Computer Lab

    How Data Collection Improves the User Experience

    October 15, 2015

    By Scott Adams

    Data collection has become vital to every business, but are you getting the most out of it? 

    IT departments and capacity managers both often turn to a simple saying: the more data, the better. In the constant fight to keep a company’s operating system firing on all cylinders, data collection is the intelligence that IT professionals need to plan their next move.

    The data can be used to determine things like the utilization rate (explained here by Investopedia), which measures exactly how much of a network’s infrastructure is being used at a given time. These facts and figures help businesses maximize the efficiency of a given system.

    These tools can not only look at how much a company’s systems have been used in the past, but help them predict future usage. With an ocean of information at their disposal, capacity managers can use straight line trending to estimate their future network consumption based on their current and historic values. Say, for instance, 40% of the network is utilized this month  but with rising rates, it will be up to 60% in three.

    But for all their efficacy, these strategies don’t tell the whole story. In reality, it’s almost impossible to imagine an actual user’s experience by only looking at the statistics they create. You need to put those statistics into the right context, intuit how they relate to one another, and use tools that make drawing the right conclusions from them an easy and automated process.

    Diversifying Trends

    For any business looking to maximize productivity and profit, it’s important to keep the actual user in mind, even amidst the wash of numbers and calculations. In the end, the effort to maintain an effective and responsive server is all about satisfying your consumer base and upholding a strong reputation. Depending on the size and behavior of your consumer base, you need to craft your own explicit goals for data collection.

    Utilization rates will certainly factor into these goals, but the first thing that should be on your mind is how effectively your queuing system is working. If response times lag, or frustrating bottlenecks build up, existing and potential customers will take notice and head for the hills.

    The best response to this issue is to develop an effective modeling technology. One of the best models in this regard is network queuing theory. The idea is that, instead of just compiling your network usage rates over time, you examine how quickly the server processes each specific request it receives. The model then forms that information into a prediction of infrastructure response time in the future.

    Where to Turn

    Amazingly, network queuing theory predicts future server response times with 95% accuracy. Unlike straight line methods, it can actually provide valuable information and unique insights about the actual user experience and make suggestions for improvement.

    TeamQuest’s AutoPredict technology provides an advanced form of modeling-based network queuing theory that can address all of your company’s efficiency concerns. Its predictive abilities dovetail nicely with the ongoing efforts of any IT department, allowing them to improve service across the board.

    AutoPredict is also able to notify capacity managers of problems well in advance, giving you the power to maintain a consistently satisfactory user experience. Not only will you get the most out of your network, but you’ll also minimize the costs of running programs by not allocating excess resources. With your website running smoothly, your customers won’t be the only ones who are completely satisfied.

    (Main image credit: Max Anderson/flickr)

    Category: data-collection