By Emile Biagio, CTO of Sintrex
Monitoring systems that statistically indicate that things are bad, implies that certain actions must be taken to rectify. “But you’re telling me what my users are already telling me” is NOT the desired response.
Yes, monitoring systems will measure your users’ experience and provide you with factual proof that the user experience may be terrible, which you may require.
More importantly, however, it will also tell you why the experience is bad. This is why you need to understand the information – so that you can assist with actions to rectify.
There is no silver bullet, and nothing beats elbow grease to get systems running optimally.
So, for monitoring to add true value, you should:
- understand the statistics and measures that you’re looking at and
- be prepared for a service improvement project or focus group to action a few things to resolve.
The first bullet point above should be fairly easy – your monitoring provider can teach you all about the metrics and measures.
On the second point, however, you should be willing to do a little research and interact with more departments and/or service providers.
Example: you measure (monitor): network performance, application response and transaction speeds to the back-end database and find that users experience slow responses because of the database. You would then need to start investigating all aspects around the database.
This may not be an area that you’re familiar with or responsible for, but it’s an area that you need to stick your nose into because, in this scenario, it’s the area that needs tweaking to improve user experience of an application.
A monitoring tool does not fix things for you, despite development and progress in AI and machine learning – we’re not there yet.
Keeping to the above example/scenario, you could start by finding out who maintains the database, who looks after the hardware or VM that hosts the DB.
Then ask those people about maintenance, performance, size, speed, optimization options, etc… Ask “silly” questions and Google a lot. Each of these interactions should spawn a few actions that could improve the performance of the database.
After each action, re-check the measured user experience until you start noticing performance improvements.
In this way, you are not a passive consumer of data which ultimately adds no value – you are an active force of change, that helps improve performance! Remember to document your learning in a knowledge base… and keep measuring!
This article was published in partnership with Sintrex.