Although New Relic Insights is still in beta, we’re already getting giddy over all the brilliant ways our customers are using the real-time analytics platform. Advanced Computer Software Group plc recently shared with us one such use case that demonstrates the power of Insights in optimizing the user experience and customer support.
Advanced Computer Software Group is comprised of three subsidiaries: Business Solutions, Health & Care, and Advanced 365 Management. Within the Business Solutions organization lays the Advanced Learning division, which specializes in developing software for the educational market. In 2012, Advanced Learning introduced Progresso, an application designed to streamline and optimize almost every aspect of running an educational establishment, from scheduling classes to tracking payroll. Students can access their information on the web or with a mobile app, and parents can review their children’s academic progress on demand.
Advanced Learning has been using New Relic APM, New Relic Browser and New Relic Platform to monitor and improve the performance of Progresso since the beginning of 2013. When the New Relic Insights beta became available, Martin Reynolds, application architect and development manager at Advanced Computer Software Group, jumped on the opportunity to leverage our analytics capabilities.
“When you first login, New Relic Insights immediately shows you your data in a number of sample dashboards, so you get the idea right away,” he said. “It literally took me just 30 minutes to get a handful of dashboards set up. The interface and NRQL query language are so intuitive, I didn’t even have to read any documentation.”
Once Martin had his dashboards set up, he immediately spotted a problem. His team had just put out a new release and the customer experience dropped by 80%. Martin drilled into the school level, and realized there was one particular school that was pushing the average response time up. By drilling further into the dashboard, at the user level, he saw that one person’s homepage was loading extremely slowly. It turned out there was one particular widget on his homepage that was refreshing 1.2K per day, which was pushing up the school’s average response time. Thanks to all the application data he had on hand, Martin was able to proactively alert the customer of the problem and include the fix in the next sprint.
“One of the main differences I’ve noticed since using New Relic Insights is that performance stopped being the number one driving factor that customers complain about,” said Martin, citing the following three key benefits the Advanced Learning team has realized thus far.
- More proactive support. The Advanced Learning Support team is full of avid New Relic Insights users. It uses Insights to proactively monitor what’s going on in customer accounts, and immediately reach out to anyone experiencing performance degradation. Not only does this help them improve the service and support they’re giving to their customers but also to Martin’s dev team (which brings us to our next bullet…).
- Fewer dev tickets. Now that the Support team has an easy-to-use dashboard they can turn to in New Relic Insights, they’re able to figure out on their own if an issue is affecting one school or multiple customers. This added visibility has helped reduce the number of dev tickets that get thrown over to Martin’s team, which means more time to for them to focus on innovation and releasing new features.
- Instant SLA snapshot. “The customer-focused nature of Insights really makes it useful for everyone in the company,” said Martin. Advanced Learning is especially keen on being able to see if the business is meeting its target service-level agreements in a quick and easy way.
Customers and Advanced Learning’s business team are taking notice of these improvements. “When I first showed off New Relic Insights at our latest steering board meeting, our managing director immediately said, ‘I have to have that,’” shared Martin. “We plan to add more custom attributes and custom parameters soon. Because the more data you have coming in, the more ways you can slice and dice it.”
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You can learn more about Advanced Computer Software Group and how they’re using New Relic APM in this case study.