New Relic Insights Beta Open; Brings Cloud-Based Analytics to Many Business Stakeholders
New Relic is bringing the power of its cloud-based analytics platform to business users, letting companies gain real-time deep insights into many core business operations. New Relic Insights, now in beta, is designed to be an easy-to-adopt SaaS service that can deliver real-time software analytics to non-IT stakeholders.
by Vance McCarthy
senior vice president of products
"New Relic’s data flows are real-time thanks to our data collection agents. This means every query takes into account all the event data in the system."
New Relic is bringing the power of its cloud-based analytics platform to business users, letting companies gain real-time deep insights into many core business operations.
New Relic Insights, now in beta, is designed to be an easy-to-adopt SaaS service that can deliver real-time software analytics to non-IT stakeholders.
New Relic Insights is powered by the company’s cloud data platform and query tools developed to let IT operations and application owners track and diagnose app and network performances in real-time. Reaching business users with New Relic Insights is what Jim Gochee, New Relic’s senior vice president of products, calls the company’s “Second Act.” ..
“At first, our goal was to democratize APM [application performance management] and provide IT data and insights that would help them monitor and remediate performance issues,” Gochee told IDN. “But we’re not just a monitoring company, we’re a software analytics company. We’ve always been good at getting data out of apps to provide valuable visibility and insight, so now we can do more for business.”
Perhaps it’s no surprise that the idea to being software analytics to business users came from current New Relic IT customers.
“Many of the architects and engineers who use New Relic to monitor infrastructure and apps told us their business users were asking for more data they could use to learn more about the business, such as customer usage and behaviors,“ Gochee said. “As we thought about it, we saw we could really help because a lot of the data we used [for IT] could shed light on all sorts of business activities.”
To obtain and unlock this data for real-time, New Relic uses agents to collect two types of data-rich activities – what New Relic calls “events”. These are: Transaction events, gathered by an application agent and PageView events, gathered via browser monitoring.
New Relic probes the actions, interactivities, events and logs of the software apps themselves, rather than simply looking at a company’s database. This ability to collect, query and distill these events can deliver some amazingly business-centric insights about the when, who and where of web traffic, transactions, customer sentiment and more, according to Gochee.
Focusing on how software behaves, especially when seen is real-time impact and relation to how software and infrastructure operate, can reveal a lot of valuable information about how business systems measure customer behaviors – or even affect customer actions, Gochee said.
New Relic’s interconnected tiers of technology work together to deliver analytics that add up to more than the sum of their parts. “With most analytics, you get a snapshot at night and make decisions for the next day or week. We let you do it right now,” he added. “New Relic’s data flows are real-time thanks to our data collection agents. This means every query takes into account all the event data in the system.”
New Relic Insights SaaS Offers Quick Start for Multiple Business Uses
In fact, New Relic’s cloud-driven approach provides is opening up a wide range of customer use cases thanks to some important quick-start benefits, not often associated with big data projects. These include: No need for costly and time-consuming big data on-prem projects; An elastically scalable database platform that can support billions of datapoints and correlated events; and User-friendly query tools pre-tuned for end users.
New Relic currently collects more than 200 billion metrics daily, based on usage of more than 90,000 active customer accounts These kind of numbers promoted Gartner to acknowledge New Relic has created the largest database of application performance data.
Given the rich data sets and real-time access, Gochee and his team are hearing about an explosion of use cases driven by a wide range of business stakeholders. He shared the list of non-IT stakeholders and projects New Relic is seeing so far.
Customer Retention – Reduce or prevent churn by seeing customer behaviors in real-time.
Marketing – Can score the effectiveness of the latest campaign in real-time. If it’s a hit, ramp up the spending. If not, stop spending.
Mobile Apps Managers – Gauge the effectiveness of mobile outreach for sharing, clickstreams and purchases, as well as monitor app performance for mobile users by geographic location.
Sales – Track customer usage and satisfaction during a free-trial period. See in real-time how key customers like or don’t like a new feature, and reach out to them that day.
Customer Support – Get better insights on what is causing customer problems, and quickly escalate the issue to product management if problems are wide-spread.
Business Development – Track partnerships for highest ROI, rate of growth or lack of activity.
Order Fulfillment – Monitor fulfillment system to track every time an order is placed and follow it all the way through delivery
Ecommerce Manager – To make a sales target, users can instrument their app in real-time to offer a discount or special two-hour flash sale only to locations where the item is popular.
Product Managers – To follow adoption of product features, and find out which ones are hits and which ones are duds.
Inside SaaS Architecture of New Relic Insights
New Relic’s ability to rapidly respond to ad hoc and iterative queries about business activities comes from the innovative blending of three cloud-optimized technologies:
- A custom-built, super-scalable clustered database platform that supports some 1 trillion events;
- Intelligent agents that can access important application and activity data not found in common databases. Custom APIs are also available to let companies create custom agents that will collect data from third-party web services, supply chain partners or other cloud services.
- A new super-fast, easy-to-learn query language (NRQL, New Relic Query language) that also provides users visualizations and intuitive interact dashboard-ready results in seconds.
A blog post from New Relic’s engineering manager Alex Kroman describes NRQL’s design and ease-of-use. “NRQL is the SQL-like language we created specifically for analytics that allows for simple aggregation and filtering over a defined time period . . . and asking your application all sorts of interesting questions,” Kroman said in the blog post.
He also listed some popular examples of queries powered by NRQL.
- Combine SINCE and UNTIL to query over a specific time window
- Use WHERE to show a percentile for people in a certain location that meet a specific condition
- Use LIKE to get results that match a similar result
- Use TIMESERIES to graph any result (events, percentile, etc.) over time
Beyond NRQL, New Relic has a plug-in to Hadoop that also collects metrics. For even more data, New Relic also sports a query API that lets users run a query against external systems. “The more attributes and events you add, the richer questions you can ask,” Gochee added.
To learn more about the cloud-based New Relic Insights click here.
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