New Relic Insights, the real-time analytics platform that collects, stores, and presents valuable data directly from production software, is one year old—and boy has a lot happened in just 12 months. Since we announced general availability of Insights in July of 2014, all kinds of amazing things have happened, including the addition of powerful new features and capabilities as well as the development of surprising and productive use cases by customers around the world.

New Relic Insights logoSpecifically, just one year in, more than 100,000 users have taken their analytics to the next level by:

  • Writing more than 3 million NRQL queries
  • Creating 30,000 real-time Insights dashboards that have refreshed more than 1 billion times

And all that happened with a median query response time of 10ms, a tiny fraction of the time it takes you to blink.

What’s new in New Relic Insights?

Since even before Insights’ official GA launch, the Insights team has been hard at work building new visualization, query, and data capture methods to support emergent use cases and delight our customers. The list of additions and improvements is so long that we can’t cover everything here, but the highlights include:

Insights app for iOS: The New Relic Mobile team successfully built and shipped a dedicated iOS app for Insights users to view their dashboards.

Data apps: Insights released Data Apps, allowing Insights users to collect and link lots of dashboards surrounding a theme in one place.

Gauges / bar charts / funnels: New visualizations give our users the power to express faceted data in different ways, as well as to show how different users performed a set of actions over a given time period.

NRQL math: NRQL users can now apply arithmetic to any query to combine or modify the query itself.

Advanced segmentation and cohort analysis: With this improvement, we made it easier for Insights users to segment and cohort their data by time periods (e.g., day of, week of) as well as any integer-based attribute.

Smart Filters: Now you can apply a filter to any dashboard and immediately update every widget on the dashboard to match that filter.

Faceted histograms: Take any histogram and facet it by any attribute—for example, “show me the distribution of average page load durations by Browser type” can now be seen in a single view.

JavaScript API for instrumenting client-side apps: In conjunction with the New Relic Browser agent, we released support for the JavaScript API, which lets Insights users instrument their JavaScript applications and send both custom events and custom attributes to Insights with just a couple lines of code.

Mobile sessions, crashes, interactions, custom attributes, and events: The new Mobile SDK 5.x release automatically captures interaction and crash data from the Mobile data sent to Insights, and adds support for custom events and custom attributes. (See the documentation here.)

Custom event API for agents to send custom events to Insights: Our agent teams (Node, Java, PHP, and Ruby) all created APIs that leverage the New Relic agent harvest cycle to batch and send custom events to Insights.

AS support: New NRQL functionality allows our users to rename query results with human-readable labels for sharing their widgets and dashboards.

New Relic Insights screenshotIn-product tutorial: New and existing Insights users can now get up to speed and learn the ins and outs of Insights without having to dig into New Relic documentation—all with this interactive learnboarding tutorial, accessible directly from the Insights query page.

Use cases and success stories

New Relic Insights is helping a wide variety of companies better understand how their businesses work so they can make faster, data-informed decisions. Here at New Relic, for example, we use Insights to improve executive decisions, maximize engineering resources, deepen partner engagement, and much more.

E-commerce companies like are using Insights to better segment and understand their buyers, and how those users navigate their sites differently. E-commerce companies also use Insights to understand revenue growth and cart values, assessing captured demand and establishing a deeper comprehension of LTV. Some e-commerce companies have seen drastic increases in orders per day as a result of optimizing checkouts for different kinds of users, devices, and browsers.

SaaS companies like Envato have invested in Insights as a go-to resource for discovering where to direct resources on feature improvements. They can see what kinds of features are being used by different types of users, which helps them to better target feature development. Some SaaS companies report that identifying and reducing unnecessary over-usage of network resources can reduce their server and network bandwidth costs by orders of magnitude.

Large digital media companies such as Condé Nast, meanwhile, have leveraged Insights to promote cross-team awareness across multiple brands, where previously teams with identical site performance goals found it difficult to share information with one another.

What’s next?

We’re very excited about how we see the future of New Relic Insights. We believe that by extending NRQL as a query language to make your data even easier to explore, we can further expand the product’s analytics capabilities and extend Insights deeper into the New Relic platform, bringing its real-time analytics capability to even more users.

Jim Kutz and Henry Shapiro also contributed to this post.


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Todd Etchieson is vice president of product management for analytics at New Relic. Before joining New Relic, he worked as an engineer and product manager in the telecom, defense, and e-commerce industries. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University and a Master of Science in Telecommunications from Southern Methodist University. View posts by .

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