Driving Business Decisions with SolarWinds Observability

From IT Metrics to Business Insights

To remain competitive in the modern economic market, businesses must understand their customers’ behaviors and respond swiftly to shifting market trends. By examining the right data, businesses can reveal trends or inform investments, leading to increased revenue and opportunities to reduce costs. This is data-driven decision-making (DDDM), the practice of leveraging data to make business decisions to benefit the organization as a whole.

However, the foundation of DDDM relies on accurate, complete, and timely data. SolarWinds Observability helps software organizations increase their understanding of user behavior through data-driven insights so they can make crucial business decisions, ultimately increasing revenue and reducing unnecessary expenses.

In this post, we’ll look at the critical role SolarWinds Observability can play in business decision-making. We’ll first look at how SolarWinds Observability helps businesses understand customer behavior. Then, we’ll look specifically at how this relates to DDDM. Finally, we’ll look at how leveraging SolarWinds Observability can potentially impact an organization’s bottom line.

Understanding user behavior with SolarWinds Observability

Consumer satisfaction markedly determines the success of a software product. SolarWinds Observability enables organizations to measure various metrics to ascertain which product features users find valuable or meaningful.

Measuring time spent on a page

If users spend most of their time on a specific page, then this means that this particular segment is very popular among them. This metric serves as a guideline regarding what features developers should prioritize.

Tracking requests sent to endpoints

Features users interact with in the UI communicate with specific endpoints that fetch data for them. If certain endpoints receive a high volume of requests, this illuminates which features are most popular among users.

Tracking user drop-offs and cart abandonments

One of the most frustrating situations encountered by a business occurs when a user drops off just before making a purchase or signing up for a product. Collecting extensive data can help pinpoint the cause of these drop-offs and cart abandonments.

Based on these and other insights SolarWinds Observability provides, organizations gain the power to implement the highly beneficial and proven practice of DDDM.

Data-driven decision-making with SolarWinds Observability

DDDM is often defined as the practice of executing crucial strategic decisions based on careful analysis of vast quantities of relevant data rather than relying on subjective opinions and intuition. Research shows companies are three times more likely to report significant improvements in their business decision-making if they use DDDM. 

SolarWinds Observability provides three main features to enable decision-makers to implement DDDM practically, reliably, and efficiently. Let’s consider each of these in detail.

Real User Monitoring (RUM) is a feature of SolarWinds Observability that allows organizations to collect user-centric data from applications. RUM collects the following examples of data:

Geographic location of the user

  • Browser
  • Operating system
  • Page load time
  • Division of time between network, frontend, and backend processes

Based on this data, organizations can use DDDM to make informed decisions to impact their bottom line.

Marketing campaigns 

RUM helps organizations identify which regions of the world from which user requests originate. With this information, organizations can attract new users by targeting their marketing campaigns to regions where the application has the most success. In addition, organizations can identify rapidly growing markets, attracting new users in regions where the product has started gaining traction.

Human resource allocation

The data provided by RUM allows organizations to make internal decisions with increased confidence. For example, suppose data shows the majority of users access the application via an Android device. In this case, it makes sense to allocate more human resources to the team developing the Android application. RUM also helps identify the most popular features by device and region.

Cloud infrastructure allocation

If RUM data shows users are predominantly from a certain region, then allocating cloud infrastructure in that particular region makes sense, as it would improve response times and overall user satisfaction. Furthermore, provisioning cloud infrastructure in a specific region can also help enhance data privacy, ensuring sensitive data stays within the boundaries of a particular jurisdiction.

Application performance monitoring

The application performance monitoring (APM) feature of SolarWinds Observability tracks performance and availability metrics (such as response times, error rates, and outages). This data provides meaningful business insights to help with crucial decisions.

Plan feature development and redesign

If APM data—such as transaction monitoring—shows a certain feature has a high drop-off rate, then this might indicate a certain step in the user flow is not intuitive to users. It may be necessary to update or redesign this feature. APM data helps remove the guesswork and speculation, providing clear evidence about where to focus developer effort. Understanding the exact piece of a feature that needs updating can significantly reduce user frustration and boost engagement.

Inform the product roadmap

APM data can be crucial for determining a product’s strategic path. Data showing that certain features are very popular among users likely suggests the product roadmap should focus on developing the product in that direction. By steering the product in the direction that the APM data indicates, businesses can instrument user preferences to create attractive innovations.

Database monitoring

You can also use SolarWinds Observability for database monitoring to improve the performance and costs associated with their use.

Identify performance bottlenecks

Databases are among the most common causes of performance bottlenecks in software applications. These bottlenecks can negatively affect response times, one of the primary sources of user frustration. If you don’t monitor the performance of your database, then knowing how and where to speed up database response times is impossible. Database performance monitoring is a powerful feature of SolarWinds Observability that gives you visibility into the performance and health of all database instances of an application.

Reduce infrastructure cost

Cloud-based database instances can be notoriously expensive. Identifying underutilized database instances is low-hanging fruit for cost optimization. However, determining levels of utilization depends on monitoring. By ensuring infrastructure is allocated efficiently, an organization can maximize its return on investment.

Increasing revenue and reducing costs with SolarWinds Observability

Ultimately, the best benchmark for measuring business success is revenue and profit. From a business perspective, the issue boils down to a single question: How can DDDM with SolarWinds Observability increase profit? The following four aspects help us arrive at our answer:

Investment in features

Feature development and maintenance cost money. With data to support the claim that a feature isn’t providing sufficient value to users, an organization can justify discontinuing it. In addition, if that feature relies on expensive infrastructure or a costly third-party integration, shutting it down will save significant costs.

On the other hand, as we’ve seen, data from SolarWinds Observability can also guide organizations toward the features in which they should be investing more resources.

Timing of initiatives

SolarWinds Observability data provides insights regarding which days, months, and seasons attract the most user traffic. This can significantly improve sales volume and help with optimizing inventory management for maximum efficiency.

Reduction in costs

SolarWinds Observability provides metrics to help you reduce infrastructure costs significantly. Research shows almost half of all software companies struggle to control cloud spend. SolarWinds Observability data allows cloud engineers to reduce their organization’s cloud bill, without affecting availability and performance, by removing idle and underutilized infrastructure.

Resolution of issues

Performance issues, outages, and security breaches can cause irreparable damage to an organization's business and reputation. Application performance monitoring and database monitoring can identify bottlenecks and vulnerabilities, ensuring your engineering team mitigates them before users or malicious actors discover them.

Conclusion

Making critical business decisions without the proper data is equivalent to hiking treacherous terrain blindfolded. Relying solely on intuition and experience can result in missed opportunities and wasted effort. On the other hand, SolarWinds Observability provides invaluable data that enables data-driven decision-making, directly helping organizations increase profit. 

From a business perspective, one of the greatest benefits of a software product—as opposed to nearly all other products and services—is its unique ability to acquire immediate user feedback through the data generated as users engage with it. No focus group or other form of user behavior research is necessary. All you need is a powerful observability solution, such as SolarWinds Observability. Massive volumes of highly valuable data are generated every minute. Unlock the potential of this data and sign up for your 30-day free trial.

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