But if you’ve been wondering how Insights fits into the bigger picture of New Relic products, you might want to take a moment to check out this New Relic University video tutorial. It covers how Insights fits into the New Relic product line, and details some of Insights’ most important features:
Here is a quick snapshot of three ways to think about the data New Relic collects about your app (Aggregated Data, Individual Events, and External Data):
The aggregated data in New Relic APM provides a big picture view of your app for fine tuning performance and acting on urgent issues.
You can see aggregated data in your application overview dashboard, which is optimized to display your app’s performance in a way that makes it easy to see what needs attention right away.
The agent installed in your app sends packets of data to New Relic each minute. This data is then displayed in your application overview dashboard. This overview of your app’s performance allows you to make quick decisions about what needs attention first so you can keep your app up and running smoothly to deliver the best possible end-user experience.
The Individual Event data you’ll find in New Relic Insights provides a detailed, comprehensive, and customizable data set that you can query to see performance trends, patterns, and relationships.
This data is optimized to help you analyze your business’s user behavior, transactions, and customer insights.
Because every individual event is reported to New Relic via the installed agent, you can write queries to get a much more detailed view of your app and all of the interactions going on inside.
Once you get the hang of New Relic Insights, you may want to tailor the data being collected to fit your business needs better. You can learn more about ways to customize data collection in part two of the Insights video tutorial series: Introduction to Insights Data.
Finally, you can add custom events to your Insights account to collect external data that is reported online. This allows you to see how external factors are affecting your business.
This may very well be one of the most valuable features of Insights—at least it’s one of my favorites—because even though your app lives in the digital world, lots of external factors can impact it.
The New Relic University education team uses this feature to learn more about how customers view video tutorials and what trends emerge so we can improve our educational services. Below is a portion of a screenshot of a chart querying data collected from the Wistia Data API to show the most popular videos watched over the past month. I’ve noticed that the “Improving Performance,” “Using Transaction and Error Traces,” and “Understanding Apdex” videos have been consistently popular, which tells me that these are topics people want to learn more about!
If you want to really dig into Insights and start using the data, check out Part Two of the three-part Insights video tutorial series: Introduction to Insights Data. Part Two covers the data types being stored by the New Relic database, a brief look at the New Relic Query Language (NRQL), and how to use the Insights API to customize the data being collected about your app.
Once you’re comfortable with Insights data, you can learn how to create custom dashboards to give you at-a-glance information about your app in bright, beautiful colors and easy-to-use layouts in Part Three: Introduction to Insights Dashboards.