When it comes to monitoring any software application, telemetry is an integral component of this process. As the term seems to suggest, telemetry is the process of recording and monitoring data from any remote source or system through the use of technology.
In the IT and software domain, telemetry and monitoring are deployed for observing various application metrics such as server load and performance, memory usage, and even its impact on user experience.
Despite its latest innovations, telemetry systems are not a new development and have been in existence since the 19th century. For example, automated communication systems have been designed to collect real-time data remotely and transmit the data for better monitoring. Additionally, telemetry systems have been utilized in transportation and meteorology industries for emergency management, remote troubleshooting of any issues, and even for enhancing cybersecurity.
In this article, we shall focus on the scope of telemetry in the data analytics domain and how the statistics and telemetry dashboards facilitate better user management.
What are the Statistics and Telemetry Dashboard?
Among the common tools used for real-time telemetry and monitoring, the Statistics and Telemetry dashboard acts as an effective data visualization tool for implementing an informed response.
Here is the typical four-point response strategy (enabled by this dashboard) in application monitoring:
- Early detection of any application issue along with a root cause analysis of the problem.
- Easier communication with any business executive or stakeholder who can take an informed and accurate decision for any reported issue.
- Immediate fixes to any reported issues thus enabling the application to be restored.
- Future or long-term response to prevent similar application problems.
Take the case of the Microsoft Office Telemetry dashboard. Compatible with Office 2016, Office 2019, and Office 365, this dashboard tool can collect and present inventory and health-related data about Office documents and installed solutions.
Next, let’s look at the role of the Statistics and Telemetry dashboard in the user management process along with the benefits and key metrics used in this process.
User Management With the Statistics & Telemetry Dashboard
In the software domain, telemetry can be used to gather valuable data and insights on the usage and performance of software applications from remote locations. For example, telemetry can be used to measure:
- The use of product features
- The loading time of the application
- The number of application crashes or failures
- Statistics related to general application usage
Thanks to telemetry tools, software companies or developers can collect remote data about application usage, which is not available through in-house means.
When it comes to monitoring end-user activities, telemetry plays a very critical role. Once a software company ships and delivers a software tool to a remote client, they cannot possibly monitor how the end-users are engaging with their product. However, thanks to telemetry, the following insights can be delivered on any dashboard:
- How are users engaging with your product or are they using new product features?
- How frequently are smartphone users using your software app and for what duration? (This has been enabled by web page telemetry.)
- What software configuration settings are end-users using the most? Do they mostly prefer a certain display setting or orientation?
- How are users responding to an application or mobile app crash? Are crashes most common due to a particular features or task?
Be it a software application or mobile app, these insights allow software companies to understand user sentiment and accordingly enhance the product features and more crucially, the user experience.
What are the key metrics that must be monitored for improving user management using statistics and telemetry? Let’s evaluate that next.
Statistics & Telemetry – Key Metrics
As outlined in the introduction, application monitoring metrics like server performance and memory consumption are key to ensure an optimum user experience. However, there are several other metrics and KPIs that can be included and monitored through the statistics and telemetry dashboard.
These metrics can be classified under the following categories:
- Server-specific metrics
- App infrastructure metrics
- Cloud-related metrics
- Advanced application-specific metrics
Let’s discuss each of these categories in detail:
Server-specific metrics in application telemetry goes beyond simply monitoring if your server is experiencing uptime or downtime. These metrics aim to target measures like the server CPU utilization (including peak and average usage) and time-based memory usage in servers.
Additionally, server-specific metrics can include user-related activities like the number of user requests in a selected time frame or concurrent user requests on your server.
App infrastructure metrics
In addition to application monitoring, network monitoring is crucial for assessing your network and storage infrastructure. Each of these app infrastructure metrics can ultimately impact user management and experience.
Network monitoring is crucial for measures like bandwidth usage and uptime for the specific application. Additionally, it can provide insights into network performance and application utilization, along with point to any security or performance issues.
With the increase in public cloud platforms for business applications, cloud-related metrics for telemetry is also becoming important. Cloud-related metrics are applicable at any point before (or after) the application is hosted on any cloud platform.
Application monitoring on the cloud typically includes measuring cloud platform availability (or outages) and Internet latency. It can also be extended to measuring Internet routing paths, latency for internal & external requests, and hybrid cloud usages.
Advanced application-specific metrics
Finally, application-specific metrics can be extended to measuring the number of transactions each second or to observe if they satisfy the goals in the company’s service level agreement (or SLAs).
Furthermore, you could include metrics specific to a particular industry domain. For example, eCommerce application metrics could include online sales figures, credit card transactions, or the growth in database data.
For example, here’s a telemetry dashboard with metrics specific to a software release.
Statistics & Telemetry Dashboard – Business Benefits
Primarily, application telemetry and monitoring enable product developers in evaluating how well (or not well) end-users are taking to their product. These data insights are delivered through a visual dashboard, which makes it easier for executives to make the right decisions.
What are the business benefits of developing a Statistics and Telemetry dashboard? Here are a few of them:
It provides real-time insight into customer usage.
Logging tools during product development can help in diagnosing errors or any code flaws. On the other hand, telemetry tools are much more beneficial as they enable the business to collect customer usage data after the application is released in the open market.
It can be used in a variety of industries
Application telemetry and monitoring can be used for remote data collection and analysis in a variety of industries. This includes tracking and monitoring spacecraft, medical conditions, law enforcement, and so on.
Provides a wealth of valuable analytics
Telemetry provides valuable data analytics that can be used to improve the customer experience. The telemetry dashboard answers many product-related questions pertaining to customer engagement with the product, popular product or app features, purchases of free trial products as against paid versions, and so on.
These product-related analytics are a valuable asset to any product development team as they plan to add features and other improvements in future releases.
It can be aligned with your business goals
Finally, application telemetry can be used to measure your business goals. Typically, this includes measuring business goals such as:
- Customer acquisition: Is the product enabling you to acquire more customers? What product features or marketing strategies are driving customer acquisitions?
- Business revenue: What are the features or functionalities that set your product apart from your competition? Are customers comfortable with your current pricing strategy?
- Customer engagement and success: Is your product driving customer success in the marketplace and which features are enabling it? What is the measure of customer engagement with your product?
- Business vision: Are your customers aligned with your business vision and philosophy?
Even with challenges like user privacy issues, application monitoring using telemetry will continue to be used to determine customer needs and expectations in the future. With telemetry-related processes happening in the background, even privacy-loving users hardly notice or simply ignore the process. In short, telemetry will continue to drive product development through effective data analytics.
Apart from application monitoring, telemetry tools such as the statistics and telemetry dashboard enable devising a well-planned response to the product- or customer-related data.
As a global data analytics and business intelligence solution provider, Countants has enabled its customers to leverage their insights from rich and interactive data visualization solutions. Through easy and scalable user dashboards, we have brought data-driven insights closer to business decision-makers. If you want to implement application monitoring using telemetry, call us up for our services and we will be glad to help.