Spotlight Reporting

Saving thousands of dollars in operational costs with Raygun

Accountants and small businesses all around the world rely on Spotlight Reporting to make informed business decisions every day. That’s why data accuracy is a top priority for Sean Chapman, a Technical Lead at Spotlight Reporting.

“Shipping slow and error-prone code portrays to our customers that we aren't reliable and we aren't accurate, so that's why code performance is top of our mind in everything that we do.”

This customer-focused outlook is what fuels Spotlight Reporting’s growth. Since 2011, they continue to scale into the USD$13 billion business intelligence (BI) industry and are the first choice for the Big Four accounting firms. As the engineering team scaled their infrastructure to meet demand, the cost of running their previous monitoring tool across multiple EC2 hosts became unbearable. 

After hearing about Raygun through the Wellington tech scene, Sean switched their application performance monitoring to Raygun, which met their cloud scaling needs and could help them continue to deliver accurate, reliable, and fast customer experiences to support their growth. 

In doing so, Spotlight Reporting not only reduced operational costs, but they also prioritize the user experience with Raygun's real user monitoring tool. Sean and his team reduced the total errors and issues by 90%. This enables the development team to focus on delivering value to customers and the business in the form of new features. 

Helping to reduce operational costs by scaling more efficiently in the Cloud

Sean and the team are driven to reduce operational costs while scaling their Cloud infrastructure horizontally. Sean explains that “The first part of our growth was vertical scale. You get to a point where you get diminishing returns from that. For example, you may have one server that you ramp up ten times, but it’s much more efficient to run five servers side-by-side. We found that it’s more sustainable and scalable to build better solutions designed for the Cloud and designed for performance.” 

Raygun and Spotlight Reporting work together to reduce operational costs

Reducing noise and prioritizing the end-user experience

The end-user experience is critical when it comes to delivering accurate and reliable data to accountants. If they can’t access data or reports are slow to load, trust in the app could erode and cause users to move to a competitor. 

Now, Sean doesn’t have to worry.

“Since we implemented Raygun, our application exceptions have reduced by 90%. That’s a huge reduction in general noise and things that developers don’t care about. Now, we are clearer on what actually matters to our customers.”

Before Raygun, Sean would have had to wait for a user to contact them through support channels if they ran into a problem. The team would then continue down their line of investigation, which could take days or even weeks. With their improved workflow, issues are now resolved in just a few hours. 

Recalling one interaction, Sean says, “We saw an issue and we were able to get in contact with the user because we could see the link between the crash report, the RUM experience, and the actual user session. We knew the steps that they went through and we were able to replicate it. We marked the issue as resolved in Raygun, and tracked any regressions so the issue was resolved for a lot of our users. It has freed up a lot of our time.”

This proactive approach to errors and performance problems empowers Sean to make more informed decisions that prioritize the end-user experience, all while spending less time resolving issues.

More time to deliver features with better error process

Fixing performance issues faster means that the team can focus on what matters most to the business — building and delivering features for customers. Sean says, “The more stable our software is, the fewer bugs we introduce. Finding and reacting to bugs earlier enables us to deliver features that actually matter.”

“We've had a great experience with Raygun. Implementation was easy. It made our timelines to the response of any issues that we're running into really, really good.”

“We’ve been able to reduce noise by 90%, and the warnings and exceptions that didn't provide any value have now been filtered out and resolved. We know the ones that we do see are actually affecting our customers, and when we fix them, they provide real value.”

“It’s a huge relief to the team to be able to focus on things that actually matter.”

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