How to make the most of PubNub’s Dashboards
The initial release of any application is an exciting time for development teams, but what happens after that first release? As you start listing everything you want to understand about how your customers use your app, the list of questions rapidly expands: What is the adoption rate? Which features of my app are being used? Does this vary by region? How does this impact my SAAS costs? What are my usage forecasts?
With the recent release of PubNub Insights, PubNub can now offer dashboards to answer all of these questions, with different dashboards presenting different slices of the data, depending on the intended audience. This How-to guide will explain the different dashboards PubNub offers, what metrics they contain, when you would use them, and where you can find them.
For a primer on the different types of dashboard, and why they are important, please see our Dashboards 101 blog.
PubNub Insights Dashboards
PubNub Insights provides dashboards that let you quickly drill into the most active channels and users over various time periods, enabling you to see where messages and users are coming from down to the city level. With these dashboards, you can instantly analyze how your app is being used, identify issues, and plan for the future.
PubNub metrics are split into channels, users, and messages.
- Channels: Provides detailed analytics about the unique channels your application is publishing and subscribing to. See the number of messages, subscribers, and users broken down by channel across a given time period.
- Messages: Understand messages being sent across the channels used by your application. Give context to your messages by assigning a type and see where in the world the most message activity is occurring.
- Users: See where your users are located and analyze which users are sending the most messages.
- Snapshot: Provides a high-level view across your channels, messages, and users on a keyset
Cost: PubNub Insights is offered exclusively to users on our PubNub Starter and Pro plans. There are two Insights packages available, Standard & Premium, with the Standard package offered at no additional cost.
Primary audience: Product management, engineering, technical leads, program & project management
The sort of questions the PubNub Insights dashboards can answer:
- What is my application adoption rate?
- Where are my users located?
- At what time are users most active on my app?
- Who are my most active users?
- What are my most popular channels? Depending on how you have organized your channels, this can indicate the most popular features of your app.
- What are the most popular types of messages, and where are they coming from? This gives you another insight into how your customers are using your app.
How to access the PubNub Insights dashboards: Insights can be accessed through PubNub's Admin Portal, so to use it, you must first log in to Admin Portal. If this is your first time using Insights, click on the ”Go to Insights” button, and the Snapshot dashboard for your selected app and keyset will automatically load.
Standard vs. Premium Insights Dashboards
PubNub Insights is available in two flavors, Standard and Premium, with the former being free with all PubNub Starter and Pro plans.
The primary difference between the two flavors is the duration and granularity over which you can query. With the Standard tier, the dashboard will display metrics for the last 24 hours; however, the Premium tier allows you to query historical metrics displayed to additional levels of granularity.
The content and number of dashboards remain unchanged between the Standard and Premium tiers.
Operational Dashboards offer visibility into your application’s performance through a set of pre-configured dashboards that allow you to monitor a selected subscribe key for the most recent hour. The service collects real-time information about requests made by your app to various PubNub APIs, giving you an API-level view of the data.
Using operational dashboards, you gain visibility into your application’s end-to-end performance, including outages and regional traffic, ensuring you can meet your SLAs and ensure a good customer experience.
Operational Dashboards available:
- Client errors: Determine whether your application is working correctly and the number of API calls that resulted in an error response.
- Messaging: The frequency of successful API calls related to messaging, for example, sending messages, persisting them in storage, or attaching message reactions. This dashboard also covers PubNub Signals and Files.
- Presence, Access Manager, and Channels: The frequency of successful API calls related to these PubNub features.
- Functions: Inbound and Outbound requests being handled by PubNub functions
- Push Notifications: Count of asynchronous push notifications sent to Android and iOS devices, along with errors and device registrations.
- Summary: The overall health of your application
Cost: There is a cost associated with our Operational Dashboards.
Primary audience: Engineering, DevOps, Support
The sort of questions Operational Dashboards can answer:
- What is the uptime and usage of my application at the API level?
- What errors am I seeing in my API calls, if any?
- What usage trends does my application show per API?
- Did my app experience any downtime?
How to access the Operational Dashboards: To request access, please follow the access instructions detailed in our documentation.
Usage & Monitoring Dashboards
The usage & monitoring dashboards allow you to break down and understand which PubNub features your application is using, how frequently it is using them, and whether there are any trends over time.
Metrics for the past three months are broken down into two views. The “billable metrics” allow you to understand which features contribute towards your PubNub costs, and the “monitoring metrics” provide metrics and error counts for your app, broken down by API.
To better understand transaction costs, there is a dedicated help section on our pricing page.
Usage & Monitoring Dashboards available:
Billable Metrics: The billable metrics tab contains charts used to check on the usage of billable features like Presence, Persistence, Message Reactions, and others.
Monitoring Metrics: The monitoring metrics tab showcases charts to monitor your app at a glance, for example, client errors or attempted unauthorized API access.
Cost: Free to all PubNub users, regardless of plan.
Primary audience: Product owner, developer, CTO, accountant, finance
The sort of questions Usage & Monitoring Dashboards can answer:
- Is my usage of PubNub APIs and features at an expected level?
- What is causing my costs to spike or dip?
- Do I see any unexpected spikes in the number of API calls?
- How many billable PubNub features am I using, and how frequently?
- How many users are active in a month?
- How are my functions performing?
How to access the Usage & Monitoring Dashboards: After signing into the PubNub admin portal, select the ‘Usage and Monitoring’ option from the left-hand pane.
Account Costs Dashboards
Located within the PubNub portal’s ‘Plans and billing’ section, the dashboards associated with your account costs can help you track your monthly costs and forecast your total spend.
Account Costs Dashboards available:
- Month-to-Date: This shows the month-to-date costs that comprise your PubNub subscription, broken down by each feature enabled on your keyset.
- Daily Usage Costs: As the month-to-date dashboard, but displays metrics on a daily basis.
Cost: Available to all PubNub users on paid subscriptions.
Primary audience: Accountant, finance, product owner, developer
The sort of questions Account Costs Dashboards can answer:
- Is my bill for the month as I would expect?
- Are there any spikes in my costs?
How to access the Account Costs Dashboards: After signing into the PubNub admin portal, select ‘My Account,’ then ‘Invoices & Costs.’ The dashboards will display on the right-hand side.
The different dashboards made available by PubNub are intended for different audiences and give different views into PubNub’s (and ultimately your own) data and metrics. The table below summarizes the dashboards discussed in this how-to along with their purpose and intended user.
|PubNub Insights dashboards||Product management or Technical lead||Provide a holistic view of how customers are using your application|
|Operational Dashboards||DevOps||Understand the health of your application at an API level|
|Usage & Monitoring dashboards||Product owner / Technical lead||Understand which PubNub features you are using|
|Account costs dashboard||Finance||Understand how your PubNub costs break down|