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Faros AI Bohr Release: Supercharging our Data Platform

The leading data platform for software engineering organizations and the AI transformation takes a quantum leap.

Naomi Lurie

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January 25, 2024

Nobel-winning Danish physicist Niels Bohr (1885–1962) revolutionized atomic theory by introducing the concept that electrons orbit the nucleus in specific layers or shells. His work on quantum mechanics and the structure of the nucleus laid the groundwork for future atomic research and had profound implications in physics and chemistry.

He’s a great namesake for a release dedicated to enhancing the very foundation of the Faros AI platform and strengthening the core capabilities that power our analytics, insights, and user experiences.

The Bohr release has three main themes:

  • A more intuitive and fast user experience
  • Superior data and usage monitoring
  • New ways to communicate and act on metrics

Let’s dig in!

An Intuitive and Fast User Experience

Our latest user experience enhancements improve user navigation, chart readability, and dashboard performance.

Improved Navigation

“I really like the new navigation. I'm finding it a lot easier to get around with fewer clicks to reach what I need!”

The latest Faros release features a new menu layout that maximizes space for the dashboards and reduces clutter, so you can find what you need faster.

  • For more intuitive navigation, menu options have been renamed and reorganized. The left-hand menu is now lighter and customized for each role.
  • The default role permissions and access levels can be adjusted for your org, ensuring that every person sees and interacts only with what matters most to their responsibilities.
  • For quick access to popular features, the Modules and Scorecard shortcuts have been relocated to a sticky menu at the top of the screen.

Watch this short video to see the new experiences for individual contributors, managers, analysts, and admins.

Better Chart Readability

Color choices in charts play an important role in making complex information more understandable.

In this release, we’re making better use of colors in Faros AI charts.

  • Gauge colors: We’re leveraging the universally recognized color associations of red, yellow, and green exclusively for gauges, where this is a notion of positive and negative results.
  • Data set colors: We’ve created a new set of colors for the data sets, which cannot be confused with the gauge colors.

Additionally, we’re now using the Lato font to improve dashboard legibility.

Faster Dashboard Load Times

The engineering work to replace our PostgreSQL analytics database with DuckDB is close to completion, and many of you will soon experience exponentially faster dashboard load times.

DuckDB is an embedded OLAP database, often referred to as the "SQLite for analytics". During testing, we observed a 5x improvement in average query performance.

Load times were improved between 2x and 40x depending on the complexity of the underlying query.

In addition to these performance improvements, the engineering effort to rewrite our analytics pipeline will provide better resource isolation, more predictable query plans, and the potential for schema customization in the future.

Superior Data and Usage Monitoring

The new release introduces a redesigned Sources page for enhanced data ingestion monitoring and a new Adoption Metrics dashboard that provides insight into chart and dashboard utilization across the organization.

Data Ingestion Feeds

Faros centralizes data from across the software delivery life cycle into a single pane of glass, and the credibility of your metrics relies heavily on up-to-date data.

An easier way to monitor all your data sources is on its way, helping admins quickly spot errors that can prevent timely data ingestion, like expired tokens. The redesigned Sources page will make it easier to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot the flow of data into Faros.

  • Sync history: When data ingestion doesn’t seem right, getting to the root cause can require some investigation. You may want to look at previous sync operations to identify when the failure began or compare two logs to pinpoint the impact of a configuration change. That's why you can now see the sync history of each data source in the Sources page.
  • Better monitoring for hybrid deployments: Hybrid deployments allow customers to execute the sources on their infrastructure, sending only the resulting data to Faros. Now customers with hybrid deployments can easily view hybrid source configurations in the SaaS application and share logs with team members or the Faros support team.

Insight into User Adoption

Which dashboards are most popular with your users? Which team or group consumes metrics the most frequently? How has adoption grown since you’ve rolled out Faros to a new tranche of teams?

You can now answer these questions easily in a new opt-in Adoption Metrics dashboard.

Adoption Metrics in Faros AI

Adoption metrics help you easily identify the parts of your organization that are leveraging Faros and how, which can tell you a lot about your organization, what it cares about, and what different roles find most useful.

Here are some examples:

  • Learn how to replicate success and double-down in areas of high demand: If a sub-org frequently accesses a specific custom dashboard, publish the dashboard to the rest of the org for the benefit of other teams.
  • See how well a new dashboard is getting embedded in your operational cadences: Check how often a new dashboard is getting used as part of your cadence of recurring meetings.
  • Assess how effective your enablement has been: After onboarding a new sub-org, observe the adoption before and after your training sessions.

New Ways to Communicate and Act on Metrics

Like the proverbial falling tree in an uninhabited forest, does a metric matter if no one views it?

“If there be no ears to hear, there will be no sound,” was written in the Scientific American. (Anecdotally, Bohr argued that we could have only probabilistic knowledge of a system: as in Schrödinger’s thought experiment, a cat in a box is both dead and alive until it is seen.)

While performance metrics are critical to running an excellent engineering function, sometimes we are so busy, that we forget the most important thing: to review our metrics, contemplate them, and take action.

The Faros platform has two new powerful features to make it easier to consume metrics and act upon them.

Automate Metric Delivery, Alerts, and Actions

Faros now offers completely customizable workflows that run on n8n software. This means you can automate anything from sending weekly dashboards to relevant stakeholders to notifying reviewers on PRs, to alerting teams when key metrics fall below or exceed given thresholds.

Let’s take an example:

An engineering organization tracks lead time per team. When lead time exceeds the threshold, a Faros automation can notify the impacted team via email and/or Slack message and include a snapshot of the Faros dashboard that demonstrates the lead time historical trend and current lead time breakdown. The notification itself provides not only the alert but also the context required to begin discussions and corrective action.

Below is a video of another cool automation that sends a Slack or email notification when an open bug threshold is exceeded. See it in action!

These were just a couple of examples of useful automations you can build with an easy drag-and-drop workflow builder and an out-of-the-box set of over 220+ app nodes and 400+ integrations!

Custom Metrics in the Scorecard

The Faros Scorecard has quickly become a user favorite because it provides an at-a-glance view of the organization’s performance against key metrics. The color-coded heatmap makes it easy to understand team health up and down the org chart, helping leaders quickly focus their attention on highlights and hot spots.

In this latest release, Scorecard can now embed metrics from custom charts to create the cross-org alignment and visibility you need on your specific focus areas. This is a great addition for customers who have custom definitions for classic metrics (e.g., Lead Time) or organizations that track a very specific metric (e.g. Jira issues with a specific label).

Tell Us What You Think!

We hope you're as excited as we are about this new release. If you have any questions, reach out to your customer success team. And if you're not yet a Faros user, contact us to start a conversation!

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