The difficulty for businesses with a lot of data is paying attention to the right signals at the right times. This is complicated further when you have to mine the data from various siloed platforms that don't talk to each other.

Telemetry is a new software as a service platform that creates real-time data visualizations from a variety of sources, such as a company's internal databases, app store developer accounts, and more than two dozen external services, including Basecamp, Github, MailChimp, Paypal, Stripe, Twitter, and several Google products.

Geared for businesses ranging in size from sole developer to enterprise, Telemetry's visualizations can communicate current transactions, transactions over time, dollar volume, service capacity, and virtually any other metric you want to track, and can be set to update as often as every second. It's designed to be viewed as a screensaver, on a second screen, on a large-screen TV, or on mobile devices. A Telemetry dashboard or elements from one can also be embedded in a company's website or the websites of customers. For example, a hosting company could give a customer access to real-time usage information for all its servers, or a power utility could use it to feed customers real-time information about their power consumption.

"All sorts of information that looks really boring on paper, [like] when they tell you you've used 3 kilowatts this month...becomes really interesting when you see it in graphical form," says Marco Tabini, VP of product development for the company. "Whenever you have a company that manages a significant amount of data and has a significant amount of customers, Telemetry is a great way for it to easily reach each customer with minimal investment because they just need to give us the data and we push the data out to their customers directly."

While companies can use the platform to communicate metrics to customers, Tabini says the "ambient data" Telemetry surfaces is particularly transformative for companies internally.

"We have big screen TVs in the office with our boards up and it's funny to see people go by, glance at the screen, and immediately you can see that the light goes off in their head and they have a clearer picture of exactly what's going on to the point where they can almost anticipate problems just before they're about to happen," Tabini says. "They can see certain indicators going in a particular direction or change color and they can tell 'Oh, something's about to go down, something is about to go wrong.'"

Telemetry, which is optimized for access through a mobile browser, is also available as an iOS app with an Android version planned for release in early 2014. Pricing for access to the SaaS platform ranges from free for developers up to thousands of dollars a month for enterprises, with several tiers in between ranging from US$9 a month to $199 a month.