RUM is Important for Your Whole Business Not Just Developers

Real User Monitoring (RUM) Is Important for Your Whole Business, Not Just Developers

Real User Monitoring (RUM) is passive website monitoring that has already been used widely for two decades. Large enterprises adopted it first because they had the capital to deploy their own system. But with RUM solutions, like provides, it is affordable for even small businesses.

While this is not a new technology, it is new to those businesses that haven’t used it before. If you are in that group, you should know that RUM is more than just a technical tool meant to be used only by developers. It’s for everyone.

What Is RUM?

RUM is a web performance monitoring method that collects data and reports on the experience of real users passively. While you can test a website’s performance with load testing or synthetic monitoringRUM gives you insights into how actual users interact with a site and any issues they encounter.

E-Commerce sites are an excellent target for RUM. Suppose you have a lot of users who aren’t completing their purchases. In that case, RUM can help you discover why by tracking the clicks of the users, how long it takes a page to load, errors that occur along the way, and when they abandoned their cart and compiling this data into reports. Errors can pop up anywhere and affect anything. Monitor the shopping cart page, or analyze if the page loads slow because of inefficient code, increased traffic, or overloaded back end servers.

Typical Developer Use Cases of RUM

It is obvious how useful RUM is to developers who want a site that performs well and loads fast. They have all the data they need on each user and can group users together to discover why a certain subset has issues. Here are some of the specific ways a developer might use RUM:

  • Testing feature performance: In an Agile development environment, applications are updated frequently, often on a weekly basis. RUM allows developers to track the effect of these changes on visitors in real-time and find bugs and performance issues related to new changes quickly.
  • Finding bottlenecks in code: By digging into the reports across an entire website, developers can determine which parts they should focus on for performance improvements, so user experience consistently gets better.
  • Determining when more resources are needed: RUM can also tell developers when the code on the website is running fine, but an increase in traffic caused momentary issues that used up memory or processing power. If RUM reporting tells them that this is a trend, a database may need to be clustered, or more servers may need to be added to prevent the issue in the future.

RUM Is More Than a Developer Tool

This takes us back to our initial example about the eCommerce site. Developers often use RUM reporting for testing new features and ensuring performance remains the same or gets better after changes. This means they may not notice a sudden change in performance on a component they aren’t currently working on. This is one of the reasons why RUM is not just for developers. Another is that the abandoned shopping cart issue may be related to code or traffic.

RUM reports should be shared across teams because:

  • Project managers and other stakeholders may lack technical skills. Use RUM to find, troubleshoot, and assign resources to problems when developers are focused on tasks.
  • Marketing teams can use the data to ensure that users are getting a fast, error-free user experience. If needed, determine which resources like product pages or the shopping cart need to be updated or split-tested.
  • QA teams can use the reports to determine which parts of a site are most prone to issues. Then translate that data directly to testing.
  • RevOps teams can use the data to optimize the process at each customer interaction point.

Ready to see how RUM can contribute insights to more than just your technical team? Try out the free trial now.

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Stephan is a senior software engineer and has been a developer for almost two decades. Some topics he’s covered include network security, web development, web analytics, artificial intelligence, 3D modeling, and programming in PHP, Python and JavaScript.

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