Company performance isn’t an accident. It’s the result of the actions we take every day. Today’s dashboard-centric BI tools are great for visualizing performance trends and exploring your data, but they aren’t built to detect changes and events that drive that performance. That’s where alerting and monitoring comes in.
Tristan Handy, CEO of Fishtown Analytics called out monitoring and alerting as a missing layer in the analytics stack. To use Tristan’s words, monitoring is the nervous system for your entire company, identifying specific issues that need attention.
[With technology that actually monitors your various data streams to give you notifications for the things you care about] your analytics data stack will begin to function as the nervous system for your entire company, not just providing executive function but acting as the sensory organs as well.
– Tristan Handy, CEO at Fishtown Analytics
I often get asked why you’d need a tool like Revere, which specializes in monitoring and alerting when you have other analytics tools like Looker or Tableau. I like to think of it like this: they see the forest, we see the trees. Here’s a breakdown of how monitoring and alerting compares to dashboard-centric BI tools:
Dashboard-centric BI tools specialize in data exploration.
Data visualization of trends. This is a series of snapshots you can look at that describe what has happened, where each snapshot tells a story about some aspect of your business. Visualizations provide a common language for everyone to make sense of the data and let’s face it, they just look cool.
Ad hoc reporting. This is where you can go to the tool to get answers to your questions as you think of them. It’s essentially a query of your data that you can refine and shape until you discover a meaningful result.
Monitoring is about detection.
Surfacing status. This means you get answers to questions you hadn’t even asked yet. It’s about staying on top of the latest information as new data rolls in.
Reliable tracking. There is some information you have to keep track of, but you also shouldn’t constantly be running analysis to do so. Instead, monitoring allows you to automate a regular review of key issues.
Scalable analysis. There’s a lot of information that gets lost beneath the surface KPI’s. The kind of information that drives performance. For example, if you’re a retailer you can look at your dashboard and see that revenue is steady, but you may not realize that a specific product is underperforming in one region because of a problem with the product web page. Or if you have a customer base of thousands you may use a dashboard to view trends, but that doesn’t give your reps an easy way to see which accounts are underperforming right now and why.
With monitoring, the underlying variables that drive the KPI’s are tracked automatically so that when something looks off, it’s noted by the system. And often times it is not one thing causing the problem, but a series of issues that should be addressed. Scalable analysis automates the review of various scenarios across multiple dimensions and metrics in a way that just can’t be done manually.
Alerting is about getting information to people right when they need it.
Faster response times. With alerting you make sure people know what’s up, even when they aren’t looking at the dashboard. They can find out as soon as intel surfaces.
Managing by exception. The team shouldn’t have to constantly watch the data to stay informed. Alerting helps the team stay focused on making progress while giving them a way to switch gears only when necessary.
Coordinating across teams. Sometimes you need to make sure the team knows how and when to act on an issue. That can get more challenging the larger a team grows. With alerting you can make sure each person gets relevant information as they need it with context and next steps.
Monitoring and alerting for your business data.
At Revere, we spend a lot of time thinking through this problem of helping teams to get information faster because we know that tomorrow’s outcomes are based on the actions you take today. We specialize in making it easy for you to monitor your business data and alert the team when new information surfaces. You can plug Revere into your data warehouse and get alerts set up in minutes so you and your team can act faster, together.