently employed by HubSpot at the time of this episode's recording. This podcast is in no way affiliated with or produced by HubSpot, and the thoughts and opinions expressed by Devin and Max during the show are that of their own and in no way represent those of their employer.

George B. Thomas: Alright, ladies and gentlemen. First of all, it's a very, very, very, very, very sad day. That's right. You have to listen to me a little bit more on this episode than you typically have for the last, I don't know, 4, 5, 6, 7, something like that. Because, unfortunately, it's the guys club today.

Liz is not here with us, but I am super excited that we have Nick Carbone. We're gonna get into who you are, what you do, why you do it, Nick. But first of all, the topic of today's podcast is HubSpot operations hub. And do I have some thoughts? Anyway, let's go hit right?

I'm telling you, Max, I have that stick of dynamite. I'm a lob it up in the air here in a minute. But before I do that, Nick, why don't you explain to the hub heroes who you are, what you do, and why, really, it's important to you as a human to do it.

Nick Carbone: Yeah. Thank you for having me, first of all. I'm very excited to, to be in this room, on the guys episode. But I'm Nick Carbone. I am the go to market manager for Operations Hub.

What that means is I'm kinda like the bridge between our product teams and the rest of the business. So as we build new product, iterate on existing product, and kind of refine our go to market motion, it's my job to kind of, like, tie all those different threads together, make sure the right teams are talking to each other, and just kinda be that bridge between the product team and the rest of, like, the HubSpot universe. So think like, you know, our own sales teams, marketing teams, service success partners, just all kinds of teams that need to be in the loop. I also help, of course, with, like, bringing these actual things to market. I help with the launch strategy, executing on that.

So, that's a little bit about what I do. Why I do it? It is really, really, really energizing for me, so I get to work on new cool stuff all the time. I am rarely working on the same thing for more than a week or 2 at a time. My days can be different, and they are different every single day.

So for me, that is super, super energizing. So that's a bit about why I do it aside from just working for HubSpot, which is really cool. I love this company, so it's good to do that. But, personally, it's energizing for me as well.

George B. Thomas: Oh, Nick. Nick, you should know that we play a disclaimer at the beginning of the actual episode to the fact that you guys work at HubSpot and that your thoughts are your own. So it's nice that you said that you love to work for HubSpot as does every HubSpotter that ever gets on the podcast. We love working here. Now here's the thing.

Before I do throw the stick of dynamite around operations, how about, and kinda kick this conversation off, I do also, Max, need to address the elephant in the room. First of all, Max, are are are you feeling good about yourself today?

Devyn Bellamy: Sure.

George B. Thomas: Okay. Well, that's a good answer. It took you a hot minute to figure that out, but I'm glad that you said sure. Because I just want you to know for, like, the last 5 to 7 minutes before you and Devin got into the, you know, green room, the studio area here, I was actually consoling Nick because when I asked him who his favorite superhero was, he said Batman, but that's already Max. And then he started to cry.

And so I had to, like, let him know that we'll figure out another superhero for him because Max, the bully, took Batman away from Nick.

Max Cohen: Well, he can be Robin if he wants, I guess.

Nick Carbone: Well, can I can I say why I was upset? Not only because Batman is my actual favorite superhero, but I thought it would have been a really cool analogy between, superheroes and ops and, like, ops folks and my persona. I think there's a lot of similarities there, between Batman and, operations people.

Max Cohen: Do I need a new hero then? Should I should I grant that one upon Nick?

George B. Thomas: Well, no. My question is we should ask the the hub heroes, the community, should we allow there to be, like, there were 3 Spider Men? Should there be, like, Batman from other, like, multiverses allowed to come in to the hub verse? That's what. So, audience, you're listening to this.

Should we have multiple heroes from different hub verses show up and make appearances? You gotta let us know. Use the hashtag hub heroes podcast. Alright. Now let's get into this real reason we're here.

Devyn Bellamy: Hold on. I got 2 times on this real quick. We can have more than 1 Batman because there has been more than 1 Batman. This is true. You can totally be Adam West Batman while Max is Christian Bale.

Nick Carbone: Why did why does he get the coolest out of Batman?

Max Cohen: Good question.

Devyn Bellamy: Hey. I'm a huge fan of the Adam West bright

Max Cohen: and I would

Devyn Bellamy: take the Adam West one.

Max Cohen: We gotta switch it up a little

Nick Carbone: bit. But Okay. Well, I'll take I'll take Nolan's Batman then for sure.

George B. Thomas: Oh, that that's too funny. Alright. So here's the deal. We're here to talk about operations hub. K?

And the stick of dynamite that I have been waiting all week to just launch into the room is that we called it operations hub. K? So we got marketing hub. We got sales hub. We got service hub, and, and the world is trucking along just fine.

Hub Landy is like, yeah. Let's go. And, then operations hub comes out. And I'm I'm gonna tell you the number one question I got at that point in time was this. Where's the hub?

Where where where's the hub? Because, fundamentally, when it was released, you didn't really see, per se, a set of tools that were operations tools because they were kind of, like, I don't know, incognito, already there, part of something else. Okay, HubSpot employees. Go.

Devyn Bellamy: I got an opinion on that. My thing with Opshub, Opshub isn't so much like a hub in the traditional sense where you, like, see a whole new corridor of your house opened up. To me, it's just an added level of functionality across the board that does things that an ordinary suite wouldn't previously have been able to do. And if you have it in the right hands, you can make HubSpot stand up and dance.

George B. Thomas: Oh, I like when HubSpot stands up and dance. Max, what are your thoughts? And then we're gonna kick it to Nick.

Max Cohen: I mean, isn't it beautiful that it's not a totally different piece of software? Right? And, like, if you think about HubSpot. Right? It's one of those things where, you know, like, how do how do you even define where a hub starts and where it begins?

Right? And and it really plays into that narrative that I love that, like, HubSpot grows with you. Right? And why make you get stuff that you don't need yet. Right?

If you think about it, operations hub, a lot of the times those tools really aren't going to come into place until a certain point in a company's, like, level of complexity. Right? Until a company only grows to be so complex when it needs to connect all these different outside systems, when it needs to do much more specific things than, like, basic automation can do, things like that. You know, but the good part is, it's just like another one of those things that, like, enhances the thing that you already have versus, like, a whole different, like, you know, chunk or piece or separate platform that you have to then learn. Right?

So, you know, you could kinda make that same argument that, like, a lot of the other hubs kind of, like, blended in this one thing, but that's why I kinda think it's, like, you know, a a a beautiful thing. Right? But, Nick, I'll let you get your thoughts on it.

Nick Carbone: I have a lot of thoughts. I do like Devin's analogy about a house. And what what I'd say about operations hub is it is like the wiring, maybe your HVAC. It's like all the stuff that's gonna make you comfortable to, like, the point where if it's working well, you shouldn't notice it. Like, it should just be, hey.

Like, I've got faster Internet and nothing lags. Hey. I've got, you know, the right temperature. I've got no hot spots, no cold spots. You know, I've got enough power through all of my my outlets or, you know, enough amperage or whatever to to power all these new devices or new things I have plugged in.

So that's kinda how I think about operations hub. It does exist in the background, but, to build off of Max's point, having those upgrades is gonna be crucial for folks, that get to it to a certain point whether with their house or or with their CRM implementation.

George B. Thomas: So it's interesting. You're still going so Nick goes wiring, HVAC. Devin, you said plumbing. I'm sitting here thinking, like, I am so surprised. And I'm a by the way, Devon, I'm about to speak your love language just for a hot minute.

I was like, I am so surprised that Devin didn't just say operation makes your home a smart home. Yeah. See? I knew that was gonna happen as soon as I said that. Like, it just takes everything and makes it a little bit smarter.

It is that underlying element. But here, you guys, by the way, ding ding ding, you pass. Nobody exploded. The dynamite was a dud. Great answers, but we have to back up 50,000 foot.

And, Nick, I want you to take this one first because there are going to be people listening to this podcast who have been using HubSpot for maybe years, but haven't even really thought about using Operations Hub. There's gonna be people who tune into this podcast and aren't even using HubSpot because they're on the journey trying to figure out a HubSpot right for their company. And so just answer the question, what the heck is HubSpot Operations Hub, and what problem or problems was it designed to solve? Yeah.

Nick Carbone: That is a great question and one I am prepared to answer, luckily. So, Operations Hub was built to solve for 3 different things and to kinda help folks do 3 different things. We call those the 3 p's, and this is kind of our product philosophy behind Operation Sub. So it's platform, process, and perspective. And those 3 p's, we feel are things folks should be paying attention to, really at any stage in their journey.

So whether you are a 5 person company or a 1 person company or a 500 or 1000, person company, you're gonna care in some way about platform process and perspective. So to kinda break that down very quickly, platform is connecting systems. So I saw today actually earlier a stat that, like, the average company is using 240 something different apps potentially. So we wanna make sure that as much of that is connected to your CRM, to your source of truth as possible. Can we stand up an efficient process for the folks working inside HubSpot or working inside any CRM, really, if we're thinking more holistically, just to do their jobs, and then ideally, can we automate that stuff wherever possible?

And then the third thing is perspective. So we've got all of our systems connected. We've got a good process in place. We're generating data from, like, our customer interactions, whether that's in person, whether that's on our website, whether that's from wherever. Who knows?

Can we use some tools, and can we get good perspective, from all that data, do a bit of reporting, get a bit of insight to drive better business decisions? So Operations Hub is a tool that layers on top of other hubs, on top of the platform, again, to help with those 3 p's, so platform, process, and perspective.

George B. Thomas: I love that so much in the perspective one. I don't know if you noticed. When you when you said that, my ears perked up because I was like, where is that one going? The other 2, I was like, okay. Totally get it.

I love the fact that we're focusing. And when I say we're, I mean, you guys at HubSpot are focusing on better ways to see the data and make intelligent decisions quicker, to be able to move businesses in the right way. Now what I am curious, though, Max and Devin, now that you have heard for probably maybe the 100th or 2 100th hundredth time, those 3 p words. Is there something that has been, oh, wow. That really wasn't what we thought or what we meant, but people are doing these things as well.

Like, what is there a shocker involved in kind of what operations hub is for some companies or or folks that you've talked to?

Devyn Bellamy: Not me personally, because it's such an open ended hub. There's so much that you can do with it once you add it on and and have, a developer who is comfortable building things out. At that point, the world is your oyster, and it's a matter of just imagining how to use this tool to fix your problem. It's such an effective multi tool that can help in so many different sections of the business from, simple things like, you know, housekeeping and database management and data cleanup to integrations. Super important.

And making it so you don't have to use a third party tool to do it, where you can create these custom integrations and custom callouts, and you can add automation to workflows. And your workflows are so much more powerful when you have operations up. It's like we do this thing with HubSpot partners, called Impact Awards, where we're looking at ways people are using HubSpot's products to innovate and create new solutions for customers. And and it's unending. Like, there there are 100 of, people who submit every year, and it's just when you add in that layer of ops hub, that's

Intro: just

Devyn Bellamy: one or one, like, entire toolbox of apps that you used to have to use to get stuff done that you don't have to do anymore. You can do it all within your system. And so as far as being surprised, I guess you could say constantly surprised because people are able to now bend the CRM and the data within, to their will at a whim using this new hub. New ish. It's not really new anymore.

Max Cohen: I don't know if I'm, like, shocked, but I think the the I I keep stumbling upon, like, all these new possibilities maybe I've never thought about before. When it comes to these different tools and operations have especially when you can kind of like think about how they pair well with other tools that like already exist in HubSpot. So like for example, like, you think of something like business units, right? Which is not a operations hub thing, it's a it's a marketing hub tool. Right?

But the implication of, like, business units is that, hey, there's a possibility that you have multiple teams from multiple brands, some of which may or may not interact with each other, some of which may have a deep or not so deep understanding of the data structure inside HubSpot, or may not have a whole ton of control over how things are set up. Right? And that can turn things like reporting into, like, a total nightmare. Right? But you pair that situation with something like datasets.

Right? All of a sudden, you have this ability to do data enablement. Right? So what do we mean by data enablement? Like, what if all those different teams, whether it's the sales team from brand a or the marketing team from brand b or the marketing team from brand c or, like, whoever it is, those people controlling HubSpot are able to, like, enable those folks with sets of data that's only relevant to their business unit, pre filtered, the properties that are only relevant to them.

So those folks spend way less time being confused about all these other properties or where these big chunks and swaths of data are coming from. And they're able to go in there and just use the data that's relevant to them. Right? And not having to worry about how they're filtering and chopping and eliminating and and and cleaning the data before they get to use it. Right?

And they don't have to have that deep understanding of the data structure. Right? So while, like, you know, that specific scenario is, like, a little bit more nuanced, you start to see these, you know, other different use cases when you're thinking about how people are using existing tools and how this can be like a nice supplemental layer on top of it. So, you know, thinking of those use cases as they come along is always really exciting.

George B. Thomas: Yeah. So I gotta pause for a minute because I I am loving, right now, playing the role of Liz, because I am watching Nick and as Max is talking Nick leans in. He leans in a little bit more. You can see he starts to itch and twitch. He's like, okay.

I'm ready, boss. Put me in. Like, I'm I'm ready. Wanna get in this fight. So, Nick, I already know where your brain is going.

Dude, what's the deal with datasets?

Nick Carbone: Yeah. So, I mean, if I can call it the most underrated tool in HubSpot, I I think that might be a fair a fair thing. I see Max Max nodding. So datasets does 2 really cool things. Well, overall, it's gonna add a ton of power to to reporting, but we really wanted to do 2 different things.

Number 1, we wanna enhance the amount of customization you can build into a report. So think of things like calculations, function and formula library, conditional logic into calculations that you can then use downstream in custom reports. So we're adding power there, adding customization, all kinds of cool stuff. But the second thing it does, to kinda talk about Max's data enablement point that he made a second ago, it makes reporting easier for end users of custom reports. So if you have a different team, like, say, a marketing team or a sales team or just someone that doesn't wanna have to root through an entire CRM's worth of data every time they go to build a custom report, Datasets solves for that.

We give you basically just a prepackaged little bundle of properties, filters, calculated properties, all that kind of stuff, and then you build your custom report off of that super, super easily.

Max Cohen: Remember remember when you said I want users to spend more time on the golf course than whatever? Datasets is great for that because now that admin or whoever owns reporting can basically just build people the pre built sets of data they need to go and do reporting on their own. And they don't have to go and like choose the data sources, add the right filters, do the right thing, like whatever every single time. Right? So it's like, you know, even at its most basic form, you could look at it as like a time saving tool for people too as well.

But it goes so much like, further and beyond that.

George B. Thomas: Well, I think too when I think about that, 2 things come to my mind. Hey. We got partway through the podcast without me saying it. But 2 things come to mind. 1, I think whenever I'm teaching the custom report builder, the amount of stuff that people can see is paralyzing to them.

And so any way to, like, decrease that and streamline what they're actually working with, I think, is a bonus. The other thing too, because we mentioned calculated properties a couple times in there is, man, I wish I could create a and maybe I'm stupid. Somebody, audience, if I am, please let me know. I wish I could create, someday in the very near future, a calculated property that I could actually tell it to spit out as a currency number. Anyway, just gonna throw that out there because I have Nick on the podcast, and I can say it.

Alright. But let's go ahead and get into the actual reason why people are here, and that is, one of the things that I battle against, Nick, and I've said it on many of the episodes, is sometimes I feel like HubSpot hubbed themselves to death. Like, we don't need another hub. Why are we, like, hub this, hub that? But here's the thing.

What I'm really curious because, obviously, it it was important because it got created. Why did HubSpot decide to tackle operations as part of its suite of hubs or hub strategy, if you will?

Nick Carbone: Yeah. It's a great question. I think if I could answer it in, like, one sentence, it was, and it is still to us, the importance of rev ops as a field and as a stakeholder, among our other personas. So we think about marketing, sales, service especially, and then CMS to an extent, but then operations. We want all of those folks to be seen as equal, like stakeholders, equal participants, and we wanna recognize them with their own hub and their own set of tools because we believe that their role, and what they solve, and what they're they're working on is important enough to warrant its own hub.

Max Cohen: Well, I think it also just makes sense too because think about it. Like, not not all small businesses have operations teams. Right? They've got the the front office secretary, the the owner that just knows how to do everything, the the the the sales guy who's like also in charge of marketing, like, you know what I mean? They don't have, like, you know, formalized operations, roles, or teams until they kind of grow into a size and complexity that necessitates it.

Right? So it's like, why make people buy a whole bunch of stuff at the beginning when you don't need it. Right? Again, I think it it makes sense that it's in the philosophy that it's something you can grow into when your business calls for it and it has a need. Right?

Which I think makes sense to kinda separate it from other things, because it's not gonna be relevant for everybody. Right? Especially when we look at the smaller end of the SMB, you know, customers that we serve and things like that. So

George B. Thomas: Well, so then that makes me ask the question, is it always an additional add on and if you're not enterprise or like, unpack that a little bit because I don't want people to get confused of, well, should I start off with operations hub, or should I get 3 or 6 months or a year down the road and then bring in operations hub? Like, unpack that kind of, like, cloudiness a little bit.

Max Cohen: Well, yeah. Let's think about what it even does at the free level. And I and I'll let you guys tell me in a second. But, like, at the free level, you got all these data sync avail like, integrations available to you. Right?

And if you think about, like, what's like a basic maybe I need my, you know, this app to talk to HubSpot and just like share some basic contact information between people. Right? I'm sick of like exporting and importing stuff. You know what I mean? And, like, you can do that free.

Like, the free version of Operations Hub that everybody has access to is the simple fact that data sync integrations exist and you can use them. Right? If you gotta use them at, like, a much deeper level, right, and getting into, like, custom field mappings and all this other wild stuff, that's when you kind of, you know, start investing into it a little bit more. Right? But, you know, it is there is really important parts of it are accessible to everybody.

Nick Carbone: Yeah. If I could chime in. You mentioned something before, Max. Everybody has someone that's doing operations. So I think it's important to call out, like, if I I hit you guys over the head with the 3 p's again.

Everybody's thinking about those things. You don't have to be super sophisticated and have an ops team, ops manager, ops director, right, to be thinking about platform process and perspective and to have needs that could be solved for by any of the operations. Tiers.

George B. Thomas: So this one, I I love this question, and I love Devon's like, no. I don't have anything, for this particular one. But I do think that Devon will chime in here quite quickly. Because you look at the space. Right?

You see what everybody's kind of doing, what they're trying to do. What do most people not understand about HubSpot operations hub that you're like, come on. Just just get it. Will you just get it?

Devyn Bellamy: For me, it's the fact that when it comes to the capabilities, it's such it it it's a lot of functionality, but at the same time, it's kind of also a blank slate where what you can use is is talented as whoever developer you can get into the workflows tool. And it's just like I'm gonna talk about the workflows tool and operation of the lot because there is so much so much more that you can automate and craziness that you can do using workflows once you get the operations hub. And, I think that's I have a methodology when it comes to whatever tools I'm using for whatever I'm doing. I don't I think about the tools last. I think about the problems that need to be solved.

I think about the steps to solve the problems. And then in prior times, you would need to, you know, maybe finagle and and do things that are kind of unorthodox in order to get your growth platform to do what you want it to do, the comfortable as you want it to go. You you don't have to think that way anymore. Now it's like, okay. I have this problem I wanna solve.

I have this thing I wanna do. Operation stuff. Oh, well, you know, it's done.

George B. Thomas: Yeah. Nick so, actually, let me just say this because it's interesting. Devin, I'm paying close attention to you today, by the way. That's the second time that you've mentioned the word developer in operations hub. So I'm gonna come back to a question of, do you need a developer if you're doing operations hub?

But we'll get to that in the future. I still wanna let Max and Nick, I'm gonna go to you next, answer this question that we're standing on, which is what do you wish people would just understand? Like, you get it pertaining to operations hub.

Nick Carbone: Yeah. You you teed me up, actually, because what I was gonna say is, the one thing that I would like shout from the top of the mountain is you don't need a developer to use all the features in operations hub. It helps tremendously. I'm not I'm not undervaluing or underselling, the importance of, like, having a developer to use, like, custom code actions or webhooks or something like that, But there's, like, half a dozen features in operations hub that require absolutely no coding experience and no developer time or resources whatsoever. So that's that's my one big thing.

Max Cohen: I think the big thing I kinda wanna say is that it's not as scary as it looks. Right? Like, when you if you go and look at the pricing page of operations hub, you're gonna see a bunch of stuff, but just like a lot of the other hubs that each one of those tiers there's there's there's a lot of stuff that, like, also comes in the same tier of, like, another product. Right? That's, like, necessary for you to have.

But the unique stuff in operations hub is actually pretty simple. Right? Like, again, we talked about the free version. That's just datasets. I mean, not datasets.

Data sync. It exists. You can use those integrations. Right? The paid version, same thing, but you can do custom field mapping now.

Right? Pro is like a, giant upgrade to the workflows tool. Right? It gives you one additional workflow type, that's scheduled option, which is really really infinitely useful. And then you've got formatting data, custom code workflow actions, and and trigger webhook within workflows.

Now you might say, oh, that's only 3 things. But that's 3 things that can do almost anything. Right? It literally turns workflows on god mode. Right?

Like, you can do so much. Like, I always call the custom coded workflow action the nuclear button for workflows. Right? It's like, oh, does an action not work quite the way you want it to? Well, you can code it to do whatever you want.

Right? There you go. You know, and then when you think about enterprise, the Snowflake integration and data sync. That's it. Right?

Very simple tools, but a ton of power behind it. It's not so scary once you understand the basic parts. I did also miss in pro, there's the, the the data quality command center, which is a total godsend for folks who are, like, stepping in to maybe clean up a portal that's been a bit neglected for a while. Right? Or someone who's, like, managing a portal with a lot of data going in and out.

A lot of people have been using it over years, and they wanna start to really wrangle their data structure, how they have their properties set up, how information is getting in and everything, and the health of all that stuff. You know, so there is a lot in there. But, again, it's not that many things from the volume perspective, but what they can do for you is, like,

George B. Thomas: crazy. So I wanna dive in there for a second because I wanna talk about data and data quality. But before I do that, what's interesting, and maybe I just didn't hear it and it was said, But I believe one of the other things, at least when it was launched, there was some conversation around custom coded chat flows as well. So we we haven't mentioned that. It's still a thing that people could be paying attention to.


Nick Carbone: Yeah. Totally. So we have, in Pro, Max alluded to it, custom coded workflow actions, which is a blank template inside of a workflow where you can write JavaScript or Python to do pretty much whatever you want, and then we have webhooks. So sending or retrieving data from a 3rd party system, those both exist in chat flows too. We don't talk about them too much, honestly.

There are there are more use cases

George B. Thomas: it can. But let's get to what I feel like is gonna be a very interesting conversation, especially knowing the 4 of us on this podcast right now, is I wish people would understand the moment that they say to themselves or hear these things. If you've said to yourself, man, this data is dirty, or if you've heard your team say, well, I just can't trust the data. I wish you would understand that your brain should go, operations hub. Right?

So, Nick, can you just kinda wax poetic about data quality? Is it really that important? Just give us your thoughts on that whole ball of wax that so many businesses are jacking up.

Nick Carbone: I mean, my short answer is it's super important. But for the longer answer, it's I I kinda think it sucks that so many people have just accepted, either poor quality data or data of an unknown quality as a fact of life. They just kind of build in this margin of error to their reports, and they'll present a report to somebody, or they'll run a workflow, and they'll just be like, well, you know, that's an error. That's a number I can live with. You know?

That's this is fine. Or, you know, they'll have to, like, caveat the report they're showing in a meeting because, hey. We can't trust all the data for x, y, and z reasons. So I don't like that. I do like clean data, and that's kind of something that we're focusing on now in operations that we launched a suite of features at the last inbound.

It was very cool. We got, like, the rock star treatment on on the center stage, with, with crafted data management. This project we've been working on all these all these features, but, basically, we wanna do 2 things when it comes to to data. We want to make sure we are preventing bad data from getting in in the first place. So think of things like property validations, not exclusive to Operations Hub.

They fall under our our kind of umbrella, though. So think about preventing bad data from getting in that way or with a better import experience. And then we wanna monitor and clean data over time. So we're gonna accept the fact that, unfortunately, hey, no matter what we do, somebody's gonna fat finger, or, you know, either on our end or when they're filling out a form on our site, something like that. So we're gonna have to do things over time to actually, like, monitor and clean this data, after it's already in the system.

And that's where operations hub really comes in with the data quality command center, with bulk dedupe, with our format data tool, or with our our our our formatting or our AI powered formatting recommendations, I should say. So we're kinda thinking of, like, the the whole holistic solution here, and just, again, trying to make sure that people realize there is a better life out there for them. They don't just have to live in this world where they accept the fact that that half of them half of their CRM data isn't trustworthy.

George B. Thomas: So Javier's audience, I'm gonna have to get video versions of these out somewhere where you can watch them eventually because Max literally raised his hands to the data gods above. Devin was vigorously shaking his heads. Devin, what are your thoughts that like, to what Nick said or your own thoughts when I asked that question of data quality and its importance.

Devyn Bellamy: Alright. So, PTSD. I'll just talk briefly about when I inherited, a, HubSpot CRM at a company I worked at years ago, and, they said that they wanted to clean it up because it had spiraled out of control. So many people had their hands in it. So many people entered data differently.

Hey. I'm gonna do all caps. And just everything was everywhere. And the it was like when Nick said it got to a point, like you just accept that some of the bad is that is bad. At that point, it was like they didn't even know what they had.

Couldn't make heads or tails of it. And and it was my job to fix it. And, stop me if you've heard this one before. But what I did was I exported the entire database and then started working in Excel. And I I cleaned up the database.

I did all of our funky little deduplication, all of our, fun little, fixing, formatting, everything. And just really did a good job of cleaning up the data manually over the course of weeks. Heads down. Children wondering where dad is. Just so I can import this, CSV that is megabytes and it's like all of that for someone to screw it up again, so I have to do it again in 6 months.

And it was pain. It it it it it hurt. And just from being able to say, this is how many of this we have that did this thing. It was so painful. And then it, I just, just so many people out there have horror stories.

And and not just in HubSpot, just in general. Since databases were databases. I having to go through and and just maintain your your your data hygiene is just like it can become a full time job if you're not careful. Especially, like, George said, people with fat fingers or people who just, oh, this is the way I always gonna do it. I'm gonna do it this way.

Maybe you should've put the customer service team in, office instead of a cubicle, and I would actually care about what the data looks like. It was it's like this is I've seen it happen in so many different places across so many different systems. It's not a unique to our product problem. It's a unique to the human beings using it problem and it's something that you're just gonna have to constantly fix. And if I had had Operations Hub back then, not only would I have gotten it done infinitely faster, my children would have seen me at night, but also I could have continued maintaining the database, continued maintaining our database hygiene without having to do a full on basically a sprint.

It's it's it's just wrong. We we should end it. I I feel like I wanna wanna start like a commercial and have in the eyes of the you know, just have that playing in the background.

Nick Carbone: During the meetings for, like, developing those features, we're actually listening to snippets of calls from folks like you, Devin, who had those horror stories. And the running joke that I we always talked about was, like, we need Sarah McLaughlin over these voice overs where it's, like, somebody hired an intern to do 37 hours of, you know, deleting extra white space at the end of a text string or something like that. But no.

Max Cohen: I I was gonna say, Devin, when when they handed over the portal, did it look like one of those dogs from the commercial? And I that's all I could think of when he said that.

Devyn Bellamy: It it was it was more like you're just standing in front of a house after hurricane season. You just got your hands on your hips looking at what used to be.

George B. Thomas: I have to thank you, Devin. I have to thank you because I mean, I know I did just start my business 7 months ago, but now I've officially know. Either what I'm gonna turn my side hustle into or when I retire another business I'm gonna start. And that is I'm just gonna become a dirty data therapist and allow people to just voice their opinions of the the horror that they've been at. But, Max, the entire time that Devin was, like, going down memory lane and and viscerally getting pissed off at, like, that he had to go through this thing, you were dying.

Like, what was going through your brain?

Max Cohen: Because I was just picturing someone making a repeat property for, like, the 3rd time going, oh, I'm a do all caps. And just having, like, just like the 3rd property that says address, but it's, like, all caps.

George B. Thomas: Sci fire. Address 32.

Max Cohen: Oh, I'm gonna do all caps. It's like because it's like, yeah. You know, if someone does it on a form, I get it. But I've been in portals where, like, I'm looking on the sidebar, and all of a sudden, you just see a couple properties in all caps and then some that are, like, a full length question. Someone else on a form, and I'm just, like, like, you just I so yeah.

And that was too funny.

George B. Thomas: It it's so funny because I have to admit, and then we'll move on to the next question. I am a little bit of a cheater cheater, because one of the things I do is I do HubSpot audits. And I love when I do HubSpot audit and I see that they have Operations Hub, and the fact that they didn't realize that they could have just seen a lot of what I'm about to talk to them about using operations up. Anyway, but, usually, I have that conversation, and it's a teachable moment afterwards. Here's the thing.

We've talked about, what do we wish they'd understand? I'm super curious, and I think I know it's gonna probably be the same heavyweight dude. I have this feeling, but I could be wrong. What is the most powerful features of the operations hub?

Devyn Bellamy: I I already know. My personal preference is custom coded workflows. Like, you you can any like, I when I saw that feature, I I almost, like, lost it. It was just you can do anything. Like, when George was talking about before, when he brought up smart homes, the reason why he brought that up for those of you who don't cyber stalk me, I one of my side hustles is a smart home company.

And one of the things that I love is that I can do custom automations where, like, for a while, I had it set up where every 30 minutes, a light would flash and tell my kid that he needed to go use the bathroom. And that took 6 different systems to use. Like, not even no hyperbole. I had to, incorporate 6 different, platform ecosystems in order to tell my kid he needs to form ecosystems in order to tell my kid he needs to not pee on himself. And being able to have that kind of flexibility, it's like it turns HubSpot into a sleeper if you're a car person.

It really allows you to unlock features that you don't have to be an expert to use. You don't have to be a developer to use. But the thing is is that the deeper you get and and the more up market you get as far as being an enterprise user and the more complex your problems are, the more you can do. And then not only fix problems, but then you can automate them. So it just fixes ad finitum.

It's like, dude, that's ridiculous. Like, it's nothing like it. Nitrous.

Max Cohen: I have

Nick Carbone: I think I have to agree on custom code actions, although I'm gonna give, like, the politician's answer and say it depends on the person using operations of which features the most powerful. So, I mean, to go back to data quality, somebody could have, like, the most like, filthy disgusting CRM data in the world, and for them to get a hold of Operations Hub Pro and clean that up, that could change their business. Right? Like, better reports, more more reliable automation, like, that could be truly life changing for someone. But I think if we're talking about in terms of of just, like, use cases and sheer power, we probably have to go with custom code actions.

Just the ability for me to be able to tell our sales reps, like, hey. Like, if somebody asks, can we automate blank using HubSpot? You really don't have to say no. You have to ask them some questions to figure out how we wanna do this with custom code actions, but, I mean, from my point of view, I don't know how our legal team would feel if they heard me say this. It's kinda like a blank check for for automation, almost those custom code actions.

So I think I would agree, with Devin and say, the CCAs.

George B. Thomas: Don't worry, Nick. We got a disclaimer at the beginning.

Nick Carbone: It's like thoughts are my own.

George B. Thomas: Right? I'm gonna have your own thoughts. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly.

Max, thoughts. Keep

Max Cohen: an eye on data sync because holy shit is that tool getting cooler every single month. Right? If you're not familiar with data sync, you can think of it as like a standard that the HubSpot is sort of building. And Nick, you could probably position this better than me, but this is at least the way I see it. Right?

A standard of how HubSpot integrates with other systems out of the box. Right? And I think it's really important especially for the folks who are doing the use case of more classic HubSpot where HubSpot is your marketing tools, but your sales team is living in another CRM. Right? Now with tools like Salesforce, we already have that figured out.

Right? We've got that really great tight integration with Salesforce that's existed for a long time, deal sync over to opportunities, contacts, leads, and whatever. Great. Awesome. Right?

When you think of, like, your sales team using something like Pipedrive or Zoho or Dynamics or living in any of these other CRM tools, right, that, you know, you you might hook HubSpot into. Well, now you can sync deals and opportunities from those other tools back into HubSpot. Right? And keep in mind, if you're doing your marketing efforts inside of HubSpot, you're creating contacts in HubSpot that sync over for that sales team to use. And when those contacts keep existing in HubSpot, but that sales rep starts using that other CRM tool and opens up an opportunity, opens up a deal, opens up a sale, or whatever that f that other CRM calls a deal in our world.

That deal sync backs in but syncs back in HubSpot. And then when that happens, hello closed loop reporting that you didn't have before. Hello revenue attribution in Marketing Hub Enterprise. Hello customer journey analytics. Right?

When you're seeing what deals actually get created from these folks you're marketing to, right, it's okay if your team is in another CRM, if you're the marketing team. Right? Because you're getting that important information back into HubSpot that you need to do that closed loop reporting that wasn't possible before. Right? And just, like, I don't know if anyone saw this, but, like, they stealthily kind of, like, released invoice sync.

Right? So, like, now I can be in HubSpot, and I can see, like, invoices from NetSuite in HubSpot without having to create a custom integration or using, like, a paid third party one. Right? Product sync is super cool. There's a bunch of tools out there that will sync product libraries into HubSpot, which will allow you, like

George B. Thomas: stealing my thunder.

Nick Carbone: I could steal it. Seriously. Owner sync live as of 2 days ago. I know there's someone that was listening to you saying, but it still doesn't sync owners between HubSpot and other CRMs. Now it does.


Max Cohen: And that, like, is literal magic what they had to build to do that. Because, like, the idea of an owner in, like, other tools is, like, can wildly vary. So the fact that they were able to build, like, a standard to be able to sync that stuff, so when you're using different data sync integrations, you kinda already know how to set it up and you already know what's expected out of it, is wild. So, like, I am so so bullish on what data sync is gonna kinda continue to evolve into, because it it's honestly gonna be really, really crazy in the future, I think.

George B. Thomas: Yeah. See, here here's the thing. I was quickly well, a while ago, because all of you have gone. I was quickly trying to figure out, like, who's the small fry in, like, all of the sports? Like and and I'll age myself as, like, you know, the spud Webb of NBA, but that's as far as I got.

But but I wanted to talk about data sync because for me and and it's funny, Max. You went to sales and deals and but where my brain goes is it's so much more than that. Like, you wanna, bring HR along for the ride? Data sync. You wanna bring accounting along for the ride?

Data sync. Like, one of the most life changing moments for me as the business and data sync and operations hub was being able to just do products and invoices from QuickBooks right into HubSpot. Like, what? What? Yes.

Thank you for changing my life and making each and every day just a little bit easier.

Nick Carbone: And if I could offer a pro tip, use the data cleanup and data quality tools in Operations Hub to clean the data that comes in from other systems and then push it back to those other systems, and boom, Operations Hub is pulling double duty there.

Max Cohen: Yeah. Data comes in from Zoho. You clean it in HubSpot, and then it goes off the whatever. Right? Like, yeah.

George B. Thomas: So let's answer 2 more questions before we kick the kids out of the room and back to their regularly scheduled day. Operations Hub, who's it a right fit for? Who's it not a right fit for? By the way, I position that as one question because another got another question after this, but who's the right fit? Who's the wrong fit?

Max Cohen: Only because, like, I have to, like, have this conversation with sales reps a lot and people who just, like, don't know what operations hub is. Not Not that sales people don't, but like, people new to it are gonna have, like, a little bit of confusion just because it can do so many things. You know, Operations Hub, like, data sync aside, Operations Hub isn't a replacement for a custom integration with another system, But is it the best damn companion that that integration could have? Yeah. Absolutely.

Right? In terms of the way we can clean the data, keep track of all that data that's coming through, reformat that data, make sure it's getting to the right place, you know, get our automation tools to talk to those outside systems and support stuff that that integration is doing, it's great. So, like, if you are building a custom integration on HubSpot, there's a lot of tools in operations hub that aren't gonna replace that, like, middleware that you build, but it's really going to help cut down on a lot of the work that you would normally have to do with code that you can then do in HubSpot, especially when you're looking at things like formatting data, triggering webhooks from very surgical specific things that are happening in HubSpot, things like that.

Nick Carbone: Yeah. I'd say if you have, like, more than 4 or 5 systems that you're connecting to HubSpot, you absolutely need Operations Hub. I'd also say good fits are folks with large teams or folks that have complex automation or reporting needs. So if you need to go above and beyond what's available in, say, marketing sales or service hub and reporting or automation, you should look at operations. If you have a large team, chances are you're gonna have, needs around data quality, needs around automation, needs around, like, reporting enablement, things like that.

So So those, I think, would be, like, some clean boxes I can draw around who's a who's a good fit.

Devyn Bellamy: For me, it's, a good fit for people who are dealing with other team members who have confirmation bias and are stuck in their systems and refuse to migrate over to HubSpot. If you're dealing like let's say you work for a SaaS company that created a a homegrown CRM for Cheezies and Geezies. And instead of just

Max Cohen: migrating over.

George B. Thomas: Oh, man. Nick, I might just lost his mind with that statement. Oh, I I

Nick Carbone: came from onboarding. Max and I both did. And when I heard homegrown CRM that I'm sorry. I I didn't I didn't mean to derail you, Devin, but that those two words just make me wanna not be in tech, I think, sometimes. But

Devyn Bellamy: Yeah. I mean, I'm I'm not at all speaking from experience. I I'm not at all saying that this is something that I've gone through.

Nick Carbone: I hope I didn't defend anyone that's listening right now and about to go do more work in their CRM. But, sorry. I I interrupted. I'll I'll stop.

Devyn Bellamy: Yeah. No. It it you you other departments as far as the tools they use for people who love disparate systems or who are just tied by pride to whatever it is that they currently have in place. It it's perfect for those. It's it it it it doesn't work for people who, are in denial.

If if you're in denial and refuse to accept the fact that your data sucks, if you refuse to accept the fact that there is a better way and that you don't always have to have a margin of error, plus or minus 15 in everything that you're reporting on. If if if if you can't accept that, if that is normal for you and you're happy where you're at and refute, then no. Don't get operations up. We don't want to do anything where we might rock the boat too hard. Yeah.

But the the the fact of the matter is is that it people are are gonna have disparate systems. And, whether or not you choose to bring all that, like, oh, my god. My I I hate when we're looking at different metrics and we have to go to different tools because one of them is more accurate as a source of truth than others. When we're doing reporting on even simple things like web analytics. And sometimes we're going to use, Google Analytics, and then other times we're going to use this tool.

And, oh, wait, no. We just got Hotjar, so now we're going to look at this thing. And it's it if you don't if if that's you if that's happy for you, then you you don't need operations.

George B. Thomas: I hope it's not happy for them. But, anyway, I can't judge. Usually, we end this podcast with, like, what's the one action item that you'd want people to take away? However, because I can, I'm gonna spin this in a different direction because I think there's a lot of one things that people could pull out of this entire, conversation that we've had. I wanna give the last question to the second Batman in the multiverse if the Hub Heroes community will let it happen, because, Nick, I want people to know why they should be excited about Opshub in 2023.

Like, what can you talk about as far as the road map and not get in trouble and let us know, like, hey. Pay attention to this.

Nick Carbone: I can talk in in very in very broad strokes. So we're gonna invest in 3 broad areas. I'll kinda break it up that way. So we'll see a lot more power, with datasets here in the future, and I will kind of spill the beans a little bit on something with datasets that's coming out, very shortly. We're gonna have the ability to map a calculation from datasets back to a property.

So we wanna make datasets more connected to the rest of the platform. That's very, very, very, very exciting. More coming on that soon. So we're gonna invest in there. We're also gonna think about data quality and automation, in pro.

So data quality, you kinda saw our first swing at it in inbound of 2022. Holy crap. It's 2023 now. Almost said 21, but we're gonna keep digging there. Like, we know we, like, have only scratched the surface with what we can do with data quality, and with then with automation, we want more flexibility, with our workflows.

So specifically, how we trigger workflows, and then we're gonna probably add a little bit more power, to those custom code actions over time, this year. So look for us really to iterate on what we have in there and kind of go a level deeper on what's already in operations up right now.

Devyn Bellamy: Hold on. Did you say more power to custom code actions?

Nick Carbone: Yeah. So TBD on what that means. I hope I just didn't write a check that our product team now has to cash, but I'm I'm was looking through our road map earlier, and there are going to be enhancements with the way it was worded, enhancements to the

Max Cohen: awesome layout of the actions.

Devyn Bellamy: Look out.

Nick Carbone: Yeah. If I can can I say one more thing that I'm excited about that would boost operations of? So with workflows, data accessibility has been very tough. So we wanna make it easier to retrieve data, bring different, how should I word this? Bring data from different objects into a workflow, and then potentially use that in something like a custom code action.

So data fetching, data accessibility, things like that, that's a challenge we wanna tackle in automation, and that would have massive implications for operations hub, as well this year.

Max Cohen: So, like, fetching from within your own account and making that much easier versus, like, an outside system which you might do with, like, a get request in a webhook.

Devyn Bellamy: Or

Nick Carbone: Yeah. Correct. So basically, grabbing data from different objects or things like that. We more details to come. I don't wanna say too much.

But we wanna make it easier to grab data from inside your CRM and bring that into a workflow when you need it.

Devyn Bellamy: You you know what? We should just bleep all of that in post because it seems like just entirely too big of a revelation. Funny. Yeah.

George B. Thomas: Devin Devin's

Nick Carbone: I'll double check. No. We'll be fine. It's on it's on it's on our public facing road map, so I didn't say anything that's not on Shameless plug.

It's another bucks for me.

Max Cohen: Could you give me a yes or no? Is there I like, is is is I'm Jude. I'm just, like, so stoked on the future of data sync. Right? I don't know if you could just say, yeah, you should be stoked for it, or no, you shouldn't be stoked for it.

Should I be stoked for it?

Nick Carbone: I mean, are you? I'm not gonna say no. You should always be excited for it. But, I mean but the big thing I think the big dominoes have fallen. Right?

We've added new object syncs, so we launched with, what, contacts and companies to you almost 2 years ago. Owner sync was a huge one for us 2 days ago. Invoice sync, new objects like deals have come out over the past few months. We're gonna continue kinda working on new field types, things like that. So really finishing the swing

Max Cohen: on what

George B. Thomas: we Okay, hub heroes. We've reached the end of another episode. Will lord lack continue to loom over the community, or will we be able to defeat him in the next episode of the hub heroes podcast? Make sure you tune in and find out in the next episode. Make sure you head over to the hub heroes dot com to get the latest episodes and become part of the League of Heroes.

FYI, if you're part of the League of Heroes, you'll get the show notes right in your inbox, and they come with some hidden power up potential as well. Make sure you share this podcast with a friend. Leave a review if you like what you're listening to, and use the hashtag, hashtag hub euros podcast, on any of the socials and let us know what strategy conversation you'd like to listen into next. Until next time, when we meet and combine our forces. Remember to be a happy, helpful, humble human, and of course, always be looking for a way to be someone's hero.