What Is Telemetry?

What is Telemetry?

Software responds to modern, highly dynamic, and distributed systems differently. Grasping this concept presents various challenges for today’s customers. They must understand how it behaves in the field, how it responds to diverse situations and modifications, and they need to keep track of progress made on thousands of products.

In order to deliver on these digital advancements at a sufficient rate to keep up, there is a clear need: customers require an easy process to gather the data from these various products and communicate it for monitoring and analysis. That is the basis for where and why telemetry was created. 

In this article, we will take a look at what telemetry is, how it works, and what it means for application monitoring. This will lay the framework for the benefits that it brings to customers and the impact Telemetry has made in the world of software development.

Contents

Introduction to Telemetry

In simple terms, telemetry is the process of gathering the performance data of any product and communicating it to a remote location for monitoring and analysis. This technique is commonly used to keep track of the performance of various products with ease.

What Does Telemetry Mean for Application Monitoring?

In the world of software development and application monitoring, telemetry is one of the latest ways to keep track of the progress of the software. Telemetry helps the developers stay aware of the performance of the software and notifies them if a problem occurs with the application.

For software development, it is a great way to learn about which features are preferred by the end-users and require modification. This system also notifies the developers if there is a problem with the application, like a bug. It gives the developers enough time and data to rectify the problem and introduce an even better version in the market. It is an important step in ensuring that the end-user can get the best version of the application.

How Does Telemetry Work?

Telemetry for application monitoring is a four-step process:

Step 1- Specifying the Metrics

This step involves planning how the telemetry is going to take place. Metrics are specified for the developer’s process to track to get the performance of their application. The developers need to place a plan of action that if the given hypothesis is validated, what should be happening. It helps prioritize the work.

Then the developer needs to specify the lifetime of the telemetric run. It depends on the cost and returns on the investment of the run. Once you have specified the life, you will give the formula the telemetrics would calculate. The developer needs to mention the necessary data points here.

Step 2- Data Transmission 

Telemetry requires keeping track of the user’s activity on your application. That makes it important for the developer to stay aware of the privacy laws and regulations. For that purpose, the best course of action is to get the end-user to sign up for telemetry data analysis. 

To make the process safe and secure, you must also ensure that data transmission and safety. It should not be able to easily fall into the hands of hackers or any third-party users. In some situations, when the device is connected to a metered network, it may incur charges. That is why it is better to wait until the device is connected to an unmetered connection.

Step 3- Data Processing

Once the data is transmitted and stored, it needs to be processed before it can be used. For that purpose, various mathematical formulas are run to make data digestible for the analysis. The method adopted for the data processing may depend upon the type of metrics set by the developer.

For the type of metrics that involve a formula, the step is mainly to apply the data to simplify the results. If required, the results are merged with other data sets. For exploratory metrics, a data mining approach is adopted. In this method, computer algorithms are run to find the hidden pattern in the data.

Step 4- Data Analysis

The final step of the telemetric process is to perform the analysis of the data. Once the data has been collected and filtered into their respective data sets, the data is analyzed to see the performance of the software. In this step, all the issues and bugs with the application are reported and rectified by the developer. 

Once the developer implements the action plan, the identified problem is removed from the application. It helps improve the user experience of the application making it better and easier for the user. 

Benefits of Telemetry

The reason why telemetry has become so ingrained with DevOps teams is that it helps reduce their work. Once an application is introduced in the market, it gets scattered across various parts of the world. At that point, it becomes nearly impossible to keep track of all the applications and ensure that they are all working at optimal performance.

Whereas telemetry gives you the tools to keep track of performance from all outlets. All of the important information regarding the application and its performance is reported to you at your place, no matter how remote the end user’s location is. It makes telemetry an ideal method to improve the application. 

Here are a few benefits that telemetry provides the developers:

Reports the Best and Worst Features

The telemetric analysis helps the developer learn about which features of their software are the best. The developers will learn which feature of the software is frequently preferred by the users in a region through the analysis. It helps the developer learn which features must be included in the next version to ensure that the application is even popular.

Telemetric analysis also helps the user learn about the features of their applications that the users do not prefer. That gives the developers a chance to improve those features so that they could also be used frequently. It will help improve the rating of the application.

Reports the Customer’s Preferences

Telemetric analysis data inform the developers of the user’s preferred settings for the applications. Such as which users prefer display types. It makes it easier for the developers to modify the application based on the data to match the user’s needs.

It also informs the developers which users commonly use screen configuration and display backgrounds. That way, the developers can modify the application to become more compatible with that kind of screen orientation and device settings. When users find these settings in the application by default, they would surely prefer using the application.

Reports the User’s Engagement With the Application

User engagement is one of the key metrics that determine the rating of the application. The applications which can keep the users engaged for a long time with their content are more successful in application rating. That is why telemetry analysis of the application is important.

Through it, the developer will be able to learn about how much time the user spends on their application. Then they can work towards improving that time by introducing interactive and engine content on their application. Through the knowledge of user’s favorite features, the developers can manage to keep the users engaged with their application for a long time.

Reports the Crashes

Each time a crash appears in the application, it is instantly reported to the developer through telemetric data transmission. It also informs the crash context, which means which kind of apps were working in the background when the crash occurred. And how frequently is an application crashing on a device?

This information puts the developer in a better condition to rectify the reasons for the crash. If the data shows that the crash is happening due to another application, the developer will ensure that the application could survive while used simultaneously with other applications. That is why the crash context is really important and provided to the developer by the telemetric data transmission.

Conclusion

Telemetric analysis has made quite an impact in the world of software development. It has made the process of making a better application much easier. One thing that should be noted is that since all of the users usually do not sign up for telemetry, the data acquired is not accurate. But various studies show that it is far better than any of the conventional methods.

For that reason, the use of telemetry has become essential in the world of application monitoring. It helps the developer learn from the 1.0 version and improve the 2.0 version for the users.

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