Not Better but Necessary Together: Real User and Synthetic Monitoring
By Jonathan Rende | November 17, 2014
Most people would not choose to spend a week of work stuck in traffic every year, but research1Texas A&M Transportation Institute, “2012 Annual Urban Mobility Report” conducted in 2011 of traffic patterns found that, "congestion caused urban Americans to travel 5.5 billion hours more and to purchase an extra 2.9 billion gallons of fuel." Now that is just too much money and time to be wasting.
Each day, my seven-mile commute to work and home vary. Plans laid the night before set the route of my drive into the office, but on the way in, I find it helpful to check traffic on Google maps to see the actual flow of traffic. With no traffic, my usual commute is 15 minutes, but that can easily turn into 45 minutes or longer, especially if an accident unexpectedly turns up. Much like managing traffic, where a standard route is determined but a daily commute from point to point is adjusted for current conditions, synthetic monitoring provides a way for me to plan my trip while real user monitoring delivers insight into the traffic flow in the moment I need it.
When used together, both synthetic and real user adds efficiency to my commute. Surely a few more minutes back to my day is great but what I really appreciate is the uncertainty that is removed.
Synthetic monitoring is reliable, consistent and provides a historical view that reveals repeating patterns over time, much like a map. Real User Monitoring, on the other hand, gathers volumes of data and provides useful insights to real-time engagement similar to active traffic patterns.
When it comes to navigating the digital experience of your customers and making an impression on them, being able to interact in a few seconds requires visibility and the most up to date information to act instantly. When synthetic and real user monitoring are combined, it optimizes the site performance by providing it in the context that impacts the business, such as prioritizing issues and telling you how many individuals are impacted by a particular problem.
As businesses evolve towards a digitized engagement model with customers, exceeding their expectations will become arduous. But, when you’re armed with the intelligence of your customers’ journey on your site, you can be more confident that you have the tools to drive growth and customer engagement.
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