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From Insights to action

The Particle Team article author avatarThe Particle TeamApril 02, 2024
From Insights to action

There is no question about it, a large fleet of connected devices can streamline an organization’s operations in ways that would otherwise be impossible. Whether that fleet is composed of Photon 2 development boards running predictive maintenance algorithms to keep manufacturing equipment humming along without interruption, or M-SoM system-on-modules that are tracking environmental parameters in remote regions to give researchers the raw data they need to aid environmental protection efforts, these aims could not reasonably be achieved without connected devices.

Particle insights dashboard

The Insights dashboard offers a snapshot of your fleet’s health at a glance

But as the saying goes, there are two sides to every coin. Along with these new efficiencies and insights comes the problem of managing the device fleet. When the number of devices is small, this is not particularly troublesome, but as the number of devices grows into the hundreds or thousands, it quickly becomes an organizational nightmare. At that point, it is no longer possible to manually track the performance and security of each device. Not giving sufficient attention to these areas can lead to a number of bad outcomes, ranging from severe declines in efficiency to bad publicity that tarnishes the organization’s public image.

We know many leaders that have streamlined their organization’s operations with Particle devices are now turning their attention to good management practices that will keep their fleet in tip-top shape. It is for that reason that we have developed a new tool called Insights that was designed to take the pain out of the process. This new web-based tool provides managers and engineers with a simple overview that allows them to assess the status of their entire network of devices at a glance.

Drill down report

Drill-down reports provide more details

By using the Insights dashboard, a customer can quickly determine if there are performance issues with any of their devices. Metrics like battery level are tracked to ensure that devices do not unexpectedly drop off of the network. Users can also check up on average memory level usage statistics to determine if they are close to exceeding the resources available, which might mean that the deployed firmware needs to be streamlined, or that it might be time for a hardware upgrade. By clicking on these high-level data points, users can drill down to more detailed reports containing charts and graphs that assist in digesting the information.

Another key feature of Insights is that it provides an overview of any potential security concerns with all devices in the network. Whether OS updates are recommended, unencrypted transmissions are detected, or users have not set up multi-factor authentication, Insights shows the scope of the problem in the dashboard. And as you might expect, by drilling down, users can see relevant details about the impacted devices or users to assist them in quickly remedying the situation.

Insights was designed to keep your devices secure

At present, Insights is available to a limited number of Particle customers, but it will be rolling out to a larger audience in the weeks to come. As we continue the roll out, we will also be improving the product. We already intend to do everything from improving the look and feel of the interface to adding more metrics to the dashboard and enhancing the information in the drill downs.

The overarching goal of Insights is to provide our customers with actionable information at exactly the right time — the tool should not blind you to real problems by alerting you to issues that never materialize, but care was also taken to make sure that you will be alerted to real problems before it is too late to take proactive measures. We believe that we have achieved these goals already, which is why we have decided to begin releasing Insights to our customers. But ultimately, this is your tool, not ours. So it is our hope that we can work together to make Insights the exact tool that you need to have in your toolbox. Accordingly, we hope that you will take this survey after you have had a chance to try Insights for yourself, so that we can be sure to meet all of your needs.

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