How Technology Analytics Determines Our Success
Josh Bergen – 08/11/2022
Since the inception of SS&C’s Black Diamond® Wealth Platform, the concept of observability has continually evolved within the technology team supporting the platform. Previously, we accomplished observing the application’s performance and impact through conversations with our clients. Fortunately, our ability to assess the impact of our application has matured along with the platform. The knowledge of how our application is used, along with how we are meeting our client’s goals is what we continue to strive for.
Today, our application spans across many boundaries – from the hundreds of services that manage our data flow, to the seamlessly deployed web applications our clients interact with daily. As such, creating telemetry and actionable insight into how our application is working has its challenges.
What separates observability from actionable insight? We determine this by walking through a series of several questions:
- Does this insight tell us how our application is working for the client?
- Can we alert on this issue, creating immediate action?
- Is this insight providing data on a specific task, or used to assess the whole system?
- Can we use this as a leading indicator for needed investment?
- Can we proactively identify issues that our clients may uncover?
Our analytic technologies support this extremely well, starting from the system, all the way up to the application and out which include:
- Kubernetes Pod observability provided by OpenShift, Prometheus, Thanos and Grafana;
- Windows observability provided by Consul, Prometheus and Grafana; and
- Application observability provided by SeriLog, ElasticSearch, GrayLog, Prometheus & Grafana
In addition, the context within the key metrics provided by these analytics is helpful in comprehending how our application is functioning. Although performance is part of this insight, a great deal more is about how user workflows are operating.
Furthermore, we use a strategy called North Star for each of our application areas that serves as an Actionable Business Insight for the team(s) responsible for that area. Not only does this allow us to understand how the application is working at any given time, it helps us prioritize work to ensure that we are always achieving success towards our North Star. These North Star actionable insights evolve as our comprehension of client and application needs change. Therefore, we continue to assess whether or not we are evaluating our application at the right level – with the expectation that our North Star insights are evolving alongside the application.
In conclusion, we look forward to continually working with Black Diamond’s product development teams to achieve an even better understanding of how our application is working for our clients. I believe that in doing this, we strengthen the connection between our teams and clients –creating a tighter link between the client experiences, and how we are managing that experience.