Coffee Chat with Insights Product Manager: Mia @misaacson !
September 19, 2018 conversation from #coffee-chat slack channel, New Relic Users.
@Linds [10:00 AM]
Hello and welcome! Mia is here to chat with you about Insights today! This hour is open to all of you, so fire away! We can’t wait to get Coffee-chattin’!
@misaacson [10:03 AM]
Hi everybody! I’m excited to be here for this Coffee Chat
@Linds [10:05 AM]
We have had a really positive response to our Treasure Hunt so far:
Our first Treasure Hunt clue is “Dashboard, dashboard on the wall, do you have widgets that show all? Screenshot your dashboard that pulls data from every New Relic product you use.”
Mia, can you tell us a bit about the power behind widgets from your perspective? (edited)
@misaacson [10:07 AM]
Definitely! Widgets are driven by NRQL, which is our powerful query language; and through NRQL you can source data from across the New Relic platform and display that on a dashboard. And there are a couple ways to do this!
Writing queries that display data using the default events and attributes collected by the agents is a great first step in display data from different places. Creating a query with the ajaxRequest event will display Browser information, or transactionError will display APM data.
Sending custom events via the Insights API can also give you additional information about your applications, in addition to the agent-collected data. And if you’re a wanting to go above an beyond, this gives you the opportunity to display data from outside New Relic too! Like events that occur at network layers… A super powerful way to display more data in Insights, side-by-side with other New Relic product data.
The last way is to use our trusty account selector. If you are named on multiple accounts when you create, copy or pin a widget, you have the choice to choose a dashboard in any account. This allows you to combine widgets from different sources on one dashboard. So if you have specific data flowing into one account, but want to see it combined with data from a different account, it’s possible!
@ZackM [10:16 AM]
do dashboards pull their data from sub-accounts based on a URI template?
we will ultimately end up with > 100 sub-accounts in our org and I am looking for a way to deploy “standard” dashboards to teams so they have a template to use in building their own. Is it possible to create a single dashboard at the master level, but apply the accountID in the URL to provide data specific for a team?
looking for any ideas on how to minimize the amount of things we have to maintain; I can use the API to build dashboards, but then I have 100 dashboards to maintain
@misaacson [10:20 AM]
Hey @ZackM! So, the fact that you’re already using the Dashboard API is awesome! But I can definitely understand where you’re coming from in regards to ongoing organization and maintenance. We don’t currently have a way to create a “master template” because of the way our dashboards are stored in the database. This would be a great feature around organization and maintenance. I think I have your use case, but can you provide a bit more detail on how you might like this to work (if you’ve thought about it)?
@ZackM [10:26 AM]
It’s a similar issue we are currently faced with while onboarding new sub-accounts into the platform. I use the API to deploy ~20 “default” alert policies with notification channels to each sub-account I create. I would like to be able to do something similar with Insights dashboards. However; the current schema of NR makes it very easy to do the deployment, and very cumbersome to maintain at an organizational level.
We have a dedicated team of monitoring architects that maintain several different platforms and an event management solution, all tied into our ITSM deployment. So, there’s 3 of us that have to manage all of these items, and there’s not a way in the current NR layout to make changesd to one item that would then be filtered/emulated to the “child objects”.
Does that make sense?
@misaacson [10:29 AM]
Yes it does. So basically, when changes to a dashboard are made, you don’t want to have to use the ‘Update’ endpoint across 100+ dashboards. You want to be able to create a “relationship” between dashboards that says if you update this one, update that one too?
@ZackM [10:29 AM]
this ties into another thought we’ve had (might be a feature request on this, but it might also be something we’ve only talked to our TAM about, it’s hard to keep up sometimes) where we could have a single “Service Account” at the Master level that by default would have API access to all sub-accounts (Account, Admin, and NRQL)
end results being that we have a single “diety-mode” account that only a small handful of users have access to; but that GREATLY simplifies all the things we do on a daily basis via API
@misaacson [10:33 AM]
Agreed! Our APIs for Insights are kind of all over the place, which makes it hard to have a unified API experience, and those different layers of permissions and access. We have a team that supports the API experience, along with Auth&Access, so I will pass this on to them. I’m not sure if this is something that they are already looking at or not.
@ZackM [10:34 AM]
@Linds [10:35 AM]
It’s always interesting to me to learn what our users want to see next! Thanks for speaking up, @ZackM —oh! and say hi to @jbiggley for us!
@misaacson [10:36 AM]
@ZackM [10:36 AM]
haha, always; he’s dragged me into the depths of all-things NR; I’m actually chatting with him right now
@Linds [10:36 AM]
Haha can’t say I am surprised to hear that
@jbiggley [10:39 AM]
@jbiggley [10:39 AM]
OMD! (Oh My Data!) What have you gotten me into @ZackM!
@Linds [10:40 AM]
@ZackM [10:40 AM]
This is what happens when you entice me with RESTful APIs after coercing me into taking a NR Cert exam while on PTO
@jbiggley [10:40 AM]
@Linds [10:40 AM]
wow… not cool, @jbiggley
@jbiggley [10:41 AM]
He drank the KoolAid willingly. And he LIKED it!
@ebeach [10:41 AM]
Hi Mia! Our customers ask us a lot where’s the best place to get started with the Data Explorer?
@misaacson [10:43 AM]
The Data Explorer is a great tool where customers can sift through all the different event types (customer and default) and look at all the attribute data that’s collect. They can see a sample of that data via and query, a chart and a list in the UI.
One place that I acknowledge that it falls short, is giving customers context. And context is super important when you are traversing the data mountain for the first time .
I refer back to our public docs all the time .
The public docs do a great job of providing solid definitions of what data is available. My suggestion would be to start with the docs. Pick a small subset of events/attributes that you might be interested in. Its tempting to want to eat the whole elephant , but try to resist .
Look over the definitions, understand them, and then go into the Data Explorer and look at the shape of the data, play around with the query, choose different visualizations and get a better understanding for what’s available.
@ZackM [10:50 AM]
super random question, but it bugs me sometimes and maybe someone can shed some light…
we have data sources in both GCP and AWS. When filtering via NRQL, we would then use both EC2 Tags and GCP Labels to trim our data. The weird thing I’ve noticed is as follows:
For AWS tags, the NRQL syntax for our ‘Environment’ tag is:
But, for GCP it is
(note the string is wrapped in backticks)
To make it even more confusing/odd, omitting those backticks on the GCP label will work in a NRQL Alert Condition, but fails in the Insights module itself
@misaacson [10:51 AM]
I’m assuming these are for Infrastructure?
@ZackM [10:51 AM]
@misaacson [10:53 AM]
So, the NRQL bar used for Alerts and the NRQL bar used for querying, are actually different. And we are working on unifying this. But I also know that Infrastructure has run into some challenges with inconsistent labels/tags. I don’t really have a good answer for you on that one.
@jbiggley [10:54 AM]
What? No Sad Panda emoji or Giphy support? That’s Sad Panda x2
@jbiggley [10:54 AM]
@Linds [10:54 AM]
Noted for next time!
@ZackM [10:56 AM]
that’s fair; i’ve seen similar in other products where dev teams worked side by side on different modules, and then hit the same type of snag where certain items don’t align. one of our other platforms has support for both SQL and their own query language; and depending on the module you’re working in, some dashboard widgets use one or the other (or sometimes both)
@misaacson [10:56 AM]
@Linds [10:57 AM]
This has been a successful coffee chat! Thank you everyone for joining us!
Keep your eyes peeled for when we do it next time! And please direct any other Insights questions over to the Explorers Hub Insights category!
Thanks again, Mia! @misaacson!
@misaacson [10:58 AM]
You’re Welcome @Linds!!!