Faster Dashboards, Email Summary BCCing, Save-as on Any Chart

We recently posted about our new dashboards on the blog. Many of you have tried them out in beta and we’re getting ready to retire the old version. If you haven’t already made the switch, all users will be upgraded to the new dashboard on July 8th. 

Since our first post about the new dashboards, we’ve been busy adding new features. Here are a few we’d like to share.

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Business Intelligence Dashboards, Redefined.

We just released a new beta version of our dashboard! This project has been in the works for a while and we’re really excited to get it into your hands. Right off the bat you’ll notice that everything has a brand new look and feel, but what’s even cooler is where we can go from here.

That’s because the new interface makes use of Google’s AngularJS. With Angular, we’re going to be able to roll out new features and iterate on existing ones faster than ever.

Here’s a snapshot of what you have access to in your account today.

RJMetrics-Dashboard

Adding a chart

We’re working hard to consolidate these options, but everything related to adding a chart lives in the “Add Chart” dropdown.

RJMetircs-Adding-a-chart

Settings Navigation

The settings navigation has been split up into two groups: Data, and Account Settings. The Data group contains items that have to do with manipulating your data. The Account Settings group contains items that have do with managing your account.

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 11.07.42 AM

 

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 11.08.00 AM

Spotlight Search

Have an idea what your chart or metric is called and can’t remember where to find it? Type your keyword into the search box and we’ll take you right to it.

RJMetrics-Spotlight-Search

Upcoming Features

Here’s a quick look at what’s on the near-term horizon…

Chart Resizing

Break free from the confines of dashboard columns! You’ll be able to resize your charts on much more flexible grid to emphasize the most important charts and tables on the dashboard.

Chart Descriptions

You’ll be able to view a metrics definition from anywhere. Can’t remember what column your “Revenue” metric uses? Forget which filters are applied for “Users we count?” Now, they’ll be no more reason to lose your spot and jump to another page to answer this question. That information will live everywhere you’re using your metrics.

Plus, you’ll soon be able to enter your own custom description for a chart, a heavily requested feature.

Darkened Full-Screen Mode

Many of our customers display their dashboard on a large monitor. We’re working on a feature to automatically switch from a light theme to a dark theme for better visibility at large sizes.

We couldn’t be more excited for the pipeline of features to come. Stay tuned.

RJMetrics Connectors for Dummies

It’s currently hour 23 of 24 for RJMetrics’ third hackathon, and I’ve officially built, tested, and deployed a brand new RJMetrics data connector on our beta Data Import API. It sucks down data from our marketing automation platform, Pardot, and updates my RJMetrics dashboards on an hourly basis.

This is exciting for several reasons:

  1. We now have a functional, close-to-release version of the Data Import API. This API will become the new standard for how data gets pushed to RJMetrics.
  2. The API is dead simple to integrate with. I am not a “real” developer and I was able to build an incredibly useful connector in 1 day using Ruby and deploying on a completely free Heroku instance.
  3. The dashboards that I use every day are now auto-updated without me having to lift a finger. This will save me several hours every week.

The Data Import API

We’ve kept our Data Import API a state secret to this point so as not to incite the mob—a lot of you have been waiting for this for a long time. But we’re close to launch, so I figured I’d let the cat out of the bag. Here’s the lowdown.

The RJMetrics Data Import API is an incredibly straightforward way to import data into your RJMetrics account. In fact, that’s all it does. Send it data, and it saves that data to a table in your account. Just make sure your data includes an ID field and is formatted as JSON and you’re good to go. Once you push data, it will become available for you to use in metrics and dashboards.

This means you can now integrate anything with RJMetrics. Customer support platform? Check. Inventory management platform? Check. CRM? Check. Custom application developed by Fred from your IT department? Check. Every aspect of your business can now be seamlessly integrated into your cloud business intelligence solution.

Building Your Connector

The logic of a connector is incredibly easy:

  • Identify a data source
  • Select all the rows
  • Push them to the Data Import API

The wonderful thing about this logic is that you don’t have to track what rows are new, old, updated, etc. Just push all the rows across. Our warehouse will match records by ID and perform inserts and updates as appropriate. Much less for you to worry about.

If you have many millions of rows in a given table, you may want to include logic to only push certain of those rows. The dataset that I was using was small enough that this wasn’t a concern.

Copy My Connector

If you develop in Ruby, you’re more than welcome to use my code as a starting point for developing your own connector. I wrote a (very) simple API wrapper that is bundled as a gem for easy inclusion. Include it in your gemfile by adding:

gem 'ruby_rjmetrics', :git => 'https://github.com/jthandy/ruby_rjmetrics.git'

Don’t feel like you have to use the gem, though. If you want to see how the API call is made, it’s really just 1 line:

The connector itself is a simple Rails app with no persistence layer, deployed on Heroku. There is a single controller for each type of data that’s responsible for getting data. The controllers are then called as rake tasks from the command line, allowing them to be easily integrated into cron (or the Heroku scheduler).

Again, feel free to steal all of the code, or use it as a jumping-off point. It’s quick and dirty, but it does the trick. Get it here.

If I can do it, you can too

I’m a marketer. I write some code every once in a while, but our developers here would never let me within a mile of the RJMetrics code base. So, when I say I wrote a connector, that means that you probably can too.

We’re now accepting applicants to participate in the closed beta of the Data Import API. If you’d like to participate, just contact support.

Introducing The Data Auditor!

The product team has a hot hand these days. Last month we released a completely reworked chart builder, this month we’re releasing the Data Auditor, and next month we’re releasing… Well, honestly, I can’t tell you yet. But it’s going to be good.

We’re really excited about getting the Data Auditor into your hands. From the very earliest days of RJMetrics, we’ve had questions from customers that would go something like this: “How did you get $xxx,xxx for your revenue number? We show $yyy,yyy in our database. Are you sure you’re pulling the right numbers?”

This is, of course, a very reasonable question. There’s not a lot of point in having a business intelligence tool if it’s not giving you accurate numbers. But what we found was that the problem was (almost) never one of accuracy, but rather one of data definitions. Different users would query their data differently, and this would cause confusion when they tried to validate what they saw in RJMetrics. After investigating for a while, we’d ask the customer whether or not they’d remembered to exclude sales tax from their revenue calculations. There would be an “Aha!” moment, and everyone would go home happy.

data_auditor

The problem? This process took a long time, both for us and for you. We’d prefer that you have a dead simple way to verify the accuracy of a given metric and to cross-reference it against your database.

And now you do.

The Data Auditor gives you everything you need to verify the accuracy of your data for every metric in your dashboard. Just choose a metric and a date to sample on, and we’ll show you the relevant rows from our warehouse as well as a query to run on your transactional database to replicate the results. If you’d like a full run-down, check out the help site.

Happy auditing!

The Hottest Chart Builder on the Planet

The RJMetrics team is excited today to announce the release of our newest feature: a completely revamped, overhauled, and downright sexy chart builder! We think our new chart builder is the hands-down easiest way to build a chart we’ve ever seen, with real-time previews of your data as you make changes in the editor. Select a metric, date range, chart type, filters, and groupings all within one simple, beautiful interface.

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 11.24.07 AM

The new chart editor is now live for every customer and trial user, and we’ve put together a quick walkthrough on our help site. Take a look and tell us what you think!

RJMetrics in Geckoboard

Today, we are proud to announce new, more comprehensive support for adding RJMetrics charts to your Geckoboard dashboards.  You can now add any RJMetrics chart to your Geckoboard using the RJMetrics “widget” that exists within their interface.

Using this widget, you can feature things like cohort analysis, repeat purchase probability, and advanced customer segments with just a few clicks.  This allows you to add new RJMetrics-powered charts to your Geckoboards like the ones shown below.

RJMetrics Line Chart in Geckoboard RJMetrics Bar Chart in Geckoboard

To use the widget, simply click “Add Widget” from any Geckoboard, select the RJMetrics widget from the “Sales and Finance” category, enter your RJMetrics API Key, and choose the chart you’d like to add.

For complete details on how to configure your API key to be compatible with Geckoboard, view the related article in our help center.

Introducing stacked column charts and other improvements

Since rolling out SVG charts in March, we’ve been hard at work optimizing our visualizations.

Stacked Charts

A feature that’s been pretty heavily requested is the ability to create stacked column charts. You spoke, we listened.

Better Labels

You may have also noticed that we’ve made our date formats smaller, truncated really long category names and abbreviated numbers ($1,000 => $1K, $1,000,000 => $1M). We wanted to increase our data-to-ink ratio, and found these to be the lowest hanging fruit.

We noticed that there were charts that had categories on the x-axis that were really long and required you to cock your head to the side just to read them. No more. To combat this, we rotated the x-axis so labels could be given more space and be more readable.

Some charts, however, will still remain vertical columns. These include repeat event probability charts and column charts over time. These don’t suffer from long x-axis labels, and are more understandable as vertical columns than as horizontal bars.

We have loads more coming. The most exciting stuff is only a couple of months away. Stay tuned.

RJMetrics Round-Up (9/04/2012)

Lots of new changes are on their way for us in September. Take a look at what we’re doing:

Product Updates:

  • We now support stacked bar charts for MultiSeries data.
  • We’ve released better handling of non-date category names on our charts.
  • We’ve increased internationalization support via continued UTF-8 compatibility efforts.
  • Standard implementations now include e-mail summaries and a new executive dashboard.
  • We are testing a guided video tour for new users, to help you better get to know our product and what it can do for your team.
Company News:

What’s Next:

  • Don’t forget to come say hi to us at shop.org in Denver, Colorado next week. More information about the summit can be found here. We’ll be at booth 561.

RJMetrics Removes User Limits from All Pricing Plans

Today, we are excited to announce that user limits have been removed from all pricing plans. This means that our clients have the ability to add as many users as they want to their RJMetrics accounts.

In RJMetrics, each user has their own “sandbox” environment in which they can create and explore an endless universe of charts based on their company’s data. Administrators can also limit user rights to only certain data, or create “read only” users who can only view dashboards that have been copied into their accounts or syndicated to them.

If you’re an RJMetrics customer, you can add more users to your account by following these instructions. If you’re not, you can sign up now for a free 30 day trial.

Starting Today: Try RJMetrics for Free without a Credit Card

2012 has been a year of milestones here at RJMetrics. We’ve brought on amazing investors, grown our team, and improved our product by leaps and bounds. Most importantly, more online businesses are than ever are using RJMetrics to better understand their data and make smarter decisions.

We started offering free trials a few months ago, and the success of that program has encouraged us to make it even easier to give RJMetrics a try. Today, we’re happy to make two new announcements:

  • You can now sign up for a free 30-day trial of RJMetrics without entering a credit card or committing to a pricing plan.
  • We’ve cut our implementation time in half (from 14 days to 7 days) and extended our free trials so that the clock doesn’t start ticking until your dashboards are live.
It has never been easier to give RJMetrics a try. Click here to sign up for your free trial today.