This article was originally posted on Inside Tech Talk: http://insidetechtalk.com/
I was at an awesome IT conference a few months ago, Compuware’s APM (Application Performance Management) annual conference. It was awesome because >75% of the sessions were users speaking. I learned a lot, but there was something I heard in one of the sessions that disturbed me. An IT Director was showing some of his performance dashboards and got a question from the audience about business metrics. His response was “yeah, there is a lot of untapped value for the business in here. But we’ve learned from experience that we can’t initiate a data project with the business. It doesn’t go well. We have to wait for them to ask us.”
In my head I was screaming “What?!? That is so stupid!” Yet as I looked around the room heads were emphatically nodding. This was a common sentiment.
APM isn’t trying to be a BI tool, but when you are monitoring the most critical applications for a company you are bound to get some data that would be helpful to the business, especially marketing. I wanted some examples so I went to the head of APM Product Management, Steve Tack. He painted a picture for me of an eCommerce site. He rattled off a few of the types of business analytics acquired:
- End user performance for visits
- Conversion rate
- Orders completed
- Dollar value by payment type
And it’s not just eCommerce. Because this data is real-time, hospitals have used the data from monitoring their EMR to manage patient throughput. With our dependence upon technology to run businesses, the possibilities seem endless. It seems to me that data like this could help provide a more complete picture of what is truly happening so that process and technology can be optimized to improve revenue.
So, if you are in any way responsible for revenue (hint, that should be 90% of a company and not just marketing) and any part of your revenue is acquired using technology, do yourself a favor. Take your CIO or IT guru out to lunch and kindly ask them if they are using APM software to ensure the performance of business applications. During dessert, after you’ve told IT how great of a job they are doing and how you’d love to work with them more closely, pose the question about business analytics. It just might be the most important business lunch you (and your company) have ever had.