If data is the new gold, are you getting the true weight in gold out of all the network performance data you collect?

Network performance data is not just for engineers. See how one mobile operator has more than 130 users getting value from Skylight analytics.

One of Accedian’s mobile operator customers recently achieved a notable milestone – they passed the 100 user mark with our Skylight performance analytics platform in less than a year. That has since grown to the 130+ mark. So? What’s so great about that? We’re not Facebook, or Netflix – we’re a data visualization and analytics platform focused on network and application performance in organizations. The fact that more than 130 people (out of a 9,000-strong organization) went out of their way to request access, explore the data, and keep coming back, is special. Do you have that many people getting value from your network performance data?

Find the golden nuggets hidden in your network performance data 

Data is said to be worth its weight in gold these days. So if your core business is selling connectivity, network performance monitoring data is just about as valuable as it gets. The problem is that data is really valuable only if it’s being used.

Companies love to collect data and funnel it into lakes, but once there is it really accessible to the masses? Sometimes! But usually only through some generic interface. People need an easy-to-use analytics platform that helps them access the information they want based on the context of the problem they are trying to solve. This saves time and avoids the need to hunt, guess or perform monotonous actions in the hope of finding what they’re looking for.

Granular and rich performance data combined with flexible and dynamic analytics 

Customers appreciate Accedian Skylight for its breadth of performance testing and monitoring coverage and for the granularity of data we can offer. A mobile operator may be looking for a way to help optimize its backhaul network performance and provide faster Mean Time to Repair (MTTR). Running TWAMP tests from the core out to eNodeBs at a high sampling rate can generate rich information that can be used for more than the traditional monitor and isolate scenarios. 

This is where you need a flexible and well-designed analytics system that can leverage the domain-specific data set by:

  • Allowing personalized views
  • Offering well designed workflows that can understand the user’s intentions 
  • Being fast and dynamic in a way that allows the user to easily experiment
  • Facilitating usage of the data in a richer context by adding categorical information (e.g. location, vendor, etc.)
Providing rich context and intuitive usability is key

Network operations, monitoring and engineering teams all benefit from Skylight analytics

Skylight performance analytics was originally deployed to help the engineering team, but usage has expanded to include the operations and monitoring teams. A growing cross section of employees in diverse roles are using Skylight – they really are making the most of their data’s value! 

Skylight analytics use cases include:

  • Visualizing end-to-end network performance
  • Finding, fixing and validating router configuration issues
  • Identifying bottlenecks or areas of congestion for future infra investment planning
  • Monitoring sections of the network, e.g., by regions, by service class paths, by transmission technology, or equipment
  • Observing trends over time and using predictive analytics to mitigate performance issues

So, we don’t see every Skylight performance analytics user on a daily basis, but that’s okay! Use cases will dictate how often people are using the platform. Skylight analytics excels at monitoring and investigation workflows and users in those teams tend to be heavy users. We are improving alerting and reporting capabilities and expect to see greater uptake there. And we just heard from our customer that they will make Skylight analytics available to their Network Operations Center (NOC) staff – you know the guys who look at the green, yellow, red alerts on screens to continuously monitor their network around the globe? 

Skylight performance analytics usage by role

So how did the customer get such wide usage of Skylight analytics? Honestly, word of mouth. Develop evangelists within your customer base, and they’ll be proud to recommend your services whenever they can. And how do you get yourselves one of those evangelists – listen to your users, they’ve got great ideas, then continuously deliver added value.

It’s been said before – slow is the new down and customers expect a high quality service from their communications service providers. Synthetic testing of a network can generate incredibly valuable information about its true performance on a continuous 24/7 basis. That’s a lot of data, but making sense of it in order to improve your network requires the right analytics tool set. Pick a tool that excites your experts and impresses everyone else.