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Dogfooding ExtraHop for Customer Service Insights

How an hour of tinkering gave us better business intelligence with ExtraHop.

As the leader of ExtraHop's support organization, I'm constantly looking for better ways to help our customers succeed. One of the key tools in my arsenal for delivering online training, firmware downloads and support case management is the ExtraHop Customer Support Portal.

Recently, I wanted to know how effectively our support portal was delivering value, so I went searching for metrics. Unfortunately, I discovered that the information was not readily available in Google Analytics. I wanted better per-user granularity and specific usage information.

Luckily, ExtraHop provides powerful technology to mine the exact data I'm looking for on the wire. We dogfood our own tech constantly, and I discovered that we already had ExtraHop systems in use by our IT department for troubleshooting web site issues. So I decided to dust off my ancient JavaScript skills to get the data I wanted.

My first attempt was to track the consumption of our online training. We decided against a formal Learning Management System (LMS) for our content because they're expensive and bloated with functionality we don't need. But, of course, I still want to know which of our support pages and online training modules are getting the most attention. It took an hour to create a trigger and a dashboard with exactly the business intelligence I needed.

I can now see when and how much my content is being utilized:

User Activity Business Intelligence Dashboard Click image to zoom

I can also break it down by individual user and customer:

User Access Monitoring Dashboard Click image to zoom

The early success, and realization that my rusty coding skills were not a limiting factor, emboldened me to expand my analysis to the entire portal. Another hour and a half later and I had almost everything I needed to evaluate user-specific engagement within the portal.

Customer Community Business Intelligence Dashboard Click image to zoom

User Actions, Access, and Uploads Dashboard Click image to zoom

We tell our customers all the time that wire data is the "single source of truth" when troubleshooting IT, but its value goes so much further than fixing what's broken. ExtraHop can provide a wealth of of real time business information as well. The possibilities of using wire data to limit tool sprawl has convinced me that it is the perfect solution for a mid-sized business IT shop that is constantly being asked to do more with less.

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