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Why New Relic

Provides the performance data that keeps the platform up and running, and the user data that spurs giving

Highlights
  • Speeds application development and time-to-production for nascent philanthropy platform
  • Connects charities, companies, and donors with real-time metrics
  • Facilitates better business decisions by delivering performance and usage insights
 

We2o Uses New Relic Solutions to Transform the Philanthropy Space

Over the past half-century, markets have expanded and collapsed, economies have gone from boom to bust and back, and technology has changed virtually every aspect of people’s lives. Yet one thing that has remained largely unchanged is charitable giving. Not only has philanthropy remained flat for the last 40 years (stuck at just 2 percent of US GDP), only 6.7 percent of giving takes place online. Fledgling technology company we2o is on a mission to change that. Founded in 2014, we2o aims to spur giving by providing an online philanthropy platform that takes advantage of social data and the web to link charities, companies, and donors in an experience that is easy and transformative for everyone involved.

Making Philanthropy a Two-Way Street

When we2o founder and CEO Michael Vo began to investigate the online giving space, he immediately saw a disconnect between the charitable organizations seeking funds and the very donors they were trying to reach. With many such organizations using outdated technology that ofered little in terms of user engagement, little was being learned about users—which meant that in essence, people were simply donating and walking away.

“When we began our conversations with charities, our first question was, ‘What are your basic metrics?’” says Vo. “In other words, things like primary donors, average donation size, peak giving times, and so on. Not only were most charities unable to provide such information about their online fundraising eforts, few had any idea how to begin collecting it.” Thus, from the start, Vo and the we2o team knew that they needed to build an architecture that would be able to incorporate this data and provide the accompanying analytics in real time. The trick would be doing so quickly, efciently, and cost-efectively.

“We wanted to get things going as fast as possible, but as a startup, we didn’t have a lot of money or resources to throw at the problem,” says Vo. “We soon realized that to create the type of analytics system we were envisioning, we would have to devote an entire team—and at least six months—to the task.” What we2o really needed was a third-party partner with a robust, ready-made analytics solution that could be easily integrated into the company’s nascent platform

“We strongly believe that by using New Relic Insights to present this data to users, charities, and businesses, we’re inculcating some form of competition. By inspiring everyone around the user to contribute, we can create a river of donations.”

Prashanth Ramu Data Scientist, we2o

Opening a Window on Charitable Giving

We2o found such a partner in New Relic. “We were looking for a company that was well-established in analytics, and New Relic was the most trusted brand in that space,” says we2o data scientist Prashanth Ramu. “We were already in talks with the company about New Relic APM when we became aware of New Relic Insights. At that point, there was no looking back. We didn’t even consider other solutions.”

It was more than just New Relic’s reputation, however, that sealed the deal. “The interface had to be simple enough that everyone on the team could interpret the data and make quick business decisions based on it,” says Ramu. “And it needed to be easy to collect and store data, and then pass it back to our own Web app.” New Relic solutions fit the bill on all counts.

Today, we2o is using New Relic Insights to forge a true connection between charities, companies, and individuals by spurring engagement at every level. For charities, this means providing a multitude of analytics that lead to a better understanding of their demographics. For companies, it means delivering the data that allows them to see which causes their employees are passionate about. And for everyday users, it means providing the analytics that let them chart things like donation history and see how their giving stacks up in relation to their peers.

“We strongly believe that by using New Relic Insights to present this data to users, charities, and businesses, we’re inculcating some form of competition,” says Ramu. “By inspiring everyone around the user to contribute, we can create a river of donations.”

Of course none of this would be possible if we2o’s own architecture wasnot performing at its peak, and for that the company relies on New Relic APM. With the philanthropy platform still in its infancy, the view into performance that New Relic APM provides has been key in both preparing the site to go live and ensuring that it stays there.

Explains Ramu, “Without New Relic APM, we wouldn’t have been able to answer the questions we needed to, to take the platform live—questions like, Are we ready for a million users a day? With New Relic APM, we’ve been able to understand and estimate our platform and server loads, and determine our readiness for future campaigns. Going forward, New Relic APM is going to be a great tool for monitoring usage, pinpointing bottlenecks, and providing root-cause analysis so that we can scale our platform to meet user demands.”

“Without New Relic APM, we wouldn’t have been able to answer the questions we needed to, to take the platform live— questions like, Are we ready for a million users a day?”

Prashanth Ramu Data Scientist, we2o

Speeding Development and Increasing Engagement

Since we2o was still getting its philanthropy platform up and running when it deployed the New Relic solutions, the first benefits it realized came in the form of accelerated development time and reduced time to production—and the cost savings entailed there in. Explains Vo, “Integrating our platform with New Relic Insights was painless. It took less than a week, and at the end of that time we had a product to show and the analytics capabilities we desired. When you consider that it would have taken three full-time engineers six months to develop something with half the functionality, you can see that we’ve saved a boatload of money right off the bat in Silicon Valley salaries.”

What’s more, by freeing we2o employees of the task of creating a data acquisition machine, New Relic Insights allowed them to focus instead on the data itself—collecting, analyzing, and passing it on to users far more quickly than they would have otherwise been able. Likewise, New Relics APM helped we2o answer the questions that would allow it to take its platform into production more quickly.

None of this speed means anything, though, without a great user experience. Thanks to New Relic Insights, we2o is able to provide just that. Says Vo, “Because data acquisition, analysis, and presentation all take place in real time, users can see the immediate impact of their donations, and charities can use the information to drive user behavior rather than wait passively for donations. Charities are giddy over the possibilities presented by all this real-time data.”

Over time, Vo also sees New Relics Insights and New Relics APM playing a vital role in the evolution of we2o’s own platform. “With the data we glean from New Relics, we’ll be able to understand how users are interacting with the platform and how the application is performing,” he says. “This will absolutely help us, as well as the charities and companies we work with to make the decisions that will drive engagement and growth.”

“With Insights, we have all the hooks in place to tell any story that needs to be told through data...and the only limitation is our creativity.”

Michael Vo Founder and CEO, we2o

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