Turn application metrics into business value

Every business needs to monitor its performance. What better place to look than your key applications? Lew Cirne, CEO of New Relic, explains the value of software analytics

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New Relic Insights, released to public beta in March, is an example of software analytics and is designed to bring the power of data science to all businesses.

Analyzing data across multiple categories gives software analytics the power to address complex business questions. New Relic's Application Performance Management product was already gathering data on software performance for our thousands of active customer accounts, and we realized that there are lots of questions people could ask and answer about their apps if they could tap deeper into all the data held within the live production software.

So we began the task of building a brand-new real-time analytics platform, comprised of a unified repository and analytics engine that leverages the data that production software is already creating. We wanted the platform to analyze multiple categories of data to let companies access and manipulate that data in real time. We designed a massively parallel, cloud-hosted event database running in a high-performance supercluster, with a flexible, schema-less architecture that supports the storage of new data types on the fly. Collecting data directly from production software in real time means users don't need traditional ETL database processes, drastically reducing cost and complexity. Users can get answers instantly, no matter what they ask or how they ask it.

We also wanted to make it easy for anyone to be a data scientist, so we created NRQL (New Relic Query Language), a simple SQL-like query language optimized for big data that doesn't require indexing, with no need to wait for scarce, expensive data scientists to set up things and ask your questions for you. And unlike existing, batch-oriented big data solutions such as Hadoop, New Relic Insights provides instant views to support up-to-date data-driven decisions.

Now that almost every company is a software company, answering the most pressing business and IT questions is as simple as looking under the hood of the events generated within that software.

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