New Relic gave us a sneak peek of something very impressive at FutureStack 2013.  The project, code-named Rubicon, is the brainchild of New Relic Founder and CEO Lew Cirne who came up with the idea and built a proof of concept while on a retreat at Lake Tahoe.  The New Relic team is building it into a fleshed out and polished offering they’re calling software analytics.

Leveraging the impressive amount of data that New Relic is capturing, and the APIs that make it simple to feed in custom data and events, combined with their proven track record with making large dataset available, searchable, and graph-able in near-realtime with an intuitive user interface, they are well situated to seriously disrupt the web and business analytics space.

According to New Relic:

“Software Analytics is about gathering billions and billions of metrics from your live production software, including user clickstreams, mobile activity, end user experiences and transactions, and then making sense of those — providing you with business insights. Software analytics includes Application Performance Management, but extends to User Behavior, Business Transactions, Customer Insights and much, much more.”

While New Relic is focusing on the Web Analytics facet of data analysis, it doesn’t take much for this new tool to become THE business analytics (especially related to eCommerce) platform.  You feed in all the web application data that New Relic is already capturing (users, page hits, response times and more), and then add in custom event data like order values, SKUs, promotions and discounts used, user order history, user segmentation, and much more.  Now you can write ad-hoc questions using the super intuitive NRQL syntax and get realtime results in raw, graph, or table format.  Write new queries based on the results you just got, building your knowledge organically in seconds and minutes.  Forget about having to pre-define your reports (ala Crystal Reports, Oracle Business Intelligence, etc…), you don’t have to wait for days to get results back, you can’t even fill up your coffee before you have your answers in front of you!
Get answers to questions like:
  • How many people are on the site right now?
  • How does that compare to this time over the past 7 days?
  • What is my order volume dollar value per hour, graphed over the last 24 hours?
  • Let me see this month’s traffic, orders, and sales volume compared to the previous 12 months.
  • Show me the different in order volume and dollar values between the 10% off coupon and the $10 off coupon I’ve been running for the last two days.
  • Show me the impact of my three random homepage promos broken out by user segment.
  • etc….
And get them in seconds, with realtime live data, using a simple web based user interface.
To see a demo, watch Lew’s FutureStack13 Keynote   The whole Keynote is great, but if you want to just see Rubicon, skip to 36:51 and enjoy!
Basically taking the magic of New Relic in providing quick answers to complex technical performance issues to the world of business analytics.  This is going to be HUGE!