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Practical Monitoring by Mike Julian

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Chapter 5. Monitoring the Business

If you recall from Chapter 2, we learned one of the important monitoring design patterns: monitor from the user’s perspective. We learned that starting your monitoring efforts from the outside, rather than deep in the bowels of the infrastructure where most people start, is a far better approach as it provides you with immediate insight into the actual questions people are asking (“Is the site up?” “Are users impacted?”) and sets the stage to iteratively go deeper.

The questions asked by business owners are often vastly different than those asked by software engineers or infrastructure engineers, and I think this is an area where we as engineers can improve our skills and understanding. Once we learn to ask the questions the executives are asking, we can really begin to work on the most important and highest-leverage problems facing the business.

In this chapter, you’ll learn what those questions are and how to apply your engineering expertise to answering them while hitting the basics of business KPIs. By the end of the chapter, you’ll have an appreciation for the concerns of executives and how you can make their lives easier while also demonstrating the value that monitoring provides to the business.

Business KPIs

A key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric that measures how your company is doing along lines the company has deemed important to the health of the business as a whole. A KPI, like a performance metric does for the app and infrastructure, ...

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