One question that comes up time and again from our customers: What should I log to Application Insights? Application Insights gives you an extraordinary amount of information out-of-the-box with just a few lines of code added to your server and/or client codebase. Exception and dependency tracking, average page view time, long-running queries, performance metrics, request statistics, availability measures… the standard data collection set is enough to keep most customers happy for a long time. The information collected is a treasure trove of metrics useful for determining how your site or application is performing, what failures you experience most, and what areas to focus on to improve availability.
However, all of the information that comes out-of-the-box is generic and applies to your website or application in a generic sense. As organizations continue down the path in their DevOps transformation, the question of KPIs and how to track them inevitably comes up. Executives can spend countless meetings trying to decide what the best metrics to track are. Rather than waiting for the company to decide what metrics are most important to them, take the initiative and start logging everything. Logging custom telemetry to App Insights is already a very simple process which can be abstracted and simplified even further in your application. On top of that, the cost of data going into App Insights is trivial enough that there’s really no excuse to not log activities in your application. Every customer added, every opportunity converted to a lead, every order placed, every document transcribed… whatever your business domain is, log every activity around it. The few extra events and metrics being transmitted to App Insights for any action is a drop in the bucket compared to the large amount of data already being collected and transmitted.
Logging custom metrics and events for every action performed puts you ahead of the game once KPIs are decided. Often times, the data collected beforehand will help your organization determine what KPIs are actually important. Involving yourself and taking a proactive approach to measuring value, instead of reacting to decisions made by others, is part of what the DevOps transformation is all about.
Nebbia Technology can help you use Application Insights to gather the meaningful data your business needs to succeed. Contact us for assistance with Application Insights or any other step along your DevOps journey.