Data, Data, Data: How to Use Dashboards for Actionable Insights

by bluemedora_editor on January 10, 2017

For the past several years, big data has been predicted to take off and transform the way that we operate and do business as we know it. The trajectory has been a little slower than what was originally anticipated, but we are starting to see some traction in data and analytics across industries. IT organizations are beginning to see the biggest gains as they are able to take the data collected through monitoring and performance tools, and turn that into key metrics to analyze to drive value across the organization.

When it comes to application performance in New Relic, dashboards are an instrumental piece of the analytics puzzle and can help you turn metrics into insights that can be used across the organization. In this blog post, we’ll highlight three key ways to leverage dashboards to optimize performance.

Simplify troubleshooting and cut costs

Perhaps one of the most obvious benefits from gaining detailed insight into the performance of hardware and software across your IT stack, the ability to improve troubleshooting and cut costs in the process serves as one of the most valuable components of leveraging dashboards and reports.

There are several ways that access to dashboards can help simplify your troubleshooting process. For one, it gives you insight into key trends that may be occurring over time. Access to metrics will let you know how it looks in real-time — but perhaps you’ll see that your application performance drops significantly at a specific time a few days per week.

With the ability to create custom dashboards, you can find a key correlation from your automated database queries draining resources. As a result, you can pinpoint the culprit and fix it before it become a problem that your team needs to react to.

Create an action plan… that works

With the ability to see more — and at a deeper level — within your IT infrastructure and software, shift your team from being reactive to proactive. Reactive costs your organization more — from a personnel perspective, it’s extremely disruptive and can take more time to finish a project due to interruptions; and for your IT stack, downtime costs your organization money — the amount varies based on how important the application, hardware or software is to your business.

Dashboards can fuel your strategic planning across your team — giving you insight into where you should focus (areas that require improvement) and also, what causes the most disruption in your organization.

With a more proactive action plan for managing your application performance, your dashboards become reporting tools that provide insight into service-level agreements (SLAs), investment decisions and even, staffing needs.

Drive value across the organization

Solid performance from your IT stack can significantly impact your entire organization. For instance, data security continues to be a hot-button issue as more organizations migrate to the cloud and seek ways to expand functionality without increasing risk.

In addition, big data goes beyond IT — other departments are leveraging key insight captured through channels to drive sales, improve marketing and even offer better support to existing customers. Bridging functional silos comes as one value driver for the organization, particularly as other departments understand how the IT stack fuels their business success — creating a better understanding of the required investment and how it supports the business as a whole.

Dashboards serve as one piece of the puzzle for driving business value — but can be an important component. The availability of data helps drive decisions based on fact to fuel the future vision of the company, while uncovering key weaknesses that need to be improved in order to meet the organization’s goals and objectives.

In summary, as we continue to move toward a more data-fueled business environment, dashboards serve as a foundational element to dive deeper into metrics to uncover key trends, track towards proactive strategies and overall, help organizations gain value from their IT stack beyond the foundation of hardware and software.

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